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Typical school day experiences of Indian children in different contexts.

India is a vast, diverse country with a rich cultural heritage. Once a seat of consummate learning, colonialism brought socio-economic deprivations and inequalities, leading to significant illiteracy. A closer examination, however, reveals that the lineage of enlightenment and education is being inconspicuously carried on in lesser-known corners of the country. Three such centers can be found in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The three profiles in this article describe a typical school day for a student with special needs, a student in a tribal setting, and a student in a rural setting.

SCHOOL DAY PROFILE 1

Ten-year-old Akila has a congenital vision impairment and studies in an integrated setup at Coimbatore, in the state of Tamil Nadu. She is fortunate to attend school in a time when support for inclusive education is well-grounded. Her sister, who suffers from the same visual impairment, is now successfully attending an inclusive college. Nongovernmental service provided early detection and timely intervention for both girls.

Preparations for School

Because of her differential abilities, Akila does need to take measures to make up for her variance from the mainstream society. Each evening, with the help of her parents and other family members, she reads through the lessons taught that day; she will do the homework on her own as a reinforcing exercise the next morning. She seems to adhere strictly to the adage about all work and no play, ending her daily routine with a little television.

Every morning, Akila is out of bed by 5:30; immediately after washing up, she begins to do her homework. She still receives assistance from her parents, especially her mother, when getting ready, more because she is the youngest child of the family than because she is differently abled. The attention from her mother puts Akila in a cheerful mindset, and she is ready to start for school.

Journey to School and Beginning of the School Day

Akila's ride to school takes an hour by bus. She requires some assistance, but she can identify and board the correct bus, buy her ticket, and get off at the correct step. She looks forward to traveling on her own, as her sister does.

Akila usually arrives at school just in time to attend the morning prayer session, which lasts about 15 minutes and also involves the reading of news and a pep talk by the Headmistress. Akila's favorite morning routine is on Fridays, when the students sing bajans (devotional songs). On Wednesdays, they have a special session of physical exercise. The prayer sessions end with the national anthem.

In the Classroom

Akila finds her classroom comfortable, with adequate furnishings. Being well-oriented to the architectural and spatial structure of the classroom, Akila is able to independently and freely move around and fend for herself. The classroom is made lively with ample educational materials, maps, and informational charts that change according to the current curriculum emphasis. The children generally seat themselves according to the teacher's directions; because of Akila's special needs, she is seated near an exclusively chosen peer guide, who is also one of her intimate companions.

Each class day does not follow any particular schedule. The classes begin at 9:30 a.m. and continue until 12:40 p.m., when the students break for lunch. A 15-minute mid-morning break is scheduled around 11 a.m. The afternoon session commences around 1:30 p.m. and continues until school closes at 4:00 p.m. There are no particular demarcations between periods. The class teacher, who conducts learning sessions in a child-centered way, handles all the subjects. She chooses the time and duration for teaching each subject, based on the students' interests.

Learning Activities

A usual day for a special child starts with a half-hour warm-up session in the resource room designed specifically for children with special educational needs. After checking homework, the resource teacher briefs the children on the activities planned for the classroom (which are discussed beforehand by the resource teacher and regular staff).

Akila finds the learning activities in the classroom to be very lively and stimulating. The teacher takes care to constantly reinforce and guide the attention of the rive special needs children in her classroom (three have seeing difficulties and two have hearing difficulties). Akila's participation in classroom activities is in no way inferior or different from that of her sighted peers, except that she writes in Braille using slate and stylus. She is especially conscious and proud of her proficiency in English.

Akila learns math, science, and social studies, along with the Tamil and English languages. She finds the science sessions particularly fascinating. The children are encouraged to carry out experiments on their own, observing nature and learning for themselves scientific principles. Akila recalls with excitement how she learned about the evaporative effects of the sun.

Akila is able to follow almost all the regular classroom teaching, except for math, which requires significant visual-spatial skills. Therefore, Akila calls on the resource room facilities, where she has access to special learning aids (like an abacus) to help in her computing, geometry, graphing, and other mathematical skills.

In addition, the resource staff helps Akila in other subjects through extended description, clarification, and reinforcement, and with the help of multisensory devices and aids like talking books and three-dimensional, tactually manipulative aids. This assistance is provided outside regular class hours. The resource room is well-equipped with a Braille slate and stylus, 3D models, embossed charts, an abacus, a Taylor frame, a talking book library, and other manipulative and tactual devices.

Each learning day for Akila ends with a half-hour session in the resource room, where the special needs children are provided instructions and materials for doing their homework. Close cooperation among the regular teaching staff and the resource staff, as well as peer groups, makes the integrated process a success.

Evaluation

The students are periodically tested--weekly, at midterm, and at the close of each term. Akila writes her tests and exams in her Braille slate, which her resource teachers transcribe into writing for the regular teacher to correct. At this stage, Akila finds the time provided adequate to express herself in Braille. As they progress to higher classes, and the complexity of the content matter increases, children with visual impairments are allowed to use scribes when taking exams. Akila has always been an above-average student in her class, ranking in the top 15 among her 57 classmates.

Experiences Extending Beyond Curriculum

Although certain realistic exemptions have been made to help Akila and other students with visual impairments (excusing them from visual activities like drawing, for example), innovative efforts are made to include them in all possible activities. A striking example is the training in classical dance. Through extensive tactual clues and guidance, Akila is learning to dance. Her preferred activity, however, is singing. She is an accomplished singer and almost all of the cultural events on campus include her melodious performance. The support Akila receives at school encouraged her to enter a musical competition, where she won a prize.

Breaks

Although Akila finds the learning sessions invigorating, she equally relishes the breaks. She usually spends the mid-morning breaks in the company of her classroom friends, and customarily joins her sister for lunch. The staff offers eating etiquette help to the younger students and the special needs children. Akila feels secure in her sister's company, and enjoys recounting the half-day's happenings in the classroom, taking in her sister's reflections, and partaking of the afternoon repast together. Although Akila sometimes shies away from joining the other students at mealtimes, the authors believe that she will make progress towards gainful socializing, which is one of the primary purposes of inclusive education.

Recreation and Interpersonal Interaction

The school's special needs children have access in the resource room to such recreational and play materials as balls and a carom board. Another exceptional characteristic of the inclusive educational arrangement is that the nonhandicapped children also share and benefit from these special facilities.

Akila is friendly with all of her sighted peers in her regular class. Her first close acquaintance among them was Sathyarohini, who was specifically assigned as a peer guide by the class teacher on Akila's first day in the regular school. Today, after years of mainstream exposure, unencumbered interactions, and social experiences, Akila's social interactions include the whole class; three others, apart from Sathyarohini, she considers her particular friends. She values their congenial behavior and willingness to extend help. This group of girls does almost everything together, except when Akila is at the resource room. Akila finds that all of her sighted peers interact with and help her.

Interactions between the regular staff and the students are formal and restricted to classroom instruction. In contrast, the ambience in the resource room is more informal and relaxed, and Akila is quite fond of her resource teacher, Ms. Sowmya.

Days of Festivity, Celebrations, and Rest

Apart from attending classes and learning, school life for Akila also includes celebrations, fun, and days of rest. All national celebrations, such as Independence Day, Republic Day, Gandhi Jayanthi, as well as multiethnic festivals, including Christmas, Pongal, and Deepavali, are customary school holidays. Commemorations and celebrations take place at the school on the eve of the holidays, when there is prayer and sharing of traditional foods.

A school Annual Day is elaborately celebrated, marked with extensive cultural programs and annual prizes awarded for students' outstanding curricular and extracurricular achievements. A teacher's Day is also celebrated in a remarkable way, and the students organize various celebratory events.

Apart from these public events, student-centered celebrations are also part of the school routine. Students are encouraged to celebrate birthdays with nutritious fruits and vegetables (which are used during the noon meal preparation), rather than the usual sweets and savories. For her birthday, Akila provided the school kitchen with green leafy vegetables. Special student achievements are also celebrated at school. When Akila won a prize at the inter-school music competition, she was applauded at the morning assembly.

Back to Home With Family

After a tiring day at school, Akila is eager to join her mother on the trip back home. Akila arrives at home happy to share her experiences with her family, especially her mother, before settling down to do her lessons. She has a set routine of reading assigned portions of lessons in the evening and then going to bed early.

The bulk of support for Akila's academic development seems to come from home. Her parents (especially her mother) constantly supervise Akila's lessons and motivate her to seek knowledge outside her textbooks. These interactions include narrating events and stories related to her lessons and also motivating her to experiment with the lessons learned. Akila's father also occasionally visits the school, and he makes it a point not to miss any of the important school celebrations. Her parents willingly contribute and participate in whatever assignments are recommended by the staff.

SCHOOL DAY PROFILE 2

Rohini is a 10-year-old girl from the tribal community of the Badugas, located in the rich green valleys among the Blue Mountains in southern India. The Badugas are a close-knit community that migrated from the neighboring state of Karnataka and settled in the mountain ranges of northwest Tamil Nadu. They adhere to distinct language and cultural traditions that vary from those followed by the local inhabitants, the Tamils. The Badugas are a farm- and dairy-based community that only recently began pursuing formal education. For example, Rohini's parents were the first generation of literates in her family; they encouraged their younger siblings and their children to pursue education as well.

Rohini attends a rural public school accommodating students (mostly the children of the Baduga community, as well as a few native Tamils) from preschool to grade 5. The medium of instruction is English, a second language in both communities, and the teaching content adheres to the state syllabi.

Getting Ready To Go to School

As is common in most Baduga families, Rohini's grandparents and other relatives live together as an extended family. Family members help cook, do household and farm chores, and groom the children for school. The children eat breakfast separately. The adults pack meals for the children's lunches, and then drop off the children at school. Rohini spends the 15 minutes or so traveling to school sharing anecdotes and jokes with her companions; she says that much informal instruction is imparted during these fun-filled trips.

Time Before Class

The children usually reach school only a little before the morning assembly begins; Rohini loves to be the first to arrive at school. She takes the opportunity to romp around the tiny but picturesque school campus that is her newfound world. The younger students like Rohini usually spend any spare rime before the morning prayer engrossed in playing around the campus. The older students clean and dust; arrange desks and benches; water plants; and adorn the blackboards with drawings, adages, and details of students' attendance.

The prayer session in the school consists of a recitation and singing of the group prayer, and a short discourse by the head staff of the school. The talk usually centers on etiquette, traditional customs, and cultural and moral values. Honoring the national anthem is customary at the end of the daily prayer. Although Rohini is a bubbly child and full of energy, these sessions usually bring her to awe-inspired solemnity as she pays serious attention. Thus, from the very start, the school emphasizes the convergence of spiritual, national, and traditional sentiments.

Teaching Sessions

Instruction in school follows the standard state syllabi. The staff teach and converse only in English and Tamil, the official language of the state. In this way, all the students are able to understand and interact with them on an equal footing.

Curricular instruction centers on the "3R's." Although the school cannot afford teaching materials more expensive than a blackboard and chalk, the teachers make innovative use of their natural surroundings, conducting many of the learning sessions outdoors and incorporating a lot of music and movement activities. Rohini finds this approach particularly enlivening.

Breaks

The children get two breaks from the lively learning sessions, one in the mid-morning and another at lunch. The children are allowed to buy themselves food from the nearby community stores. Rohini's family often visits during the breaks and supplies refreshments. The children eat their lunch together with their teachers in the traditional communal fashion, sitting on mats that are spread out over the entire school ground. The teachers instruct the children on dining etiquette, nutrition, the significance of traditional recipes, and other topics. The children share food, which allows for exchange of information about the Tamil and Baduga cultures.

Recreation, Play, and Interpersonal Interaction

Physical instruction is an essential aspect of the schooling process, owing to its roots in the Baduga tradition. Most play and recreational activities in the school are oriented to traditional tribal activities. These games and activities involve a lot of music, do not rely on much equipment, and are cooperative rather than competitive.

Traditional folk arts also are emphasized as a means of teaching curriculum and transmitting cultural values, and as a critical extracurricular activity. Rohini describes informal sessions during which senior students as well as staff help pass along traditional art skills, especially dancing and singing. These sessions also allow for cultural exchanges among students from different backgrounds. Rohini and other Baduga students pick up classical fine art skills from their peers, while imparting the nuances of Baduga tribal folk art.

Rohini always feels at home when in school, in large part because interactions between the teachers and their wards, and among the students themselves, are very informal and characterized by personal attention and care. Rohini recalls her teachers' insistence that she maintain her traditional dress, for example. The small teacher-student ratio also helps.

End of the School Day and Back Home

The school day formally ends with a group prayer; if time permits, however, Rohini joins other children for some group play or traditional dancing and singing before leaving for home. Rohini usually then walks home, often in the company of teachers. As peers and teachers continue their meaningful interactions, Rohini walks slowly in order to extend the trip as long as possible.

Rohini is delighted to return home, however, where she relates her school day experiences to a large and appreciative crowd of family members. After an early supper, Rohini sits down to study and do homework. She very much enjoys all the caring evident as her family cajoles her to be prompt with her homework. Her parents, and other elder family members, not only attend to her studies at home but also frequently visit her school and follow her advancement through interaction with the teachers. The family enthusiasm extends to volunteering at school and making monetary contributions.

The adults, of course, also play a crucial role in imparting to the children traditional cultural skills and art forms. Rohini's time after reading lessons and doing homework is mostly spent with the women and the children. The older generation teaches the children folk singing, dances, and folklore.

Holidays and Celebrations at School

Rohini enjoys holidays as much as she enjoys school days. The school participates in the Baduga festival for Hethaiamman (a cultural deity) by closing for eight days and by teaching about the significance of the event. Rohini is proud of having been included in the community dance troupe that performs at the festival.

School Day Profile 3

Nine-year-old Sharmila Sowbarani attends a primary school in the rural locale of Bhavani, the seat of a major irrigation project and a predominantly agrarian sector in southern India. Education is becoming more of a priority in Bhavani as parents realize its connection to employment opportunities. The children receive the means for life-oriented education, with contributions from the latest informational and technological know-how. The learning process is equally based at home and at school, and the parents and the family play complementary roles in enriching the child.

Preparing To Go to School

Sowbarani's school day starts as early as 6:00 a.m. She wakes up to her mother's call and, after washing up, reviews the previous day's lessons. This practice is very typical of Bhavani's rural culture, which stresses the importance of early morning work for effective learning. Much of Sowbarani's morning is also taken up with chores and practical learning, in accordance with the Tamil adage Ettu churakai kariku udhavadhu, which means "The printed vegetable in the book will not help in cooking." For example, Sowbarani accompanies her mother to the family's vegetable garden, where she learns about tending plants. She is well acquainted with almost all of the native vegetables, their seeds, and farming procedures.

Breakfast consists of idli or dosa with chutney and sambar. Unlike in the urban areas, where these recipes are mostly rice-based, in Sowbarani's rural home they also include coarse country cereals like millet, maize, and ragi. The elders instruct the children about the importance of each food item. Sowbarani reaches school after a brisk 15-minute walk. Vehicular conveyances are very rarely used in her part of the countryside.

The School

The school campus is Sowbarani's haven; it is set among trees, with a lot of open space for play and a variety of indigenous play materials and equipment. The school building incorporates mud floors, palm leaf-thatched roofs, and bamboo partitions for walls. The structure itself is symbolic of cost effectiveness and indigenous technology. Recently, however, plain concrete structures have been built on the school campus to adequately house new technology.

Time Before Class

Sowbarani and her friends prefer to arrive at the school around 8:30 a.m., almost an hour before the school day starts. They spend the time in active group play around the campus, as well as in meaningful activities like gardening. The older students tidy the classroom, clean the blackboard, and decorate the classroom with flowers. The school day begins with a prayer session each morning. The 15-minute routine includes group prayer, recitation of the national oath, review of news headlines, a short discourse by the head staff, and concludes with the national anthem. On the first day of the week, the assembly also includes a ceremonial flag hoisting and singing of patriotic songs. Sowbarani explains that these sessions help them to warm up and begin to focus their attention on academic tasks.

Teaching Sessions

The curriculum and teaching methodology is very similar to that practiced elsewhere in the country. The customary instructional matter includes the conventional subjects of math, science, and social science, along with instruction in the native tongue Tamil and in English. Apart from these regular academic subjects, Sowbarani greatly appreciates the substantial time spent on instruction in ethics and games and drill (almost an hour a day), physical health and moralistic perseverance being the two priorities of rural Indian life. Of late, in keeping pace with contemporary developments in the field of education, instruction in computer operations has also become part of the daily schedule.

Teaching sessions are seldom restricted to the classroom limits. Often, they are conducted under the cool shade of the trees, and they include nature walks. Natural science concepts (e.g., seed germination, geology) are explained through hands-on activities and field experiences. Students learn about conservation of the environment (soil erosion, top soil and water conservation, etc.), which is not surprising, given the centrality of these issues to rural life. The students appear to enjoy the age-old Indian tradition of reinforcement through oral recitation. According to Sowbarani, the rhythmic vocal exercises not only serve as memory reinforcers, but also are a stimulating recreation. Several of these educational recitation sequences form the base for rural folk games.

Breaks

The rural-based conception that adequate rest underlies good work is thoroughly reflected in the school schedule. Unlike the urban schools, where breaks tend to be short, Sowbarani's school emphasizes breaks and a leisurely lunch as a way for the children to refresh themselves and prepare for further instruction. The children enjoy home-made refreshments, as well as nutritious government-provided meals. The process of preparing lunch is itself a learning activity, as children take turns during their free time helping with the simple tasks of cooking. In the process, they learn practical information about nutrition, cooking, and teamwork. Sowbarani proudly relates several instances when, because of such experiences, she was able to pass on information about nutrition to her mother and other relatives.

Recreation, Play, and Extracurricular Activities

Recreation and play in this rural location are mostly synonymous with vigorous physical activity accompanied by music and singing. The folk games in which Sowbarani and her friends participate have their roots in the essentials of communal country life, such as farming activities. Among the innumerable games they play, Sowbarani's favorite is the one about the pumpkin farmer and the traditional folk dance of kummi. According to Sowbarani, each of these various folk games is tied to specific seasons and local events, like the harvest season. As more families begin to own televisions, the game of cricket has become popular.

The students spend considerable rime outside class hours on gardening, actively guided by the senior students and their teachers. The students bring all of the necessary raw materials--seeds, manure, and gardening tools--from home. Thus, the students are being initiated and exposed to community living and community development activities early in life. Time is also set aside for art, music, drama, and dance activities.

Interpersonal Interaction at School

Distinctly different from the urban context, a very private bond exists between teachers and students, and among the students themselves, in Sowbarani's rural school. Nevertheless, corporal punishment is an integral practice of schooling practice. Sowbarani does not express personal concern about the mode of punishment; she states that the penalties only reflect the teachers' eagerness to coax the best out of their students.

The modest student staff ratio of one teacher for every 10 to 15 students may be the primary reason for the optimal interpersonal climate, along with the traditional rural congeniality. Testimony to the close relationships can be found on any school day, as the students sit in an informal semicircle around the teacher under the shade trees lining the campus. The closeness is also reflected in the emotional and interpersonal interactions. Sowbarani touchingly recollects how all of her school teachers and classmates called upon her at home when she was critically iii during a summer vacation.

Back at Home With Parents and Family

Sowbarani's busy day does not end at school. At home, she immediately sets about helping her mother with the domestic chores, which involve cleaning the house and feeding the cattle. If time permits, Sowbarani also gets to play. All outdoor activities have to be completed before the sun sets. Later, Sowbarani sits near the kerosene lantern along with the other children of the household to do her homework. She sets aside most of her homework for the next morning, however, as she personally finds that the most opportune time for absorbing new information and ideas.

Sowbarani eagerly looks forward to dinnertime, when the family gathers around the lantern and shares their day's experiences. Sowbarani especially relishes the full moon evenings, when these family get-togethers take on added splendor as the dinner shifts to the open moonlit yard, and the children are allowed to play for longer after supper while the elders of the village gaily chat away. However, now that the village is on the power grid, families seem to spend more time watching television. Although Sowbarani is thrilled by the inexhaustible source of information available from television, at the same time she longs for her previous moonlit endeavors. The authors' conversations with Sowbarani also revealed that the popularity of television has brought about more consumerist attitudes and interest in popular entertainment among the children at the school, replacing interest in folk traditions. One could observe a competitive eagerness among children to show off their latest purchases from among the commodities advertised on television, and time-tested, meaningful folk recreation giving way to an obsession with popular entertainment like cinema and cricket. Both teachers and parents need to ensure that the informational boon of the modern day does not mar the cultural and traditional heritage of these rural children.

Holidays and Celebrations at School

The local rural community's influence on Sowbarani's school system extends even to the school's holiday pattern. Contrary to the common tradition of closing school on Saturdays and Sundays, Sowbarani's school closes on Sundays and Mondays. This arrangement accommodates the weekly local country fair held on Mondays, which is a favorite destination for Sowbarani. Other term-end holidays are as elsewhere, and the quarterly holidays are made to coincide with the festival season of a locally popular temple.

According to Sowbarani, one of the few events celebrated at school is Annual Day; all the parents make time to attend this event. The day's celebrations are marked with elaborate cultural observances and the children are rewarded for their accomplishments in academics, general proficiency, extracurricular activities, athletics, special talents, conduct, and other areas. Apart from the Annual Day, Independence Day and Republic Day also are commemorated. Of course, what stands foremost in the minds of young children like Sowbarani on these days is the distribution of sweets.

All of these traditions contribute to developing responsible and productive members of the immediate community, as well as the larger nation. Ultimately, each school day is not only meaningful for Sowbarani's present life, but also a consequential step towards the future she has dreamt for herself.

CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS

Practices, Policies, and Procedures ... And All That Jazz! April 14-17, 2004 * Sheraton New Orleans Hotel * New Orleans, Louisiana

The Program Committee invites proposals for presentations at the 2004 ACEI Annual International Conference & Exhibition. Proposal topics must relate to the Conference theme and/or one of these specific subtopics:

a) Policy, Politics, and Educational Practice (understanding and influencing the political and legislative process; teachers as advocates; communicating with policymakers; finding common ground between policies and best practice; legal issues facing educators; empowerment; leadership in learning communities; interagency collaboration)

b) Curricular and testing Practices (standardized testing; standards-based curriculum; high-stakes testing; alternative assessment; school reform efforts; education in rural and inner-city communities; educational research; best practice, Pre-K-college; teacher standards and testing: international curricular and testing practices)

c) Culturally Relevant Teaching (creating caring schools and communities; multicultural education; teaching for global understanding; character development; moral development; involving families and communities in schooling; addressing learning differences; intergenerational programs)

d) teaching and Learning Throughout a Lifetime (curricular approaches; literacy for a lifetime; early care and education; early intervention; universal pre-kindergarten; neuroscientific research and education; technology; second career educators; preservice and inservice education; induction year programs; national board certification; service-learning; international concerns regarding lifelong learning)

e) teaching in an Embattled World (the effect of world conflict and terrorism on classrooms; education and democracy; the role of nationalism in public education, patriotism and civic education; conflict resolution and peace education). Students and first-year teachers are encouraged to work with their instructors to prepare a proposal for presentation in a special Student Presenter Track. Proposals marked Student Presenter will be reviewed independently.

Proposals are subject to blind peer review by two members of the appropriate ACEI committee and the committee chair. The number of papers that can be accepted is determined by available meeting space. The proposal's originality; its relationship to the Conference theme; and the clarity of its objectives, organization, and methods of presentation are factors considered. The Committee also seeks to achieve an appropriate distribution of age levels addressed.
 Deadlines Notification

Concurrent Sessions May 1, 2003 Aug. 2003
Research Sessions June 1, 2003 Oct. 2003
Virtual Presentations Sept. 15, 2003 Dec. 2003
Global Sharing Fair Oct. 31, 2003 Nov. 2003
Hall of Excellence Jan. 1, 2004 Jan. 2004
Hall of Celebration Feb. 28, 2004 Mar. 2004


Only those proposals postmarked by the deadlines indicated will be considered.

Rules of Participation

1. No one may submit more than two proposals, either as a presenter or co-presenter of a session.

2. Persons whose proposals are accepted must participate at the rime scheduled by the Program Committee,

3. ACEI strives to keep the meeting affordable for classroom teachers and prospective teachers. Therefore, all participants, including presenters, are required to register for the ACEI Conference. Presenters must preregister by October 1, 2003. Presenter registration is indication of your intent to participate.

4. ACEI does not underwrite the expenses of presenters.

5. If a presenter has a commercial product(s) or service to promote, this may be done by purchasing space in the Exhibit Hall. Presenters who have purchased space in the Exhibit Hall may mention their presence in the Exhibit Hall during their session, but may in no way make or solicit sales during the session. Contact the ACEI Conference Dept. for information about exhibiting.

General Submission Requirements

Only proposals adhering to the guidelines and postmarked or electronically date-stamped by the deadline for each category will be considered / reviewed. All categories of proposals must include the following:

1. One (1) copy of a cover sheet that includes: name, complete mailing address; daytime and home phone numbers; fax number; and E-mail address for each person presenting during the session. Also include Student Presenter Track on the cover if proposal is submitted by a student or first-year teacher. To ensure a "blind" review, this information must hot be included any other place in the proposal. Information that in any way identifies the presenter(s) may not be included in the body of the proposal; this could disqualify the proposal from consideration. The Title of the proposed session must be included on the cover sheet. All proposals must also include a hard (paper) copy of the proposal with appropriately labeled sections containing the following information:

2. Title of proposed session.

3. A highlighted Main Thrust of the proposal (25 words or less), to be included in the Conference Program Book if your proposal is accepted.

4. Electronic submission of proposals is strongly encouraged. Attached files must be virus free in either Microsoft Word ver. 5.0-6.0 or ASCII/text-only format. Submit to Conference@ACEI.org. TWO (2) stamped, self-addressed envelopes per presenter (unstamped if presenter is outside the U.S.) must be sent to the address below via regular mail on the same day the proposal is submitted electronically.

5. For proposals submitted via regular mail: In addition to one (1) hard (paper) copy, include the proposal on a virus-free 3.5" diskette (Macintosh or IBM compatible) in Microsoft Word 5.0-6.0 or ASCII/text-only format. Label diskette with the title of proposal ONLY. Also enclose TWO (2) stamped, self-addressed envelopes per presenter (unstamped if presenter is outside the U.S.). Diskettes are not returnable. In the case of proposals submitted via email, a diskette is not required.

6. All proposals must be postmarked or electronically date-stamped no later than the deadlines indicated. All proposals (include name of proposal category) EXCEPT those for Virtual Presentations and those for the Hall of Celebration should be addressed to:

ACEI--2004 Conference 17904 Georgia Avenue, Ste. 215, Olney, MD USA 20832 301-570-2111; 301-570-2212 (fax); 800-423-3563 E-mail to: Conference@ACEI.org

Specific Submission Requirements

Concurrent Sessions

In addition to the items listed in the General Submission Requirements, all Concurrent Session proposals must contain the following:

1. Brief description (200-500 words maximum), typed and double-spaced, noting the purpose and scope of your presentation.

2. A highlighted Main Thrust of the proposal (25 words or less), including three (3) learning outcomes, to be included in the Conference Program Book if your proposal is accepted.

3. Audio/Visual Equipment needs. Presenters will be asked to share the expense for overhead and slide projectors, cassette and CD players, VCRs, and video display (LCD) equipment. More elaborate A/V needs will be provided entirely at the presenter's expense. Presenters must indicate and pay for A/V needs by the October 1, 2003, registration deadline.

4. Length of time. Regular presentations will run for 25 minutes (or multiples thereof). If necessary, indicate specific time or date needed to give your presentation. ACEI will try to accommodate such requests, but cannot guarantee specific placement.

5. Subject Area. Choose ONLY ONE category for review purposes: a) Infancy, b) Early Childhood 1--Preschool, c) Early Childhood 2--Kindergarten, d) Early Childhood 3--Primary Grades, e) Later Childhood, f) International/ Intercultural, g) teacher Education (content is of interest to those involved in the education of future teachers).

Research Submissions

In addition to the items listed in the General Submission Requirements, all Research Session proposals must include the following:

1. In addition to addressing the Conference theme and/or one of the subtopics, Research proposals must also address at least one of the following Emphasis Areas: a) Middle-Level Education, b) teacher Education (content is of interest to those involved in the education of future teachers), c) Action Research, d) International/Global Issues.

2. Description of the research, limited to three (3) single-spaced, typewritten pages, including:

a) Abstract--100-200 words maximum.

b) Research Question--Identify the research question(s) studied.

c) Rationale--Provide a rationale for the study and relate it to findings. Identify how previous findings suggest this study is important.

d) Methodology--Describe the approach and procedures used to answer the question. Describe the subjects.

e) Analysis--Describe how the data were analyzed.

f) Findings--Identify the findings.

g) Implications--Discuss the implications for future research and classroom practice or educational policy.

3. Specify a Preferred Format (Highlighted, Roundtables, Forum, or Poster), or leave that assignment to the discretion of the review committee.

Virtual Presentations

In addition to the General Submission Requirements, all Virtual Presentation proposals must include the following:

1. A Description of the technologies involved in the presentation. Proposal must include information for any additional downloads participants would need to participate in the session, e.g., Adobe Acrobat Reader.

2. Subject Area (choose one most appropriate category for review purposes): a) Infancy, b) Early Childhood 1--Preschool, c) Early Childhood 2--Kindergarten, d) Early Childhood 3--Primary Grades, e) Later Childhood, f) International / Intercultural, g) teacher Education (content is of interest to those involved in the education of future teachers).

3. All Virtual Presentation proposals are to be submitted to: njyost@iup.edu. Notification of acceptance of Virtual Presentation proposals will be via E-mail. All Virtual Presentation presenters must be registered for the Conference to have their presentation available to Conference attendees.

Global Sharing Fair

Friday, April 16--Poster/Display Submissions Hall of Excellence Saturday, April 17--Poster/Display Submissions Hall of Celebration Saturday, April 17--Poster/Display Submissions)

There are no items required in addition to those listed in the General Submission Requirements for Global Sharing Fair proposals, Hall of Excellence proposals, or Hall of Celebration proposals. The Hall of Excellence Guidelines also apply to Global Sharing Fair proposals and are available on-line at the ACEI Web site (www.ACEI.org) or upon request from the ACEI Conference Department. Call 800-423-3563 or 301-5702111; fax to 301-570-2212; or send an E-mail to ACEImc@aol.com. The Hall of Celebration presentations are intended exclusively to depict activities for Week of the Classroom teacher celebrations.

Submit ONLY Hall of Celebration proposals to:

Sue Martin,

Week of the Classroom teacher Committee Chair 80 Felstead Avenue, Toronto, Ontario Canada M4J 1G2

N. Jaya and G. Malar

A vinashilingam Deemed University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Association for Childhood Education International
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Author:Malar, G.
Publication:Childhood Education
Date:Dec 22, 2002
Words:6208
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