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

V
Learning Some Explanatory Principles

WILL THERE be much required reading in the child-study group? How much time will we be expected to spend each week in reading? Is the child study going to be very theoretical--you know, shall we have to read a lot of books? Such questions as these were frequently raised when representatives from the various schools were being invited to participate in the initial study group. Many classroom teachers--and principals too--were wary about entering the activity. They feared having to spend endless hours over reference books and research monographs. The prospect of numerous charts, graphs, and tables repelled them:

Why can't somebody just tell us what all this means? After all, what we want to know is what to do about Mary and Joe, and reading those things never has helped us very much. If this child study is going to come down to earth and be practical, why okay! But if it's going to have a lot of reading about experiments with animals and things like that, I'd rather do something else.

It was not that these individuals were disrespectful of works of scholarship. On the contrary, they had the standard American faith in scientific research--in the abstract. But they had struggled before with technical vocabularies and quantitative formulae and could trace few of the ideas they were using daily in the classroom back to these earlier encounters.

Both the local leader and representatives of the Commission felt that these teachers were to a certain extent justified in their hesitation. In addition to the regular teaching of reading, spelling, and arithmetic, they were guiding classes of thirty to forty pupils in the active study of various topics related directly to

-103-

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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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