ERIC Number: ED470308
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Nov
Dealing with the Dilemmas of K-3 Teaching.
McDaniel, Ginger; Isaac, Mariam; Brooks, Heather; Hatch, Amos
This paper serves as a reflective dialog around the special circumstances of teaching in contemporary kindergarten through grade 3 classrooms. Three public school teachers who were prepared to teach in a program emphasizing an understanding of developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) describe their experiences teaching in public school classrooms where DAP implementation is significantly constrained. The paper highlights the dilemmas faced by three teachers (kindergarten, first grade, and third grade) as they implement programs they think are appropriate and effective for their students while accommodating the expectations of their school systems that demand accountability and often limit what is to be taught and how it should be taught. None of the teachers had been teaching for more than 4 years. The body of the paper includes examples of how these three young teachers deal with the realities of teaching in public school primary classrooms. After brief introductions to the teacher authors and their settings, the paper recounts each teacher's answers to four questions that organize the paper. These questions represent the essence of the dilemmas and are related to: (1) dealing with pressures for academic achievement and providing developmentally appropriate experiences; (2) meeting the needs of individual children while keeping the whole classroom running smoothly; (3) dealing with expectations from administrators, parents, and other teachers that do not match with the teacher's own perspectives on good K-3 teaching; and (4) helping children see that learning itself is valuable while working within a system that teaches them that academic performance is what really matters. The paper concludes with a list of suggestions for ways to deal with K-3 teaching dilemmas. (KB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (New York, NY, November 20-23, 2002).