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“The stories given in the following pages are fashioned on the model of stories actually told by children themselves about their own doings and every day experiences. The writer regards the modern stories which adults write for young children as unsuitable for the purpose intended.” -Educational Survey of Elizabeth City, North Carolina: Summary of Conclusions and Recommendations, 1921
“These stories are experiments,--experiments both in content and in form. They were written because of a deep dissatisfaction felt by a group of people working experimentally in a laboratory school, with the available literature for children. I am publishing them not because I feel they have come through to any particularly noteworthy achievement, but because they indicate a method of work which I believe to be sound where children are concerned. They must always be regarded as experiments, but experiments which have been strictly limited to lines suggested to me by the children themselves. Both the stuff of the stories and the mould in which they are cast are based on suggestions gained directly from children. I have tried to put aside my notions of what was "childlike." I have tried to ignore what I, as an adult, like. I have tried to study children's interests not historically but through their present observations and inquiries, and their sense of form through their spontaneous expressions in language, and to model my own work strictly on these findings. I have forced myself throughout to be deliberate, conscious, for fear I should slip back to adult habits of thought and expression. I can give here only samples of the many stories and questions I have gathered from the children which form the basis of my own stories. Suffice it that my own stories attempt to follow honestly the leads which here and now the children themselves indicate in content and in form, no matter how difficult or strange the going for adult feet.” -Caroline Pratt
FOREWORD: BY CAROLINE PRATT ix INTRODUCTION 1 Content: Its educational and psychological basis Form: Its patterns in words, sentences and stories
Two-Year-Olds: Types to be adjusted to individual children. Content, personal activities, told in motor and sense terms. Form reduced to a succession of few simple patterns. *MARNI TAKES A RIDE *MARNI GETS DRESSED IN THE MORNING
Three-Year-Olds: Content based on enumeration of familiar sense and motor associations and simple familiar chronological sequences. Some attempt to give opportunity for own contribution or for "motor enjoyment."*THE ROOM WITH THE WINDOW*LOOKING OUT ON THE GARDEN *THE MANY HORSE STABLE*MY KITTY*THE ROOSTER AND THE HENS *THE LITTLE HEN AND THE ROOSTER Jingles: MY HORSE, OLD DAN HORSIE GOES JOG-A-JOG AUTO, AUTO
Four- and Five-Year-Olds: Content, simple relationships between familiar moving objects, stressing particularly the idea of use. Emphasis on sound. Attempt to make verse patterns carry the significant points in the narrative. *HOW SPOT FOUND A HOME *THE DINNER HORSES*THE GROCERY MAN*THE JOURNEY*PEDRO'S FEET*HOW THE ENGINE LEARNED THE KNOWING SONG *THE FOG BOAT STORY*HAMMER, SAW, AND PLANE*THE ELEPHANT*HOW THE ANIMALS MOVE*THE SEA-GULL*THE FARMER TRIES TO SLEEP*WONDERFUL-COW-THAT-NEVER-WAS*THINGS THAT LOVED THE LAKE*HOW THE SINGING WATER GOT TO THE TUB*THE CHILDREN'S NEW DRESSES*OLD DAN GETS THE COAL
Six- and Seven-Year-Olds: Content, relationships further removed from the personal and immediate and extended to include social significance of simple familiar facts. Longer-span pattern which has become organic with beginning, middle and end.*THE SUBWAY CAR*BORIS TAKES A WALK AND FINDS MANY DIFFERENT KINDS OF TRAINS*BORIS WALKS EVERY WAY IN NEW YORK*SPEED*FIVE LITTLE BABIES*ONCE THE BARN WAS FULL OF HAY*THE WIND*THE LEAF STORY*A LOCOMOTIVE*MOON, MOON*AUTOMOBILE SONG*SILLY WILL*EBEN'S COWS*THE SKY SCRAPER
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Lucy Sprague Mitchell (1878–1967) was an American educator and the founder of Bank Street College of Education. A Radcliffe graduate, Mitchell was the first dean of women at the University of California at Berkeley, where she lectured in the English Department and promoted educational and career opportunities for women students from 1903–1912. In 1916, influenced by the work of John Dewey, Mitchell founded the Bureau of Educational Experiments (BEE) in New York City to study and develop optimal learning environments for children. (Wikipedia)
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