Helping Teachers Understand Children: The Staff of the Division on Child Development and Teacher Personnel

Helping Teachers Understand Children: The Staff of the Division on Child Development and Teacher Personnel

Helping Teachers Understand Children: The Staff of the Division on Child Development and Teacher Personnel

Helping Teachers Understand Children: The Staff of the Division on Child Development and Teacher Personnel

Excerpt

This book describes the behavior of dozens of school children and partially analyzes the forces that led them to act as they did in various situations. Yet the book is not about children. It is about teachers. It demonstrates how individual classroom teachers and teaching principals gradually deepened their understanding of the causes that underlie the conduct of children, and how they increased their skill in identifying such causes in the case of particular children and groups. The method of demonstration is to supply the reader with samplings of what these teachers wrote at different stages during the first three years of the program in child study in which they were participating. It is because much of this material is so vivid with the life and feelings of children that it seems necessary to warn the reader that it is the development occurring in the teachers that he is especially asked to observe.

Some explanation should be given of certain precautions that had to be taken in drafting this report. The children described in it are real youngsters, still in school. The facts about them and their families, recorded in the effort to understand their motivations and needs, are intimate and personal. It has been necessary to reproduce such facts here in order to show what kinds of information a teacher must have about a child and how that information should be arranged for use in the interpretation of behavior. It has also been necessary to duplicate the teachers' own language with little or no editing, in order to provide convincing evidence of their growth in understanding. For the protection of the individuals concerned, however, all names of persons and places have been changed; nor has the location of the school system in which the study program was conducted been revealed.

The method by which the report was prepared illustrates the . . .

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