Single Mothers by Choice
Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s Basic Concepts

Piaget‘s basic concepts

1. Adaptation: children respond to the demands of the environment in ways that meet their own goals.

  *Assimilation: children translate incoming information into a form they can understand.

  *Accommodation: children adapt current knowledge structures in response to new experience.

2. Equilibration: children balance assimilation and accommodation to create stable understanding

3. Organization: children integrate particular observations into a body of coherent knowledge (Goldhaber, 2000).

4. Stage development: classifying children’s development into four developmental periods.

5. Scheme: being defined as a single form of cognitive structure.

6. Cognitive operations: exhibiting itself when young children are able to mentally process their experiences and use cognitive action as opposed to physical action.

7. Grouping: preschooler’s actions become incorporated to shape a structure and the structure has a form of grouping.

Vygotskey’s basic concepts

1. Higher mental processes (Higher mental function): the higher mental function does not build up as a direct continuation of the corresponding formation

2. Internalization: internalization involves transforming social phenomena into psychological phenomena or creating meaning through both external and internal interactions (Vygotsky, 1981).

3. Dialectical learning process: learning occurs through collective problem-solving experiences with important others.

4. Scaffolding: scaffolding is the environmental structures that draw out the learning potential of the individual. The three important elements of scaffolding are the employment of mediators, language, and shared activities.

7. The Zone of Proximal Development: the most important concept from Vygotsky’s perception. The actual developmental level refers to all the functions and activities a child can achieve on his/ her  own without help from someone else, such as, a teacher, an adult or even a peer. The potential developmental level refers to all functions and behaviors a child can achieve only with the guidance and assistance of someone else 8. Thought and Language: there is a fundamental association between thought and speech in terms of one providing source to the other, language becoming necessary in forming thought, and influential personality features (Vygotsky, 1986)

The Power of Guidance:Teaching social-emotional skills in early childhood classrooms


Gartrell, D. (2004). The Power of Guidance: Teaching social-emotional skills in early childhood classrooms. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Learning, Thomson, Inc.

          This book is organized into eleven chapters, but there actually can be classified into three parts: understanding about children, practices in the field, and guidance portions. It deals with parts of understanding about children from chapter one to chapter four. The author refers to necessity of understanding change about children from traditional disciplines to appropriate guidance. After the author gives us one episode about a conflict between two kids in the classroom, due to teacher’s discipline, he explains the differences between traditional discipline and guidance. In practices in the field, the author gives teachers a suggestion such as a gender stereotype and an intervention alternative from chapter five to chapter eight. The author, especially in chapter eight, suggests developmentally appropriate program not due to gender. In the guidance port in, the author deals with guidance for such specific misbehaviors as societal violence from chapter nine to chapter eleven.

          The power of guidance as a textbook has an inspiring message that urges parents, teachers, students and professional to discover new horizons of hope and possibilities for a better child’s discipline. The author, Dan Gartrell advises that “since multiple exposures to newer ideas is often advantageous, you will regard this happening more as reinforcement of important concepts from differing contexts than as simply repetition”  in this book (Fartrell, 2004, p. ix). In addition, Gartrell help readers’ understanding about children by using a variety of observations and anecdotes in this book.

          Dan Gertrell’s basic premise is that “many problems are caused when a teacher uses practices that are not appropriate for the age, stage, and needs of the individual child” (Gartrell, 2004, p. 28). Gartrell gives us examples to accomplish changes in understanding about children’s characteristics. Because developmentally appropriate guidance is linked to positive children development, parents and teachers have to teach or provide not adult-directed discipline but child-directed discipline for their children. Therefore, developmentally appropriate guidance makes learners joyful and happy in the process of learning.

          According to Gartrell’s definition of guidance, it teaches children the life skills they need become to be good citizens of a democracy (Gartrell, 2004). Components to teach to children are respecting other and one’s self; working together in groups; solving problems using words; expressing strong emotions in acceptable ways; and making decisions ethically and intelligently. The author gives teachers six essential guidance practices, as teachers use these practices in their classroom, children, teachers, and parents feel welcome in the guidance classroom. The six guidance elements are that the teacher realizes that “social skills are complicated and take into adulthood to fully learn; the teacher reduces the need for mistaken behavior; the teacher practices positive teacher-child relations; the teacher uses intervention methods that are solution oriented; the teacher builds partnerships with parents; and the teacher uses teamwork with adults. When teachers teach these skills to children, teachers should incorporate “reasons why the child behaved in a certain way and what they could teach so that the child can behave differently next time” (Gartrell, 2006, p. 6).

          As these chapters are practical portions, the author gives teachers some tips on how to manage and what to do when they face a child’s misbehaviors in the classroom. Gartrell (2004) assumes that guidance is not rules. Although guidance makes standards for the classroom like rules, guidance supports these standards in positive traditions unlike rules. The main issue of a gender stereotype occurs for reasons of development and temperament, many boys have difficulty because of the traditional classroom expectations of many teachers. Gartrell and his colleague attempt to avoid a gender stereotype in their classroom. They give teachers three considerations, to avoid the stereotyped thinking that  a boy is this way or a girl is this way; to make early childhood programs more developmentally appropriate for all children not just for boys or girls; to enjoy working with boys and girls who exhibit disorder and independence  of spirit. Through these considerations, teachers can reduce classroom conflicts, but they must remember they cannot eliminate all conflicts.

        The author believes that all children in our society experience directly ways or indirectly ways violence. As Gartrell (2004) clearly assesses the effects of violence by the levels, he suggests the solutions by understanding the origins for societal violence. The level one of violence shows that a child is very aggressive in play time. Appropriate play like rough-and- tumble helps accomplish this goal. The level two of violence is that this violence forms not real people but media creations. In this situation, teachers need to support a discriminated child who is vulnerable for stigma. Teachers have to show firm leadership by class meeting, ethics instruction, conflict management, and guidance talk. The level three of violence occurs when there direct violence experienced by a child. The solution is a liberation teaching. It supports all children showing susceptibilities in the classroom.

         The intended audiences for this book are students, parents, teachers, and professionals. Through each chapter, Gartrell persuades his readers in different ways. In chapter one to four, he persuades his readers that a change of understanding is necessary about children from traditional discipline to guidance. In chapter five to chapter eight, the author persuades his readers that when they face a problem in their classroom, Gartrell gives a solution about how to manage or what to do his readers’ faced problems. In chapter nine to chapter eleven, Gartrell persuades his readers providing developmentally appropriate guidance as a solution. Through each chapter, this book suggests to readers that because appropriate guidance is linked to the positive child development, when teachers teach their children, they should use developmentally appropriate guidance rather than traditional discipline. Importantly, about doing what is possible, to do with and through appropriate guidance. Gertrell suggests how to increase in terms of children’s social skills and how to remove children’s mistaken behaviors. According to his suggestion, such change is difficult but possible.


Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory

               Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory


Family is one among many “nested” ecosystems in which the individual develops and interacts. Bronfenbrenner (1994) explains these “nested” systems on five levels of analysis: the micro system, the meso system, the exso system, the mecro system, and the chrono system. The micro system includes the direct and concrete interactions of the developing person with significant others. The meso system can be explained by the interrelations of two or more microsystems, such as work and family. The exso system is concerned with direct interactions with the developing person but they have indirect effects on the micro-or meso system. The macro system provides the general cultural context in which lower-order systems are surrounded. Finally, the chrono system plays an important role in the consistency and change over the life course. The effects of poverty on children’s socio-emotional development using three ecological theories such as the process-person-context-time design (Bronfenbrenner, 1994), the stress-coping model (Pearlin, 1989), and the family process model (Conger, 1993).

These theoris will be explained in detail in the following:

1. Bronfenbrenner’s process-person-context-time design (PPCT, 1994): this model has four components: the interactions of proximal environment, the characteristics of the individual, the social context of the person, and the change over time. This PPCT (1994) design permits the analysis of variations in the developmental processes and outcomes as a joint function of the characteristics of the environment and of the person: two main assumptions that can be investigated within the process-person-context-time design (PPCT, 1994). The first is that human development occurs through “processes of progressively more complex reciprocal interactions” between active, evolving, “bio psychological” human beings and the individuals, objects, and symbols in the environment. The second is that the effectiveness of the proximal processes is determined by the bio psychological characteristics of the individual, the immediate and distant environments in which the proximal processes occur, and the developmental outcome being examined(cited: http://pt3.nl.edu/paquetteryanwebquest.pdf).

2. Pearlin’s stress-coping model (1989): this model defined stressors as life circumstances that give rise to stress. As stressors, there are two factors such as discrete life events: income loss and chronic strains: struggling to meet daily subsistence needs. Each uses a variety of coping behaviors to prevent, avoid, or contend with the emotional distress caused by life events and chronic strains (Pearlin & Schooler, 1978). Coping behaviors include social resources (emotional and concrete support from others), psychological resources (self-esteem and feelings of personal efficacy), and specific resources (problem solving).

3. Conger’s family process model (1993): the family process model connects the relation between economic hardship and children’s socio-emotional adjustment. The stress-coping model and the family process model suggest that adverse economic conditions affect family interactions by creating economic pressure or daily strains, resulting in parental depression.


Piaget three mountains task



Jean- Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)


Jean- Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)

Doyle, M. E., & Smith M. K. (2007). Jean-Jacques Rousseau on nature, wholeness, and education. The Encyclopedia of Informal Education. http://www.lucidcafe.com/library/96jun/rousseau.html

Rousseau, a political philosopher and educationalist, was born in 1712 in Geneva, Switzerland. After his mother’s death, he lived his childhood in obscurity. He was raised by his aunt and uncle and did not get a formal education during his childhood. He left Geneva when he was 16 years-old in 1728 and wandered here and there. Before he moved to Paris in 1742, he worked as a music teacher in Chambery, France in 1732 and as a tutor in Lyon, France in 1740. Rousseau met David Diderot who deeply affected Rousseau’s life. Thanks to Diderot’s support, Rousseau won first prize in an essay competition in 1750. He did not raise his children because he was poverty-stricken, which caused him to later feel deep remorse over. In Montmorency, France he wrote three books: The New Heloise (1761), The Social Contract (1762), and Emile (1762). As published Emile, despite opposition from the church in France who disagreed with his natural philosophy of education which the church felt excluded God. In 1766, Rousseau met and had several conflicts with David Hume in England. Rousseau lived out the remainder of his life suffering from paranoia and enduring conflicts with his friends (1771). He described his educational philosophy in Emile. While he diminished the importance of book learning, Rousseau emphasized impetus for learning providing by nature. In Emile, he classifies development into five stages, including Infancy (birth to two), the age of nature (two to 12 years of age), pre-adolescence (12 to 15 years-old), puberty (15 to 20 years-old), and adulthood (20-25 years-old). At the end of Emile, he wrote a significant section pertaining to the education of women called Sophie. Rousseau contributed to modern educational philosophy in “the principles of natural education, public and individual education, facilitating opportunities for learning, power of environment, developmental stages, and controlling function of the educator”(Doyle & Smith, 2007).


The Mosaic Approach


The Mosaic Approach is a tool that combines the theory and practice of pedagogical documentation. However, there was the difference between pedagogical documentation and the mosaic approach. While pedagogical documentation emphasizes both children’s voice and adults’ voice in learning processes, the mosaic approach mainly focuses on children’s voice in their learning environment. The mosaic approach is a useful method in the evaluation of childhood development. As the methods of mosaic approach, there are pictures, drawings, interview, parent involvement, and mapping. The mosaic approach is a useful children’s evaluation method, but there are matters that require attention, which are that teachers have an ear to the children’s thinking or opinion of their activities.


Children of a new world: Society, culture, and globalization

Fass, P. S. (2007). Children of a new world: Society, culture, and globalization. NewYork, NY: New York University Press.

I. Introduction

The book entitled Children of a New World: Society, Culture, and Globalization deals with the relationships between three factors including society, culture, globalization, and children’s education. Based on a chronological order and a situational factor, immigration, the author focuses on how children’s education is affected by the micro, meso, exo,  macro, and chrono  systems. The book is divided into three parts including Children in Society, Children in Culture, and Children of a New Global World.

II. Children in Society

In this section, Fass (2007) focused on the influences of immigration on children’s schooling in chronological order from the 18th through the 21st century.  With the development of secondary education in public high schools and state universities insured by national land grant legislation, public kindergarten for preschoolers became a turning point since public policy focused on the lower level of education at the turn of the 19th century. The policymakers’ experiences with the relationship between immigrants and schooling led to a political issue in which immigrants were implicated in the growth of education. Based on these experiences, they developed two perspectives that involved immigrants’ needs and immigrant-school relationships. In the early 20th century, education had become increasingly important in many societies, including the world power of the United States and the individual success and accomplishment of students. The policymakers, including administrators and reformers, created a new curriculum “emphasizing modern languages, science, and math [that] rapidly superseded the older emphasis on classical languages and recitation for the academically inclined and college-bound” (Fass, 2007, p. 31).  In the 1990’s, due to an increase in immigrants from various countries, including China, Mexico, and Vietnam, the American government needed a political transition to improve ethnic coherence, including addressing bilingualism in the public schools. The IQ test reflected the expectations of American society and had been used to compare students’ abilities with immigrants, which was popularized by John Dewey’ educational theories, and therefore, “the IQ test became part of American educations in the twentieth century and the continuation of the concerns, interests, and ordering incorporated in its origin was assured” (Fass, 2007, p. 68). As long as the American government has supported the many studies of the connection between ethnicity and academics, the government began implementing the results of those studies into the American education system.

III. Children in Culture

This section discussed how American culture was portrayed based on actual events. Throughout the Leopold and Loeb story, which occurred in 1924, American society recognized the shift from insensible crime to moral lessons learned from the two ways to handle this case. For example, the newspapers wrote that this case was unscientific in nature, denying the new authority of psychiatry. In addition, as the newspapers attempted to hide the true nature of the case, but as a result “the newspapers helped introduce Americans to the new psychology and to new concepts of the normal and abnormal” (Fass, 2007, p. 115). The Leopold and Loeb case became part of American popular culture due to the relationship between youth, crime, and sex in the 20th century. Following the kidnapping and murder of the Charles Lindberg baby, the American government passed the first federal kidnapping legislation called the Lindbergh Act. In 1993, the federal appeals court ruled that a natural mother was exempt from this law. Although most press and media have focused on the increased incidences of parental kidnapping based on rising divorce rates, incidences of parental kidnapping have still not been reduced in American families. As it pertains to parental kidnapping, American society is trying to prevent this family disorder from occurring in various ways through the use of TV medium, newspapers, parenting education, and lectures and have included financial support for single mothers and low-income families, expanded opportunities for education, compensatory education, vocational education, as well as teaching new technologies.

VI. Children in a New Global World

In this section, the author focuses on how children are affected at school and their daily life by globalization. In this book, Fass (2007) defined globalization as economic expansion. Some of the effects of Globalization have been negative, such as an increase of child labor due to minimizing costs. Another concern of globalization is the gender issue due to immigration that results in forcing many women into low-paying jobs and separating mothers from their children. American society is working towards finding solutions for these issues by asking people to boycott purchasing goods produced by children and offering girls the opportunity for self-expression and schooling to enhance their future development. In addition, globalization has had migration easier than ever before. The American community has faced issues with the development of new family structures due to migration including culturally-based family bonds, competitive education of children, and authority. Continually working towards properly addressing these concerns will help satisfy these new global rearrangements. Fass (2007) suggested:

"That much growth and development continues to take place in children’s minds even into their teen years and that children require certain conditions and opportunities to grow and prosper. These opportunities for our children we would not want to lose as we, too, become part of a new global marketplace where compete for jobs, skills, and cheap labor. And a global perspective market makes clear that no children are protected when there are others who are vulnerable "(p. 256).

V. Conclusion

In a chronological order, this author examined important issues concerning children in American society. The author focused on how children education is affected by the micro, meso, exo,  macro, and chrono systems. The author presented problems, and simultaneously, suggested solutions. Consequently, this book offers the reader the opportunity to learn new facts about the relationship between globalization and the children’s labor market. After reading this book, I learned how globalization has affected children both positively and negatively, as well as how technological development has the capability of offering children and families the opportunity to learn new skills that will hopefully enhance their future.

My Teacher’s Secret Life


Title of book: My Teacher’s Secret Life

Author: Krensky, Stephen

The book is about a child imagining his teachers after school life. The author of this book wrote the teachers’ life seen from the perspective of the child. A kid imagined based on his daily schedule about how teachers live. Based on his imagination, most teachers live at school. Teachers eat cafeteria leftovers and do exercises with the gym teacher, Miss Whistle. After dinner, the librarian, Mr. Peruse, reads books to teachers. After returning to their room, they keep “pajamas and inflatable mattresses in their bottom left desk drawer.” Even they have pillow fights the hall. After washing their faces and brushing their teeth, they fall asleep. When a child meets his teacher in the supermarket, he thought of his teacher’s secret life. This story is very funny and cute because it is based on a child’s imagination.

This Book described the children’s curiosity about their teacher’s personal life. Therefore, through conversations, teachers need to satisfy children’s curiosities.

The feature of this book uses very soft colors. In addition, because the drawings were simplified, children can concentrate on the content. Drawings and content have achieved harmony. It is suitably illustrated for aged 4 to 6 years old.