chapter  17
14 Pages

GROUP INFLUENCES AND THE MALADJUSTED CHILD: The school aspect

My purpose in this section is to study certain aspects of the psychology of groups, which may help towards a better understanding of the kind of problems that are involved in the group management of maladjusted children. Let us think first of the normal child, who lives in a normal home, has aims, and goes to school actually wanting school to teach; who finds his or her own environment, and even helps to maintain or develop or modify it. In contrast, the maladjusted child needs an environment that has the accent on management rather than on teaching; the teaching is a secondary matter and may at times be a specialized affair, more of the nature of remedial teaching than of instruction in school subjects. In other words, in the case of the maladjusted child, ‘school’ has the meaning of ‘hostel’. For these reasons, those who are concerned with the management

of antisocial children are not schoolteachers who add a dash of human understanding here and there; they are in fact group psychotherapists who add a dash of teaching. And so a knowledge of the formation of groups is highly important for their work.