Intentional Teaching Case Study

LECTURE: According to the lecture, what is Intentional Teaching? What is the teachers role?

After reading the “A Case Study – The Intentional Teacher” and the Intentional Teaching handout located under RESOURCES, answer the following questions:

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  1. What do you think is the teacher’s intention? In other words, what is she helping the children to see?
  2. Review the “What is Curriculum” hand-out. What are actions and words a teacher should not do/use in the case of Tony and Salina? Hint… the teacher in this case study is engaged and in a supportive role to Tony and Salina’s situation.  What might a non-supportive or disengaged teacher do?
  3. Based on the interaction the teacher had with Tony and Salina, what is an example of a personal experience or one that took place in a childcare setting that is similar?
  4. What theorist would most relate to the teacher’s actions and child interactions within this case study? Why?

The Intentional Teacher

Case Study:

Four year old Preschoolers Tony and Salina are sitting on the floor, playing with acorns Salina collected

during outside time. Salina divides the acorns evenly between them. Their teacher sits on the floor next

to them. Tony piles his acorns together, while Salina forms a large circle with hers. Tony says “Hey, you

got more than me!

Salina responds “No, I don’t. We got the same! The teacher wonders aloud how they could find out

whether they have the same number, and the children suggest counting the acorns

Tony: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14 (he lines up his acorns in a row as he counts)

Salina: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14 (she also lines up her acorns in a row)

Teacher: you each have 14

Tony: Yeah. We got the same

Teacher: (spreads Tony’s acorns across the floor and puts Salinas in a pile) Now

who has more?

Tony: (smiles) I do!

Salina: No you don’t! we have the same! See? (she counts her acorns and puts them in a row, then

counts Tony’s acorns and puts them in a row as well)

Teacher: (This time she puts Tony’s in a pile and spreads Salina’s out across the floor.) she states Now

who has more?

Tony: (thinks for a moment) Nobody’s got more. We got the same!

Salina: (smiles) That’s what I said!

What is Curriculum?

There are many different approaches to curriculum. When considering Developmentally

Appropriate Practice, curriculum should not be clock-controlled or solely teacher-choosen lesson

plans. A teacher must consider and recognize the importance of children’s choice, self-direction,

and direct involvement. Teacher-directed activities (although important) take a secondary role.

Because play is children’s work and because children pass through various stages in sequence,

it is important to supply a variety of developmentally appropriate activities and materials.

With support and guidance from teachers, children can choose those activities which best fit

their present developmental levels and allow them to meet their own needs. As children work

with materials or activities, teachers listen, observe, and should be ready to offer support or

think of ways to enhance or extend what they see.

Teachers can then facilitate children’s learning and involvement by asking open-ended

questions or adding more materials to a situation. During the course of a year, activities and

environments should change in arrangement and inventory.

When planning activities teachers should avoid things that limit the child’s possibilities, creativity

and direct involvement. For example:

 An emphasis on the finished product rather than the process

 A model from which the child might copy

 A demonstration, i.e. a cooking activity where the teacher does most of the measuring

and stirring

 Activities where the teacher orchestrates, does all the planning or entertains.

 Asking “What is it?” or “Can you do this?”

 Testing children- “What color is this”

Curriculum is more difficult when based on children’s needs instead of teacher’s needs. Not only

must the teacher plan an environment that offers practice in all areas of development, but

he/she must also be ready to do the unexpected activities.

Teachers must offer experiences and activities that expose children to new ideas, interests, and

skills. They must keep the learning environment stimulating and challenging to the widely

varying skills of any group of children.

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