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

to deal. I have been better prepared to aid him in working through those tasks.

Some tasks which Sam has faced and is still facing are (1) managing a rapidly growing body--learning motor skills; (2) establishing belonging in a gang; (3) working through relationships with opposite sex-learning his role with girls; (4) facing changing mores and values of his peers; (5) accepting attitudes and values in accord with family, class, and cultural standards; (6) learning new bases for social acceptance; (7) learning the meaning and place of authority-- learning acceptable ways of asserting one's independence; (8) exploring the adult role; (9) learning to use judgment; (10) meeting school requirements as to knowledge and skills; and (11) exploring the physical world.

As I look back over the three years with this boy I see many hurdles he had to jump while adjusting to the rapid physical change. I was conscious of many places where there were definite inner strivings which called for unusual self-control. He seemed to need much reassuring love, a feeling that people were not against him but wanted to understand his point of view and his problems during this bewildering period of early adolescence.


SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

The case of Sam illustrates how the child-study program met the motivations of teachers who desired to continue for several years with the same group of children. Sam's teacher observed directly the sequence of developmental changes that took place in him over a period of three years. She saw him shift from one array of developmental tasks to another that is characteristic of the next phase of growth. She was able to perfect her observational skill, to see more pertinent happenings each year, and certainly her ability to interpret the meaning of what she learned about Sam increased greatly during this period. Best of all, she was able to come to the end of her period with this group with the feeling that she actually had functioned effectively to help these boys and girls accomplish the important nonacademic learnings that are such important developmental tasks during this period.

There were so many occasions in her three years of dealing with Sam when his teacher could have retarded his development, impaired his capacities to achieve a mature adult role, and

-270-

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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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