CD 356 Reflection 2

My group discussed the Project Approach in class.  We discussed several aspects of the approach.  My group talked about the involvement of the parents in the learning process.  We also discussed how the project approach focuses on hands-on learning and community.  The direction of the classroom learning is based on the ideas of the children.  The teacher helps to formulate ideas to meet standards, but children have the opportunity to take control of topics they would like to explore.  With these ideas, students work on projects that explore what they want to know.

Discussing the project approach made me reflect upon my own education.  Thinking back at my years of schooling, my favorite classes were ones in which the project approach was applied.  I thoroughly remember the times where my class along with parents and community members created zoos, went back into history to understand the medieval times, and built a solar-powered boat while learning about the environment.  Those projects and others I have done fostered community within my classroom and really made a difference in my understanding and in motivating me to continue to explore my interests.


Reading Reflection 2

For the second reading reflection the model I read about was Piaget and the article was about the measurement of volume and why children measure inaccurately. I found that article to be very interesting because of how it went about discussing the ways in which children learn about measurement and how they learn developmentally. In the group that I met with only one other person had read that article and the others read different articles about Piaget. Piaget’s model is definitely not one of my favorites but I do think it is a very interesting model in the way he goes about discovering new ways to teach children.


[CD 356] Reading Reflection – Project Approach and Rie

For this reading response, I finished the Katz & Chard’s Engaging Children’s Mind. There are two people in my discussion group who read Power of Project and another person read about infant education curriculum. 

While reading Engaging Children’s Mind, I noticed a few quotes that I thought are interesting. “The teacher must make every effort to help any child experiencing difficulties acquiring academic skills” (p. 15). I think this statement is very powerful. As educators, we are not just teaching children things to pass standardized tests. It is important for us to know each children’s Zone of Proximate Development to make appropriate scaffoldings. Since ZDP differs for each person, it is teacher’s duty to recognize individualities and diversity in the class and plan lessons that can meet every child’s developmental needs and goals. The book stated that there are four categories of learning goals for children: knowledge, skills, dispositions, and feelings. While knowledge, skills and dispositions can be achieved through different methods, I think that the project approach model especially fits with the development of children’s emotions by engaging them in group activities. “We generally want children to feel accepted, comfortable, and competent, that they belong to the class group and can contribute to shared experience. Such feelings can be learned while interacting with significant others in the group” (p. 39). This is another reason why I believe that project approach model can be integrated in education for children that are older than early childhood. Adolescents and pre-adults also crave for sense of belonging and friendships just as much as early and middle childhood children. Projects can build relationships and connections between people and continue emotional development through our life. The rest of the book contains huge amount of practical informations about strategies of teaching for educators, such as criteria for selecting and focusing particular project topics (p.93) and procedures while giving instructions (p. 80).

From the group discussion, I learned that The Power of Projects contains practical examples of different projects that meets various particular learning goals. We talked about the curriculum structure of project approach model and how it focus on both individuality and group works, while still meeting standards and maintain children’s curiosity and interests. We also discussed this video we all watch before in other child development courses. It’s a documentary of a vacation/airport boarding series of projects in an elementary school. We shared the view how it’s important for every child to have a place in group projects and feel important in the community. 

The person who read about Rie, an infant education model, and shared some insights. She said that this model take approach to treat babies as other human beings rather than objects. Instead of setting boundaries for infant, children in Rie model is allowed to find their own boundaries and limits in a safe environment. I thought this model is really fascinating, because, just as children of other ages, infants need to be encourage to seek answers and solutions to learn effectively.


[CD 356] Reading Reflection – Project Approach and Rie

For this reading response, I finished the Katz & Chard’s Engaging Children’s Mind. There are two people in my discussion group who read Power of Project and another person read about infant education curriculum. 

While reading Engaging Children’s Mind, I noticed a few quotes that I thought are interesting. “The teacher must make every effort to help any child experiencing difficulties acquiring academic skills” (p. 15). I think this statement is very powerful. As educators, we are not just teaching children things to pass standardized tests. It is important for us to know each children’s Zone of Proximate Development to make appropriate scaffoldings. Since ZDP differs for each person, it is teacher’s duty to recognize individualities and diversity in the class and plan lessons that can meet every child’s developmental needs and goals. The book stated that there are four categories of learning goals for children: knowledge, skills, dispositions, and feelings. While knowledge, skills and dispositions can be achieved through different methods, I think that the project approach model especially fits with the development of children’s emotions by engaging them in group activities. “We generally want children to feel accepted, comfortable, and competent, that they belong to the class group and can contribute to shared experience. Such feelings can be learned while interacting with significant others in the group” (p. 39). This is another reason why I believe that project approach model can be integrated in education for children that are older than early childhood. Adolescents and pre-adults also crave for sense of belonging and friendships just as much as early and middle childhood children. Projects can build relationships and connections between people and continue emotional development through our life. The rest of the book contains huge amount of practical informations about strategies of teaching for educators, such as criteria for selecting and focusing particular project topics (p.93) and procedures while giving instructions (p. 80).

From the group discussion, I learned that The Power of Projects contains practical examples of different projects that meets various particular learning goals. We talked about the curriculum structure of project approach model and how it focus on both individuality and group works, while still meeting standards and maintain children’s curiosity and interests. We also discussed this video we all watch before in other child development courses. It’s a documentary of a vacation/airport boarding series of projects in an elementary school. We shared the view how it’s important for every child to have a place in group projects and feel important in the community. 

The person who read about Rie, an infant education model, and shared some insights. She said that this model take approach to treat babies as other human beings rather than objects. Instead of setting boundaries for infant, children in Rie model is allowed to find their own boundaries and limits in a safe environment. I thought this model is really fascinating, because, just as children of other ages, infants need to be encourage to seek answers and solutions to learn effectively.


The Absorbent Mind

Both me and two other girls in my group chose to read The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori. In general, I find some key aspects of the Montessori method to be extremely problematic. I disagree entirely with their practice of teaching stereotypes through the use of chosen classroom materials. I have always preferred an approach that is more closely in tune with a Waldorf style classroom. When I decided to read one of Maria Montessori’s works, I was not expecting to be very impressed. However, as I began reading through her words I actually found that she had many profound and thoughtful ideas on young children’s education. My group mates seemed to agree that we found more meaning in her written word than when we saw an actual Montessori classroom. Her book was much more psychology based, and a lot of what she had to say was in defense of how young children learn. I didn’t manage to read the entire book, but after our discussion I decided that I should definitely make an effort to do that. Despite the fact that I don’t agree with all the aspects of their teaching method and curriculum, I think that their is still a lot that I could learn from her theories. With every curriculum model we study, I learn useful tools and strategies, and also methods that I would not use. 


Cassandra’s Piaget response

My group talked about Piaget’s theory. We all read different articles bringing different information about Piaget to the discussion. We agreed that Piaget believed that learning is a constructive process, and in order for a child to be successful we must address them within their stage of development. We talked about how Piaget stressed the fact that adults and children learn much differently from each other. Some other key points that were address were what the stages of development are according to Piaget.
The Sensorimotor Stage: During this stage, infants and toddlers acquire knowledge through sensory experiences and manipulating objects.

The Preoperational Stage: At this stage, kids learn through pretend play but still struggle with logic and taking the point of view of other people.

The Concrete Operational Stage: Kids at this point of development begin to think more logically, but their thinking can also be very rigid. They tend to struggle with abstract and hypothetical concepts.

The Formal Operational Stage: The final stage of Piaget’s theory involves an increase in logic, the ability to use deductive reasoning, and an understanding of abstract ideas


Tryst’n’s reading response

In my group we talked about the project approach. what I learned from the discussion is how each project is divided into 3 different phases and throughout all of the phases the parents stay involved. The teachers have to do a lot of background work they really have to get to know the children, not just what they know but what kind of experiences they have had, what kind of things they want to know. Then the teacher can help the children and figuring out what kind of information they want to learn and how to go about doing the projects. The investigation is a key part to the project approach. Another thing I liked is that this approach is that it can be used with children who have special needs.


Cassandra’s Piaget response

My group talked about Piaget’s theory. We all read different articles bringing different information about Piaget to the discussion. We agreed that Piaget believed that learning is a constructive process, and in order for a child to be successful we must address them within their stage of development. We talked about how Piaget stressed the fact that adults and children learn much differently from each other. Some other key points that were address were what the stages of development are according to Piaget.
The Sensorimotor Stage: During this stage, infants and toddlers acquire knowledge through sensory experiences and manipulating objects.

The Preoperational Stage: At this stage, kids learn through pretend play but still struggle with logic and taking the point of view of other people.

The Concrete Operational Stage: Kids at this point of development begin to think more logically, but their thinking can also be very rigid. They tend to struggle with abstract and hypothetical concepts.

The Formal Operational Stage: The final stage of Piaget’s theory involves an increase in logic, the ability to use deductive reasoning, and an understanding of abstract ideas


Sarah’s Montessori Reading Response

For my second reading response I read about the Montessori school. I book I read was, “The Absorbent Mind” by Maria Montessori. The book is about her philosophy and how it helped her develop the Montessori school. I focused mainly on one specific chapter that was about language.

In the chapter about language Maria Montessori talks about how people need to understand language so that we can understand each other. This idea really struck me because it made me realize that language is the basis of all learning.  Also language helps children learn from each other. We use our peers to teach us new things. Another thing that I liked about this chapter on language was the idea that children have a programed inner knowledge that tells them when to move on to new milestones. Children know when the “normal” time is that they should be growing and developing. Another thing that stood out to me in this chapter was that children are able to learn many different languages when they are young. They are so absorbent when they are still developing that they can pick up new languages very easily.

My group and I discussed some of Maria Montessori’s other philosophies such as, discipline, teaching, learning, and school. I think that Maria Montessori’s philosophy is very interesting and I really like it, however I do not fully agree with the actual school that she has developed.


Amy’s Reading Reflection #2

Again, our group discussed Piaget/Kamii Constructivism.  I continue to enjoy the points of view expressed about values of self-exploration, asking question, and allowing for the growth of autonomy.  In tradition heteronomous classrooms, the children look to the teacher to supply all the correct answers and to tell them if they are right or wrong.  I see immense value in letting children explore new ways to learn and to learn from their mistakes.  We have now formed an exciting constructivism model group for our final project.