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EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION: Building a Philosophy for Teaching.

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION: Building a Philosophy for Teaching. C. S. White & M. Coleman. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2000. 416 pp. $45.95. This unique early childhood education text takes the reader on a challenging journey toward developing a personal philosophy of teaching. Chapter 1 sets the stage for this task through vivid descriptions of four distinct types of philosophy: developmental, instructional, ecological, and humanistic. The authors then invite readers to write a draft of their initial teaching philosophy, upon which they can expand through written reflective exercises in subsequent chapters. For example, you might complete an assignment on teaching philosophy pertaining to "least restrictive environment" after reading the chapter on physical development. Each chapter thus builds upon the last.

Early Childhood Education is organized into four major sections. Section 1 carefully developed the text's philosophical, historical, and ecological frameworks. The chapters on philosophy building and social trends, policies and programs are particularly valuable and unique. Section 2 comprises the developmental chapters commonly found in introductory early childhood texts. A dynamic ecological focus on family development and family involvement in early childhood programs characterizes section 3. The authors present an exceptionally interesting chapter that describes various theoretical perspectives on family development; including systems, social exchange, life stages, and structural-functional perspectives. Section 4 includes important chapters on curriculum, classroom organization, behavior management, and assessment.

Timeliness and a particularly strong ecological framework set this book apart from other childhood education texts. The chapters on social issues and trends, educational policies and practices, and family and community considerations provide readers with a comprehensive world view essential for establishing a substantive philosophy of teaching. Reviewed by Harriet Field, Assistant Professor of Child and Youth Study, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
COPYRIGHT 2001 Association for Childhood Education International
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Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Field, Harriet
Publication:Childhood Education
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 22, 2001
Previous Article:THE BIG TEST: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy.

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