SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

This paper is concerned with the schoolteacher as a member of the team who look after the needs of children on hospital wards. A historical review is presented to show how the teachers came to be present and why they were employed. A description is given of an observational study made to compare the activities of 139 children on four hospital wards in Britain. Three wards had teachers. One ward had no teacher. A similar study is described that was undertaken on two wards of a hospital in the USA. The findings of the observational study are analysed to see whether the activities of the children require the presence of a teacher or could be undertaken by a play-leader or volunteer. The play-leader's role is discussed, as is that of the American child life worker. The conclusion is reached that the teacher is there to stimulate the children and provide them with a group situation in which there is a common work ethic and where there will be opportunities for creative expression. So the normality of school will be therapeutic.