ABSTRACT

Now let's turn to watching the teachers in action. We will focus on the teachers' attempts to use the various activities of the day in ways that promote growth in representational competence and in problem-solving. There are other aspects of the children's development with which teachers are concerned that are not directly reflected here. The teacher is concerned with Elizabeth's development of the ability to walk on the balance beam. She watches for signs that Jason is more comfortable speaking up at circle time, and she notices how much time Ted spends watching the children in the block corner. She wonders why Mandy never wants to take pictures home and plans to observe Mandy with her mother at the end of the day. Although in dealing with these concerns the approach to working with young children which is being articulated in this book can be useful, these types of problems and goals will not be our primary focus. Our interest will center on how the teachers use the activities of this particular preschool day in working on three objectives: (1) increasing children's acquaintance with objects and events in the world and awareness of their reactions to them; (2) developing competence in the representational modes; and (3) increasing problem-solving abilities.