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The Power of Classroom Dispositions

by Sandra Duncan and Deb Lawrence
November/December 2010
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/the-power-of-classroom-dispositions/5019651/

When teachers describe children in their classrooms, they often mention both positive and negative dispositions such as inquisitive, impatient, curious, friendly, intolerant, and resourceful. Early childhood experts believe that the acquisitions of dispositions are just as important as skill development to children’s academic success (Hyson, 2008; Katz & Chard, 2000). While there is much talk and research on children’s dispositions, little attention has been focused on the classroom’s disposition and its influence on the development of positive dispositions in young children. Yet, according to Bertram and Pascal (2002), in addition to some dispositions being inborn, many are environmentally sensitive. This means that the classroom environment has a powerful influence �" both positive and negative �" on children’s abilities to acquire important dispositions required for life-long learning.

As early childhood educators, our goal is not to get children ready or prepare them for kindergarten. The goal and purpose of early childhood education is to provide children with the appropriate experiences and environments to help them develop thinking dispositions that encourage life-long learning. Although there are many dispositions that can be woven and laced into the environment, the dispositions of wonder, curiosity, and discovery are pivotal to integrate into the classroom. ...

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