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Day Care Differences and the Reproduction of Social Class
Unformatted Document Text:  involvement differs in intensity as well. The following example illustrates the minimal teacher involvement in disputes at RMCD: Nathan pulled off Max’s socks and Max got upset. Becky (the teacher) did not see what happened, but saw Max with his sock off and told him to put it on again. Max explained that Nathan had pulled of his sock and Becky told Nathan not to do that. By way of contrast, as the following episode illustrates, teachers at GMCC do not just intervene, but they help children identify feelings in different situations according to what they (the teachers) believe those feelings to be: David, Mary and Julie were playing together with frequent disagreements. The girls began to exclude David from what they were doing. He continued to follow them around and to try to be involved in their play. Natalie, a teacher, asked David if he was enjoying the game he was playing with Mary and Julie and he answered, “Yes.” She then asked him if he felt happy while they were playing that game. Again, he answered that he did. Natalie said that it seemed to her that he was frustrated with some of the things the girls were doing. She asked the girls how they thought David felt about how they had been playing. They said that he might be sad, and Natalie encouraged them to talk about how they could make him feel happier. Eventually they agreed on a way to include him in their game. Approaching Teachers At RMCD, teachers are called “teacher” while at GMCC, teachers are called by their first names. This different nomenclature is just the start of the very different ways in which children at the two centers appear to regard, and make daily use of, the adult staff (Table 1E). First, children at GMCC are more “demanding” of teachers than are children at RMCD, making slightly over two requests of a teacher per child per hour, in contrast with but slightly over one request per child per hour at RMCD. Second, there are differences in the occasion for requests. At RMDC over half of all requests are for permission to do something, another third are for help or assistance, and a small number are for attention, recognition or affection, or to tattle about another child. At GMCC children ask for attention considerably more often than they do for permission but they rarely ask for help or assistance. 13

Authors: Nelson, Margaret. and Schutz, Rebecca.
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involvement differs in intensity as well. The following example illustrates the minimal teacher
involvement in disputes at RMCD:
Nathan pulled off Max’s socks and Max got upset. Becky (the teacher) did not see what
happened, but saw Max with his sock off and told him to put it on again. Max explained
that Nathan had pulled of his sock and Becky told Nathan not to do that.
By way of contrast, as the following episode illustrates, teachers at GMCC do not just intervene,
but they help children identify feelings in different situations according to what they (the teachers)
believe those feelings to be:
David, Mary and Julie were playing together with frequent disagreements. The girls began
to exclude David from what they were doing. He continued to follow them around and to
try to be involved in their play. Natalie, a teacher, asked David if he was enjoying the
game he was playing with Mary and Julie and he answered, “Yes.” She then asked him if
he felt happy while they were playing that game. Again, he answered that he did. Natalie
said that it seemed to her that he was frustrated with some of the things the girls were
doing. She asked the girls how they thought David felt about how they had been playing.
They said that he might be sad, and Natalie encouraged them to talk about how they could
make him feel happier. Eventually they agreed on a way to include him in their game.
Approaching Teachers
At RMCD, teachers are called “teacher” while at GMCC, teachers are called by their first
names. This different nomenclature is just the start of the very different ways in which children at
the two centers appear to regard, and make daily use of, the adult staff (Table 1E).
First, children at GMCC are more “demanding” of teachers than are children at RMCD,
making slightly over two requests of a teacher per child per hour, in contrast with but slightly
over one request per child per hour at RMCD. Second, there are differences in the occasion for
requests. At RMDC over half of all requests are for permission to do something, another third are
for help or assistance, and a small number are for attention, recognition or affection, or to tattle
about another child. At GMCC children ask for attention considerably more often than they do
for permission but they rarely ask for help or assistance.
13


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