ERIC Number: ED057918
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971
Acting, Interacting and Responding in the Nursery School--An Analysis of Observed Activities in a Preschool Classroom.
Berk, Laura E.; Berson, Minnie P.
An analysis of naturally occurring activities that make up educational programs for young children was made in a search for answers to the following questions: (1) How do teachers manage learning activities in preschool classrooms? (2) What are these learning environments like? (3) How closely do the actual occurrences match the teachers' conceptions of what ought to occur? To find answers to these questions, two research instruments were developed: (1) an observational system that identifies and describes the classroom activities; and (2) a teacher interview procedure. These two instruments were used in a study of one preschool classroom for disadvantaged children. The class was composed of 14 four-year-old children who were supervised by two teachers and varying numbers of assistants. In all, there were 14 hours of observation by two observers, one clock hour for each child. Findings that characterized the activities of this classroom are: most time was spent in transition periods; much time was spent in preparing for scheduled events; children spent over half of the time as a total group; they were not required to interact or relate with each other; teachers rarely permitted the children to work without direction; and most activities were teacher initiated and organized. Two discrepancies between the teachers' expectations and actual outcomes that most impressed the teachers were the amount of time devoted to transition and that no block play was observed. (DB)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Association for the Education of Young Children Meeting (Minneapolis, November 1971)