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Real Kids: Creating Meaning in Everyday Life

reviewed by Renée Spencer - 2006

coverTitle: Real Kids: Creating Meaning in Everyday Life
Author(s): Susan L. Engel
Publisher: Harvard University Press, Cambridge
ISBN: 0674018834, Pages: 219, Year: 2005
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In her book Real Kids: Creating Meaning in Everyday Life, Susan L. Engel pleads with us— researchers and educators alike—to be at least as interested in the processes of children’s thinking as we are in their outcomes or developmental achievements. Engel, a teacher (and parent) turned psychologist, fashions her struggle to reconcile her first hand experiences of children with the portrayals of children within her field of developmental psychology into a prescription for how to more effectively account for children’s views of the world. The real kids of her book title are in her words “more complex, more mentally active (but in a distinctly childlike way), and less oriented toward adult tasks than the research suggests” (p. 2). In the first chapter, Engel supports this contention by proffering vividly drawn examples and anecdotes of children’s behaviors, utterances, and stories that call attention to gaps in our understanding of how children... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 108 Number 8, 2006, p. 1575-1577
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12283, Date Accessed: 4/10/2021 3:30:29 PM

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About the Author
  • Renée Spencer
    Boston University
    E-mail Author
    RENEE SPENCER is an assistant professor at the Boston University School of Social work. Her research interests include youth mentoring, adolescent development, and gender. She is currently conducting a longitudinal study of youth mentoring relationships funded by the William T. Grant Foundation Scholar Award program. Recent publications include “Understanding the Mentoring Process Between Adolescents and Adults” to be published in Youth and Society and “Naturally Occurring Mentoring Relationships Involving Youth” to be published in the Handbook of Mentoring: A Multiple Perspective Approach edited by T. D. Allen and L. T. Eby.
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