Teachers often feel poised between dynamic forces in the classroom as they struggle to meet the needs of both individual students and the group, to promote children's self-knowledge as well as their knowledge of the curriculum. Here Jessica Howard, a teacher at the Prospect School,a private elementary school in rural Vermont, re-examines this dialectic. She describes how she,as a teacher, creates the "middle ground," a time and place that pulls together the disparate elements of classroom life, where children can make new and richer sense of themselves and the world.

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