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Chapter 1. Defining Developmentally Appropriate Practice: What It Is. Developmentally Appropriate Practice—What Is It?. Programs are based on the accumulation of data and facts about what children are like

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Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Defining Developmentally Appropriate Practice: What It Is

© 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.


Developmentally appropriate practice what is it
Developmentally Appropriate Practice—What Is It?

  • Programs are based on the accumulation of data and facts about what children are like

  • Programs designed for young children must be based on what is known about young children

  • Early childhood educators must be steeped in child development knowledge

  • Children must be considered in the context of their family, culture, community, past history, and present circumstances

© 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.


Basic principles of development

Domains of children’s develop-ment—physical, social, emotional, and cognitive—are closely related. Development in one domain influences and is influenced by development in other domains

Development occurs in a relatively orderly sequence, with later abilities, skills, and knowledge building on those already acquired

Development proceeds at varying rates from child to child as well as unevenly within different areas of a child’s functioning

Early experiences have both cumulative and delayed effects on individual children’s development; Optimal periods exist for certain types of development and learning

Development proceeds in predictable directions toward greater complexity, organization, and internalization

Development and learning occur in and are influenced by multiple social and cultural contexts

Basic Principles of Development

© 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.


Basic principles of development1

Children are active learners, drawing on direct physical and social experience as well as culturally transmitted knowledge to construct their own under-standing of the world around them

Development and learning result from interaction of biological maturation and the environment, which includes both the physical and social worlds that children live in

Play is an important vehicle for children’s social, emotional, and cognitive development, as well as a reflection of their development

Development advances when children have opportunities to practice newly acquired skills as well as when they experience a challenge just beyond the level of their present mastery

Children demonstrate different modes of knowing and learning and different ways of representing what they know

Children develop and learn best in the context of a community where they are safe and valued, their physical needs are met, and they feel psychologically secure

Basic Principles of Development

© 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.


Common misunderstandings about developmentally appropriate practice
Common Misunderstandings about Developmentally Appropriate social experience as well as culturally transmitted knowledge to construct their own under-standing of the world around themPractice

  • There is only one right way to carry out developmentally appropriate practice

  • Developmentally appropriate classrooms are unstructured

  • Teachers teach minimally or not at all in developmentally appropriate classrooms

© 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.


Common misunderstandings about developmentally appropriate practice1
Common Misunderstandings about Developmentally Appropriate social experience as well as culturally transmitted knowledge to construct their own under-standing of the world around themPractice

  • Developmentally appropriate programs do not include academics, generally interpreted to be the formal skills of learning reading, writing, and arithmetic

  • Developmentally appropriate programs are only effective for particular populations, “usually assumed to be typically developing, white, middle-class children”

  • In developmentally appropriate classrooms, there is no way to tell whether children are learning

© 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.


Common misunderstandings about developmentally appropriate practice2
Common Misunderstandings about Developmentally Appropriate social experience as well as culturally transmitted knowledge to construct their own under-standing of the world around themPractice

  • Developmentally appropriate practice can be achieved simply by acquiring certain kinds of toys and materials

  • Developmentally appropriate practice uses no goals or objectives

  • In developmentally appropriate practice, the curriculum is child development

  • Developmental appropriateness is just one in a sequence of changing trends in education

© 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.


Results of appropriate versus inappropriate practices
Results of Appropriate versus social experience as well as culturally transmitted knowledge to construct their own under-standing of the world around themInappropriate Practices

  • Self-esteem

    • mastering

    • meaningful

  • Self-control

  • Stress

  • Later academic patterns

© 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.


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