Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Early Childhood Education: Clashing Views in Early Childhood Education by Karen Menke PaciorekTaking Sides: Clashing Views in Early Childhood Education: Clashing Views in Early Childhood Education by Karen Menke Paciorek

Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Early Childhood Education: Clashing Views in Early Childhood…

byKaren Menke Paciorek

Paperback | November 5, 2007

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This Second Edition of TAKING SIDES: EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION presents current controversial issues in a debate-style format designed to stimulate student interest and develop critical thinking skills. Each issue is thoughtfully framed with an issue summary, an issue introduction, and a postscript. An instructor’s manual with testing material is available online for each volume. USING TAKING SIDES IN THE CLASSROOM is also an excellent instructor resource with practical suggestions on incorporating this effective approach in the classroom. Each TAKING SIDES reader features an annotated listing of selected World Wide Web sites and is supported by our student website, www.mhcls.com/online.
Title:Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Early Childhood Education: Clashing Views in Early Childhood…Format:PaperbackDimensions:312 pages, 9.1 × 6 × 0.64 inPublished:November 5, 2007Publisher:McGraw-Hill EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0073515302

ISBN - 13:9780073515304


Table of Contents

UNIT 1 Children in Families and Society


Issue 1. Should Brain Science Guide Educational Practice?

YES: 46556 Stephen Rushton and Elizabeth Larkin, from "Shaping the Learning Environment: Connecting Developmentally Appropriate Practices to Brain Research," Early Childhood Education Journal (September 2001)
NO: 46557 Olaf Jorgenson, from "Brain Scam? Why Educators Should Be Careful about Embracing 'Brain Research'," The Educational Forum (Summer 2003)
Stephen Rushton and Elizabeth Larkin from the University of South Florida at Sarasota support early childhood educators fostering developmentally appropriate learning experiences based on what is known about early brain research. Olaf Jorgenson is headmaster of the Hawaii Preparatory Academy in Walmea, Hawaii. He states that brain science should not be used to affect educational practice or policy.

Issue 2. Should Young Children Use Computers?

YES: 46558 Regina G. Chatel, from "Computer Use in Preschool: Trixie Gets a Screen Name," The New England Reading Association Journal (vol. 41, 2005)
NO: 46559 Edward Miller, from "Less Screen Time, More Play Time," Principal (September/October 2005)
Regina G. Chatel is a professor of education at St. Joseph College in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dr. Chatel states we are past the debate of should young children use computers to the discussion of how computers should be used. She raises many of the key issues related to the use of computers with young children. When appropriately done with young children related to age of introduction, support provided and teacher training, she advocates for the use of computers by three- and four-year-old children. The Alliance for Childhood, based in College Park, Maryland, released a report in 2004 critically examining the use of computers with young children in the twenty-first century. Presented here is a summary of the findings by Edward Miller, a founding partner and senior research at the Alliance for Childhood.

Issue 3. Is Time-Out an Effective Guidance Technique?

YES: 29647 Lawrence Kutner, from "The Truth About Time-Out," Parents (April 1996)
NO: 33816 Kathy Preuesse, from "Guidance and Discipline Strategies for Young Children: Time Out Is Out," Early Childhood News (March/April 2002 )
Lawrence Kutner is a contributing editor of Parents and a psychologist at Harvard University Medical School. Dr. Kutner supports time-out when effectively managed by parents or teachers. Kathy Preuesse teaches at the Child and Family Study Center at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, Wisconsin. She finds time-out to be an antiquated practice that is not effective for helping guide the behavior of young children.

Issue 4. Does Nightly Homework Improve Academic Performance?

YES: 46560 Mary H. Sullivan and Paul V. Sequeira, from "The Impact of Purposeful Homework on Learning," The Clearing House (July/August 1996)
NO: 46561 Alfie Kohn, from "The Goldilocks Paradox," American School Board Journal (February 2007)
Mary H. Sullivan from Western Connecticut State University and Paul V. Sequeira, superintendent of schools, New Britain, Connecticut, report there is sound research to support teachers assigning homework to students for the purpose of improving academic performance. Alfie Kohn, long known as a powerful advocate for education, questions the entire practice of teachers assigning homework and does not find support in the literature for the nightly ritual of children sitting at the kitchen table doing homework.

Unit 2 Children in Educational Programs


Issue 5. Should Superhero or Violent Play Be Discouraged?

YES: 36523 Diane E. Levin, from "Beyond Banning War and Superhero Play: Meeting Children's Needs in Violent Times" Young Children (May 2003 )
NO: 21548 Brenda J. Boyd, from "Teacher Response to Superhero Play: To Ban or Not to Ban?" Childhood Education (Fall 1997)
Diane E. Levin is an author of eight books on the effects of violence and the media on the behavior of young children and a professor in the Department of Early Childhood at Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts. She describes why children find superhero and violent play attractive and how teachers can best meet children's needs for self-expression. Brenda Boyd, from Washington State University, does not view superhero play to be aggressive and believes banning this type of play will not teach children how to develop the social skills necessary for healthy living.

Issue 6. Should Transition Grades Be Abolished?

YES: 42037 Vera Estok, from "One District's Study on the Propriety of Transition-Grade Classrooms," Young Children (March 2005)
NO: 45681 Barbara S. Harris from "I Need Time to Grow: The Transitional Years," Phi Delta Kappan (April 2003)
Vera Estok was a pre-first-grade teacher in Springfield, Ohio. Her district formed a committee to research their 23-year practice of offering transitional grade classrooms. After studying the literature and their program, the committee determined transitional programs were not in the best interest of the children they served. They abandoned the program and moved to full-day kindergarten classrooms. Barbara S. Harris, associate headmaster at Presbyterian Day School in Memphis, Tennessee, participates in presentations to parents and others on the benefits of giving the gift of time to young children by placing children in transition classes.

Issue 7. Is Being Older Better When Entering Kindergarten?

YES: 29652 Nancie L. Katz, from "Too Young for Kindergarten," The Christian Science Monitor (July 21, 1997)
NO: 36520 Hermine H. Marshall, from "Opportunity Deffered or Opportunity Taken? An Updated Look at Delaying Kindergarten Entry," Young Children (September 2003)
Nancie Katz, a writer for The Christian Science Monitor, examines families who chose to keep their children out of kindergarten for a year and are pleased with the decision. She cites research that found children with later birthdays were retained at a higher rate. Hermine Marshall, a professor emerita at San Francisco State University in California, presents arguments to dispel any myths about older students performing better and suggests children should attend kindergarten when they are age eligible.

Issue 8. Is Grade Retention Harmful to Children?

YES: 39250 Susan Black, from "Second Time Around," American School Board Journal (November 2004)
NO: 29665 Joellen Perry, from "What, Ms. Crabapple Again?" U.S. News & World Report (May 24, 1999)
Susan Black, a contributing editor for the American School Board Journal, reports that grade retention has never been a positive experience for children when it happens, later in their schooling or well into their adult life. She finds little, if any, benefits for the well-entrenched practice. To many parents and children, the only solution for getting back on the right track in school is to start again. For these children, repeating a grade offers the student a chance at a positive experience. Ms. Perry, a writer for U.S. News & World Report, shares stories from families for whom retention was successful.

Issue 9. Should Educators Address Students' Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices?

YES: 46566 Sheree Crute, from "Growing Pains," NEA Today (March 2005)
NO: 46567 Michael I. Loewy, from "Suggestions for Working with Fat Children in the Schools," Professional School Counseling (April 1998)
Sheree Crute, a freelance health and medical writer and editor, reports on what many call an epidemic in overweight children and the urgent need to have children make immediate changes in their eating habits and activity choices. Crute provides statistics on the decline of physical activity among young people and the increase in high sugar content snack foods, which has led to many overweight and obese children. Michael I. Loewy is a professor in the Department of Counseling and School Psychology at San Diego State University, San Diego, California. He contends we need to stop being obsessed with weight and instead focus on having children feel positive about their body. When children and adults feel supported by those around them for their body type, their self-confidence improves, as well as their ability to live a full life.

Issue 10. Are English Learners Best Served in an Immersion Language Model?

YES: 46568 Christine Rossell, from "Teaching English Through English," Educational Leadership (December 2004/January 2005)
NO: 46569 Jill Wu, from "A View from the Classroom," Educational Leadership (December 2004/January 2005)
Christine Rossell, a professor of political science at Boston University in Massachusetts, found English language immersion programs best for students learning English. Jill Wu, a graduate student at the University of Colorado, supports programs that first teach students basic skills in their native language prior to teaching them English.

Issue 11. Does Learning to Read Involve More Than Phonics?

YES: 46570 Judy Willis, from "The Bully in the 'Brain Glitch' Theory," Educational Leadership (February 2007)
NO: 29669 National Reading Panel, from "Teaching Children to Read: An Evidence-Based Assessment of the Scientific Research Literature on Reading and Its Implications for Reading Instruction," htpp://www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/nrp/smallbook.htm (April 2000)
Judy Willis is a board-certified neurologist who specialized in clinical research prior to becoming a classroom teacher. Dr. Willis found that enjoyment and understanding of the reading process is more important than phonics when learning to read. Members of the National Reading Panel concluded that students need a strong foundation in systematic phonics instruction in kindergarten through sixth grade to be successful readers.

Issue 12. Should Recess Be Included in a School Day?

YES: 46572 Tom Jambor, from "Recess and Social Development," Earlychildhood News, http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/contact.aspx
NO: 25632 Kelly King Alexander, from "Playtime Is Cancelled," Parents (November 1999)
Tom Jambor, an associate professor of early childhood development at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, strongly supports daily recess for young children. He cites many benefits and ways to advocate for recess. Kelly King Alexander writes about the required additions to state-mandated curricula. Many school administrators have no choice but to eliminate nonacademic time from the schedule. With life and times changing rapidly she raises questions about having free time scheduled into the school day.

Issue 13. Are Looping Classrooms Effective Learning Settings?

YES: 46574 Mary M. Hitz, Mary Catherine Somers, and Christee L. Jenlink, from "The Looping Classroom: Benefits for Children, Families, and Teachers," Young Children (March 2007)
NO: 29668 Allan S. Vann, from "Looping: Looking Beyond the Hype," Principal (May 1997)
Mary M. Hitz, Mary Catherine Somers, and Christee L. Jenlink, all educators in the state of Oklahoma, encourage teachers to loop with their students to the next grade and see many positive benefits to the practice. Allan Vann, a principal at the James H. Boyd Intermediate School in Huntington, New York, cautions teachers to think carefully about looping. He states it is not for everyone and there may be disadvantages of having a child stay with the same teacher or peers for two years.

Unit 3 Educational Policies


Issue 14. Should Public Money Be Spent on Universal Preschool?

YES: 42022 Julie Poppe and Steffanie Clothier, from "The Preschool Promise," State Legislatures (June 2005)
NO: 46576 Darcy Ann Olsen, from "Universal Preschool Is No Golden Ticket: Why Government Should Not Enter the Preschool Business," Policy Analysis (February 1999)
Both Julie Poppe and Steffanie Clothier are policy researchers in areas related to child care and early childhood education for the National Conference of State Legislatures in Washington, D.C. They see preschool education as extremely important for all young children and urge state legislatures to become involved in supporting preschool education.Darcy Ann Olsen, an entitlements policy analyst at the Cato institute, argues that government should not pay for education of preschool children. She finds that public schools cannot provide education for the children for whom they are responsible now; to add younger children would be a poor decision.

Issue 15. Is Regular Testing the Best Way to Improve Academic Performance?

YES: 38049 Matthew Gandal and Laura McGiffert, from "The Power of Testing," Educational Leadership (February 2003)
NO: 46571 Kenneth A. Wesson, from "The 'Volvo Effect': Questioning Standardized Tests," Young Children (March 2001)
Matthew Gandal and Laura McGiffert are on staff at Achieve, Inc., an organization whose goal is to raise academic standards and improve schools. They make the analogy that teachers testing students is similar to the medical tests doctors run on patients to determine what needs to be done to improve the patient. Kenneth A. Wesson, from San Jose/Evergreen Community College District in San Jose, California, also works as a consultant with educators in preschool through university level. He fears that tests do not adequately demonstrate what children have learned and may lead to teaching a narrow set of tested skills.

Issue 16. Will School Improvement Efforts Alone Narrow the Racial/Ethnic Achievement Gap?

YES: 46578 Kati Haycock, from "Closing the Achievement Gap," Educational Leadership (March 2001)
NO: 46579 Richard Rothstein, from "Class and the Classroom: Even the Best Schools Can't Close the Race Achievement Gap," American School Board Journal (October 2004)
Kati Haycock is the executive director of Education Trust and follows the belief that adequate funding and high standards will improve academic achievement. Richard Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and a visiting professor at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City. Rothstein believes the achievement gap will be narrowed when collaboration occurs from a number of outside groups, not just those functioning within the schools.

Issue 17. Should Corporal Punishment in Schools Be Outlawed?

YES: 45497 Paul Ferraro and Joan Rudel Weinreich, from "Unprotected in the Classroom," American School Board Journal (November 2006)
NO: 46580 Greg Gelpi, from "Some Small Area School Systems Use the Paddle," Augusta Chronicle (October 2006)
Paul Ferraro is an elementary teacher in Connecticut and Joan Rudel Weinreich is an associate professor at Manhattanvillle College in New York. They provide information on the 21 states that allow the striking of students in schools, why it's wrong and should be abolished. Greg Gelpi, a writer for the Augusta, Georgia Chronicle, writes about the popular practice of administering corporal punishment to students in the state of Georgia.

Issue 18. Are Boys in Crisis in Our Schools?

YES: 42602 Peg Tyre, from "The Trouble with Boys," Newsweek (January 30, 2006)
NO: 45792 Sara Mead, from "The Truth About Boys and Girls," An Education Sector Report (June 2006)
Peg Tyre, a Pulitzer Prize-winning editor at Newsweek covers a number of issues related to the care and education of children. Her focus in this issue is on what many see as a learning gap between boys and girls. Sara Mead, a senior policy analyst at Education Sector, says there is ample evidence that boys are not doing worse, and that girls have narrowed the achievement gaps that have existed for years.