"Growing old is no more than a bad habit which a busy man has no time to form." Andre Maurois
Jerry Parr: "Great comments... Piaget would be proud... you proved his theory of concept development via the creation of disequilibrium -- known in Mississippi as I observe therefore I fry and eat."
Alice Honig: "I was interested in all these comments. It made me realize that the persons responding did not know how we teach in child development. A fine teacher understands ECE deeply and translates the difficult concepts of theorists into practical language harmonious with the epxriences of those learning to interact in more responsive, subtle, ways to promote secure attachment, language flourishing, prosocial skills, etc..
"Yet if teachers do not ever hear the special vocabulary of our field, then it is no wonder that parents and legislators would think we are not really "professionals".
"Let me give a good
example from my own work when parents pressured us to start too-early toilet
learning with their young toddlers. We told them seriously and slowly about
how important it is that there is completion of myelinization of the great motor
neurons from the Betz cells of the motor cortex of the brain all the way down
to the anal and urethral sphincters. The white fatty sheaths of myelin then
permit a neuron to fire much faster and with voluntary control. When this myelinzation
is completed fully varies for different children. This may take up to 24 months.
Thus, beginning toilet learning too early would not be fair to a little child.
We explained every word in our talk BUT, the parents were truly impressed by
our knowledge base and more ready to listen to reasonable ideas about what signs
to look for in child behaviors, such as words for toileting, evidence that proprioceptive
cues from the sphincters (and again we explained in down-to-earth detail!) were
being attended to by the toddler, etc.) so that together, parents and caregivers
could work toward the desired goals of toilet learning. In our field, we will
never be considered professionals unless we are willing to trust in the ability
and passion for their work that excellent caregivers bring to the amazing adventure
of helping little ones grow and flourish in our care and also trust in their
willingness to learn ever more deeply about growth and development of young
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