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Peer Groups and Children's Development. Understanding Children's Worlds

  • ID: 2383038
  • Book
  • 248 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Peer Groups and Children's Development considers the experiences of school–aged children with their peer groups.

The book looks at the formal peer groups that children are placed in for teaching and learning, covering such topics as the class size debate, mixed–ability vs. ability–based teaching, gender and classroom dialogue, and dialogic teaching and cooperative learning. Howe also provides an in–depth examination of the nature, causes, and consequences of a child's informal peer relationships, including those associated with cliques, friendships, and adolescent gangs.

Evidence presented throughout reveals how formal and informal aspects of peer groups interrelate to a great extent in determining patterns of development. This has significant implications for research and theory, as well as for the practical concerns of parents, teachers, counselors, school psychologists, and policy makers.

Informed by the latest research and scholarship, Peer Groups and Children's Development offers revelatory insights into the effects of peer relationships on a child's intellectual, personal and social development.
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Chapter 1: Peer groups in a cultural context.


Cultural dependency.

Theoretical framework.

Piaget and Sullivan.

Group socialization theory.

Peer groups and children s development.

Overview of contents.

An inter–disciplinary perspective.

Chapter 2: Peer groups and classroom structure.


The peer group structure of classes.

Class size.

Selective assignment.

The structure of classroom subgroups.

Cultural and local influences upon classroom structure.

Size and selectivity.

Competing pressures.

Summary and conclusions.

Chapter 3: Performance and cooperation in classrooms.


Whole–class interaction and the performance mode.

The ubiquitous IRF.

Individual differences in performance roles.

Subgroup interaction and the cooperative mode.

Sitting in groups versus working with groups.

Cooperative learning.

Role differentiation in classroom subgroups.

Summary and conclusions.

Chapter 4: Cooperative interaction and curriculum mastery.


Piagetian perspectives upon cooperative interaction.

Socio–cognitive conflict, transactive dialogue and exploratory talk.

Group work in science.

Resolving differences.

Assistance and cooperative interaction.

Helping and learning.

Assistance versus contrasting.

The social impact of classroom interaction.

Selecting mechanisms.

Social judgments in classrooms.


Chapter 5: Friendship, status, and centrality.


Children s friendships.

Membership of friendship groups.

The qualities of friends.

Similarity and complementarity.

Peer status in formal groups.

Socio–metric relations.

Assigning status.

Beyond the classroom.

Status in friendship groups.

Ethnographic approaches.

The concept of centrality.


Chapter 6: Individual differences in informal experiences.


Varying experiences of status.

Sociability, aggression and withdrawal.

Behavioural characteristics and status.

Behavioural characteristics in context.

Friendship and status compared.

Sociability and friendship.

Aggression, friendship and centrality.

Continuity and change.

Context dependency.


Chapter 7: Social and personal adjustment.


Peer groups and antisocial behaviour.

Rejection and antisocial behaviour.

Friendship and antisocial behaviour.

Mutual support or bad examples.

Peer groups and personal adjustment.

Status and internalizing difficulties.

Internalizing versus externalizing.

Rejection and neglect.

The protective status of friendship.

Summary and conclusions.

Chapter 8: School performance revisited.


Peer groups and educational failure.

Status and performance.

Status and friendship.

Diverse consequences of friendship.

Friends and academic polarization.

Towards an integrated perspective.

Classroom practice and developmental outcomes.

Chapter 9: Implications for practice and future research.

Summary and introduction.

Remedial work with individuals.

Skills training for at–risk children.

Skills training in context.

Qualified endorsement of the cooperative approach.

Maximizing the promotiveness of promotive interaction.

The problem of aggression.

Teacher involvement.

Future research and theoretical development.

Developing the socio–cultural perspective.

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Christine Howe
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