News & Events

IC3 Staff Attend All Day Training


Presenter: Dan Gartrell

IC3 staff participated in an all day training with Dan Gartrell on Friday, May 5. Dan Gartrell is a former Head Start teacher for the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe in northern Minnesota. During the 1970s, Dan completed his Masters degree at Bemidji State University in northern Minnesota where he was a CDA advisor for the Child Development Training Program. Dan received his doctoral degree from the University of North Dakota in 1977. For nearly 40 years, Dan was director of CDTP and professor of Early Childhood Education at Bemidji State University. He is an Emeritus Professor in Early Childhood Education from Bemidji State.

Dan has written many pieces that have appeared in NAEYC’s Young Children, including a long running column titled “Guidance Matters,” as well as three recent articles in Childhood Exchange. Dan is the author of four books including the 6th edition of his textbook,  A Guidance Approach for the Encouraging Classroom. His fifth book, Guidance for Every Child/Teaching Young Children Conflict Management, is to be released by Redleaf Press this June.

Dan has presented over 300 workshops, keynotes, and trainings in many states, Germany, and Mexico.  Dan is a member of a blended family that includes wife, Dr. Julie Jochum, five children, and eleven grandchildren.

Today’s agenda included the following topics:

 The Goal of Guidance: Democratic Life Skills

Guidance is more than keeping children “in line” in kindly ways. Guidance means teaching children the skills they need to function as productive citizens and healthy individuals. These skills, democratic life skills, are the goals of guidance and are the long term abilities that will help our descendants make it into the next century. In brief the skills include the abilities to: express strong emotions in non-hurting ways; make decisions intelligently and ethically; work cooperatively to solve problems; and be accepting of others whatever their unique human qualities. Dan uses practical anecdotes to illustrate and discuss the teaching and learning of democratic life skills

From Survival to Resilience: The Practice of Liberation Teaching

Children with challenging behaviors continue to be a hot topic with early childhood educators. From a guidance approach Dan looks at working with children who have frequent conflicts. After defining liberation teaching, the session addresses: 1) What frequent conflicts mean for the child, the group and the teacher; 2) Causes of frequent conflicts in children; 3) The effects of negative labeling on the child: stigma. 4) Comprehensive guidance with children who show strong needs mistaken behavior; 5) Support systems for teachers; 6) The importance of liberation teaching for the guidance approach.

Guidance with Boys

Teachers sometimes label “boy behaviors” and boys as rowdy, aggressive, non-compliant, developmentally “slow.” One common teacher reaction is to use traditional “semi-punitive” discipline techniques with boys, accept the non-success of these techniques as inevitable, and hope for fewer boys in next year’s class. The workshop focuses on the need to reexamine “boy behavior,” design educational programs developmentally inclusive of boys, and use guidance techniques in firm but friendly ways that show the acceptance of individual boys that we know is important for all of the children in our program. The session also addresses the fact that less than 20% of elementary school teachers and 5% of preschool teachers are men. The observation that more men teachers are needed is one answer, but not the only answer to helping boys find a welcome place in our classrooms.