How to Understand and Influence Children (Ages 5, 6, 7, and 8), by Clyde M. Narramore, Ed. D. — Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Mich., 1957.
Few authors are as well equipped as Dr. Narramore for writing such a volume. Only 93 pages in length, this book demonstrates a notable breadth of experience and depth of insight in this vital field. Employed as a consulting psychologist with the public school system of Los Angeles County, Dr. Narramore combines professional competence and parental experience with an excellent knowledge of the Lord and the Word of God. The principles he expounds are just as sound biblically as they are psychologically.
Also skilled in the techniques of writing, the author is able to make these principles just as intelligible to the new teacher as to the one with years of experience. Although specially designed for those teaching children from five to eight years of age, the book can be warmly recommended to all teachers. In fact, the book is so readable that any Christian would enjoy it — truly a pleasure to peruse and an inspiration to study.
In his first chapter, “Teacher and Learning”, the author deals with many practical topics, including a simple plan for carrying out the week’s preparation of the Sunday school lesson and some helpful suggestions for presenting the lesson more effectively.
In the second chapter, “Ages and Stages”, he discusses the child’s development and its significance for Sunday school teaching. This chapter is of special interest to parents as well as teachers.
In the last chapter, Dr. Narramore deals with the child’s “Spiritual Development” and the many important ways in which it can be stimulated and encouraged by both parents and teachers.
Typical of the balance between psychological principles and spiritual emphasis is the author’s stress on the spiritual life of the teacher.
“As Christians, our efforts are in vain unless they are energized by the Holy Spirit … God wants us to be well-trained, but first of all, He wants us to be men and women who are wholly dedicated to Him. If there has to be a choice, deep spirituality is much preferred to ‘technical know-how’. As a psychologist, I am keenly aware of the importance of excellent training. But as I work with parents and teachers, I am deeply convinced that their greatest single need is close fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ!”
Dr. Narramore’s book is both a contribution to excellent training and an encouragement to fellowship with our Lord: a volume which rates as an absolute “must” for every conscientious Sunday school teacher and superintendent.
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