Knowing children and young people as pupils

A book by June Gordon emphasises the approach adopted in this section where we advocate familiarisation with the cultures and communities of children. Gordon sees this type of inquiry as crucial to teaching:

There are many interesting books on children’s culture, friendships and perspectives in primary and secondary schools. Devine promotes primary pupils ‘speaking for themselves’, whilst Rudduck and McIntyre summarise extensive cross-sectoral work on ‘pupil consultation’:

For detailed case studies of children’s developing identities and careers through schooling, see:

And for one of many analyses of secondary school experiences see:


The following suggestions explore our understandings of children as pupils, their identities, pupil ‘careers’, their culture, views of themselves and views of teachers. Firstly we present suggestions covering a variety of aspects of pupil culture and children’s views of themselves in school, as well as their ideals about schools:

The following books present children’s understandings of, and images of, teachers and teaching and how these infiltrate their everyday lives:

There are a number of interesting books on children's culture and perspectives. Collections which illustrate such work are:

On the experience of young people, see:

The following book by Hallam et al. draws on research exploring the practical experiences of schools, teachers, and pupils of different kinds of grouping.

Books specifically on children’s friendships and playground culture are:

Two titles on bullying:

On children's `needs' see:

For philosophical discussions of the problematic nature of 'needs' identification see:

An important book which challenges all determinist ideas about ‘ability’ is: