This volume is a guide to using the Relational Literacy Curriculum with children in grades 2-5. Based on developmental and social constructivist principles, this curriculum presents a conceptual framework and a method for enhancing children's understanding of interpersonal relationships in the classroom. The Relational Literacy Curriculum:
*offers a powerful method for children to reflect on challenging interpersonal episodes and to discern constructive patterns of relating through discussion and role play;
*provides a process that can serve as both a prevention tool and a vehicle for managing immediate conflict;
*gives teachers a strong theoretical framework from which they can make principled decisions, and a flexible format for implementing it that they can adapt to meet the particular social needs of their classroom context; and
*promotes teacher reflection and learning through the use of various observational tools.
This book addresses the question of why it is important to study relationships in the elementary classroom; reviews the research and literature that inform the relational literacy curriculum; lays out the process of the curriculum; explains how the curriculum can be used to address real conflicts within the classroom community; and provides guiding principles for practice. It is a useful resource for classroom teachers, school psychologists, school counselors and social workers, and a valuable text for a range of courses, including classroom management, psycho-social interventions, child development, and early childhood education.
"Now, in a time when some students resort to using weapons to resolve conflicts, Salmon and Freedman's book is especially meaningful, giving teachers a structure for helping children develop and practice interpersonal skills."
"Unique and valuable….pushes forward our thinking about children's relationships and our definitions of literacy."
—Sally M. Oran
Northern Arizona University
Contents: Preface. Relationships: Why Study Them in the Elementary Classroom? A Conceptual Framework for the Relational Literacy Curriculum. The Relational Literacy Curriculum Discussion Process: Exploring How It Works. C.J. Fogartaigh, Role Playing in the Relational Literacy Curriculum. Shifting Responsibility Within the Relational Literacy Curriculum: Making Conceptual Connections. Working With Children's Real Conflicts. Making It Your Own: Professional Development and the Relational Literacy Curriculum. Appendices: Timeline. The Discussion Process. The Role Play Process. Reflections and Connections. Real Conflicts.