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Dispositions And Attitudes


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Not sure if I'm in the right place, but here goes. One of the newsletters I subscibe to sent me this, this morning, and I wondered what you might make of it. As always, it just goes to show there is nothing new in this world...




Dorothy Wiseman Gross, a Brooklyn College early childhood professor, in an article in 1967 entitled “Teachers of Young Children Need Basic Inner Qualities,” said that "while universities create extensive teacher preparation courses of study, “the heart of the matter — the inner qualities needed for working effectively with young children — has been strangely overlooked.”


The five “inner qualities” Professor Gross describes are:


There is enjoyment in learning


“... If we wish our children to love learning we must provide them with teachers who love learning.”


There is the ability to distinguish between personal and others’ needs


“[The teacher] will be less likely to interpret children’s and parent’s behavior as either personal tribute or personal threat....”


There is knowledge about how young children learn


“[The teacher] must be able to constantly adapt and invent curriculum so that it flows with the tide of the children’s learning.”


The teacher must have a personality which is comfortable with open-endedness


“... The basic inclination towards the unanswered question — the journey rather than the arrival — is a necessary quality in one who would work with young children.”


The teacher must take pleasure in working with parents


“[The teacher] must be non-defensive and flexible enough to accept parents’ ideas and contributions while developing the self-confidence and professional maturity to give them the help they need and want.”


“But without some degree [of all of these qualities], concern with how children learn becomes meaningless and even mechanical.”

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Thats great, nice to see it written down like that, I love the way there is no link with "mets targets" achieves a set level or passes tests!

Really like the part about the journey being more important than the destination, the most enjoyment I have got from my work is finding out completly different ideas than what I started out with.

Thank you for posting it

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I think sentences 2 & 3 can be taught / learnt but the others are personality traights which a person either has or hasn't got and would be harder to teach / learn, but not impossible.


The article in last week Nursery World looked back at how better the education system was with 'spontaneous' teaching rather than to the test teaching. Not teachers fault but societies for letting our priorities and principles be swayed by pressures to meet targets.


Maybe the 'nature / nurture' debate should now change to the 'academic / well being' debate. :o


Thanks for the post, will certainly save for future reference. Would be useful to put in the resource section.



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