9/1 Class notes

Child development for elementary school teachers. Teachers and psychologists have different goals, focuses, audiences.
It's important for school teachers to understand that they are one intervention in children's development. They have had a lot of life experiences and development, and have more yet to come. Also, a child is a member of many different circles--family, neighborhood, peers, media. They live in a lot of contexts and have concurrent "curriculums" going on.
  • The ongoing stream of life, from infancy to adulthood, and how you, the teacher, cut into that.
  • How a child balances the context of school with other contexts of which he or she is a participant.
Why do humans have such a long childhood/period of dependency?
I think humans have a more complex development. We develop physically, morally, culturally, etc. A human who has a thorough and complex development becomes skilled at a multitude of necessary life skills--functioning in society, attaining wealth, avoiding confrontation, living a meaningful life, eating well to avoid disease, etc. These skills are complex and require more than merely physical development. Animals don't really face most of these issues. They eat for survival, and their instincts dictate what to eat and how much. Humans use their minds and preferences to select their nourishment. This process of learning a deep and complex level of critical thinking, it seems, takes longer than merely developing physically and instinctually.
  • long pregnancy and single child births (for the most part, and naturally)
  • complex world means there is a lot to learn
  • long period of brain development
  • emotional dependency
  • emotional complexity
  • longer life span -- prepares us for being flexible in changing society, rewriting our narratives if we so choose
  • people marry across the globe
  • keep the book of learning open!

What psychologists believe determine a person's development
  1. genetic make-up (from conception) is a powerful determinant of who you will be
  2. development: broad, implicit trends of forward movement toward adulthood that manifest throughout childhood (ex. learning to walk, talk, read [big debate on this], etc) not actually taught, but adults are essential in helping this development occur in a healthy way
  3. teaching and learning

Noam Chomsky:
  • language is predetermined, cannot be taught
  • so many things are dependent on language, therefore teaching and learning is not that important in development
Steven Pinker :
  • a lot of intellectual development is simply programmed (genetic component)
  • Interaction (part of learning and teaching) is important, not teaching, per se
BF Skinner
  • learning is pushed by others' positive response, motivated by the want for approval, especially in children
  • the human is a learning animal who devotes himself to gaining positive response, and will modify behavior however necessary to gain approval
  • adults are terrible teachers because they don't know how to use their power of reinforcement properly

9/8 Class notes

  • Winnicott 1896 - 1971: used to hold radio addresses to young mothers, very popular, assigned article is from Winnicott on the Child
  • Erikson 1902 - 1994: thick German accent, he came from a troubled background (illegitimate son born out of wedlock, raised in an observant Jewish family, rebelled to be an artist, then a nursery teacher in a school for children of Freud's patients). He wasn't educated, but became a Harvard professor.
  • Psychoanalysis : focus on the un/subconscious, what is not available to people to be aware, pioneered by Freud . His theories linked adults' afflictions/issues to earlier events in childhood (although he never actually worked with children). Anna Freud: developed a school in Vienna in the 1930s. This class will cover psychoanalysis as related to children, their relationships with adults and teachers.
  • Kibbutz movement : set out to abolish the nuclear family -- they believed it was not conducive to the communal movement. When children were old enough (after nursing), they all lived in the children's house. They wanted to stop the thinking that a child belongs to their parents. (30s through 50s, this was strictly enforced, by the 70s, this policy was widely violated.)
    • Wanted to create a "new human being." (similarities to the early years of Soviet communism)
    • Is this method of caring for children considered "neglect?" Is the Beit Yeledim just like an orphanage?
    • Continuity of care: the kibbutz communities were very tight-knit, and it was not simply a stranger taking care of children. There was a large flaw with the system: the unhappy mother. Mothers were notoriously unhappy with this system. Predictability: a child needs to know who is taking care of them.
    • One of the goals: to eliminate the concept of possession. Shared clothing, no ownership of houses, eliminate the concept that a child belongs to his parents
    • They thought that attachment to singular parent units was neurotic and capitalistic, and you would later have to undo that attachment. The kibbutzniks wanted the primary attachment to be to the community.
  • Are parents necessary? Winnicott and Erikson say that they are an essential component of child development.
    • Reliability: The idea of saying "mine" adds to reliability.
    • "Predictability" Winnicott: someone/several people there to let the infant know that their needs are being taken care of and that they are loved. (Winnicott believed a long pregnancy lends to attachment, strong bond, intimate connection already upon birth. Winnicott was in awe that the "ordinary mother" this system has worked over the ages, throughout humanity young uneducated women become relatively good mothers for their children. How is this possible? Parenting itself is not problematic. )
    • "Basic trust" Erikson is more in tune with the cultural aspects of these issues. The capacity to feel that there are people in the world that you can implicitly trust even in all your vulnerabilities. ("Putting your guard down")
  • Little Sam: from the article. A little boy has what looks like epileptic seizures brought on by coming upon the concept of death. Erikson studied the case because the boy didn't have any other symptoms of epilepsy, and there was an additional layer of the psychic stimulus.
    • children try to make sense of things they don't understand. Sam tried to explain where his grandmother is, and what the box was.

9/15 Class Notes

  1. Nature (genetic) and nurture (learn from environment)
  2. Learning mechanism (infants are able to pick up on things)
  3. parents/caregivers are biologically set up to be good mothers
  • Starting with infancy: why is it so important?
    • The relationship between nature and nurture: what skills are we already programmed with? What do our minds look like at the very beginning?
    • Technology allows researchers to record and analyze in a very systematic way.
  • Attachment theory : def. a theory in psychological development that infants act to please their caregiver.
  • Infants are genetically set up to know their caregivers:
    • Infants know their mothers right away. They have been listening to her voice for 9 months, they know her smell, and their vision is best a few feet from their face.
    • How long does it take for adopted children to bond with the mother?
  • Caregivers are genetically programmed to care for infants:
    • Why do siblings even fall into the role of caregiver?
    • Even young mothers are competent at caregiving.
    • There's an inherent ability (genetic endowment) for a family to care for a baby
    • The sounds of "cooing" is different in different cultures. (Nature sets up the interaction, but culture differentiates different "baby talk")
  • Chomsky claims that learning language is something that is purely genetic: they'll learn language no matter what (?) whereas these psychologists see a critical interaction between parents, caregivers, etc., in language development
  • Infants need to learn how to interact with:
    1. human beings
    2. physical objects
  • The distinction between these interactions
  • Human beings:
    • respond and interact
    • rules (arbitrary or not)
    • infants form mental maps of familiar people: for example they will act a certain interaction with siblings different from interaction with mom, and different from dad
    • they adapt to different personalities to make certain things predictable
  • Physical objects
    • can be more predictable (same thing usually happens when performing the same task on it over and over)
    • infants also study physical objects to discover its reaction/action
  • Interaction of the two: broccoli versus goldfish
    • babies learn the desirability of objects; they offer their caregivers what they themselves prefer, but learn to give the caregiver their own preferences.
    • babies learn that other people have different feelings, and those feelings are not necessarily the same as my own feelings
    • babies learn how to see how other people see things, and act accordingly (takes a few months)
    • terrible twos happens because toddlers are testing what others' preferences are
    • it's an adjustment period where they are transitioning from the kind of egocentric "everyone wants the same thing that I want" to a recognition that others don't want what the toddler wants
  • Learning to lie: 2 and 3 year olds are terrible liars
    • there's no distinction from what they want and what is reality
    • they are trying to 'fix' their actions
    • they don't have the social skill to lie
    • they are trying to play: pretend is still a huge part of their vocabulary. They don't have the ability to figure out what the parent/sibling/teacher would believe
    • There's a straight line from learning the preferences of adults (preferring broccoli over goldfish) to learning how to come up with plausible excuses
  • Memory: You are learning how to remember. Learning narratives, etc.
    • Think about the kind of information that a Kindergardener needs to know about themselves in order to function: their name, their age, their family members, going to the bathroom
    • There is a visual component: children have to visualize a map of the school in their minds for things like going to the bathroom
  • American and Korean parents:
    • How mothers speak to their children: Korean mothers use more verbs (in Korean language) whereas American mothers use more nouns
    • what's the connection between the language you speak and the cognitive development in your head?
    • A person's language ability and schema is different depending on what's around them and what is talked about
  • Preview for next class: Naming emotions...

9/21 Class Notes

  • Symbolic development: a goal of a child is to become a practicing member of his or her culture. The old distinctions between nature and nurture are so intertwined that it doesn't make sense to think of these two distinct categories. We seem to be genetically programmed to become part of our culture.
  • symbols are a way of representing a culture, a symbol system is taking something that is purely universal, and it is adapted to one's own culture
    • Spoken language
    • gestures, facial expressions
    • motor skills
    • numbers/counting
    • drawing
      • drawing, as opposed to letters, is something everyone can understand
      • shift from drawing (universally accessible) to letter symbols happened about 50,000 years ago (?)
  • Parents are very good at encouraging the universal skills,
  • Teachers are there to take over after that step
    • recent expectation for children to be numerically literate, reading and writing literate
  • Think of the leap between the universals that children learn (from their parents) and this symbolic development that is specific to a culture
    • start thinking of this leap as a great achievement
  • Language: how can children understand that the same word can have different meanings in different contexts?
    • language is flexible
  • The human brain is designed to speak any language
    • 6 months before you can actually speak a word, you are limited to the sounds of that language
  • Universal baby versus culture baby
    • Motherese: we speaking at a slower pace, with repetition and an emphasis on the vowel
      • helpful to language development
      • helps them determine the important sounds
    • Cooing: the sounds that an infant makes in the first six months of life
    • Babbling: more limited sound system, doesn't require the presence of an adult to stimulate it, more consonants than cooing
    • From scribbling to drawing: how scribbles begin to move into pictorial representations
      • example of a child scribbling while making truck-like sounds
    • Why do children say things in the right order, but might misspeak the subject: "Me want cookie," not "want me cookie"
    • Chomsky: innate on some level
    • Writing: why can't children write grammatically correct sentences (even when they can speak correctly)?
    • listen to the sentences in your head--usually they are well-formed in your head
    • different symbol systems don't translate that easily
    • We don't yet fully know the difference between these two symbol systems
  • Syntax: basic grammar
    • does the child understand how a basic sentence works, and how to put one together? (ex. relationship between subject and action)
    • syntax is the building blocks on which the others stand and are built off of
  • Semantics: meaning
    • more than just vocabulary, all the possible meanings a word can carry
  • Pragmatics: usage
    • how the language is used, context, using the language in a way that conveys meaning
    • different methods of language: formal versus casual
    • context of usage
  • Scripts/Stories:
    • In classrooms, it is essential for children to tell stories
    • Shirley Heath: interested in how story-telling is developed in different communities
      • poor white community, emphasis on detail of what happened, you don't start very far back, don't elaborate, create the story as factual, descriptive and concrete as possible. Story lines tend to be less interesting, less engaging
      • poor black community, start way back, give background, long lead-in to point of story, encouraged to embellish story, give details, even extravagant and irrelevant, even untrue (community that merits long, verbal story-telling) (no patience for each other's stories)
      • middle class white stories: start closer to the punch line, allowed to add detail, allowed to add thoughts and fanciful thoughts as long as they are well-labeled
  • Play: Why do children play, what's the function of play?
    • the route to which children develop the symbol systems acquired throughout preschool and school
    • children use a script when playing (Robyn's example of the girls on the swingset are actually playing house, and each has a role within what they understand about playing house: there's a mother, father, etc.
    • their scripts are not culturally creative, they generally follow the accepted norms
    • early childhood is the most imaginative and creative time of life, but it's culturally conservative. School expands that culture.

10/6 Class Notes

  • Piaget was from a well-established French-Swiss family, and was not that touched by multi-culturalism. Compared to Vigotsky (who dealt with all segments of society)
  • Trained biologist, interested in evolution, biology
  • Child genius, early doctorate degree, first major work was on mollusks
  • He became interested in studying children (in his day, almost nobody studied children empirically and directly)
  • Freud and Freudstons were all talking about childhood and infancy from adults' retrospect
  • His first attempts were his involvement with Pavis Binet and IQ standardized tests
    • IQ: Intelligence quotia
    • 100 IQ means 50% of the others being tested are above you, and 50% are below you
    • Created for the army when instituting a draft, a way to stratify the inductees
    • a way to standardize a system to comparing people across the board (SATs built off of IQ tests)
    • tests someone's potential, is genetic (an attempt to tap into your genetic endowment)
    • Minorities test lower, which leads to IQ testing's cultural bias
    • There are a great number of IQ tests, and a lot of empirical data on them
  • Intelligence has a very large genetic component
  • Intelligence can be measured and compared and quantified
  • Piaget rebelled against the IQ test
    • paper and pencil idea of test
    • talking about intelligence that is quantifiable across varying demographics
    • he didn't like the focus on "right" answers
    • nature of tests: Piaget liked a system of how far up a scale of difficulty a testee can progress, but felt the scale was arbitrary
    • didn't like the focus on right vs. wrong answers
  • Piaget distinguished between form and content
    • Content: informational, one can learn by heart, rote, you could have a lot of content information (Piaget thought this is what the IQ tests were testing)
    • Form: reasoning, how you figure things out. (IQ tests doesn't give children the chance to figure out what to THEM is the right answer
    • influenced by Darwin, adaption theory
    • Piaget felt that IQ was different from knowing content
  • Piaget's bias:
    • Intelligence has to do with individual's capacity to figure things out on your own
    • The lucky ones: grew up in a house that allowed you to figure things out on your own (trial and error), and come to rely on intelligence as a guide to life, adaptation is key
    • Teaching/parenting is all about enabling children to use their gifts to figure out the world
    • in a Piagetian world, there is no delineation of intelligence; it's all about how the individual goes about figuring things out (even if you get it "wrong")
  • Stage theory: came up with a theory about different stages of development, but didn't take it literally.
    • Piaget was only interested in the developmental process that was involved
    • Example: Bat: mammal or bird? Piaget would push with the reasoning process. Why does it look like a rodent (minus the wings)?
  • Assimilation: taking new information and placing it into neat little pre-existing categories
  • Accommodation: when something doesn't fit, when pre-existing categories doesn't account for the complexities
  • Piaget thought that wrong answers disappear through development in reasoning

Pre-operational thinking (ages 2-5)
  • appearance (for example, a child might say that the sun and the moon are about the same size)
  • lack of perspective = egocentrism (Ex. you show a toddler a photo of their family, and they point out "Mommy" with the understanding that it's their mother) Their language is about in relation to them.
  • Not going beyond the information given, not asking the meta question. Once upon a time... means that there will be a story of make-believe, and they won't ask questions about plausibility
  • These are the presumptions and reasoning that a child this age goes through
  • What is "more" and "less"
    • the problem of deciding which is more: five dimes, two quarters or two nickels spread out?
    • need to separate out appearance and qualitative
    • hard to make hard definitions in categories, some categories encompass varying things (states, months)
Concrete operational:
  • Water example: when there are two glasses of equal amounts of water, one is poured into a smaller glass and fills it up. At this stage, the child can understand that it's the same amount of water
  • Definition of a family: can be beyond just people who live in the same house

10/13 Class Notes

Howard Gardner
  • Started his career as a Piagetian
  • Became well-known for his theory of multiple intelligences
  • Piaget believed that scientific thinking was at the heart of intelligence
  • Gardner asked if you would find the same developmental stages in the arts as you would in math and science?
  • Children don't begin by drawing representational pictures, they "scribble" by putting marks on a paper, then move on to stick figures, then fuller depictions of scenes
  • Gardner found in the arts: you can have a huge range of development in the arts. (Ex: strong in some areas, weak in others)
  • Gardner thought Piaget would have predicted more predictability
    • Example: Perspective should relate to Conservation
  • Gardner found that there are different realms: learning perspective doesn't correlate well to the conservation stage
  • Piaget was interested in the process of the development
    • even though Piaget postulated these developmental stages, he was more interested in the process
    • when Piaget's work came to America, it had to be more standardized, and emphasis was put on the stages
  • Piaget's stages didn't hold up to strict scrutiny
    • there are stage-like sequences
  • Stages are good to know, but when you want to get to know the problem of the child, you have to get inside the child's process
    • You can assume that children in any given classroom have a variety of stages, but not so disparate as some in sensorimotor, and fully operational.
  • Gardner: Unlike Piaget, there were instruments to look into the brain, and computerized data
    • the brain has a lot of different centers
    • brain damage: depending on the part of the brain that was injured, different cognitive functions are affected
    • Piaget assumed a more unitary brain: not scientifically accurate, and probably not accurate in the way the mind develops.
    • Therefore Gardner thought it was good to push students to practice across all skill areas
  • Model of the Mind: Gardber came to disagree with Piaget on the model of the mind
    • Piaget: the mind works in a very streamlined and unitary way
    • Gardner: we have different centers in our brains that aren't well coordinated with one another
    • Given multiple centers of functioning, how can you say that one subject is more important that another in education?
    • Why is one thing called a talent, and another called intelligence? From the perspective of how the mind works, they are equal. Cultural differences: dictate which skills are marketable
    • Gardner inquired the combination of intelligences
    • Can the areas you excel in help you in other areas? Gardner theorizes that this is the case, but only if you can see how they work together in combination (example: vocalizing a sound can help a child recognize a letter)
    • It may be that a certain assessment strategy doesn't allow for some students to show their skills
  • The mind's preference for the more elegant, complex explanation
    • Piaget: once you develop to a higher stage, you prefer that stage
    • Gardner asked: what happens to that thinking? What happens to the less sophisticated response?
    • These ways of thinking don't disappear, but instead show themselves in non-intellectual circumstances
    • Example: we are willing to revert back to our childhood picture of the sun dropping behind the horizon
    • There's a part of our brain that's totally happy to relapse to an earlier explanation
    • Example: teen pregnancy-even if you have the facts, there's a process to draw on this info in order to make decisions
    • Gardner questioned whether you are going to use this information, whereas Piaget said children prefer the more developed way of thinking no matter what

  • more devoted Piagetian, but concerned with what that means for teachers
  • she was at first at a loss of how to use Piaget's offerings for teachers
  • "Having Wonderful Ideas" was her way of talking about that moment: when a child has the information, but doesn't know how to solve a problem, then something shifts in the mind, you come up with a theory, possible solution, and you want to try it out
  • There's a huge difference between solving a problem on your own and having someone show you the solution
    • a sense of "the world is able to be discovered, and I have the mind to figure it out"
    • it's important because we tend to want to supply kids with the next step (lack of time to let children figure these things out)
    • we're concerned with the right answers and shouldn't be
    • makes children interested in the world, and not complacent to depend on authority for answers
    • the goal is development, not the right answer
    • You have to be convinced that your brain is capable of doing this
  • Duckworth: how do you go from not understanding to understanding? what counters the "shutting down" tendency?

Duckworth versus Gardner:
Gardner: honors scaffolding-providing support for the child to arrive at the answer (hand-holding)
Duckworth: honors giving the student space to come up with their own wonderful idea
  • Self-efficacy: a sense of "I can do this"
  • Duckworth would want students to get from feeling like it's too much, and they can't do it, to a sense of not being sure, but being willing to try, to trying, to figuring it out
  • Duckworth: attitude toward mistakes cause a lot of obstacles
  • breaking down a problem into compartments
  • give students tools and materials, and model how to use these materials in new ways, but not the ways in which these students should be used. Create problems to solve, rather than solve pre-existing problems
  • Children understand other children: you can utilize this as a resource in the classroom

10/27 Class Notes

Piaget & Vygotsky

  • Contemporaries (1920s - 1930s)
  • Piaget
    • Wealthy
    • Swiss
    • Didn't travel much
    • Didn't take culture into account.
    • Kept writing until he died in 1980s
    • Did not know of Vygotsky's work, written in Russian and banned.
  • Vygotsky
    • Russian
    • Marxist
    • Interested in "mental retardation"
    • Traveled
    • Works banned in USSR because he had more in common with Piaget and creativity than Pavlovian conditioning.
    • Died in 1930s of TB
    • Obscure until one of his former students, Alexander Luria, brings his work to the US in 1960s.
    • Words we have are not his but interpretations of his.

Where they Agree
  • Active nature of children's minds
  • Interest in the way children invent

Where they Differ
  • Vygotsky agrees with Piaget's stages of development but Vygotsky adds another track
    • In addition to Piaget's Current/Actual Stage there is a Potential Stage of what a child can do if the work is scaffolded (working with an adult or with another child).
    • Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) - How open is the student to work with collaboration or supervision? Requires emotional intelligence.
    • ZPD correlates to future actual development.
    • ZPD is where a teacher has influence over a child's development. Similar to Motherese language production to maximize an infant's capacity to take in language. Vygotsky calls this social learning.
    • Scaffolding allows a drawbridge over a gap, for a short period of time, between what can be done alone and what can be done with collaboration. Student develops an image of what the teacher models and slowly internalizes it. Provides a model of where you are headed.
    • Borrows from Piaget's 1932 book where children of 2-5 years old find themselves cooperating in play and get the idea that it is something desirable. Sharing begins in play.
    • Older siblings may operate in a child's ZPD

Social Learning
  • That which you do in cooperation with others that you couldn't do on your own.

Cultural Learning and Cognitive Environment
  • Tools of learning (pen & paper, computer, etc.) are not mere tools. They become extensions of our minds and/or memories if we use them with enough regularity. Becomes a way you remember.
  • Vygotsky wouldn't say, "Is Google making us stupid?" He's say, "Is Google reorganizing our minds?"
  • Are cell phones reorganizing our communications?
    • People don't write letters like they used to. A lot of what we know of historical figures comes from the long letters they wrote to each other. They organized their thinking differently than we do as a result.
    • Phone conversations are different now than they were when there was a single phone in each house and only in the house/workplace/phonebooth.
    • Is spoken language influenced by texting?
  • Vygotsky says to think of the human mind as interacting with others via cultural tools.
  • Starts with infancy when some infants in some cultures may be put in a crib while others may be worn in a sling or papoose. The two infants know the world in different ways.
  • When Vygotsky talks about culture, he doesn't mean the same thing as Cole means: national differences, dress differences, language differences, schooling, urban/rural, etc.
  • Children today have a different material culture than their parents - different technologies available as your mind is developing and taking shape.
  • Vygotsky's thinking of material culture is what makes him a Marxist.

Gladwell & Cole
  • Comparing cognition across cultures
  • Gladwell is the author of Outliers, Blink, and Tipping Point, grew up in Canada to a white British father and a black Jamaican mother, so he's interested in cross-cultural cognition.
  • Flynn Effect shows IQ going up steadily over time in many different countries and cultures. Sometimes gaps between populations are eliminated entirely, like Italian Americans over the course of the 20th Century.
    • Because of this, the IQ test have to be "renormed" every few years to make them harder.
    • You can't compare IQ test results across different years because they are normed differently. Today's 100 is "smarter" than yesterday's 100. 1960s data can't be compared with 1980s data.
    • Data on Chinese Americans, when renormed, no longer showed an IQ advantage.
    • Data on Italian Americans showed assimilation into American culture leading to abstract thought more conducive to the test.
    • Data on Kenyans showed greater differences between rural and urban Kenyans than between urban Kenyans and urban Americans
  • Gladwell quoting Cole: Context for Cognition: How does your mind need to function in order to function well in your cognitive environment? (ex: Understand psych lectures and readings and apply to midterm questions.)
  • The cultural gap that matters is the context for cognition required in the classroom.

  • Linda Darling-Hammond
  • Home Resources
    • Accumulated bodies of knowledge
  • Projects
    • Memoir project
    • Family history project
  • Culturally Relevant teaching
    • Academic achievement
    • Cultural consciousness - give kids a clear understanding of their own cultural background to link to academic achievement
    • Social political awareness
Advantages of culturally relevant teaching
  • All the kids have the potential to be successful.

11/3 Class Notes

How did Gardner arrive at the 7 multiple intelligences?What does he mean by intelligence?What does this mean for teachers?
  • Gardner skews toward educators
  • Gardner interested in the arts, opposed to a unitary view of intelligence
  • Challenge: how to explore what these many intelligences are?
  • Criteria:
    • all normally developed human brains have this intelligence
    • Potential isolation by brain damage -- has a specific location in the brain
    • The existence of idiots savants, prodigies and other exceptional individuals.
    • An identifiable core operation or set of operations.
    • A distinctive development history, along with a definable set of 'end-state' performances -- if you look at a history of the child, and can see this develop over time?
    • An evolutionary history and evolutionary plausibility -- we understand and know the evolutionary history
    • Support from experimental psychological tasks.
    • Support from psychometric findings.
    • Susceptibility to encoding in a symbol system. (Howard Gardner 1983: 62-69)
  • Gardner did not stick with the seven, he wanted to use his criteria so that other scientists can refine or add to his theory
  • Intelligence is not the same as talent: you may be naturally talented at something, but not intelligent (not sure what this means)
    • a prodigy may not end up being the best student/athlete. The difference is development of the intelligence, they may simply rely on their talent, lack of coachability
    • talent is what you are born with (the fact that there are prodigies tells us that it is an intelligence)
  • 1) Linguistic intelligence involves sensitivity to spoken and written language, the ability to learn languages, and the capacity to use language to accomplish certain goals. This intelligence includes the ability to effectively use language to express oneself rhetorically or poetically; and language as a means to remember information. Writers, poets, lawyers and speakers are among those that Howard Gardner sees as having high linguistic intelligence.
  • 2) Logical-mathematical intelligence consists of the capacity to analyze problems logically, carry out mathematical operations, and investigate issues scientifically. In Howard Gardner's words, it entails the ability to detect patterns, reason deductively and think logically. This intelligence is most often associated with scientific and mathematical thinking.
  • 3) Musical intelligence involves skill in the performance, composition, and appreciation of musical patterns. It encompasses the capacity to recognize and compose musical pitches, tones, and rhythms. According to Howard Gardner musical intelligence runs in an almost structural parallel to linguistic intelligence.
  • 4) Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence entails the potential of using one's whole body or parts of the body to solve problems. It is the ability to use mental abilities to coordinate bodily movements. Howard Gardner sees mental and physical activity as related.
  • 5) Spatial intelligence involves the potential to recognize and use the patterns of wide space and more confined areas.
  • 6) Interpersonal intelligence is concerned with the capacity to understand the intentions, motivations and desires of other people. It allows people to work effectively with others. Educators, salespeople, religious and political leaders and counsellors all need a well-developed interpersonal intelligence.
  • 7) Intrapersonal (psychic) intelligence entails the capacity to understand oneself, to appreciate one's feelings, fears and motivations. In Howard Gardner's view it involves having an effective working model of ourselves, and to be able to use such information to regulate our lives.
  • What is Gardner saying to educators about multiple intelligences?
    • Education in our culture emphasizes Linguistic and Logical-Mathematical intelligences as more important and more economically valuable
    • How can we turn a talent into a work of intelligence?
    • How can we turn them into something we can encourage?
    • How can we incorporate the last five intelligences into the first two?
      • Gardner would encourage using something from street culture (rap, ie) and including it
      • using their talents/intelligences as a "way in" for example incorporating art into math curriculum
  • Know your students as learners! Lead with their strengths, where they are most talented, their intelligences, and what they like to do
  • He's not saying multiple intelligences are the goal of education; rather use them to further their education
  • Different intelligences is not the same as different learning styles

11/10 Class Notes

Reading: Emotional Intelligence
  • Chapter 3: Salovey's definition of emotional intelligence
    • knowing one's emotions (self-awareness)
    • managing emotions (handling feelings)
    • motivating oneself
    • recognizing emotions in others
    • handling relationships
  • IQ and EI aren't opposing competencies, just separate ones
  • Chapter 4: Knowing thyself
  • alexithymia: lacking the words to express one's emotions. They may have strong emotions, but lack the self-awareness to decipher what their emotions are, and what they are all about
  • Chapter 8: The social arts

Daniel Goleman:
  • Harvard grad students in psych
  • wrote for the New York Times for science Tuesdays on behavioral science
  • interested in Gardner, but thought he lacked explanation on inter and intra intelligences
  • emerging neuro-psych on emotions, and Gardner's work on intelligences
  • meditation: can meditation affect people's emotional states? (lots of science around this)
  • Not Daniel Goleman's actual work, but he's more readable, and he's interested in how it applies to education
  • What is emotion?
    • Daniel Goleman might say a reaction to something that moves you
    • Ex: playing music versus listening to music
    • People can't sit still while listening to music that moves them (!)
    • listening to music lights up similar parts of the brain to happy sex
  • Emotions work extremely quickly, involuntarily and out of your awareness
  • Our bodies physically react to something, and only after the reaction does it occur as a thought
  • It's great that this emotional response system, but it's not very accurate (it's like putting the least mature, dumbest, most inaccurate part of us in charge of setting off the alarm)
    • lots of false alarms
    • set up more for fight or flight
    • it's an alarm system
    • the power of the emotional brain has an intense focus, it's in alarm and thoughts don't enter the picture
  • How do children learn not to be totally controlled by their primitive emotional brain?
    • adults modeling
    • conditioning (a child hears an alarm go off, and house gets struck by lightning, subsequent alarms have a strong emotional reaction)
    • emotional cues--they look to trusted adults to cue them to the appropriate emotional cue
    • the language we use/the way we talk about emotions
    • Paul Eckman : facial formations work much more quickly than we are aware
      • kids pick up on the real reaction and the trained reaction
    • Why is it important to accurately read your own emotions?
      • emotional hijack: without being aware of your emotions, they take over and drive a person's actions
      • example: someone pumps into you: your emotional brain assumes that it is an act of aggresion. How you read the other person's emotions is important data in the interaction.
      • managing reactions happens about 1000 times a day
    • emotional literacy: anything adults can do to help a child accurately read his own emotions or the reactions of others
    • Daniel Goleman: these are things children can learn, even without much modeling at home, or experience
    • means of emotional literacy:
      • labeling emotions
      • discussing emotions and their causes
      • asking questions
      • mapping emotions through literature
      • photographs: allows students to view facial expressions, read faces
      • mirror: "find your happy face"
      • role playing
    • 4-5 discussion
      • behavior control vs. emotional literacy

11/17 Class Notes

Final assignment

due Dec. 10
  • Part one: observing two children who are good friends
    • observe unobtrusively in class and recess for one hour
    • take notes of observations, keep notes as objective and descriptive as possible
    • use notes to answer questions, below
  • Questions:
    • activities they do together?
    • how does their relationship with one another differ from their relationships with other peers?
    • how do they show care and consideration toward one another?
    • when is the relationship exclusive? when not?
    • what interpersonal skills did you notice in their interactions?
    • does this relationship continue outside of school? How?
    • are these two well-matched for one another as friends? relate this back to the readings on friendship
  • Write 5-6 double-spaced pages based on your notes and the literature (just for question 7)

  • Part two: Interview each child separately, read the hypothetical story (from page 2 of assignment)
    • Yoni and Becca have been close friends since kindergarten. They are the unusual boy and girl who have remained good friends into third grade. Becca is a good athlete and plays comfortably with boys and girls. Most of the other children in the class like Yoni and Becca and respect their friendship.
    • Ben is new this year in the school and in the class. He is a talented athlete and also a strong student. Ben wants Yoni to be his good friend. Today at recess when that group of children began playing, Ben shouted, "This game is only for boys!" Becca shouted back that she also wants to play. Ben answered that she can't play because she's a girl.
    • Becca looks to Yoni for help, but Yoni isn't sure what to do...
      • Why do you think Ben shouted that the game is only for boys?
      • Is Becca right to insist that she should be allowed to play? Why?
      • What do you think Yoni should do now that this argument has begun? How can he be helpful?
      • What should the teacher do when she hears about what happened? Why?

Class Notes: Why is it so important for children to have friends?
  • friendship is a lab for developing social and emotional skills
  • children develop sharing through their own motivation, not because the teacher or parent is telling them to
  • At home: parents play a large role when it comes to sibling relations, influence the dynamic, siblings compete for love, attention
    • can affect your future intimate life at home, with partner, with family
    • Parent-child is where you learn about power relationships, how to learn about what pleases them, you can never achieve equality, asymmetrical relationship
    • Erickson or Freud would say you need to know how to handle your superiors

  • Friendships outside the home have a different dynamic (you're not fighting for the love, attention and approval of the parents)
    • affects future life with friends, in social circles, with colleagues
    • Peer-to-peer is more democratic, and allows you to get inside something more mutual and equal
    • Piaget favors the peer to peer relationship because he sees it as contributing to knowing how to collaborate with peers later in life, which determines success/creative contribution in society (Goleman would call this emotional intelligence)
    • symmetrical relationship
    • Social and emotional skills
    • cognitive dimension: it also prepares you for your work life: be a creative and collaborative contributor
      • contribute in an acceptable manner where your peers can accept what you have to say
  • Harry Stack Sullivan : importance of boys for developing same-sex relationships before they are heavily involved in heterosexual relationships
    • before adolescent boys are caught up in the anxiety of relationships between males and females
    • better not to miss the opportunity to be friends with someone of the same sex without pressure of primary preoccupation with people of the opposite sex
    • in adulthood, people are friends with people of the same sex for the most part, even when their primary relationship is with someone of the opposite sex
    • Why do girls tend to develop this skill more than boys? (even thought they have same sex friends in primary school)
    • research on interpersonal skills
  • Robert Selman : worked with Piaget's developmental stages to understand friendship at every age
    • Stage 0: (3 - 7 year olds) Momentary physicalistic playments (Momentary physical playmates). A close friend is one who may live nearby and who the child is playing with at that moment (Asher & Gottman, 1981). There is no clear conception of an enduring relationship other than specific encounters
    • Stage 1: (4 - 9 year olds) One-way assistance - A friend is someone who does something that pleases you. A close friend is someone that you know better than other people
    • Stage 2: (6 - 12 year olds) Fair-weather cooperation - There is a new awareness of interpersonal relationships. (Asher & Gottman, 1981). Friendship becomes reciprocal, but is still focusing on specific incidents rather than an enduring relationship
    • Stage 3: (11 - 15 year olds) In the transformation from stage 2 to this stage, children reflect on intimacy and mutuality within a continuing relationship
    • Stage 4: (12 – Adulthood) Perspectives can be shared between two people on common interests and deeper feelings. Perspectives among people form a network, which in turn become generalized
  • Feeling/impulse: you will have a very quick, impulse reaction to others that you aren't aware of, first and quickest reaction
  • actions: behaviors guided by some thought process
  • skills:
    • accessing and initiating friendship interactions
    • organizing play, being in charge
    • listening to others and responding
    • empathy/emotional acknowledgement
    • adaptive, situationally appropriate, can respond to different contexts appropriately
    • humor, knowing how to tell a joke appropriately
    • negotiating/conflict resolution: good negotiators are often conflict avoiders, can read cues for potential conflicts and begin negotiating
    • story telling
  • understanding:

11/24 Class Notes

Moral Development
Lawrence Kohlberg
  • early follower of Piaget: stages of development, rationalist
  • obsessed with the question: How can educators teach morality?
  • universalist: not merely a reflection of culture, he believed there was a universal morality based on rational principles
    • universal moral structure accessible to all people
  • post-Holocaust thinker: everyone is influenced by his own biography,
    • graduated high school right when the war was ending
    • joined the merchant marines (like the navy, work on ships, mostly for middle class), he volunteered for ships bringing refugees to Palestine, breaking the British law (1946-7)
    • "I didn't know I was Jewish until I met anti-Semites"
    • became interested in moral thinking when volunteering for illegal immigration to Palestine
  • interested in questions of right and wrong, and what makes people think something is right and wrong
    • what does a person of conscience do when faced with a question of injustice when the law is on the wrong side?
    • if one society sanctions killing, and war crimes, does another nation have the right to try them? (Nuremberg trials)
  • How does this set of thinking develop in the minds of children, then adults
  • Milgrim might say it's not about the person, it's about the position you are in (some people just follow directions)
    • Kohlberg was interested in the people who do the "moral thing" and go against immoral orders
  • Children as moral philosophers:
    • What's fair? Keeping a tally in their head of who gets to do what
    • A child "waiting for an apology"
    • It's right if it follows the rule, it's wrong if it doesn't
    • When is it ok to lie to parents?
  • Teachers shouldn't impose their personal morality on students
    • there is a difference between this and helping them develop their own moral thinking
    • teacher's job is to ask the questions of morality without judgment, think through their own moral views
  • 3-4 year olds are all about sharing, or rather not sharing
  • like Piaget, he thinks that each individual has a rational moral thinking that begins developing in the first 1-2 years of life, it develops from there
  • Culture gives us a vocabulary and content to talk about
    • What people share across cultures is the capacity to think about moral issues in similar ways and apply them to their own cultures
    • not what they come up with specifically, but the ways and channels in which they think about sharing
    • Educators should also space for the thought process, not allow the culture values to take over
    • Access to information does not mean they understand it
  • Moral authority:
  • Kohlberg Stages (compared to Piaget)
  1. Stage 1: (Piaget's pre-operational, age 6, K-1) Children very reliant on parents, look to parents for answers, following rules (following rules is good, not following is bad)
    • not that focused on the reasons for what adults say, but the fact that they say something
    • consistent in action
  2. Stage 2: (Piaget's concrete operational, by 2nd grade, ages 7-11) children focusing more on issues of fairness, new dynamic to problems
    • Fairness as the defining crux of morality: Ex: there's a drug that would save a man's wife, is it moral for the man to steal the drug? considerations would be more focused on the fairness of the druggist's behavior, if it's unfair to charge that much, it's ok to steal the drug.
    • Calculating if they get their fair share of the pie, my turn
    • expectations of friends to fairly look out for each other (I saved you a seat, now you have to save me a seat)
    • children at this stage expect: following the rules, follow through, people in power make decisions based on fairness
    • consistent in action, also in rationale
    • it's considered rational to make decisions based on the most well-resourced friend
  3. Stage 3: (Piaget's advanced concrete operational, ages 11-13) relationship oriented
    • discovery that other people's feelings have more weight
    • realization that other people have opinions of you
    • What do the people around you think and care about?
    • self-consciousness
    • difference between who thinks what: your parents versus your friends
  4. Stage 4: (Piaget's formal operations, ages 13+)
    • marked by an attempt to rise above the subjectivity of stage 3 to seek broader rationale for what makes behavior moral
    • Can understand why a loving husband would want to save his life, but ask bigger questions like: what would happen if everyone stole? Or might translate the druggist's behavior to a larger problem--endemic of the pharmaceutical industry as a whole
    • look for societal ills
  • What would Kohlberg want from educators:
    1. to raise questions of morality, create a moral atmosphere where students feel that their voices are heard, within their culture
    2. Listening carefully

Carol Gilligan
  • why did Kohlberg conduct initial research only with boys?
  • Kohlberg is probably right in what he's saying about boys: it's all about rules, fairness
  • Girls have another set of rules from their caring gene: preserving relationships
    • when conflict arises, boys will duke it out (so the game can go on), whereas girls prefer to attend to the conflict but terminate the game if anyone's feelings will get hurt
    • boys play in larger groups, girls in smaller groups
    • boys tend to play longer games
    • Kohlberg stages stereotype girls (Stage 3 thinking develops through the caring orientation
    • Some girls stay within the relationship category of Stage 3 thinking (focus on relationships), but develop it more
  • Caring orientation to morality: puts relationships in structures, think about the people involved and their relationships
  • Tried to interview girls in an all-girls setting: what's the difference between being a good girl and a good boy?
    • how do girls act when alone?
    • girls/women can't find the moral limit on how much they are supposed to give

12/1 Class Notes

Motivation: how one person's actions can influence another person's behavior
BF Skinner
  • learning is pushed by others' positive response, motivated by the want for approval, especially in children
  • the human is a learning animal who devotes himself to gaining positive response, and will modify behavior however necessary to gain approval
  • adults are terrible teachers because they don't know how to use their power of reinforcement properly
  • motivation centers on one calculation: what will be the consequences of the behavior?
  • he calls this external response to behavior "reinforcement"
    • either positive or negative reinforcement: 3 types
    • Positive reinforcement: attention (because children seek attention), even negative attention
    • Negative Response: non-response, powerful
    • Negative consequences: even when you are giving negative consequences you are reinforcing certain behavior
      • child will persist because they don't know what to do to get positive attention
      • in Skinner's view, negative attention is always preferable to negative attention
  • What is the alternative to being non-responsive?
    • reward good behavior
    • Skinner did experiments where positive reinforcement was given (ie: positive reinforcement for having book open, even though child may not be doing the work)
    • Adults focus systematically to the smallest behavior.
    • if you keep saying the same reinforcement it loses its power
    • the effectiveness of reinforcement depends on how close it is to the event
    • more than mere praise is needed
Albert Bandura :
  • agreed with a lot of Skinner's ideas
  • disagreed with Skinner on some points: adults cannot stand around all day giving specific positive reinforcement to each child
  • came up with the idea of modeling: students can learn a lot without positive reinforcement
  • Bandura's definition of role model: anyone whose behavior affects your behavior
  • We learn from others simply by observing their behavior without interaction with them
  • Bandura speculated that it doesn't even have to be a real person
    • fictional characters on TV
    • famous experiments with aggression: watching TV of a character being aggressive toward a doll, they were more likely to be aggressive to the dolls
    • plane hijacking movies contributed to hijacking instances (as long it is modeled explicitly)
  • Bandura's definition of modeling must have the following requirements:
    • successful/worthwhile
    • people pay attention
    • identify with/relatable/something achievable
    • someone you respect or look up to
    • understanding the dynamics of role models is a powerful way of modeling
    • morally neutral: role modeling can be for good or bad things
    • use modeling to make small groups in the classroom: who's going to be the role model in the group?
  • Power of modeling: the model never preaches, they are just doing it successfully
  • We are affected more if we think we can do it ourselves
    • If I judge myself as being able to do some of things they do, I'll be more likely to try it
  • Interested in the phenomenon:
  • Following Skinner, you would think that people who have received positive reinforcement would have the confidence and modeling to continue to do well
    • not true in times of change, challenge or transition
    • felt defeated and ashamed
  • Why is it that women who have had all this praise can't shell the stereotypes about women and math, for example, and strive in the face of challenge
  • Praise: praise will operate as a positive reinforcement, but how you praise will have long-term effects
    • Praise of person: praising someone's character, ability
    • Praise of effort: praising how well someone did something, how much effort they put in
      • effective most when it includes/followed by areas of improvement
  • Mindsets/theories of self
    • fixed mindset (entity): not a developmental thing: seen in children and adults. This is where someone believes they have so much intelligence, no less and no more (IQ is the best example, athletic ability)
      • if you think like this, you have a real investment in keeping up the impression that you have natural ability, shy away from situations where you might appear weak or struggling
    • growth mindset
  • Dweck suggests to parents and teachers to encourage their children to try things that they may not be good at