Objective: Apply the “analytical index” technique that you learned earlier in the term to reading the book Preschool in Three Cultures Revisited. This technique helps you interpret the material in a text in ways that may differ from the framing arguments and interpretations advanced by the text’s author. The process of creating this index will help you read the book insightfully and develop your own interpretations of the data it presents.
Step 1: Read the book, pp. 1-81 and 95-221. See course schedule for a selection of pages to focus on.
Step 2: Devote some time to searching for definitions of and reading about the following four terms: egalitarianism, hierarchy, individualism, and sociocentrism (or sociocentricity). Make sure to compare multiple sources. We will also be discussing these terms and their meanings in class.
Step 3: Go through the text of the Preschool book and make a list of specific details and passages that illustrate manifestations of
1. egalitarianism or hierarchy
2. individualism or sociocentricity in the way children and parents are treated, the way classes are taught, the way schools are managed, and the way curricula are developed, standardized, and communicated to teachers; and also in the ideas, ideals, and values of parents, teachers, and school administrators. As you list these, pay special attention to
3. contradictions between conflicting principles, or between the ideology and the reality. For each topic above, go through the text collecting evidence: interesting or revealing details. List the page numbers on which relevant material appears (this is the “index” part), along with (a) a reminder of what the passage says, and (b) your own note on what it means, reveals, implies, etc.—that is, on why it strikes you as interesting or significant. This index will become your primary resource for composing your 3rd paper (see below), so make it as rich and thorough as possible, with as many entries and as much detail as you can manage. As you go along making the index, you should see patterns emerging: be sure to take note of these and reflect them in your index by introducing subtopics or subthemes (i.e., subdividing and refining the big categories that you start out with). Do not simply list the instances that come first in the text. Instead, select the ones that strike you as most interesting and revealing. It is normal to revise the scope of the categories that you are indexing as you go along and gain increased understanding. It is also fine if the resulting index is handwritten and messy.