What Is Developmentally Appropriate Teaching?
Analyses show that criticisms of CCSSM are
incorrect. Research also provides guidelines for appropriate, effective, and
joyful teaching and learning.
Kamii's stipulations about the CCSSM are more about the kind of teaching they can lead to. She has been quite concerned that giving teachers the standard about teaching kindergarteners to count to 100 may lead to teachers using direct instruction and a worksheet to dutifully march children through the counting numbers up to 100. Her mantra has always been that children are capable of thoughtful construction of knowledge and understanding. The authors of this article take Kamii to task and imply that she is not aware of "current" research about children's learning; however, I question their understanding of her work. She has always made the point that we need to teach for understanding, she never said that kindergartners could not count to 100. We know children can do without any conceptual understanding. I just watched a second grade teacher skillfully take her class through the procedures of using the interactive element of a school math program to show large squares representing 100, strips of 10 singles representing 10s and individual "stickers" to represent one. I write "skillfully" because the lesson ran smoothly with most (not all) the children using dry erase boards to show how many squares, strips and singles would represent various amounts like "52". However, I question their conceptual understanding of these numbers. This is the kind of "counting" Kamii refers to. The children seem quite capable but without a closer analysis and assessment of this knowlege we really don't know what understanding they have constructed.