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The Bullring: A Classroom Experiment in Moral Education describes a way in which the principle of encouraging children to find out for themselves and to conduct their experiments with the raw material of common everyday objects—so well understood in the earlier years of schooling—may be adapted to help older children understand the world of persons.
The Bullring is a free-discussion lesson; in it the children push the desks to one side, and, with the teacher, sit around in a circle facing one another. Their task is to study their behavior as it occurs and the teacher's task is to help them to do this. What distinguishes the Bullring from an ordinary discussion period is the freedom of students to say what they like and just about do what they like. The Bullring tries to provide a safe area in which young adolescents could find out for themselves what sort of persons they and their friends and their enemies were in relation to one another. It thus attempts to extend the principle of free discovery into the realm of personal relationships, to help children to discover themselves and to discover a morality by which to live.
1. Background to the Idea
The Task in the Bullring—Children Studying Their Own Behavior
A Free Setting in which to Do This
The Psychoanalytic Background
2. Bullring 1
Freedom in Practice with Young Adolescents
The Management of Aggression
3. Group Dynamics
An Approach to Understanding the Group's Behavior
Dependency, Fight-flight, etc.
4. Bullring 2
Further Problems Created by Freedom—trust and Ambivalence
5. The Rules and the Setting
The Prevention of Anarchy
The Need for Some Structure
6. Authority and Anxiety
Dealing with Anxiety
The Fear of Freedom in Teachers and Children
Acquisition of Inner Authority
7. Moral Education
How Children Choose When They are Free to Do So
8. The Bullring and the School Community
Teachers Attitudes towards the Bullring
The Value of Permissive Discussions for Staff Groups
A Short Bibliography
- No. of pages:
- © Pergamon 1970
- 1st January 1970
- eBook ISBN: