2-4 | The Classrooms All Young Children Need: Lessons in Teaching from Vivian Paley

Book Review

The Classrooms All Young Children Need: Lessons in Teaching from Vivian Paley

Patricia M. Cooper
Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2009. References, index, notes. 248 pp. $29.00 cloth. ISBN: 9780226115238

by Christine J. Ferguson

First Paragraph:

In The Classrooms All Young Children Need: Lessons in Teaching from Vivian Paley, Patricia M. Cooper presents a comprehensive and thoughtful analysis of the work of Vivian Paley, play advocate, earlychildhood educator, and author. Through reflective practice, stories, and dialogue, Cooper captures the very essence of Paley's pedagogical approach. This approach centers on two overlapping principles: pedagogy of meaning, which is mainly curricular; and pedagogy of fairness, which is primarily relational. Cooper identifies the relevant developmental research supporting Paley's pedagogical ideals as well as their significant theoretical foundations. Paley's contributions to early-childhood education are highly regarded by many professionals—educational philosophers, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, play therapists, and teacher educators, among others. However, Cooper argues Paley's philosophy of education and pedagogical methods are "underutilized in schools" and in the teacher-education community.