Book: Attachment Behaviour and the Schoolchild

Barrett and Trevitt

1991 Routledge, London

All teachers will recognize those children who, in spite of normal intelligence, ‘just can’t get started’ on learning basic skills; those who later lose their capacity for learning; and those who are resistant to learning, seeming deliberately to “get it wrong” and to rubbish their work. These children are apparently unable to make use of the opportunities offered to them in school. This can result in teachers becoming distressed and frustrated, leaving them in doubt about their own skills.

The authors, both experienced teachers and clinically trained educational therapists, take a fresh look at children who have lost their capacity to learn. They explore the relationship between emotional development and cognitive learning processes, believing that understanding this helps to make sense of, and resolve, the problems of confronting learning-disabled children.

The idea of educational therapists becoming ‘educational attachment figures’ for school children is introduced. The concept of attachment behaviour is taken from the work “Attachment and Loss” by John Bowlby, and has considerable relevance to children today, increasing numbers of whom experience separation and loss.