[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Re: A request for assistance



Hi Ageliki,

I can think of two resources for your topic.

Lisa Delpit's book Other People's Children directly addresses this.  She argues (I haven't read it in a while so forgive the fuzzy description) that a "child centered" focus harms children who are from cultural backgrounds outside of white, middle class backgrounds because they need more explicit instruction in a cultural community that is not their own.

Carollee Howes book Culture and Child Development in Early Childhood Education is relevant, but less directly so.  Howes includes a number of programs that she originally saw as "skill and drill" programs and she goes to some length to articulate their beliefs and practices in the context of their community.  She's not arguing for "skill and drill" per se, but she is situating those approaches in local meaning through interviews with directors and teachers in programs that were identified by community members as excellent programs and which surprised her from her ECE background.

Delpit's book, particularly the second edition, is the clearest articulation of the argument you present in the third paragraph below:
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.

The preface to the second edition includes Delpit's description of the reactions that her colleagues have had to her arguments including those who agree (often in private and not in public) as well as those who oppose her.

Hope this helps!
Holli Tonyan

On Aug 16, 2014, at 7:11 AM, Ageliki Nicolopoulou <agn3@lehigh.edu<mailto:agn3@lehigh.edu>> 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: https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v1/url?u=http://lehigh.academia.edu/AgelikiNicolopoulou/About&k=eRI2VDBB0Ws5kaCopmd0GA%3D%3D%0A&r=qf%2BkY0WzGaFiU9hp3%2Bd0t5Pou2Gry2wwk%2B1QGKOKBwI%3D%0A&m=nmQJWXRp5Mwrx2ct1gjgnwNUV1KUlNHqKFvn0P33J90%3D%0A&s=6a17755971ebaeca66e7a24d577fa559f5749d719fe3d9e43f0e55734c76a872
Departmental Webpage: https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v1/url?u=http://cas.lehigh.edu/CASWeb/default.aspx?id%3D1430&k=eRI2VDBB0Ws5kaCopmd0GA%3D%3D%0A&r=qf%2BkY0WzGaFiU9hp3%2Bd0t5Pou2Gry2wwk%2B1QGKOKBwI%3D%0A&m=nmQJWXRp5Mwrx2ct1gjgnwNUV1KUlNHqKFvn0P33J90%3D%0A&s=83b487928946eb760073a00968fd37eb3a53224b009ff50818ea4793fe26367c

Holli A. Tonyan, Ph.D.
------------
Associate Professor | Department of Psychology | California State University, Northridge
Postal Address: 18111 Nordhoff Street | Northridge, CA 91330-8255

Tel: (818) 677-4970 | Fax: (818) 677-2829
Office: ST322

http://www.csun.edu/~htonyan
http://csun.academia.edu/HolliTonyan
http://www.csun.edu/~ata20315/GE/general_experimental_psychology2.html

**check out**

Tonyan, H. A. (in press).  Everyday routines: A window into the cultural organization of family child care.  Journal of Early Childhood Research.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1476718X14523748

Tonyan, H. A., Nuttall, J. (2014).  Connecting cultural models of home-based care and childminders’ career paths: An Eco-cultural analysis.  International Journal of Early Years Education, 22, 117-138, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09669760.2013.809654

Tonyan, H. A., Mamikonian, A., & Chien, D. (2013).  Do they practice what they preach?  An Ecocultural, multidimensional, group-based examination of the relationship between beliefs and behaviours among child care providers.  Early Child Development and Care, 183:12, 1853-1877.   http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03004430.2012.759949

This message is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged, confidential or exempt from disclosure under applicable federal or state law. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient or the employee or agent responsible for delivering the message to the intended recipient, please immediately notify the sender by telephone at (818)677-4970, and destroy all copies of this e-mail and all attachments.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead <http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Margaret_Mead/> US anthropologist & popularizer of anthropology (1901 - 1978)