For a number of years now there has been a significant reimagining of education systems the USA, Ireland, the UK and Australia and elsewhere. A common theme underpins the changes being introduced and the concerns expressed by theorists, policy makers and practitioners alike. This is a concern about the extent to which our school systems meet the personal and social needs of an increasingly diverse population. The extent to which schools can promote and achieve wellbeing among their students is increasingly becoming as important to parents and teachers as the role of schools in academic and vocational preparation.
Despite the desire on the part of parents in particular that schools should assist them in helping young people to grow to be happy, resilient and successful, research on schools and wellbeing has been slow to develop and to keep pace with the ever emerging needs of school communities. Consequently, this book makes a welcome contribution to our knowledge and understanding of pastoral care and wellbeing in school communities. The author, Dr. James O’Higgins Norman, is to be commended for his sustained commitment to research and writing on issues related to pastoral care in education. He has successfully identified appropriate individual researchers and practitioners in the USA, Ireland, the UK and Australia and in doing so created a critical mass of reflection upon the values and actions that make schools truly successful communities of growth for young people.
This research presented in this volume highlights the complex nature of the relationships that exist in our schools and the extent to which these contribute to how young people experience education.