Through the Looking Glass: Observations in the Early Childhood Classroom (3rd Edition)

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9780130420800: Through the Looking Glass: Observations in the Early Childhood Classroom (3rd Edition)

Taking a strong developmental focus, this book ensures that teachers understand the close relationship between observing, understanding what has been observed, and improving the educational curriculum and environment. This edition is the result of a continued commitment to produce a book on observation that unites solid methodological instruction with a broad understanding of children's development. Chapter 1 now covers information on professional development such as the reader's responsibilities and an introduction to professional organizations, developmentally appropriate practice, and ethical conduct in early childhood education. A new Chapter 2 details the practical issues of finding the time to observe, learning the basics of observation, and minimizing subjectivity. Highlights of development during preschool and primary grades serve as a common ground of information for both novice and knowledgeable readers to respond sensitively to children's individualities and cultures. Each chapter incorporates an ethic from the National Association for the Education of Young Children's (NAEYC) “Code of Ethical Conduct” —and presents a concrete application to connect daily work with professional values For early childhood educators.

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From the Publisher:

An observation text which goes beyond checklists to include coverage of tools and techniques. Its practical approach includes many examples and applications to the classroom. With its strong developmental focus, it ensures that students understand what to observe, as well as how to observe, and how to adapt classroom activities to fit the information gained through their observation.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

In the fall of 1988, we taught a course on observation in the early childhood classroom, and therein we sowed the seeds of the first edition of Through the Looking Glass. The third edition you hold in your hands is the product of our continued commitment to write a book on observation that unites solid methodological instruction with a broad understanding of children's development. We have found that learning how to observe while also paying close attention to what to observe encourages educational practitioners to use their skills to full potential. This book maintains a close relationship between observing, understanding what one observes, and improving the educational curriculum and environment.

NEW TO THIS EDITION

Because our goal in Through the Looking Glass is to integrate observation and child development within a professional context, we have included several helpful features in the text. As the material we wanted to include in Chapter 1 grew, we decided to develop it into two chapters for more manageable digestion. We are excited about the information about professional development in Chapter 1, including the reader's responsibilities and an introduction to professional organizations, developmentally appropriate practice, and ethical conduct in early childhood education. The second chapter turns to the more nuts-and-bolts issues of finding the time to observe, learning the basics of observation, and minimizing subjectivity. All our chapters now end with two reflections: one personal and one ethical. We hope these reflections will help our readers integrate information into their personal storehouses of knowledge and connect their daily work with our professional values as early childhood educators. Chapters 3 and 4, describing highlights of development during the preschool and primary grade years, have been updated and serve to establish a common ground of information for both knowledgeable and novice readers in the field of child development. Our "Growth Indicators" of child development from these two chapters are concrete guides to what to observe and are reprinted in Appendix A for easy access. In each chapter presenting an observational method, we offer two detailed examples, one preschool and one primary grade, to model how educators effectively study issues in classrooms, interpret the data, and initiate follow-through plans. Brief vignettes at the beginning of each chapter ask the reader to ponder a question or problem that anticipates the chapter's content. "Practice Activities" and "Off on Your Own" provide abundant opportunities to add to the reader's expertise in the observational process, and our new "Quick Reviews" at the ends of most chapters serve to underscore the major points.

On completion of the original manuscript, we flipped a coin to determine the first author's name. We hope our readers remember that the order was set by chance and is a fair reflection of the teamwork that produced Through the Looking Glass.

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