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ETHNOGRAPHIC EYES: A Teacher's Guide to Classroom Observation.

ETHNOGRAPHIC EYES: A Teacher's Guide to Classroom Observation. Carolyn Frank. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1999. 111 pp. This exciting little book is a must read for every student teacher. Its basic premise is that ethnography (the study of culture) can be a useful tool for teachers to better understand their students and community.

The author, a supervisor of student teachers, provides ways to develop "lenses" through which to view the patterns and practices of life within a classroom. She challenges readers to examine the ways in which their individual lenses influence what they see, what they understand, and how they interpret their observations. Drawing on work in anthropology, she describes ways to develop "ethnographic eyes" and to understand the importance of suspending judgment.

By sharing the developing understandings of a group of beginning teachers she supervised, Frank brings new insights into the processes involved in becoming a teacher. She suggests that an ethnographic perspective enables teachers to observe more effectively, changes the consciousness and thinking of teachers so that they can expand their cultural perspective, and enables teachers to reflect critically on their own practice.

The end of each chapter offers questions for further inquiry, activities to help readers develop new insights into teaching and learning processes, and suggested readings. Teachers who are interested in taking their own ethnographic journeys, and who wish to better understand their students and communities, will find all the guidance they need in this eminently readable book. Professors interested in using ethnography with preservice teachers will appreciate the book's theoretical framework and open-ended assignments. Reviewed by Patricia Corson, Assistant Professor, School of Early Childhood Education, Ryerson Polytechnic University, Toronto, Ontario
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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Corson, Patricia
Publication:Childhood Education
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Dec 22, 2000
Words:274
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