Cliques and exclusion in preschool

Watch Video: Cliques and exclusion in preschool by Tom Hobson, ...
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Cliques and exclusion in preschool

In our school, the children make all their own rules and they propose rules and they get them on the board and we write them all down. And this list can be really long. One of the rules that they always end up making and part of this is the children are in the class for two or three years, they remember it from the year before, and one of the rules they always make is the rule you can´t say you can´t play. No one likes to be excluded. I think this is a really emotionally charged issue for parents and for children, but parents in particular because you are mortified when your child is excluding others and you are also mortified when your child is excluded. I was reading a study not long ago on third graders. Third graders, even the most popular ones, are excluded or rejected about one third of the time when they try to enter into play. So this is something that we all have vast experienc in and I think that´s why it really affects us so emotionally when we do it. What´s important for us is not to overreact when it´s happening. This is part of normal power play. Almost every child needs to have the experience of the power of saying you can´t be part of this, but fortunately we have this rule and we are able to say you and your friends agreed that you can´t say that you can´t play. And so we need to come up with a solution. And we are able to have then a discussion about this and it does take a lot of repetition sometimes. You do have to say, like with anything, over and over again you agreed. Nobody likes to be excluded.

Watch Video: Cliques and exclusion in preschool by Tom Hobson, ...


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Tom Hobson

Co-Op Preschool Teacher

Tom is a preschool teacher, blogger, artist, and author. For the past 10 years, he’s worked for the Woodland Park Cooperative preschools, teaching two to five year olds in Seattle, Washington where he lives with his wife and daughter. His award-winning blog, “Teacher Tom,” has earned him an international following as a leading proponent of a progressive, play-based curriculum and the cooperative model of early childhood education, as well as a fierce advocate for public policies that support the whole child and the teaching of democratic values to even our youngest citizens. His blog, like his classroom, is a place of exploration of the physical, social, political, emotional, and even spiritual world. It’s a place of experimentation, where the adults learn every bit as much as the children.

Tom is the author of A Parent’s Guide To Seattle, a regular speaker on early childhood education, a board member of the Fremont Arts Council, and a founding member of the Superhuggers performance art ensemble.

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