The video created by Tobin et al. as part of their research at the intersection of education and cultural studies demonstrates teachers’ ability to fulfill numerous roles when working with children. The facet of teaching that I believe to be the most interesting is the educator’s role as the coordinator who uses his or her creativity and learning materials to encourage collaboration between children in the class. To me, this dimension of teaching is particularly important since children need to become good at collaborating with others to grow up and become active contributors to society. More than that, by acting as coordinators, teachers help children to develop a sense of responsibility and conflict resolution skills.
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The strategies supporting the discussed facet of teaching include modeling and demonstrating. In the videos, they are used to encourage children in China to engage in block activities and play together as a team. In particular, the teacher demonstrates things to be done to build structures from large soft blocks before the game (Tobin et al.). The next important strategies impacting children’s teamwork skills are speculation and the use of open questions that help students to make conclusions about unity and the norms of behavior. For instance, they are used by teachers in China and the United States when they engage in conversations with their students related to how they should eat and move to avoid distracting or affecting other children in the room (Tobin et al.). The next educational approach presented in the film is engaging children in shared thinking. With the help of the Buddy Bear activity, the American teacher makes children exchange their experiences and creates traditions that increase cohesion in the class.
Tobin, Joseph, et al., directors. Preschool in Three Cultures Revisited: China, Japan, and the United States. 2009, Kanopy.