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

By Karl W. Bigelow; American Council on Education. Commission on Teacher Education | Go to book overview

I
What It Means to "Understand" a Child

WHAT WOULD you do with a child who steals? How would you handle lazy children? How would you handle children who constantly annoy others by punching and pinching? How would you treat cheating? What are the ways to stop so much inattention?

These were the questions asked of a psychologist at his first meeting with the teachers of a certain school system. He was in this community as a consultant, sent by the division on child development and teacher personnel of the Commission on Teacher Education. His function was "to help the teachers improve their understanding of children," and his work was part of a large cooperative study of teacher education launched by this Commission of the American Council on Education. The questions indicated what the teachers felt they did not "understand" about children.

The purpose of the cooperative study was to experiment with various ways of improving both the pre-service and the in-service education of teachers. Twenty colleges and universities and fourteen school systems or groups thereof were involved. The plan was to have each institution or school system analyze its own problems and then experiment with ways of improving its practice. The Commission was to help out by providing consultants, by arranging conferences and workshops, and in various other ways. The present report to the Commission will describe how the teachers in one of these cooperating school systems tried to gain a better understanding of their pupils, but it will cover only the first three years of their work, which is

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

Table of contents

  • Commission on Teacher Education ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • I - What It Means To "Understand" a Child 1
  • Summary 19
  • II - Learning to Describe Behavior 21
  • Summary 40
  • III - Seeing the Child as a Member Of a Family 42
  • Summary 65
  • IV - Help from a Psychologist 67
  • Summary 101
  • V - Learning Some Explanatory Principles 103
  • VI - Group Meetings as A Study Method 131
  • Summary 164
  • VII - Looking for Patterns 166
  • Summary 226
  • VIII - Studying a Personality Through Time 227
  • Summary and Conclusions 270
  • IX - Studying the Interaction Of Children in Groups: Part One 275
  • Summary 314
  • X - Studying the Interaction Of Children in Groups: Part Two 316
  • Evaluate the Study Xi Teachers and Administrators 364
  • XII - Conducting a Program Of Child Study 401
  • Summary 453
  • XIII - What Experience Has Taught Us 454
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