ERIC Number: ED416011
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1987
The Living Classroom: Writing, Reading, and Beyond.
This book describes the special way one teacher, Jeanette Amidon, approaches children's thinking, with a particular focus on reading and writing instruction. The root value of her first-grade classroom in Massachusetts is respect for children's ideas, with the children's art and writing as visible signs of the teacher's respect for their thinking. This teacher's example can be used to support the case for a broad, cultural view of teaching in which teaching children is not only (or mainly) the challenge of imparting specific skills, but rather a whole approach to living together as a small provisional classroom community dedicated to the development of ideas. Important points in Jeanette Amidon's approach include that children learn well from experiences in which they have a vital stake and some genuine interest; that high quality learning involves authentic performance (writing, for example, should be a means of saying something an individual wants or needs to say to some audience, not a school exercise); that a certain amount of curriculum should arise from a continuous reconstruction of experience generated by the ongoing activities of children; that capitalizing on individual differences is important; and that collective learning is powerful. Following an introduction, the book's chapters are: (1) "Jeanette's Classroom: An Action Report by a Frequent Visitor"; (2) "Learning to 'Talk' in a New Language: Children's Inventions as a Stimulus to Writing"; (3) "A Lot on Their Minds: A Closer Look at the Work of the Children"; (4) "The Larger Picture: We Talk with Jeanette about Children, Learning, and Teaching"; (5) "Reflections and Epilogue." (Contains 32 annotated references.) (EV)
Descriptors: Childrens Art, Childrens Writing, Classroom Environment, Creative Development, Creative Teaching, Curriculum Development, Grade 1, Instructional Innovation, Invented Spelling, Language Experience Approach, Master Teachers, Primary Education, Reading Instruction, Student Centered Curriculum, Student Interests, Teacher Student Relationship, Teaching Methods, Writing Instruction
National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1509 16th Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20036-1426; phone: 800-424-2460 (ext. 604), 202-328-2604; fax: 202-328-1846; www: http://www.naeyc.org/naeyc; e-mail: resource firstname.lastname@example.org (Order No. 174, $9).
Publication Type: Books; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Authoring Institution: National Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington, DC.