chapter  1
11 Pages

The Social Development of the Child

There is widespread and growing concern, in educational circles and beyond, at the apparent rise in antisocial behaviour among children, ranging from discipline problems in the classroom and the increased incidence of bullying, to a more general lack of respect for others, in terms of their feelings, person and property, and occasional and notorious cases of violent crimes involving children. Such problems co-exist with wider social changes, including, regrettably, increased inequality, family breakdown and a weakening of parental control, unemployment, various forms of physical and sexual abuse, and a significant youth crime and drug culture. While these negative influences need not lead to behaviour problems, neither do they provide a satisfactory climate for the socialisation of children, a process which is of crucial importance to families, schools and society.