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Claire Brisset, Bernard Golse

School at the Age of Two: Is it Good for the Child?

Although French law permits children to attend school from the age of two, most children start school later. However, some people wish to extend schooling to most two-year-olds.
The authors argue that, in most cases, such early schooling neglects the basic requirements for successful personal development since children do not acquire a sense of individuality until their second year. Children have to be given the time to construct themselves and to organise their relations first with their parents and later with the group. They must acquire a sense of internal security before they begin school. The later stages of a child’s development will be completed successfully only if the earlier ones have been fully realised.
The authors’ clear descriptions of child development and the process of knowledge acquisition help us understand the requisite stages in a child’s construction.
The essays in this book, written by psychiatrists, linguists, physicians and other eminent specialists in child development, aim to convince the reader that the needs of very young children are not met in a school environment.

Bernard Golse is the head of the department of child psychiatry at Hôpital Necker, in Paris.
Claire Brisset was formerly a journalist. She worked for UNICEF for twelve years and was an advocate of children’s rights from 2000 to 2006.
With contributions by Boris Cyrulnik, Alain Bentolila, Geneviève Haag, Roger Mises and Hubert Montagner.