What is the nature of children’s social life in school?
How do their relationships and interactions with peers, teachers and other school staff influence their development and experience of school?
This book, written by leading researchers in educational and developmental psychology, provides answers to these questions by offering an integrated perspective on children’s social interactions and relationships with their peers and teachers in school. Peer interactions in school have tended to be underestimated by educationalists, and this book redresses the balance by giving them equal weight to teacher–child interactions.

In this second edition, the authors extensively revise the text on the basis of many years of research and teaching experience. They highlight common misconceptions about children, their social lives, and school achievement which have often resulted in ineffective school policy. The book includes a number of important topics, including:

  • The significance of peer-friendships at school  
  • The nature and importance of play and break-times
  • Aggression and bullying at school  
  • Peer relations and learning at school
  • The classroom environment and teacher-pupil interaction  
  • The influence of gender in how children learn at school.  
  • Advantages and disadvantages of different methodological approaches for studying children in school settings
  • Policy implications of current research findings.

The Child at School will be essential reading for all students of child development and educational psychology. It will also be an invaluable source for both trainee and practicing teachers and teaching assistants, as well as clinical psychologists and policy makers in this area.

chapter 1|16 pages

An introduction to the child at school

chapter 3|39 pages

Pupil friendships in school

chapter 4|37 pages

Children's play

chapter 5|20 pages

Breaktime/recess in schools

chapter 7|25 pages

Peer relations and school learning

chapter 8|33 pages

Classroom environments

chapter 10|26 pages

Teacher expectations

chapter 12|8 pages

A concluding note