chapter  1
7 Pages

Introduction

This book is about teaching in the primary grades (K-3). It offers a detailed analysis of effective primary teaching, illustrated with excerpts from audiotapes recorded in first-and second-grade classrooms. It demonstrates the importance of molding a class of diverse students into a collaborative learning community. It also reveals that primary students can learn with enthusiasm a much more substantive and coherent curriculum than they usually receive, when a skilled teacher connects this content to the students’ prior knowledge and home cultures and develops it with emphasis on understanding, appreciation, and life application. Finally, it shows how this kind of powerful and challenging teaching can be embedded within a supportive environment that attends as much to the students’ affective and social needs as to their learning needs.