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

SUMMARY

In this chapter we have described the efforts of two groups of teachers to pool their information about individual children and to cooperate in analyzing and interpreting that information. In the case of Nicholas the teacher's presentation of the basic material was oral and was followed by brief statements by all other teachers who had taught Nicholas or his brother. Given in order from the time he entered school up to the current year, these statements constituted a sort of developmental history showing persisting characteristics and problems and fluctuating family circumstances. They built up into a most interesting and valuable record. The case of Maxwell illustrates this pooling to a somewhat lesser extent chiefly because Maxwell was in the first grade and therefore had no earlier school history. Yet the colleagues of Maxwell's teacher did add a number of very interesting and significant anecdotes to her story.

Important procedural differences between the two groups are to be noted. In the case of Nicholas the presentation was verbal and was followed by verbal statements by all of Nicholas's former teachers. This made for a most interesting group meeting, giving one a sense of new or confirmatory evidence appearing steadily. On the other hand, the teachers had only their memories and possibly a few rough notes to rely upon when they later wrote up their analyses of the cause of Nicholas's behavior. It is not surprising, then, that their written statements were quite general, sometimes vague, and frequently showed failure to consider very significant bits of information. Doubtless they could have made much better analyses if they had had before them the written record of the meeting.

In contrast, the group meeting that discussed the case of Maxwell was devoted more extensively to adding significant anecdotes about his present situation and to discussing what could be done to help him. Doubtless this was due not only to the fact that Maxwell was a first grader, but also to the circumstance that members of the group already had read and analyzed his case. Having the mimeographed record of his teacher's study of Maxwell before them, they were able to recall anecdotes

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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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