BY DIFF PATHS TO COMMON OUTCOMES / Edition 1 available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- Stenhouse Publishers
I am interested in having schools be ready for the differences that their school entrants will display across the entire range of competencies. If we notice children taking different paths we can interact with their different journeys just as we would alter our talking to adapt to our listeners and in a couple of years expect them to arrive at common outcomes.
This collection of readings is about all children and the early years of schooling. It brings together for educators and classroom teachers significant new, previously unpublished articles (Chapters 4, 10, and 14) as well as several of Dr. Clay's seminal papers. Here she reiterates for new teachers many of the concerns that lie at the heart of her work with young childrenthe sensitive observation of the constructive child, the challenges of early encounters with how we put language down in print (Concepts About Print), introducing storybooks to children, and how we can better adapt to diversity in our classrooms. Other emphases that emerge in her new articles call for changes in how teachers think about three things: literacy awareness as it develops before and after the transition to school, the power of writing for all children in early literacy encounters, and conversation as a tool for vastly improving teaching interactions.
Marie Clay focuses on many reciprocal connectionshow one kind of learning supports anotherbetween oral language and reading, between writing and reading, between theory and practice. She believes that practice informs theory and theory informs practice in a circular and continuing set of relationships. Teachers who want to go beyond their present practice must get into the writings of those who challenge their expectations on how best to meet the needs of their very diverse children.
Each chapter in this collection - from the glimpses of some fascinating children to some strong challenges to basic assumptions about literacy teaching -could provide a centerpiece for a workshop, the background reading for several group discussions, or an opportunity for practicing teachers to bring their experience face to face with a text that challenges. As Margaret Mooney writes in her foreword, "Marie Clay knows how to ask the niggling questions and to prompt and probe the uncomfortable issues. But readers of this collection will realize she is equally skilled in providing practical examples and well-researched, reasoned discussion for the road she chooses . . .This book is not a one-read-is-sufficient publication. It is a companion for frequent dipping and delving, thinking and questioning, challenging and confirming. We'll all find different paths to common outcomes."