Children's Work Theory & Practice

For those working with younger children

Archive - Book Titles reviewed - U


Understanding Children Understanding God



by Ronni Lamont


Jesus proclaimed “Let the children come to me” so children are important in God’s family. Understanding Children Understanding God works on two levels to help us understand why. Firstly it is an introduction to developmental psychology. Do Sunday School teachers need an understanding of child psychology? Yes and no. This psychological aspect is possibly the weakest part of the book. Children develop at different speeds so to have a strict guide can be less than helpful. Also developmental, or child, psychology is a contentious subject – just think about how often education styles change to suit the newest theory. Even so, the use of developmental psychology can help us take the children in our churches more seriously than is often the case.
Where Understanding Children Understanding God is stronger is as an introduction to the Godly Play scheme. This is a religious education system that can be used in Sunday Schools but can also be used in secular schools, hospitals and other “non religious” situations. If Godly Play has a weakness it is its reliance on a specific style of psychology. But if a church is looking to build its children work, especially reaching out to the community Godly Play is a tool worth considering.

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Review by Phelim McIntyre  (18/08/08)
Jacket
Paperback
Price: £12.99
Publisher: SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published: 18 October 2007
ISBN: 978-0-281-05820-4

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Unseen Worlds

- Looking Through the Lens of Childhood

by Kate Adams


How much of your childhood do you remember? This book is not just a fascinating account of the results of research that has attempted to document and analyse the often unrecognised reality inhabited by young children, but it is also a vehicle for simulation of a reader’s own memories. This is obviously a difficult field, but Adams brings to it a creditable academic rigor, whilst at the same time producing a readable and well organised text.
We are reminded that adults can often dismiss the experiences of childhood as simply ‘It’s just your imagination’, the title of one chapter. Though childhood only found a life of its own in the fifteenth century, it has been transformed a number of times since, to be today very much a product of this age. Fear has taken our children off the streets and into our homes, offering in exchange all that can be accessed though TV and the internet. Adams provides a timely critique of how this has affected children’s dreams and other imaginings. Each chapter concludes with a summary that may give recommendations for those who wish to attempt a more enlightened response with their own children. The book also offers us the opportunity to peep through the lens of childhood, something that may well also illuminate our later life.

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Review by Paul Scott  (30/03/11)
Jacket
Paperback
Price: £19.99
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers from Gardners Books
Published: 15 July 2010
ISBN: 978-1-849-05051-7

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