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ERIC Number: ED352120
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
Pages: 32
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Conceptions of "The Child" among Novices and Leaders in Elementary Education.
Seifert, Kelvin L.; Handziuk, Deborah
A study compared the informal theories about the child held by 10 preservice education students with those held by 8 educational leaders with experience in the elementary grades. During interviews, students and educators were asked to define "the child" in everyday terms. They were also asked to categorize and respond to 32 statements about what the child is like or can do. Interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed, then analyzed for themes and topics. Respondents tended to espouse an existential philosophy of the child as a particular kind of entity, possessing uniqueness, self-awareness, decision-making power, and vulnerability. Both experienced and preservice educators expressed existential ontologies, but the experienced educators did so more consistently. The few nonexistential comments were made almost exclusively by preservice students. This heavy commitment to viewing the child in an existential manner may cause important misunderstandings when education students are exposed to formal, academic theories of learning and development in their teacher education programs. The study report includes a review of the literature on informal theories, a discussion of the implications of study findings, and the 32 statements about the child that were used in the interviews. (AC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A