Children's Social Values: An Action Research Study

By Arthur W. Foshay; Kenneth D. Wann | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
Independence and Initiative

THE DEVELOPMENT of independence and initiative among growing children is recognized as important by everyone who gives any thought to the matter. When two elementary school staffs1 sought to study initiative and independence, their problem was not so much that of persuading themselves that these attitudes are important as it was a problem of coming to some agreement about what behavior the words "initiative and "independence" connote. We had to restore the tangibility of the "intangibles." That is, we first had to come to some agreement on the behavioral meaning of the "intangibles" we sought to study.

For purposes of this report, the studies of these two staffs are being reported simultaneously, although they were conducted separately. The "intangibles" studied seem to us to have a great deal in common. The teachers of the six-grade elementary school studied "initiative"; the teachers of the primary school studied "independence."

____________________
1
The staffs of Tefft and Sunshine elementary schools carried on the activities reported here. At the time, the Sunshine school consisted of the first three grades only (149 children). The Tefft school enrollment was 285. "We in this chapter were the members of one or the other of these staffs, and the Institute consultants.

-103-

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