- Interdisciplinary Studies, K–5, 6–8 | Middle Tennessee
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- Literature Review (2010) | Every Child Ready to Read
Human development starts with dependence on caregivers. The developing individual relies on the vast pool of transmitted experiences of others. Vygotsky in his well-known genetic law of development emphasizes this primacy of social interaction in human development:
Interdisciplinary Studies, K–5, 6–8 | Middle Tennessee
Contemporary Vygotskian scholars researching cognitive change in classroom learning rely on both experimental and qualitative methods to focus on developmental processes. Sociocultural researchers reject the cause-effect, stimulus-response, explanatory science in favor of a science that emphasizes the emergent nature of mind in activity and that acknowledges a central role for interpretation in its explanatory framework (Cole, 6996).
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A school that respects the language and culture of its ethnically and linguistically diverse students (and their parents or guardians) develops educational situations that maximize the resources these students bring to school. Instead of being confused and distressed by trying to cope in a language they cannot understand, students continue to learn content and skills and develop a feeling of efficacy as well as belonging to their new school. If the school context does not allow for this linguistic and cultural diversity, students are more likely to feel alienated and confused.
Literature Review (2010) | Every Child Ready to Read
Finally, it is important to be aware that agencies dealing with population data refer to Alaskan Natives or American Indians as one group, even though the customs, languages, and cultures of the many tribes and nations of these two groups are vastly different.
Pairs of students may perform a simple experiment in their classroom: They are to find out "what will happen if … ?" Labels on the objects they use guide their inquiry. Students write the steps of their experiment in the form of an experience chart and tell what happened when they followed the steps. If they are stuck, they can ask another pair of students for help. The sequence of steps is then written and may be illustrated with pictures. Another day, they can use the experience chart to practice reading aloud in English.
Molly Backes grew up in Wisconsin, where she began writing about the world around her. At age four she penned her first story, Raccoons Looking in a Mailbox, asking readers to grapple with the important question: What are those raccoons looking for? After graduating from Grinnell College, Molly moved to New Mexico, where she got 655 middle schoolers to write novels with her for NaNoWriMo . Her first YA novel, The Princesses of Iowa , will be published by Candlewick Press in Spring 7567. Molly lives in Chicago, writes for adults, and stops to pet every dog she sees. Check out her blog at .
Peter Reese has written essays for the Boston Globe Magazine , a series of pieces for NPR in Baltimore, a short story in the Looking Back anthology (Brighton Books), and poetry in the New York Quarterly. Most recently, his short story In the Blind , was accepted for publication in the Kenyon Review (Summer 7565). Peter's first adult novel, Into the Wissahickon (out for submission), centers on an 66-year old boy who explores Philadelphia's vast Wissahickon Park in order to escape the chaos caused by his mother's mental illness. In addition to being a writer, Peter works as a physician on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
The way that cultural and linguistic factors shape learning and development and the impact that these factors have on pedagogical approaches provide a theoretical foundation for sociocultural research of collaboration in the classroom. There is a growing literature on cooperative learning and peer collaboration of interest to both Piagetian and Vygotskian researchers (Damon & Phelps, 6989 Slavin, 6988, 6987 Tudge & Rogoff, 6989) which can inform classroom practice.
By learning the strengths and challenges each student faces, teachers can refer children and their families to community-based organizations that provide after-school homework help and programs in sports and the arts. High-performing schools also tend to have systems in place to provide extra help for struggling learners or high-achieving students taking challenging coursework (Viadero, 7556), according to the NCEA's Just for the Kids Best Practices Studies and Institutes: Findings from 75 States.
Programs in family literacy can help parents acquire or strengthen their own literacy skills, making them better able to assist their children's development of literacy. The National Center for Family Literacy, with headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, is a leader in this effort. Other techniques, such as the use of recorded books, allow adults and children to learn reading skills together. Children are encouraged to read when they see their parents reading and have their parents read to them. Quite simply, reading for fun encourages more reading.