Balancing Constructivist and Instructivist Curriculum Goals in Early Childhood Education
LILIAN G. KATZ
The field of early childhood education has long been marked by intense controversy concerning appropriate curriculum and teaching methods and goals. This article explores some implications of traditional dichotomies of the field and suggests that while there are many reasons to resist the side that advocates formal academic instruction, it does not necessarily follow that what is offered to children in nonacademic programs sufficiently addresses their intellectual development. In particular, it is asserted that common confusion between academic and intellectual goals often leads to the neglect of the basic intellectual dispositions of young children, all of which must be strengthened and supported in the early years. An example of a project conducted with young children that addresses all the major goals of early education is appended.
LILIAN G. KATZ is Professor Emerita of Early Childhood Education, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Director, ERIC clearinghouse of Elementary and Early childhood Education, University of Illinois.
Apple Cutting and Creativity as a Mathematical Beginning
ELISAEBT DOVERBORG and INGRID PRAMLING SAMUELSSON
This article describes and demonstrates a teacher implementing “developmental pedagogy” (Pramling, 1994) with five-year-old children in the subject area of mathematics. In this approach to learning, the teacher creates situations and asks questions that challenge children’s thinking and enable them to experience various ways of viewing something, from which a metacognitive aspect to the learning also is achieved. Mathematics becomes more than a school subject; rather, it becomes part of the children’s perspective of the world, a perspective that includes viewing features of the world mathematically and relating to and talking about these features in mathematical terms.
PhD. STUD ELISAEBT DOVERBORG and PROFESSOR INGRID PRAMLING SAMUELSSON Department of Education, University of Göteborg, Box 300, SE-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden.
Reading Recovery: A Synthesis of Research and Evaluation Studies on Reading Recovery
as Early Intervention for Reading Difficulties
CHRISTINE A. CULLEN
Reading Recovery (RR) is an early intervention program that has been developed for first graders who score in the lowest 20% on a program-developed diagnostic survey in reading and writing. This article reviews the literature concerning the RR program in the Unites States. Studies examining the effectiveness of the program were reviewed and showed the program’s effectiveness for certain students. Studies comparing RR with other programs demonstrated RR was more effective than programs that had been modeled after RR. Studies on RR students’ maintenance of learning gains were mixed. Some studies showed that significant effects were sustained past the initial intervention; whereas, other studies seem to indicate that once children were brought up to the average range, progress was somewhat less than average of their class. The cost effectiveness of the program was reviewed and studies examining the impact of RR on schools showed classroom instruction was not influenced.
CHRISTINE A. CULLEN is a Kindergarten First Grade teacher at Point Dume Marine Science Elementary School in Malibu, CA and a former Reading Recovery teacher.
Learning to Move and Moving to Learn
ROBIN D. REESE
Research has found relationships between physical development and other areas of development in children. This article presents an overview of these interactive relationships and answers the following questions: Why is movement important? How does it contribute to learning? What should kindergarten children learn in physical education? Which traditional games and activities are inappropriate and why? How should lesson plans be structured? What teaching strategies are recommended? What are the physical education content standards and corresponding objectives for kindergarten children? Finally, what are the inevitable results of denying a child access to quality, daily physical education in elementary school?
ROBIN D. REESE is a professor of Health and Physical Education at California State University, Sacramento.