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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL John Dewey educators. He believed there were teachers who were drawn to progressive education because they thought it would be easier. He knew that some teachers used the new ideas as justifica- tion for improvising or allowing children to choose their expe- riences, uninhibited by teacher planning or direction. Dewey believed that the path to quality education is to know the children well, to build their experiences on past learning, to be organized, and to plan well. He also believed that the demands of this new method make observing, docu- menting, and keeping records of classroom events much more important than when traditional methods are used. Today these beliefs and many others articulated by Dewey are foun- dational pieces of developmentally appropriate practice and early childhood curriculum models such as emergent and constructivist. Dewey believed that in order to provide educational expe- riences for children, teachers must n have a strong base of general knowledge as well as knowl- edge of specific children; n be willing to make sense of the world for children on the basis of their greater knowledge and experience; and n invest in observation, planning, organization, and documentation. How can Dewey’s theory about the teacher’s role in educa- tion guide teachers in early childhood programs? Teachers should observe children closely and plan curriculum from the children’s interests and experience. And teachers shouldn’t be afraid to use their knowledge of the children and the world to make sense of the world for children. Plan Purposeful Curriculum When visiting a group of four-year-olds, I noticed a child who spent most of her free-play time crawling about the room. She 19 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL