Think about the approach your parents used for child rearing. What were the characteristics you think they valued most? How did those values influence your childhood? Do the choices you make match those of your parents, or are they different?
How would you rate yourself on a continuum from heteronomy to autonomy? How does this rating reflect your discipline approaches and the approaches of your parents and your teachers? If you are heteronomous, how can you help children become autonomous?
Positive and Productive Relationships
To reflect on strategies for establishing and maintaining positive and productive relationships among teachers, children, families, and peers
Observe young children playing games. What evidence do you see of their unique perception of rules?
As you interact with young children, watch for examples of their inability to think about another person’s viewpoint. Do you hear the confusion of personal fantasy with fact? What is the best adult response?
Analyze this experience, and discuss how you might help children to express their views and to hear those of another child.
Punishment and Discipline
To reflect on your own personal beliefs about punishment and discipline
What kind of discipline did you experience as a child? How has it affected your life, your attitudes, and your self-esteem?
Observe a group of young children on the playground. Determine which children seem to be socially competent and which children seem to be aggressive’; listen carefully to their interactions. Describe how adult models might have contributed to the competence level of both groups.
How would you explain to someone the fundamental differences between punishment and discipline? Can you relate those differences to the differences between moral autonomy and heteronomy (from Module 1)?
Appropriate Behavioral Examples and Limits
To reflect on providing appropriate behavioral examples and teaching limits,
Notice how adults respond when children get hurt or upset. Do they deny children’s negative feelings or accept them? Do they try to distract children from emotional or physical pain? What is your own common response? Do you need to work at learning new ways to respond to a child’s pain? How will you do this?
Observe the difference in classrooms where teachers merely tell children to clean up and those where teachers work with children showing them useful clean-up approaches. What are the differences in behavior with the children?
Effective Child Guidance Plans and Goals
To reflect on the creation of effective child guidance plans and how to accomplish your goals for guidance and discipline,
What are the behavior guidelines in an early childhood education program where you have spent time? How were these guidelines determined? Why do you think the children either do or do not follow the guidelines?
Observe teacher-child interactions, watching for the amount of individual attention provided. How do children respond differently to individual interaction with the teacher than they do to interactions as part of a group?
Observe a large group-time activity. Note any behavior problems that occur. Using information from this module, explain what the teacher might have done to prevent the behavior problem(s). If you do not witness any behavior problems during your observation, describe the strategies used by the teacher to prevent them from occurring.
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