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Conversations with Robert Coles

      Depicts through interviews with Robert Coles, his casual manner and ability to always challenge his readers. His message of avoiding generalizations, and challenging the general assumptions in his profession, is clearly marked in this collection.


Harvard Diary, Reflections on the Sacred and the Secular

A collection of essays in which Robert Coles uses short stories and novels to convey the moral, political, and social ideas he has come across in his work. He also writes about certain people he has interacted with, whose individuality makes them special to him.


Simone Weil

Essays writen dedicated to understanding the themes of Simone Weil, whom Coles found fascinating because of her conflicting feelings. She was intelligent, honorable, thoughtful yet at the same time blind and forbidding. Robert Coles looks at her passion and central themes she wrote about for fifteen years.


The Spiritual Life of Children

This book was inspired by advice from a friend of Coles, Anna Freud, when she told him to go back over his earlier studies and see what he may have missed before. He recalled that advice while working on other books, and found himself remembering how in every case there was some religious or spiritual theme to their dreams and pictures. He looked at children in different places who practiced different traditions and compared their spiritual lives.


The Call of Service, a Witness to Idealism

In this book Robert Coles looks at the "service" people offer to one another, and themselves. He explores the positives and negatives of the work and the personal reaction and results, and of course how it fits into a life. He witnesses idealism by looking at both the good and bad aspects of one's nature.


The Call of Stories, Teaching and the Moral Imagination

Robert Coles discusses the relationship between student and teacher by examining their conversations, particularly ones on certain books which he uses over and over again in his lectures. It looks at students reaction to literary movements. Unlike most of his other books this one focuses on local differences, such as the racial and cultural barriers between students and their teachers.


The Moral Life of Children

Surprised by the moral nature of his patients Robert Coles decides to explore the morality of their lives. Paul Tillich gave a seminar in 1956 and mentioned morality,"Morality for ordinary people is not the result of reading books and writing papers, as we're doing. Morality is not a subject; it is a life put to the test in dozens of moments".


Their Eyes Meeting the World, The Drawings and Paintings of Children

Robert Coles found that when he had trouble communicating with some children due to race, class, or language barriers, often it helped to play or draw with the children. Through these paintings and drawings the children can learn much about themselves. This book is a collection of some paintings children drew and what they mean.


The Moral Intelligence of Children

In this book Coles explores how children's backgrounds can lead to their different beliefs and values. This leads to the exploring of how the adults in their lives shape their beliefs and how this can be found in their conduct and behavior.


Wages of Neglect

Robert Coles writes about the young children who must live in extreme poverty and how this poverty not only effects their physical health but their intellectual and social health as well. This in return can effect their relationships with their parents and with people in general.


William Carlos Williams, The Knack of Survival in America

As Robert Coles worked with many poor and working class families he found that they reflect the fictional short stories of William Carlos Williams. Coles suggested that children, who live in such poor conditions should read these stories.


The Grass Pipe

This book is about three teenagers. Their names are Paul, Charlie, and Tom. The three of them have been best friends since fourth grade. The book is set in the 1970s in a suburban town. Paul's father doesn't have a lot of time to spend with his family because he works for a big law firm. Charlie's dad is a doctor and spends a lot of his time at the hospital. Tom's dad runs an advertising firm, but spend time with his family. As Paul and his friends enter 7th and 8th grade they sometimes smoked cigarettes. People were talking a lot about drugs and that people in college and high school were taking them. One day Tom offered his friends some pot. They said yes, but they wouldn't smoke it then. A few days later they tried it with Tom. The next day Charlie wanted to ask his dad if there were any bad effects of smoking pot. He called Paul and he came over. After their talk with Charlie's father they decided not to smoke anymore.