SEL Awardee

Tim Frazier

Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center
Wainscott Common School District
East Hampton, NY
“All children have "inner" voices that are ongoing and define the world they live in. As early childhood professionals, parents, guardians and for preschool children alike, it is important to realize and understand the importance of these "inner" voices. Most preschoolers are very dependent on their parents, guardians and families to acquire the basic literacy habits and traits needed to function and participate in the world surrounding them. Children want to be heard in order to be understood, unfortunately, most environments that children live and learn in don't factor in the importance of their "inner voice". When children realize that adults are interested in understanding their "inner voice" they are more open to explore, create and engage in the environment they learn in. In Vygotsky's (1934/1987) theory of cognitive development, inner voice is the outcome of a developmental process. Vygotsky assumed that understanding how such a phenomenon emerges over the life span is necessary for full comprehension of its subjective qualities and functional characteristics. Via a mechanism of internalization, linguistically mediated social exchanges (such as those between the child and a caregiver) are transformed, in Vygotsky's model, into an internalized "conversation" with the self. Given, that all of us have this "never ending voice" as part of our cognitive makeup, especially, young children — It is critical for teachers and educators of young children to understand and value developing their "inner" voices.”
Tags: Elementary School, ELs, Rural, Teacher