The Child at School: Interactions with peers and teachers, 2nd Edition, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Child at School

Interactions with peers and teachers, 2nd Edition, 1st Edition

By Peter Blatchford, Anthony D. Pellegrini, Ed Baines


308 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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What is the nature of children’s social life in school?

How do their relationships and interactions with peers, teachers and other school staff influence their development and experience of school?

This book, written by leading researchers in educational and developmental psychology, provides answers to these questions by offering an integrated perspective on children’s social interactions and relationships with their peers and teachers in school. Peer interactions in school have tended to be underestimated by educationalists, and this book redresses the balance by giving them equal weight to teacher–child interactions.

In this second edition, the authors extensively revise the text on the basis of many years of research and teaching experience. They highlight common misconceptions about children, their social lives, and school achievement which have often resulted in ineffective school policy. The book includes a number of important topics, including:

  • The significance of peer-friendships at school  
  • The nature and importance of play and break-times
  • Aggression and bullying at school  
  • Peer relations and learning at school
  • The classroom environment and teacher-pupil interaction  
  • The influence of gender in how children learn at school.  
  • Advantages and disadvantages of different methodological approaches for studying children in school settings
  • Policy implications of current research findings.

The Child at School will be essential reading for all students of child development and educational psychology. It will also be an invaluable source for both trainee and practicing teachers and teaching assistants, as well as clinical psychologists and policy makers in this area.


‘Schools are amongst the most significant contexts in which children develop, and children’s prior development influences how they respond to schools. The over-arching aim of The Child at School is to underline this inter-dependency and to challenge the widespread belief that education and development can be treated separately. It succeeds triumphantly, providing a compendium of up-to-date research on topics as varied as play, bullying, gender, ability grouping, and class size. No comparable volume comes close to matching in breadth of vision.’Christine Howe, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, UK

'Researchers in educational and developmental psychology examine children's social interactions and relationships with each other, their teachers, and school staff, emphasizing that peer interactions are just as important as teacher-child interactions. […] The book is for students in child development and educational psychology, and for classroom teachers, clinical psychologists, and policy makers. This second edition reflects the latest research.' - Eithne O'Leyne, ProtoVIEW

Table of Contents

1. An Introduction to The Child at School 2. Children’s social competence and peer relations 3. Pupil friendships in school 4. Children’s Play 5. Breaktime/Recess in school 6. Aggression in school: the specific case of bullies and victims 7. Peer Relations and School Learning 8. Classroom environments 9. Adult-pupil Interactions in the classroom 10. Teacher expectations 11. Differences in classroom interaction in relation to gender 12. A concluding note

About the Authors

Peter Blatchford is Professor of Psychology and Education at the UCL Institute of Education, UK.

Anthony D. Pellegrini is Emeritus Professor at the University of Minnesota, USA.

Ed Baines is Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Education at the UCL Institute of Education, UK.

About the Series

International Texts in Developmental Psychology

The International Texts in Developmental Psychology series is designed to embrace the emergence of new areas and developments in the field from a global perspective, providing state-of-the-art, higher level introductions to major topic areas. Each volume is written by a specialist who combines empirical data and a synthesis of recent research to deliver cutting-edge science in a format accessible to students and researchers alike.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Child
PSYCHOLOGY / Education & Training