ERIC Number: ED364860
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Dec
Learning about Literacy and the World: Two-Year-Olds' and Teachers' Enactment of a Thematic Inquiry Curriculum.
Rowe, Deborah Wells
A study examined the ways teachers and children in a preschool classroom enacted informal book-reading and other informal book-related events. Four key patterns in children's activities and teachers' curricular responses were identified: (1) children naturally selected their own "themes" for reading at the book center, and often these themes were not the same as those selected by the teachers as the focus for the week's unit; (2) children approached the world with sophisticated learning strategies and an attitude of inquiry; (3) their personal inquiries often occurred over long periods of time; and (4) children viewed book-reading as connected to play in a variety of unanticipated ways. Continued data analysis suggests that global descriptions of curriculum in terms of general activities provide only part of the answer to how curriculum is enacted. Microanalyses of the entire set of videotaped events at the book center demonstrated that: the teachers held an implicit view of school book reading that excluded play whether or not it was related to books, and frequently defined or attempted to redefine all modes of responding to books as analytic discourse. Findings suggest that: scholars stop studying literacy, reading, and writing as if they were universal, culture-free behaviors; increased professional attention should be paid to the linking of "kid-watching" to "teacher-watching"; and teachers should become consciously aware of unenvisioned aspects of their teaching. (Fifteen references and a description of methods of data analysis are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference (43rd, Charleston, SC, December 1-4, 1993).