Cover image for Understanding the preschooler
Understanding the preschooler
Wilburn, Reudene E., 1942-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : P. Lang, [2000]

Physical Description:
vii, 139 pages ; 24 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LB1117 .W543 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Understanding the Preschooler discusses some of the important aspects of social development in preschoolers as they go from the home environment into the school environment. Theoretical, observational, and anecdotal perspectives are integrated to offer connections between the youngsters' actions and reactions to different situations, as well as why and how they learn from these situations. The transition from home to preschool is not easy for them, but this book aids adults in understanding how youngsters make that transition.

Author Notes

Reudene E. Wilburn is Assistant Principal and Director of the Early Childhood Development Center at Holy Cross School in the Bronx, New York.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This volume is the ninth in the "Rethinking Childhood Series," edited by Joe Kincheloe and Janice Jipson. Wilburn, Assistant Principal and Director of the Early Childhood Development Center in the Bronx, New York, organizes her book around preschool activities and developmental areas such as meal time, story time, the block area, play time, science, art, interpersonal relationships, and conduct. Real life stories and conversations give aspiring early childhood educators a look into the preschool classroom. Drawing on well-known research by Skinner, Piaget, Vygotsky, Montessori, Smart, and Smart, Wilburn shows that early childhood is a special time--the young are egocentric in their thinking, curious, and need to explore and experience the world around them firsthand. She demonstrates how youngsters of all cultures pass through similar stages in their social and cognitive development. The book is clearly written and provides a considerable number of references at the end of each chapter that could be used for further study. Suitable for undergraduates. S. Woods Harvard University

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Synopsis of Chapter Contentp. 3
Chapter 1 Who is the Preschool Youngster?p. 7
Importance of Play-Yard Experiencesp. 7
Play-Yard Experiences and the Development of Cognitionp. 9
Inside the Classroom--Fine Motor Skillsp. 10
Sensory Stimulationp. 11
"Do You Love Me, Ms. Jones?"--A Look at What Motivates Youngstersp. 12
External Praise and Internal Motivationp. 15
Making Choicesp. 17
In Summaryp. 18
Referencesp. 20
Chapter 2 Some Aspects of the Socialization Process in the Early Formation of Friendshipsp. 23
Attachment Theory as it Relates to Socializationp. 24
Preschoolers Learn to Sharep. 25
Development of Friendshipsp. 27
Group Entry as it Relates to Friendshipp. 29
Friendship and Cognitive Developmentp. 32
Use of Language in the Formation of Friendshipsp. 36
Conflict in Friendshipsp. 38
In Summaryp. 40
Referencesp. 41
Chapter 3 Parameters and the Preschoolerp. 45
Parameters and Social Interactionp. 45
Rules and Cognitive Adaptationp. 47
Group Reinforcement of Parametersp. 53
Discipline and the Preschoolerp. 53
Routines and Rules Can Be Grounding Agentsp. 56
In Summaryp. 57
Referencesp. 58
Chapter 4 Sharing Meal Time Experiences In Preschoolp. 61
New Eating Experiences in Preschoolp. 61
Gentle Coaching by Peers and Teacherp. 63
In Summaryp. 66
Referencesp. 67
Chapter 5 Budding Literacy Acquisition and the Preschoolerp. 69
Emerging Literacy--From Home to Preschoolp. 70
Fostering Language in Preschoolp. 73
Literacy Acquisition and Themesp. 75
Expansion of Literacy Through Storyingp. 76
Construction of Meaningp. 79
Re-Reading Storiesp. 80
Developing Higher Level Cognition During Story-Time Circlep. 81
Vygotsky and the Storybookp. 82
In Summaryp. 84
Referencesp. 85
Chapter 6 Preschoolers in the Block Areap. 87
Playing with Blocks as a Cooperative Effortp. 88
Stages of Construction Using Blocksp. 89
Becoming the Created Structurep. 92
In Summaryp. 93
Referencesp. 94
Chapter 7 Play and Sociodramatic Play in Preschoolp. 95
Themes, Play, and Cognitive Developmentp. 99
Two Different Views of the Play Experiencep. 101
In Summaryp. 103
Referencesp. 104
Chapter 8 Scientific Inquiry--Naturallyp. 107
Keeping Science Connectedp. 109
Methods of Recording Observationsp. 112
In Summaryp. 113
Referencesp. 114
Chapter 9 Young Artistsp. 115
Stages in Early Artp. 115
Emotions in Artp. 116
The Art Creating Processp. 117
Using Integrative Skillsp. 119
In Summaryp. 120
Referencesp. 121
Chapter 10 Amazing Mathp. 123
The Snack--An Informal Experimentp. 124
Procedure of the Snack Experimentp. 124
Results of the Snack Experimentp. 125
The Beads--A Second Informal Experimentp. 126
Procedure of the Beads Experimentp. 126
Results of the Beads Experimentp. 127
In Summaryp. 129
Referencesp. 131
Chapter 11 Philosophical Summaryp. 133
Referencesp. 135
Indexp. 137