Reading and Writing; Piaget’s Symbolic Function and the Foundation of Reading (Part 3)
JEANETTE McCARTHY GALLAGHER
This is the third article in a series on Piaget’s symbolic function as the foundation of reading. The focus is on the interaction between writing and reading. Too often the alphabet is overemphasized at the preschool and kindergarten levels with the hope that this skill will be the bridge to writing. This practice belongs to a copy theory of acquiring knowledge. Three deficiencies were noted: (1) such an approach places too much emphasis on what is observed (the individual letters of the alphabet); (2) a copy approach neglects the reflective nature of constructing words; and (3) a copy approach is too passive, for the child in not placed in puzzlement situations to ponder on the construction of words. By studying the construction of words, the teacher gains insights into the child’s awareness of various sounds.
JEANETTE McCARTHY GALLAGHER is Senior Professor, Temple University, and Adjunct Professor of Educational Psychology, Lehigh University.
Wearing Many Hats or How Kindergarten Teachers Adorn Their Heads
This article examines early childhood theoretical “hats” that are possible choices for a kindergarten teacher to wear in the United States. The “hats” represent major theoretical perspectives for early development and education. It is suggested that, through an examination of how these “hats” are translated into classroom practice, a vital and enriched kindergarten experience can become more of a reality. The discussion concludes with examples of how each theoretical hat can become visible in the practice of quality kindergaten teaching.
CANDACE KAYE is a lecturer, Graduate Programs in Early Childhood Education, College of Education, California State University, Long Beach, CA.
Cross-cultural Peer Interactions in a Two-way Bilingual Immersion Kindergarten Classroom
CATHERINE C. DuCHARME
The purpose of this naturalistic study was to examine peer interaction of twenty-nine Anglo and Latino kindergarten children enrolled in a two-way bilingual immersion program. The study addressed three basic questions: To what extent do kindergarten children enrolled in a two-way immersion bilingual program interact with same- and cross-ethnic peers? To what extent do these kindergarten children interact with same- and cross-gender peers? What structural and organizational elements, including activities, of classroom life encourage cross-ethnic peer interactions? Tfhe hypothesis that cross-cultural friendships would be observed in the two-way kindergarten was not supported. Cross-cultural peer interaction, however, was observed in some situations. During the free choosing time, many more cross-ethnic and cross-gender interactions occurred. Structuring the kindergarten school day to include more opportunities for free play may yeild more cross-ethnic and cross-gender interaction.
CATHERINE C. DuCHARME is Associate Professor and Director, Graduate Programs in Early Childhood Education, College of Education, California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-2201
Teaching Linear Measurement
CAROL S. GOSSETT
The focus of this article is on teaching linear measurement in kindergarten and first grade. The content is based on the four components of Standard 10 of the Curriculum Standards for teaching mathematics in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Also included is a section on assessment.
CAROL S. GOSSETT is a Research Fellow, the AIMS Educational Foundation, 1595 South Chestnut Avenue, Fresno, CA 93702