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A Path to Our Future: Artful Thinking, Learning, Teaching, and Research


Elizabeth P. Quintero and Mary Kay Rummel

This is a book about story, the human experience, teaching and learning, creativity and community. Story is so much more than decoding text and writing using academic language. It also includes literature and all forms of the arts; digital forms of story, from social media to documentation of history; and new forms of multilayered, multigenre research. Story is the backbone and the catalyst for personal connections, appropriation of knowledge, and synergy of knowledge for global citizens. Critical qualitative research is the methodology by which to document and analyze what is really going on in the complex, multidirectional interactions. The authors maintain that story in a broad and newly enlightened sense may help us to break out from the narrow concepts of literacy, content knowledge related to measureable standards, and random facts that are unrelated to dispositions for addressing human needs. Literacy as a conceptual synthesis of knowledge, skills, and dispositions has been giving us glimpses of synergistic ways to approach learning and teaching.
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Chapter Ten: Storying Learning: Assessment in Early Childhood Settings

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One early childhood studies student teacher, working as an early childhood professional for a number of years, related a story and raised some questions.

I will name the child whose story I tell, Melina; she came to our center not too long ago. She is 4 years of age and is very social and enjoys having conversations with me. Melina is always willing to participate in many of the activities available in the classroom. In our classroom we have been talking about families and what families do at work. I had finished reading a book about families and Melina invited me to play with her. Melina and I were working with geometric shapes in the manipulative table. I found several “house shaped” manipulatives and I lined them up, then around the houses I place some green triangle shaped manipulatives. The following conversation occurred between us:

The student teacher noted, “With Melina’s story I can see that she has a vivid image of her home town, her grandpa’s ranch and she is able to recreate her images through objects to tell her story” (Quintero, 2009 p. 163).

In our university class, we discussed all the “knowledge” and “skills” that this 4-year-old shows. And we all asked, how can early childhood assessments document this child’s potential?

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