[this book] is bang up to date with its subject. There's a growing library here but this is one of the best volumes because of its lucid, authoritative and informative content. It is a very practical book, full of suggestions for activities, while also looking at child-centred strategies and approaches.
I very much hope that all stakeholders in education engage with the issues this book presents, particularly in emphasizing the need to listen to youngsters themselves and to work constructively and respectfully with youngsters deemed to have SEBD.
This book points the way forward towards relationship based practice ins chools which will enable the inclusion of young people who struggle with the scope and persistende of negative feelings. The challenge will be to get these tools into the hands of the school staff who really need them, and ensuring that they have the emotional skills and maturity to use them effectively.
The book is subtitled 'Engaging Children and Young People with Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties' but like most of the best resources there are lessons here that will have value across the spectrum. Carmel Cefai and Paul Cooper have gathered together case histories and current research into the social development and engagement of young people. Most crucially many of these accounts are directly taken from young people, so we hear their voices and honour their potential as out teachers amnd guides.
In every chapter of this outstanding book, the dignity of troubled young people is affirmed, their capacity to learn is recognized, and ways to reach them are delineated. The thread holding all of these excellent chapters together is student engagement, voice, and strengths. Herein lies the key to effective intervention with students with SEBD. Readers will especially enjoy the international perspective and learning about nurture groups, circle time, peer helping, and other evidence-based interventions. This well-written book will appeal to academic researchers as well as diverse school practitioners and those preparing students to enter these fields. Evidence is presented by a number of authors that shows the deleterious effects of coercive and punitive approaches on the spirit and learning capacity of youth with SEBD. The final chapter is an impassioned statement about the importance of children and the need to treat them with nurturance and respect. As Cooper and Cefai state eloquently, if as adults we wish to be genuine self-actualizers then we need to work towards the creation of a world in which our children develop as well balanced, emotionally secure and socially-engaged citizens. This requires the wider adult world to become more constructively engaged with children and their needs.
A group of leading researchers in the field of social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD) communicate their vision of what the "E" in SEBD really means... a very important book, giving the views and experiences of students with SEBD the long overdue place they should rightly have in the literature. The reader will be surprised by what these students have to say about their school experience and the valuable contribution they can make for themselves and their peers. After reading this book, the reader will appreciate that finally, 'emotional education', the often missing link, has been placed in its right context. A must read for teachers, practitioners and decision makers who want to make a difference in the education and life of these children and young people.