ERIC Number: ED170022
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1978-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Children's Thinking in the Classroom.
This autobiographical essay depicts a process of development through which an elementary school teacher becomes both expert and professional. With an MA in Medieval History and no teacher education coursework, the writer adopts a personalistic, "unorthodox traditional" approach to instruction. Exposure to controversy among traditionalists and innovators and involvement in after-school discussions and weekly inservice workshops provides her with a first view of professionals at work on educational questions for which there are no simple and ready answers. Two years of subsequent participation in a Cambridge teachers' seminar, requiring microscopic classroom observation of children's encounters with materials and minute analysis of concrete instances of children's thinking, produces guidelines for managing classroom activity for cognitive outcomes. Then, first hand experience with a school system exclusively committed to behaviorist principles and direct instruction techniques provides clarifying contrast for the writer's emerging philosophical orientation. A need for conceptual integration and a rationale for classroom practice promotes an extensive reading of the Piagetian developmental literature from which she gains the ability to delineate differences between learning theory and developmental approaches to education. The essay continues with a description of the teacher's first cognitively oriented open classroom and a discussion of new questions emerging from her errors and her successes. (Author/RH)
Descriptors: Cognitive Development, Cognitive Processes, Discovery Learning, Educational Innovation, Elementary Education, Essays, Experiential Learning, Experimental Schools, Inquiry, Learning Processes, Open Education, Program Evaluation, Self Directed Classrooms, Teacher Workshops, Teaching Methods
North Dakota Study Group, Box 8039, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota 58202 ($2.00, plus $0.50 handling charge)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Rockefeller Bros. Fund, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: North Dakota Study Group on Evaluation, Grand Forks.