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This study was based on interviews with kindergarten students and their teachers from two classrooms in a large, urban elementary school. Classroom observations by the re searcher were also used to describe the physical environment created by each teacher and the organization of each teacher's instruction. The purpose of the study was to compare students' perceptions of themselves as readers and writers and to determine if there were significant differences between the two classes. These particular classrooms were selected because of the differences in classroom teacher philosophy and actual teaching practice. One classroom could be described as traditionally academic and the other as developmentally appropriate. For the purpose of this study, a traditionally academic kindergarten classroom focuses on formal instruction in academic skills to all students while a developmentally appropriate classroom emphasizes attention to the different needs, interests, and developmental levels of the students (Bredekamp, 1987).

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