Saturday, 25 May 2013

In touching distance of Susan Isaacs...

I loved getting my hands on this - it's a volume of papers by Susan Isaacs, Childhood and after: some essays and clinical studies.

I'm guessing that Dorothy is Dorothy Gardner, affectionately known (according to ex-student Professor Philip Gammage) as "Dolly Gardner", formidable intellectual and pioneering early years teacher and lecturer, partially revealed to her students from within clouds of cigarette smoke. Gardner headed up the Child Development Society at the Institute of Education, the first ever advanced course for primary teachers in England.

Susie is, I am assuming, Isaacs herself, first head of the Child Development Department at the IOE. She died in October 1948, just a short time after she wrote this affectionate inscription.

I guess that a good part of the library at the IOE must originally have been based around the private book collections of Gardner and Isaacs. It is humbling to hold that book. Marvellous that it's still there on the open shelves, much-read, battered and often-borrowed.

P.S: "Ral Jab ISA" line is the catalogue record, and I am afraid to say that seven years after enrolling at the IOE I still don't reliably understand the system and often need help from the librarians to find a book!

If you are interested in Susan Isaacs, you might want to have a look at some of the following posts:

Susan Isaacs: a life freeing the minds of children
Child care and early years education: the ideas of Susan Isaacs, Melanie Klein and Anna Freud
Susan Isaacs and Jean Piaget: a chance encounter

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