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Shifting Perspectives: A Training Strategy to Try

by Margie Carter
September/October 2006
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/shifting-perspectives-a-training-strategy-to-try/5017116/

When teachers try to plan for or respond to children’s activities, what is guiding their thinking? At a conscious level I think they often have a set of learning goals, behavior expectations, or classroom rules in mind. Unconsciously, they may also be influenced by their own childhood experiences or family of origin patterns that are deeply ingrained, often unexamined, and sometimes lead to knee-jerk reactions. Because our jobs are focused on staff development and not psychotherapy, those of us trying to improve the quality of children’s experiences in program settings frequently find ourselves puzzled as to how to help teachers see things differently. We may offer some child development knowledge, a planning form, or behavior management strategies; but too often these don’t transfer to new situations teachers encounter.

If their learning is to significantly impact their behavior, teachers have to go through their own process of constructing knowledge to get beyond superficial understandings and grasp ideas at a deeper level. For me, this means finding ways for teachers to see the child’s perspective and letting that inform their planning and interactions.

Here’s an approach my colleague Deb Curtis and I have been trying lately in our efforts to shift teachers toward ...

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