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April 1974 · Vol. 3 No. 1 · pp. 184–85 

Book Review

Understanding People

J. Omar Brubaker and Robert E. Clark. Wheaton, IL: Evangelical Teacher Training Assoc., 1972. 95 pages.

Reviewed by Loyal J. Martin

This new book replaces Understanding Children and Youth (1935, 1950, 1962) by Clarence Benson in the ETTA preliminary certificate program and the textbook No. 2 in the Mennonite Brethren Service Training Program courses.

The authors are on the Christian Education staff of Moody Bible Institute.

Expanded in scope and updated in concept, the book is a welcome replacement of a text that had become dated and inadequate. It is a short overview of a vast subject but since it is intended for a 10-13 session survey course, it can serve well as a basic outline.

Two chapters deal with human and personality development. The other 10 are each given to a survey of age groups from Foundation Years (0-24 months) through Indian Summer (65 and up).

Included are two color printing helps with instant identification of introductory questions in each chapter, major divisions and a well-done summary for each chapter. Italicized thought questions and implementation exercises are scattered throughout the text to make an academic subject vital, interesting and practical. Further review questions, group discussion, activity suggestions and a bibliography at the end of each chapter extend {185} the basic information in the text into the study course it is intended to be.

Each chapter discusses the physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual characteristics of the age group and outlines the implications for Christian Education.

While Marjorie Soderhold’s books, Understanding the Pupil, are cited, the authors have updated descriptions from that long-standing text to bring age characteristics in line with the advanced status of today’s children and youth. Chapters on young, middle and later adulthood add to the value of this book and make it helpful for today’s concerns about adult education in the church.

The major weakness of the book is its brevity considering the scope of the subject. But it is intended as a survey. Sufficient bibliographical entries are given to extend its study value greatly.

Understanding People Teacher’s Guide by Omar Brubaker and Robert E. Clark (Wheaton, Ill.: Evangelical Teacher Training Association, 1972, unpaged, $1.75).

This book gives a variety of suggestions for teaching the course with at least one new idea for each chapter. Additional study resource books are listed for the teacher. A few references are made to older books but generally only book titles dated after 1960 are listed in either this book or the class text.

Overhead transparencies and cassettes are available for use in presenting most chapters in the book.

One omission mars the book’s usefulness: the pages are unnumbered.

Loyal Martin
US Bd. of Evangelism and Christian Education

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