Symbolic Play; Piaget’s Symbolic Function and the Foundation of Reading (Part 5)
JEANETTE McCARTHY GALLAGHER
This is the fifth and final article in a series on Piaget’s symbolic function as the foundation of reading. Piaget’s symbolic or pretend play is highlighted as unique in its emphasis upon cognition or the development of thought. By the use of imagery and dialogue, this type of play provides another foundation for reading. The child is engaged in symbol use in interactive constructions. Three obstacles for children’s opportunities to engage in pretend play are explored: (1) reduction in recess: (2) academic pressure, and (3) increased television viewing.
JEANETTE McCARTHY GALLAGHER (Senior Professor, Temple University; Adjunct Professor of Educational Psychology, Lehigh University) provides workshops and lectures on Piaget’s theory as it applies to education. Correspondences should be sent her at 30 Golfview Road, Doylestown, PA 18901.
Addressing Kindergarten Students’ Conflict Behavior: Encouraging Social-Cognitive Development
PAMELA S. LANE-GARON
A parallel is drawn between the natural course of development in young children’s social-cognition and conflict-related behavior. Conflict is viewed as an important context in which children develop the ability to make inferences about others’ thoughts and feelings. Given the role of conflict in providing children with opportunity to practice social skills, the use of a kinesthetic tool for facilitating interpersonal problem-solving among kindergarteners is recommended
PAMELA S. LANE-GARON is Assistant Profesor of Educational Psychology and Coordinator of Early Childhood Education at California State University, Fresno.
Building Parent-Teacher Partnership Through Dialogue Journals
HARRIET NEAL and JOYCE DANIELS
Research indicates that a collaborative model that furthers two-way relationships between home and school benefits children, families and schools. The challenge for educators who embrace this model is to develop methods to actualize a home-school partnership to guide children’s learning. This qualitative study examined the use of dialogue journals as one method by which teacher and parents may share information about the child at school, the child and family at home, and information of personal nature about the teacher and parents to facilitate meaningful two-way communication. Two questions guided this investigation: Does the journal process assist in the development of an interactive relationship between parent and teacher? Does the content of the dialogue journals inform both parent and teacher about a child’s development when they both contribute written information? A content analysis of the journal entries supported the use of dialogue journals between teacher and parents as an effective method to further a collaborative model of home-school relations. An end-of-the-year survey to elicit parent perceptions about the effectiveness of the journals as a communication tool reinforced the data analyses.
HARRIET C. NEAL is Professor of Child Development and Early Childhood Development at California State University, Sacramento. JOYCE DANIELS is a teacher in San Juan Unified School District.
Creating Music in Kindergarten
In this article some approaches to creating music at the kindergarten level are described. An overview of exploratory and spontaneous musical behaviors associated with early childhood development precedes a discussion of nontraditional ways to make music with children in kindergarten – ways which facilitate (and even encourage) musical creativity and musical decision-making.
GWENDOLYN McGRAW is Assistant Professor of Music and Coordinator of Music Education at California State University, Sacramento.