Children spend a very large proportion of their daily lives in school. They go there to learn, not only in a narrow academic sense, but in the widest possible interpretation of the word-about themselves, about being a person within a group of others, about the community in which they live, and about the world around them. Schools provide the setting in which such learning can take place. The kind of learning that occurs, and how it is acquired, will to a large extent determine the progress the children make and the understandings they develop about themselves and others. In other words it will determine the kind of people they become. If we are to ensure that this learning experience is a good one for all children, we need to consider what are the essential factors to allow for optimum personal development.