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  1. 1. Copyright © 2005CHAPTER 7–ELEMENTARY SCHOOLING IN AMERICA William KritsonisPAGE 194 All Rights Reserved / ForeverThis book is protected under the Copyright Act of 1976. Uncited Sources,Violators will be prosecuted. Courtesy, National FORUM Journals CHAPTER 7 ELEMENTARY SCHOOLING IN AMERICAKEY POINTS1. Elementary schools are the first and most important educational opportuni- ty for many children.2. The three most often cited purposes of elementary schools are: literacy, cit- izenship education, and personal development.3. Principals are key individuals in elementary schools.4. Principals are viewed as doing a good job by the public.5. Vertical organization focuses on who enters schools and how they progress through school: horizontal organization deals with the grouping of students during school.6. The elementary school teacher fills a variety of roles, including a social model and a friend.7. There is no instructional method that is best for all.8. Homogenous and heterogeneous grouping both have advantages and disad- vantages.9. Gifted education in elementary schools is currently on the upswing.
  2. 2. SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 195CHAPTER 7–ELEMENTARY SCHOOLING IN AMERICAA. OVERVIEWThis chapter presents information regarding elementary education. Discussionsinclude such topics as horizontal and vertical organization of elementaryschools, curriculum in elementary schools, the administration of elementaryschools, and elementary school teachers. Also discussed are indicators of childabuse or neglect and techniques for teaching diverse school populations.B. KEY TERMS–DEFINITIONSCITIZENSHIP EDUCATION - provided through formal classes such as his-tory and civics; children also experience citizenship training through informalactivities with children from a diversified cross-section of society.CLASSROOM MATERIALS - the textbook being one, other materials are leftup to the teacher. Teachers often make their own materials or modify materialsthat are given to them.COMMON SCHOOLS - free, publicly supported schools for all children;movement began in the mid-1800s. Common schools provided a free, basic,common foundational education program for all children grades 1-8.CURRICULUM - all experience provided to students in school.ELEMENTARY COUNSELING - realization that young children also havecounseling needs. Children with emotional problems and those with character-istics that suggest the eventual development of problems, have been targetedfor intervention.GIFTED STUDENTS - a group of students whose abilities are above those ofmost students; these students require specialized programs.GRADED SCHOOLS - schools organized using a step system whereby studentsare usually grouped according to chronological age rather than by abilities.HETEROGENEOUS GROUPING - does not attempt to categorize studentson any specific criteria such as ability or interest. Students are randomly placedin instructional groups (although grouping by age is characteristic of a gradedsystem) without any pre-selection for other characteristics.HOMOGENEOUS GROUPINGS - places children with similar characteris-tics together. Characteristics considered are: academic ability, cultural back-ground, psychomotor development, age, personal and social adjustment, andinterest.
  3. 3. CHAPTER 7–ELEMENTARY SCHOOLING IN AMERICA PAGE 196HORIZONTAL ORGANIZATION - students and teachers need to be organizedinto instructional groups; self-contained classrooms and departmentalization.LITERACY - reading, writing, and arithmetic. Currently schools focus notonly on instruction in the three basic academic areas, but on knowledge of theworld, science, and cultural awareness.MANAGEMENT STYLE - a key factor in how individuals are brought intodecision making and how school district philosophies and policies are imple-mented (administrative leadership style).MILIEU - environment.MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION - elementary aged children need an aware-ness of the various cultures and ethnic groups that are represented in America.NONGRADED SCHOOL - an organizational pattern for schools that use stu-dents’ abilities for grouping rather than assigning students to certain gradesbased on chronological age.PRINCIPAL - administrator in charge of individual schools.SCHOOL POLICIES - gives each school a unique personality; affects disci-plinary methods, academic expectations and requirements, dress codes, cur-riculum, and school climate.SELF-CONTAINED - classroom organization where students remain in thesame room with the same teacher all day.SUPERINTENDENT - chief school administration officer in local school dis-tricts.THREE R’s - Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic.VERTICAL ORGANIZATION - the plan of the school for identifying whenand who is ready to enter, as well as the procedures for regulating pupilprogress through the elementary school to a completion point.C. SOME PRECEDING THOUGHTS1. What are the purposes of elementary schools? Elementary schools in the United States are the mandatory beginning point for public education. The purposes most frequently stressed include: a. Literacy - began as teaching reading but expanded to include writing and arithmetic. b. Citizenship Education - provided through formal classes such as his- tory and civics; children also experience citizenship training through informal activities with children from a diverse cross section of society.
  4. 4. SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 197 c. Personal Development - emotional, social, and physical growth are aspects of personal development. Multicultural educational is another area of personal development.2. How do principals provide instructional leadership? One of the most important functions of the principal is in the area of in- structional leadership. Instructional leadership includes all actions taken by principals, or delegated to others, that promote learning in students. Princi- pals must be able to recognize poor teaching and be able to implement ways to make teaching better. Principals should also recognize exemplary teaching skills and should develop incentives and rewards to encourage these teaching styles.3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of graded and nongraded schools? Graded (standard approach to promotion): at its lowest level, gradedness is essentially a lockstep system that encourages teachers to teach to the group with a rigid curriculum. Definite strong points include: a. reduces some variability among students; b. it exposes all children to the same curriculum; c. educational materials can be developed for chronological age interests; d. similar chronological age among students facilitates social interactions; e. it is efficient; f. teachers are able to specialize their teaching by focusing on a particular age group; g. minimum standards can be established for each grade level. Nongraded (vertical): this approach allows students to progress at their own rate throughout the school year. Moving to higher curricular levels is dependent on skills, knowledge, and appreciation in content areas, not time spent. Competencies are used to determine pupils’ locations along the cur- ricular ladder, not the number of years in school. Extensive reporting and record keeping are required to chart each student’s progress. Students are provided with successful experiences, regardless of their location in the curriculum. Probable causes for lack of popularity: a. too much record keeping; b. great deviation from the traditional graded approach; c. the likelihood that teachers were trained for the graded system; d. the likelihood that many parents do not understand the nongraded format.
  5. 5. CHAPTER 7–ELEMENTARY SCHOOLING IN AMERICA PAGE 1984. What are the roles of philosophy and policy in elementary education? The philosophy and policies of schools give each school a unique person- ality. What occurs in school and classrooms has a direct relationship to the underlying philosophy of the school and classroom. Decisions about goals and curriculum rest solidly upon the school’s ideas and beliefs about the nature of the child and how the child learns; about ethics, economics, and other great issues. Philosophy and policies of school affect disciplinary methods, academic expectations and requirements, dress codes, curricu- lum, and school climate.5. What influences elementary schools curricula? a. curriculum includes not only the intellectual content of subjects, but the methods used to teach, the interactions that occur between teachers and students, and school sponsored activities; includes all student experi- ences for which the school accepts responsibilities: formal courses, school sponsored clubs, athletics, and band; b. curriculum results from society and subject matter specialists; c. elementary school curriculum changes relative to the outside world; d. school’s curriculum reflects the attitudes, values, and concerns of society.6. What do elementary teachers do? Elementary teachers perform many roles in facilitating the education of their students: social model, evaluator, walking encyclopedia, moderator, investigator, ombudsman, moral builder, leader of the group, substitute parent, target for frustrations, and friend. The role of an elementary teacher is to diagnose learning problems, facilitate independent learning, and de- velop curriculum. Their primary role is that of instructor.7. How can teachers utilize classroom space? a. rugs could be added or taken away to adjust noise levels; b. furniture could be moved to create open or closed spaces for various types of activities; c. certain toys should be removed if they are too distracting; d. some activities could best be conducted outside the classroom; e. use of learning centers; f. spaces for individuals or small groups with materials about specific topics.
  6. 6. SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 1998. What are the primary modes of instruction in elementary schools? a. question and answer activities; b. providing individual help; c. reading to students; d. worksheets; e. individual desk activities; f. grouping.9. What special services are available in elementary schools? a. Special Education Services: Public Law 94-142 required schools to: 1. locate handicapped children; 2. individually assess handicapped children; 3. develop individual educational programs for handicapped children; 4. provide appropriate services to handicapped children in the least re- strictive setting (with non-handicapped children); 5. annually review the progress of handicapped children to determine the effectiveness of the services provided. b. Gifted Education Services: Gifted children have been in and out of favor more than any other group of children. Currently, the definition of Gifted includes high per- formance in creativity, leadership, and visual and performing arts. Some program adaptations that can be made: 1. enrichment in regular classes – special materials and lessons are added; 2. consultant teacher – specially trained teachers consult with regular classroom teacher to suggest activities for gifted children; 3. resource room – gifted go to resource room part of the day to work with a gifted-education specialist; 4. mentor – community members with specialized skills work with gifted students either individually or in small groups; 5. independent study – students allowed to carry out independent study under the supervision of teacher;
  7. 7. CHAPTER 7–ELEMENTARY SCHOOLING IN AMERICA PAGE 200 6. special interest classes – specialized content field offered to gifted students; 7. special schools – schools specially designed for gifted students. c. Counseling Services Originally developed for secondary schools, counseling services have become common in elementary schools. The need and benefits of ele- mentary counseling programs have been greatly documented.10. What are some efficient classroom management practices? a. all is done that is possible to have the proper temperature and ventila- tion; b. the best use is made of available light; c. instructional spaces are kept clean and orderly without limiting worth- while learning activity; d. all students can see and hear; e. students are moved when a better learning situation can be achieved; f. students are helped to be as comfortable as facilities will permit; g. seating is arranged to accommodate the best possible learning of all students; h. conditions are organized so that charts, models, and other training aids are available when needed and properly stored when not in use; i. the classroom situation is organized to discourage interruption by other personnel in the school; j. students’ progress records are kept up-to-date; k. educational equipment is organized so that it is readily available for use with a minimum of disturbance; l. classes are started and dismissed on time; m. there is orderly entry by students into classrooms for beginning classes and an orderly exit at the conclusion of classes; n. students are kept productively busy for the full class period; o. standards for the quality of classroom work are maintained; p. the teacher is in the classroom prior to the arrival of students; q. an effective lesson plan is prepared; r. bulletin boards are well prepared with exciting learning materials that will motivate students;
  8. 8. SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 201 s. a good, clear assignment is given; t. safety conditions are observed; u. the teacher’s grooming presents a model for students to emulate.11. What are some physical and behavioral indicators of possible abuse or neglect? Physical Indicators Behavioral Indicators Emotional Abuse and Neglect • Height and weight significantly be- • Begging or stealing food low age level • Constant fatigue • Inappropriate clothing for weather • Poor school attendance • Scaly skin • Chronic hunger • Poor hygiene, lice, body odor • Dull, apathetic appearance • Child left unsupervised or • Running away from home abandoned • Child reports that no one cares or • Lack of a safe and sanitary shelter looks after him/her • Unattended medical or dental needs • Sudden onset of behavioral ex- • Developmental lags tremes (conduct problems, • Habit disorders depression) Physical Abuse • Frequent injuries such as cuts, bruis- • Poor school attendance es, or burns • Refusing to change clothes for phys- • Wearing long sleeves in warm ical education weather • Finding reasons to stay at school • Pain despite lack of evident injury and not go home • Inability to perform fine motor skills • Frequent complaints of harsh treat- because of injured hands ments by parents • Difficulty walking or sitting • Fear of adults Sexual Abuse • Bedwetting or soiling • Excessive fears, clinging • Stained or bloody underclothing • Unusual, sophisticated sexual be- • Venereal disease havior/knowledge • Blood or purulent discharge from • Sudden onset of behavioral ex- genital or anal area tremes • Difficulty walking or sitting • Poor school attendance • Finding reasons to stay at school and not go home Source: Cates, D.L., Markell, M.A., & Bettenhausen, S. (1995). At risk for abuse: A teacher’s guide for recognizing and reporting child neglect and abuse. Preventing school failure, 39(2), 6. Adapted with permission.
  9. 9. CHAPTER 7–ELEMENTARY SCHOOLING IN AMERICA PAGE 20212. What are some socializing agents that help to transmit culture to the child? a. Family; b. School; c. Community; d. Neighborhood; e. Peer group; f. Electronic media; g. Sports; h. The arts; i. Print media; j. Workplace; k. Technology.13. What are the components to The Problem Method? a. Creating the setting; b. Establishing pupil ownership; c. Locating and recording information; d. Information sharing and summarization; e. Evaluation.
  10. 10. SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 20314. What are the four fundamental questions of The Idealized Curriculum (Holistic)? a. What shall be taught? b. How shall it be taught? c. When shall it be taught? d. How shall what is taught be evaluated? W H AT SH A L L B E TA U G H T T R A D IT IO N S IN N IV E OV CT AT FE IO N A F S OR OT PH YS M HO IC YC AL S O C IE T Y H O W S H A L L W H A T IS T A U G H T H O W S H A L L IT B E T A U G H T PS E C T IV M EN S U B JE C T M AT T E R B E EVA LU ATED A FFE TA L LEA R N ER EM O IT IV E T IO N C O G N A L L E A R N IN G P R O C E S S DE DU AL CT CI IV SO E DI D A A L CT IT U IC P IR S IN T U IT IV E 2005 W H E N S H A L L IT B E T A U G H T Copyright 2002 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Dr. WA Kritsonis
  11. 11. CHAPTER 7–ELEMENTARY SCHOOLING IN AMERICA PAGE 20415. What are some selected physical and behavioral indicators of physical abuse and neglect, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse? Physical Indicators Behavioral IndicatorsPhysical Abuse–non-accidental injury to a child that may involve some beatings, burns,strangulation, or human bites• Unexplained bruises, swollen areas • Self-destructive• Welts, bite marks, bald spots • Withdrawn and/or aggressive extremes• Unexplained burns, fractures, abrasions • Complaints of soreness or discomfort• Evidence of inappropriate treatment of • Bizarre explanation of injuries injuriesPhysical Neglect–failure to provide a child with basic necessities• Unattended medical needs, lice, poor hygiene • Regularly displays fatigue, listlessness• Consistent lack of supervision • Steals food, begs from classmates• Consistent hunger, inadequate nutrition • Frequently absent or tardy• Consistent inappropriate clothing • Reports there is no caretaker at homeSexual Abuse–sexual exploitation, including rape, incest, fondling, and pornography• Torn, stained or bloody underclothing • Withdrawal, chronic depression• Pain, swelling, or itching in genital area • Hysteria, lack of emotional control• Venereal disease • Inappropriate sex play, premature sex• Frequent urinary or yeast infections knowledge • Excessive seductivenessEmotional Abuse–a pattern of behavior that attacks a child’s emotional development,i.e., name calling, put-downs, terrorization, isolation• Speech disorders • Habit disorders (sucking, rocking, biting)• Delayed physical development • Emotional disturbance• Substance abuse • Neurotic traits (sleep disorders, play• Ulcer, asthma, severe allergy inhibition) • Antisocial, destructive, delinquentSource: Adapted from guidelines posted by Safeguarding our children-united mothers (SOC-UM), at www.- Reprinted with permission.D. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES1. What are some advantages and disadvantages of graded and nongrad- ed organizations? a. Graded advantages: reduces some variability among students; it ex- poses all children to the same curriculum; educational materials can be developed for chronological age interests; similar chronological age among students facilitates social interactions; it is efficient; teachers are able to specialize their teaching by focusing on a particular age group; and minimum standards can be established for each grade level.
  12. 12. SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 205 b. Graded limitations include: locking students into certain groups re- gardless of ability levels and encouraging teachers to teach to the group with a rigid curriculum. c. Nongraded advantages: students progress at their own rate throughout the school year; identification of skills, knowledge, and appreciations in content areas, not length of time, are the key to moving on to higher curricular levels; competencies, not the number of years in school, are used to determine pupils’ locations along the curricular sequence; stu- dents are provided with successful experiences regardless of their loca- tion in the curriculum. d. Nongraded limitations include: too much record keeping; great devia- tion from the traditional graded approach; the likelihood that teachers were trained for the graded system; and the likelihood that many par- ents do not understand the nongraded format.2. Describe activities performed by the principal related to the role of in- structional leadership. a. instructional leadership and management, personnel management, fi- nancial management, plant management, community relations and stu- dent management; b. principals must be able to: 1. recognize poor teaching and be able to implement better ways of teaching; 2. recognize outstanding teaching and should develop rewards and in- centives to encourage these teaching styles. c. instructional leadership is all actions taken by the principal or delegated to others.3. Should schools act as “parents” to children during the school day? Schools should act to the extent of temporarily assuming the role as a par- ent by disciplining the child for breaking school rules, but morals should not be thrust upon the child. Children learn through observing others. That is the only way morals should be taught. Although not a primary focus of elementary education until this century, emotional, social, and physical growth are considered major responsibilities. In general, parenting should be left to the parents.4. Why is multicultural education important? a. to enable children to understand, accept, and identify with cultural and diverse ethnic groups other than their own; need will become more pro-
  13. 13. CHAPTER 7–ELEMENTARY SCHOOLING IN AMERICA PAGE 206 nounced as daily interactions among culturally diverse individuals in- crease; b. elementary-aged children need an awareness of the various cultures and diverse ethnic groups that are represented in the country; children from these minority groups need to be able to identify with their groups; multicultural education can greatly facilitate this process.5. What are some effective ways for teaching students who are immigrants? a. allow students to tell their story through narratives, role playing, and bibliotherapy; b. offer language enrichment program; c. encourage students to do projects using materials in their native lan- guage; d. be sensitive to the problems individuals face in learning a second lan- guage; e. understand the cultural, economic, and historical factors that have had a significant impact on students; f. teach students about their new culture; g. use nonverbal forms of expression including music, dance, and art; h. use peers and community members as a resource; i. employ media in the students’ native languages; j. offer culturally sensitive in-school and extracurricular activities and en- courage students to participate in these activities; k. provide students with access to peer discussion and support groups that are relevant to their interests and experiences; l. involve parents, extended family members, and knowledgeable com- munity members in the student’s educational program; m. provide students and their families with native language materials deal- ing with school-related information and information about their rights; n. contact the Clearinghouse for Immigration Education (800-441-7192), the National Center for Immigrant Students (617-357-8507), or the Na- tional Coalition of Advocates for Students (617-357-8507), organiza- tions that disseminate information about model school programs and organizations, teacher-made materials, relevant research, and resource lists addressing the needs of immigrant students and their families. Source: Harris (1991); Nahme Huang (1989) as cited in Salend, S.J. (1998). Effective mainstreaming: Creating inclusive classrooms (3rd ed.). Columbus, OH: Merrill. Adapted with permission.
  14. 14. SCHOOLING (2002)PAGE 2076. What are some of the national goals for educating Native Americans and Alaska natives? Goal 1: Readiness for school. Goal 2: Maintain native languages and cultures. Goal 3: Literacy. Goal 4: Student academic achievement. Goal 5: High school graduation. Goal 6: High-quality native and non-native school personnel. Goal 7: Safe, alcohol-free, and drug-free schools. Goal 8: Adult education and lifelong learning. Goal 9: Restructuring schools. Goal 10: Parental, community, and tribal partnerships.7. What are some effective guideline for conferencing with students? a. demonstrate caring; b. provide emotional support and security; c. use active or empathic listening; d. do not probe by asking why questions; e. ask what, who, how questions; f. focus on present behavior, not past behavior; g. curtail excessive “venting”; h. refrain from judging the student’s behavior; i. call on students to make value judgments about their behavior; offer suitable alternatives when necessary; j. help students “make a plan” to increase responsible behavior.E. REVIEW ITEMSTrue-False1. Literacy refers to developing skills in reading and writing.2. The power to operate local schools rests in the hands of the state.3. Schools were nongraded in Colonial America.4. The term “curriculum” refers only to academic subjects taught in the school.5. “Milieu” is another term for the classroom environment.
  15. 15. CHAPTER 7–ELEMENTARY SCHOOLING IN AMERICA PAGE 208Multiple Choice1. The instructional leader in the schools should be _______. a. teachers b. department heads c. principal d. superintendent2. The percentage of schools using a nongraded system is about _______. a. 1% b. 10% c. 25% d. 27%3. Characteristics of good teachers include _______. a. stern disciplinary strategies b. likes children c. not very organized d. all of the above4. Grouping students with similar characteristics is _______. a. homogeneous grouping b. heterogeneous grouping c. differential grouping d. none of the above