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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL John Dewey interest to her own broad knowledge of the world or to learn- ing that had gone before. This is similar to the misconception among some early childhood educators today that a hands- on curriculum is enough. In The Young Child as Scientist: A Constructivist Approach to Early Childhood Science Education, authors Christine Chaillé and Lory Britain write, “The con- structivist [teacher] sees the essential activity as what goes on in the child’s head, not in his or her hands. With young chil- dren, physical activity and manipulation is often a necessary part of mental activity, but not always. . . . Children need to be active . . . and they need opportunities to manipulate and experiment with real objects. But this in itself is not the defi- nition of a good activity” (17). Here’s a very different example. In a classroom where five-year-olds were at work, I observed some children playing with glue. At first glance, this activity seemed aimless as well as wasteful. The children had taken empty thread spools from the art area. Placing a finger under the bottom hole, they filled the spool with glue. Quickly turning it sideways, the children blew the glue out of the hole. “Wow, you did it, just like yester- day!” one child shouted exuberantly as the glue spread across the art table. Fascinated, I was wondering what kind of curriculum the school followed when the teacher quickly intervened. “You must be showing our visitor what you did with eggs yester- day,” she said. She explained that the children had been look- ing at decorated eggs from around the world. The teacher had shown them how the artists prepare the eggshells by blowing out the raw egg inside. Now the children’s behavior made sense to me. Then the teacher said, “You really understood that process with the eggs. You have done the same thing with the spools and glue. We can’t use up all of our glue, though, so I want you to put that away now. Then we can go check on our eggs from yesterday and see if they are ready to decorate.” 21 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL