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Developing Dispositions
January 13, 2021
Choose to be optimistic. It feels better.
-Dalai Lama

These challenging times call all of us to focus on what is truly important in life. An article by Lilian Katz, included in the book, Cultivating Curriculum in Early Childhood Organizations, is especially relevant for today. Entitled, "What Should Young Children Be Learning," the article outlines four categories of learning: Knowledge, Skills, Feelings and Dispositions. Here is how she describes the very important concept of dispositions:

"There is a significant difference between having writing skills and having the disposition to be a writer. Dispositions are not learned through instruction or drill. The dispositions that children need to acquire or strengthen – curiosity, creativity, cooperation, friendliness – are learned primarily from being around people who exhibit them."

As Katz goes on to say, it is imperative that early childhood professionals think carefully about the kinds of dispositions they are modeling for children each day.

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Comments (2)

Displaying All 2 Comments
Tiffany Peckham · January 13, 2021
Lincoln, NE, United States

I love your comment, Stephanie!
I can think of so many times as an educator when I had to realize that my words need to be backed up by actions for children to understand. It's a good reminder for us as adults to bring that focus in our lives as well.

-Tiffany from Exchange

Stephanie Koclanis · January 13, 2021
Rockford, IL, United States

I love this!! So often we forget how much young children are soaking up, even when deep in play. As educators we think that our words are the most important way to impart knowledge, but then get frustrated when children don't "listen". This is because children learn from "doing" and "being"; they absorb our feelings, our demeanor, and our moods. This was a wonderful little reminder that connection and relationship are essential for children's well-being.

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