December 3, 2014
Reaction Paper #2
As Children reach the appropriate age to attend preschool/kindergarten, Parents and teachers face many questions and concerns as to if the child is “ready” and what experiences will best aid them. Throughout chapters 9-14 of DCA, we are introduced and enlightened of the many cognitive, social, and physical changes children endure while reaching the age to go to school. There are many factors that play into distinguishing whether a child is ready for school or not. Before and after entering school, the child must be set up for success through various emotional and physical support systems along with the ability to play freely. Children are given tests frequently to establish their intelligence and how “ready” they are for school/materials. According to Gardner, intelligence includes multiple abilities that come in different packages. He has identified 8 independent intelligences including mathematical and verbal aptitudes. Because there are so many factors that play into ones overall intelligence, it is hard to judge intelligence just by a general testing score. Children need to be further looked into as individuals and take the 8 intelligences Gardner believes into account when testing intelligence. Someone who is not good at math or science may be exceptionally artistic or musically talented. Thus, someone who does not learn well by listening might do really well hands on in the classroom. It is very important as teachers and mentors to understand each child individually and aid them in the necessary areas in order for them to succeed.
Similar to Gardner’s beliefs were Lilian Katz's pieces. We learned quickly that every child has a unique individual set of attributes to contribute to the classroom and society. It is impossible to have a classroom of children all learn and grow simultaneously "together" because each individual will have strengths and weaknesses. She also emphasizes that these are not right or wrong ways of thinking. Just because we may think more literal or test better than a child, does not mean they are not ready or right. Her ideas require more attention to each child making them grow and learn to their best abilities.
One of the most important ways for a child to succeed in the classroom is through initiative. There are so many ways we can positively support and encourage a sense of initiative in children. It is very important to let children act independently in order for them to feel self-success and guilt. It is our job to make sure the environment is set up for the child to succeed more often than fail. It is also our job to aid the child while he/she attempts new things to help them learn to succeed. For example, if a child is learning to tie its shoe but cannot get past the first step without frustrating itself, and becoming unhappy, it is our duty to get hands on and help them through all the stages. The child is not only learning, but will not be so ashamed in its failure to complete the task. Sometimes all the child needs is some guidance. Once children experience a