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Educating the Young

The Ethics of Care

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Edited By Jeanne Adèle Kentel

This collection of essays initiates a conversation about the educational interests of the young and considers the potential for pedagogical transformation. Organized into three parts, dealing with the pedagogy of care, child honouring and telling children the truth, respectively, the volume engages with some of the key ethical challenges involved in educating young people. Through the diverse perspectives and approaches of sixteen authors, the book examines conflicting educational ideologies through a critical pedagogical lens. These authors consider poetic, aesthetic, inspiring, historical, political and ethical ways of both educating and being educated by the young. The volume aims to provoke further thought and debate among those who wish to consider the complex nature of educating the young with honesty, honour and care.

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Julia Ellis Someone to Talk to and Something to Talk About: Honouring Students by Supporting their Social Needs in Classrooms and Schools 91

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Julia Ellis Someone to Talk to and Something to Talk About: Honouring Students by Supporting their Social Needs in Classrooms and Schools What does it mean to honour children? It means seeing them for the creatively intel- ligent people they are, respecting their personhood as their own, recognizing them as essential members of the community, and providing the fundamental nurturance they need in order to f lourish. (Cavoukian 2006: xix) Playmates, friendships, and collegial relationships with classmates and schoolmates are vital to the wellbeing and growth of students in schools. However, in the context of high residential mobility and schools that are often too big while being ethno-culturally diverse, students can experience alienation and isolation instead of the nurturance of social af filiation. In this chapter, I examine school-wide and classroom-based initiatives and practices that can provide ongoing support to students’ social needs. Such support is an important dimension of the nurture that students need in order to f lourish. The importance of students’ social relationships is well recognized and documented. Children’s play with peers is understood as a vehicle for learning, social development (Dewey 1990), and psychological healing (Landers 1998). Landers, who studied children’s needs and wellbeing in the context of violence and war, emphasized children’s need for social interac- tion. She reminds us that children’s ‘development proceeds through and because of social relationships’ (Landers 1998: 5). Similarly, Boxill (1993: 37), who studied children and homelessness, states that ‘it is relationships that define us and tell us who we...

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