Originally published in 1972, this title provides an analysis of social interactions in educational contexts and opens up the field of the social psychology of education as an area in its own right at the very heart of the process of education.

From a ‘symbolic interactionist’ perspective, the author develops a framework for the study of relations between teachers and pupils, discussing the basic ways of analysing social interaction, including the concepts of perception and role. He examines the distinctive perspectives of teachers and pupils on their relationships, bringing together into a coherent framework the insights of such writers as John Holt and Carl Rogers, and within this context he explores the notion of ‘voluntary schooling’. The book also deals with other important aspects of education such as discipline, classroom group dynamics and the relations between headteachers and their staff.

The theories put forward by the author are firmly grounded in the daily experience of teachers and pupils in the classroom at the time. The book was expected to be of value to experienced teachers and student teachers alike, as well as to teachers of the social sciences in general.

chapter 1|5 pages


chapter 2|25 pages

The self

chapter 3|38 pages

Perceiving people

chapter 4|24 pages


chapter 5|37 pages


chapter 6|98 pages

Teacher—pupil interaction

chapter 7|39 pages


chapter 8|22 pages


chapter 9|48 pages


chapter 10|36 pages

Youth, youth culture and the school

chapter 11|29 pages

Changing attitudes

chapter 12|19 pages

Staff relationships

chapter |5 pages

Addendum to Chapter 6