Learning Together with Young Children 2E

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52  Chapter 2 DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM ON PHONE OR TABLET relation of the design and the social relations in their group. Finally, because she took time to reflect on her own actions, Lynn identified some fine lessons for herself. This story illuminates some important “layers of value” for teachers questioning what projects to pursue: children’s identity development?” Notice how she • Will the work empower the children? • How will we demonstrate that we respect their ideas? • What are the possibilities here for our learning as teachers?  think in each area of the room. These homemade PRINCIPLE   debate about the structure they are trying to build: prescribed by the curriculum model her program uses. A look around Adrienne’s preschool setting reveals evidence of the classroom culture—little books with stories and photos of what the children do, say, and books grow out of her ongoing observations and conversations throughout the day. For instance, if you were to move in closely, you would hear a com- ment such as this from Adrienne as she approaches the block area where four boys are having a heated “Oh, I see you guys are doing just what architects do, challenging one another’s ideas about how to keep that building from falling. You might need to think like an engineer too. Engineers and architects work together to make sure that building structures are safe and won’t fall down in earthquakes. They need to figure out how much weight the bottom supports can handle and how to balance the weight so things don’t tip over. Architects try to find interesting shapes for their buildings so they look beautiful from the inside and from the outside. What engineering or architectural ideas are you trying to figure out?” Throughout the day, Adrienne calls attention to what different children are doing: “Oh, look every- one, Marcella created this amazing shade of purple Engineers and Architects As a preschool teacher, Adrienne uses daily routines that focus the children on what they are doing and learning together. After reading her story, ask your- self, “What are the goals this teacher has for the COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Bold Park Community School Help Children See Themselves as Learners Which of your routines shape children’s dispositions to see themselves as members of a vibrant learn- ing community? Which of your routines primarily serve your convenience and might undermine the children’s eagerness to investigate and experiment? Lilian Katz (1993) suggests that dispositions, or hab- its of mind, are critical goals for children’s learning. What changes are needed in your classroom prac- tices if you value dispositional learning alongside the acquisition of knowledge and skills? For instance, if you want children to have what Katz calls a “robust disposition to be curious, to investigate, hypothesize, experiment, [and] conjecture,” (19) you will need to make your own such dispositions visible to the chil- dren. You must let the children know that you see their desirable dispositions. Katz believes one of our primary educational goals should be to develop in children the disposition to go on learning. She says, “Any educational approach that undermines that dis- position is miseducation” (20). infuses her values and goals into the daily routine