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Title:Teaching large-group time in a preschool classroom: The teacher as orchestra conductor
Author(s):Hong, Yonghee
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Daniel J. Walsh
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Early Childhood
Abstract:This study is about large-group conversation in a preschool classroom. Conversation in dyads and in small groups has been valued highly, however, the importance of large-group conversation has ignored by the dominant discourse of early childhood education. Several research studies of preschool large-group time found that the same few activities recur and that teachers focus merely on children's socialization. These studies have not tried to convey teachers' views about large-group time.
I want to provide a richly descriptive and instructive picture of large-group time of one teacher who does it well and reveals its possibilities. I want to show the complexity of group learning, revealing its multiple layers and textures. I want to help teachers come to understand better the meaning of large-group time and its possibilities.
I conducted a year-long ethnographic inquiry. I observed interactions of the large-group time to create a systematic description and interviewed the teacher to get her own reflections and understandings. I interviewed the children and the student teachers and administered a questionnaire to the parents. The study that resulted is a collaborative work with the teacher.
Large-group time is a significant event where the children improve their understanding of people, nature, and the world around them and their disposition to go on exploring. Large-group time is the place where we see how socially constructed learning occurs. The unit themes chosen by the teacher reflected her attention to the children's interests, as well as an agreement among the teacher and the parents about what children at this age can and should learn in school. As the children and the teacher interacted, exchanging contextualization cues was a powerful factor in creating rich and meaningful group conversations. In the process the children developed a communicative competence critical to learning at school. The role of the teacher, as a orchestra conductor of this joint accomplishment, stood out in this study. The teacher taught us that rich and meaningful learning at large-group time is possible through the mutual efforts and support of the teacher, children, and parents.
Issue Date:1995
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Hong, Yonghee
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9543608
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9543608

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