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[Xmca-l] Re: A request for assistance

Hi Ageliki,

I also remember a debate between Rheta DeVries and Russell Gersten - constructivist vs. Direct (distar) which actually got quite personal.  Here is an article from Gersten about work in an urban school district in Dallas I think.  Not specifically pre-school and there and it is of course couched in code words (urban) - but as close as anything I can remember.

Gersten, R. M., Carnine, D. W., & Williams, P. B. (1982). Measuring implementation of a structured educational model in an urban school district: An observational approach. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 67-79.

From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] on behalf of Goncu, Artin [goncu@uic.edu]
Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2014 10:50 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: A request for assistance


Did you check the early work by Breiter and Engelman?  Also, there was a
debate between, I believe, Breiter and Connie (Kamii) about whether or not
you can teach conservation directly to children and what it means for
them.  This related to teaching "disadvantaged children."  I know it is
published somewhere... All the best, ag

On Sat, August 16, 2014 9:11 am, Ageliki Nicolopoulou wrote:
> Dear XMCA community,
> I'm looking for a piece of information, and I wonder whether someone on
> the
> XMCA list has it at their fingertips.
> I'm writing something that deals with Vivian Paley's storytelling and
> story-acting practice. Among other things, that activity is an example of
> child-centered, play-based, and constructivist approaches to early child
> education--the kinds of approaches that have been getting squeezed out by
> preschool practices that exclusively emphasize teacher-centered, didactic
> transmission of specific academic skills by direct instruction.
> A lot of people think that pushing down didacted/academic teaching
> practices into preschool education is a good thing in general.  However,
> there are some people who might be willing to concede that more
> child-centered, play-based, and constructivist might be OK for young
> children from educated middle class families ... but that they won't work
> for poor and otherwise disadvantaged children. THOSE kids need direct
> instruction to transmit "basic skills", and giving them anything else is,
> at best, a distraction from giving them what they need for school
> readiness.
> My problem is this.  As we all know, a lot of people think that, and they
> say it in conversation, and they make written arguments that rest
> implicitly on that premise. In fact, this outlook is very widespread and
> influential. But I've found that very few of them seem to be willing to
> actually SAY it explicitly in their published work. I'm talking about
> academics and policymakers. There are pro-direct-instruction websites that
> say it pretty straightforwardly. But journals want academic citations in
> articles, so I'm trying to find one.
> *So does anyone out there know of any published work where someone
> actually
> SAYS that in writing?  That is, that more child-oriented, play-based, and
> constructivist preschool practices (however they actually describe them)
> might be OK for young children from educated middle-class homes, but are
> useless or even harmful for poor and disadvantaged kids, who need more
> teacher-centered, skill-based direct instruction?*
> I figured it couldn't hurt to ask.
> Thanks,
> Ageliki Nicolopoulou
> ________________
> Ageliki Nicolopoulou
> Professor of Psychology & Global Studies
> Personal Webpage: http://lehigh.academia.edu/AgelikiNicolopoulou/About
> Departmental Webpage: http://cas.lehigh.edu/CASWeb/default.aspx?id=1430

Artin Goncu, Ph.D
Co-editor, Mind, Culture, and Activity:An International Journal
Professor Emeritus,
University of Illinois at Chicago
College of Education M/C 147
1040 W. Harrison St.
Chicago, IL 60607