FN:draft#1:Landing in Oz

From: Duane Cleghorn
Submit: Post Field Note
VisitDate: 10/03/96
Date: 09 Oct 1996
Time: 17:39:31
Remote Name: psych106a.ucsc.edu



Children-male and female-1st grade to 6th grade


I sat in the circle on the first day feeling out of place. What seemed like two dozen kids were talking and listening to each other while Mauricio tried to tell them what they needed to do. I felt there could have been more structure to the gathering, then "Diego" said in a disconsolate tone that this seemed to him like school, and I could tell that this was going to be very different from the school they were used to. The feeling I got was that we were going to make exceptions and allow the kids freedom to do what they wanted, and I liked the idea. We didn't need to get on the kids case about doing what was required of them-as I'm sure that would have turned them off to the project. Instead, when the other students made the effort to help the kids, I found myself checking to see if I could help, which I did. I found the children excited about working with a different environment than they are used to, and I noticed the ease with which the kids integrated with the members of this class. I found this to be an indication of how successful this program could be.


I was concerned about how things would get started, but those concerns were quickly dispelled by the way the kids acted-they were anxious to get about doing what we were supposed to be doing. I thought there may be some friction between the kids and the students of this class, since I was feeling lost about making connections, but it seemed like there were no barriers between us. It was easy and rewarding to help the kids who looked like they needed help, and it was a good experience to be the one who looked for them without them coming to me for help.