ERIC Number: ED298433
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Oct
"Johnny the Rat": Using the Child as Our Informant.
Insights into Open Education, v21 n2 Oct 1988
Understanding the literacy process and using the child as the informant will ensure a better learning experience. Two fundamental assumptions of language learning provide a base for understanding the literacy process. Firstly, the decisions a child makes while searching for meaning in a literacy event are the same ones made by an adult, involving the following cognitive strategies: a constant search for meaning, hypothesis testing, alteration of ideas because of hypothesis testing, and taking risks. Secondly, there are eight patterns within the literacy process that all language learners incorporate: (1) organization; (2) intentionality; (3) generativeness (engagement and reengagement in the event); (4) risk-taking; (5) social action; (6) demonstration; (7) context; and (8) text. In order to make the best possible judgments concerning curriculum and evaluation, the child should be the source of information. Educators should know what the child's background knowledge consists of, and what strategies children use in their literacy processes that are either conducive and detrimental to success. Educators should watch the child involved in the process in as natural a setting as possible, ensure that ownership of the process remains with the child, and test their own educational assumptions while interacting and observing. These approaches will give the educator a far more complete picture of the learner than the best-written basal. (SR)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: North Dakota Univ., Grand Forks. Center for Teaching and Learning.