Don't Touch!: The Educational Story of a Panic

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Routledge, 2008 - Education - 167 pages

This book explores the problems involved in 'touching' children in an educational environment. It uses real-life examples taken from groundbreaking research into the mentality of today's risk culture, and highlights a maddening state of affairs in which ordinary well-meaning professionals feel they cannot offer even very young children basic levels of comforting or affection.

This fascinating and long-overdue book examines the 'no-touch' pandemic in early years settings, by use of extensive interviews with practitioners, parents and pupils, which:

  • outline the confusion experienced by many in knowing if, when and how to touch and the more recent backlash by those who attempted to buck the trend
  • suggest why this issue is important now (for example, at a time when men are being encouraged to work in early years settings)
  • consider explanations such as panic, risk, society and fear.

This book also examines and explains where the law stands on these issues, and keeps its key focus on practice throughout; representing an unsensationalized and sensible approach to an issue that causes so much professional anxiety, and it will be welcomed by the entire teaching profession, child care professionals, along with academics and researchers within education and the social sciences.

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You can’t care for kids unless you touch them
Under new guidelines, teachers can be chastised for patting a boy on the head or for putting a plaster on a girl’s knee. A stirring new book says these
mad anti-touch measures are killing the spirit of teaching and caring.

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About the author (2008)

Heather Piper is Senior Research Fellow in the Education and Social Research Institute of Manchester Metropolitan University.

Ian Stronach is Research Professor of Education in the Education and Social Research Institute of Manchester Metropolitan University.

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