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Developing Dispositions

Choose to be optimistic. It feels better.
Dalai Lama

These challenging times call all of us to focus on what is truly important in life. An article by Lilian Katz, included in the book, Cultivating Curriculum in Early Childhood Organizations, is especially relevant for today. Entitled, "What Should Young Children Be Learning," the article outlines four categories of learning: Knowledge, Skills, Feelings and Dispositions. Here is how she describes the very important concept of dispositions:

"There is a significant difference between having writing skills and having the disposition to be a writer. Dispositions are not learned through instruction or drill. The dispositions that children need to acquire or strengthen – curiosity, creativity, cooperation, friendliness – are learned primarily from being around people who exhibit them."

As Katz goes on to say, it is imperative that early childhood professionals think carefully about the kinds of dispositions they are modeling for children each day.

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