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This practical book shows prospective teachers of children ages 2 to 5 how the basic characteristics of young children should influence instructional planning, curriculum, and expectations. Coverage is organized around eleven areas of experience that are critical to a child's development. Coverage incorporates the best of traditional methods and the brightest ideas of today's “cutting edge” thinkers into a cohesive presentation that emphasizes the individuality of each child and the idea that a relaxed, unstructured, yet carefully-planned atmosphere is most conducive to effective teaching. For educators who love children and want to help them “go forth” successfully.
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This highly-successful curriculum planner explores basic developmental characteristics of children ages 2-5 and shows how these characteristics influence instructional planning, curriculum, and expectations. Each chapter begins by discussing main principles and ends with suggestions for applying those principles. The text provides a wealth of practical and meaningful tasks, games, and activities students can take with them into their classrooms to help youngsters gain important hands-on experience. Also included is excellent coverage of computer use by young children.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
There was a child went forth every day,
As I finish the tenth edition of A Child Goes Forth, I look back over my years of schooling and my years of teaching. I had completed two years of my university education when I was married. We moved to Inglewood, California, we had one son, and my husband completed his architecture degree at University of Southern California. We moved back to Utah, where my husband was employed by a local architect. I had begun working as a secretary for one of the university presidents when we decided that it was possible for me to go back to school and finish my degree. I enrolled in child development classes, which was a wonderful choice. Not only was my line of study useful in my life, but I enjoyed the classes very much. I finished my bachelor's degree and was offered a graduate assistantship. The years flew by as I taught undergraduate students and was a head teacher in the preschool. Then the pressure began—either get a doctorate or move on. I found much joy and satisfaction in working with young children and university students. What to do!!!
By now my husband had his own architectural firm, we had a second child, and further education seemed out of the question—BUT in a family council, we decided that I could go on with my schooling (which the university insisted be out-of-state and at a notable university). Again, a family council! Our oldest son was in the third grade, our youngest son was a preschooler, and my husband's firm was growing. We looked at several universities that were "tops" in early childhood education and child development. We decided upon Florida State in Tallahassee. I was already acquainted with many faculty members, and I held their program in high regard. We packed up and off we went! My husband flew to Tallahassee as often as his business permitted, our oldest son was in the third grade, and our youngest son was cared for by loving and qualified people.
I finished my necessary course work at Florida State, and we moved back to Utah. I returned to teaching and finishing courses such as statistics, languages, and more. Time marches on—I was ready to complete my dissertation, take my exams, teach classes, and finish my degree. Everything fell into place and it was time for graduation!! What a welcome day!
But how does A Child Goes Forth fit into this? One semester I was teaching my usual child development courses and gave the students a reading list. One brave student raised her hand and said, "Can't you give us some articles to read so that we don't have to spend all that time at the library looking them up and reading them there?" It was a worthy idea—and my reply was, "I can't for this semester, but I will for the students next semester." I am not sure how well that satisfied my present students, but it was a great help to the later ones. I did put together a reading packet—and that was the beginning of my writing career!
The first edition of A Child Goes Forth was a spiral book of readings with a cover designed by my husband. That edition in 1964 was published by the Brigham Young University Press, and it was followed by subsequent editions in 1966, 1972, and 1975, also by the BYU Press. By some means (unknown to me) the BYU Press sold the rights to Burgess Publishing Company, who published the fifth edition in 1980. Then it was sold to Macmillan College Publishing Company, who printed editions in 1985,1991, 1995, and 1999.
Here it is 2003, and this is the tenth edition! It takes a lot of time to revise a text. I have tried to bring attention to early educators and theories, to changes over time, and to current thinking. There are many new ideas yet to come. Let's hope they are in the best interest of young children!
Overview of the Tenth Edition
In many places, including our own country, children are still undervalued, underfed, exploited, or inappropriately cared for. We still have a long time to go. But are we headed in the right direction, and are children and families any better off? Progress is often slow and rocky, and sometimes unfair. Again (as in the ninth edition) I ask, "How can early childhood educators make the road a little safer, a little easier, and more rewarding for children, parents, and educators?" This is a daunting task; however, this edition of A Child Goes Forth is yet another attempt to provide some guidance and reassurance along the way. This text is written with a sincere desire to offer logical information, based on knowledge and experience, and encouragement to adults who love, learn with, and live with young children. One begins at the beginning—the environments that produce happier, healthier, and more productive citizens—without the assurance that it will be the "best" way for each child.
Chapter 1 describes developmentally appropriate practices (DAP) and names some important educators who promoted this concept many years ago, as well as currently. DAP was popularized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Theories of early educators are mentioned, reinforced by current theories and practices. Knowing the names and philosophies of influential educators is important in the field of early childhood education. Some theories remain unchanged; others are modified by current research.
"Reflections" appear in each chapter; they are intended to help you focus on words and ideas that can make a difference in daily lives and to encourage you to ponder possible solutions and then reflect on how and why you would respond.
"Notable Quotes" reflect various educators' thinking. Read them carefully and see how they help you further understand past and present research.
Figures and tables are placed throughout the text in order to clarify, condense, and inform you of important facts. Study them carefully as you read the chapters.
Curriculum chapters have been updated in an effort to show how each topic not only stands alone, but affects each child's total growth and development. Original and subsequent information is very important in understanding thoughts and ideas over time, through research, and the direction ahead. It has tremendous influence upon the total growth and development of each young child and for each teacher! Teachers may have curriculum preferences—as children do—but the total experience helps both teachers and children have a better understanding of the world in which we live.
Guidance Techniques, the subject of Chapter 2, are necessary in all walks of life and provide ways for children and teachers to act and interact in more positive, productive, and acceptable ways.
In researching Chapter 3, "The Value of Play," I became more convinced that we need to accept and understand the ways of children if we are to be advocates for them and if we are to be instruments in promoting better kinds of behavior.
Curriculum development, the subject of Chapter 4, must change constantly to meet the needs of children and teachers. Webbing, flexibility, multicultural education, and other aspects make for an interesting learning experience.
"Language Arts," Chapter 5, takes on greater meaning as more and more cultures are mixing together. Early experiences with books are invaluable in teaching about ourselves and cultures of others.
"Creative Arts," Chapter 6, does more than teach us about being "artists." We learn about cultures, uses of materials, activities, appreciation, and many other personal and group values.
Where more and more cultures are mixing together, we can increase our knowledge and appreciation for one another through music and movement (Chapter 7).
Again, I was pleased and excited to see how the science and math scores of American children have improved in recent years. I believe that through the encouragement of teachers and parents, young children can become more interested and proficient in these topics. Exploration, experimentation, and science in general are worthwhile and vital (Chapter 8).
Over the past few years, American children have been gaining better understanding of math. There are many ways we can continue this trend (Chapter 9).
I have made a deliberate attempt to focus upon the individual and how he feels about himself and others. There is much diversity in living environments today. Personal and multicultural experiences and attitudes are important aspects of learning. Improving our social relationships with people of other cultures, ages, and various differences will improve our understanding (Chapter 10).
If we are to be a healthy society, we must pay more attention to nutrition and health, immunizations, personal hygiene, and exercise (Chapter 11).
Chapter 12 contains a variety of activities that help children make transitions between activities. Some ideas will become favorites of the children and give them new meaning in moving from one activity, or place, to another.
Appendix A lists some curriculum topics appropriate for young children and different ways of "changing from one place to another" or "changing from one activity to another."
Appendix B suggests some miniplans related to Chapters 5 through 11.
My personal hope is that you will enjoy planning for and being with young children as much as I do!
In Walt Whitman's poem "Autumn Rivulets," a child becom6s part of all he sees and does. Children of all ages are curious, imitative, and growing, and the title A Child Goes Forth reflects this involvement of children with the world around them. Part of what makes A Child Goes Forth a successful text for early childhood education courses is the book's emphasis on the individuality of each child, and in each edition there is greater emphasis on and clarity in providing programs and activities that are developmentally appropriate for children. In order to provide such programs, parents and teachers should understand and insist upon the components necessary for good environments for young children—inside and outside the home. Adults should not be intimidated by commercial materials, academic pressures, or outspoken but uninformed adults. All facets of a child's personality—social, intellectual, spiritual, physical, and emotional—are interrelated; a relaxed, unstructured, yet carefully planned atmosphere is most conducive to effective learning.
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