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The SIX SupPORTSof early childhood curriculum planning:A Training Module for weekday education teachers

ASK Magazine

Teaching plan
Teaching Plan


  • The purpose of this training module is to educate weekday education teachers regarding the philosophy and importance of a holistic, “whole child” educational philosophy. This lesson will also provide guidance as to implementing the “whole child” philosophy into daily practice.


  • This module is designed to be completed within a 2 hour seminar session.

  • Time has been allotted for Q & A.


  • Participants will be encouraged to make personal connections with other participants, and share best practices in the implementation of whole child philosophy.

    Key concepts

  • Science of early childhood development

  • What is the whole child philosophy?

  • Why have a whole child philosophy?

  • Multiple intelligences

  • Long term goals of a whole child philosophy

  • Six supports of whole child philosophy

    • Social development

    • Emotional development

    • Physical development

    • Linguistic development

    • Cognitive development

    • Spiritual development

  • Implementing a whole child philosophy

    • Discovery method of instruction

    • Whole child assessment tools

  • Overview of presentation
    Overview of Presentation

    • “Whole child” philosophy

    • The “six supports” of early childhood curriculum planning

    • Incorporating a whole child philosophy into practice

    • Q & A

    The science of early childhood development
    The Science of Early Childhood Development

    Note: Must be connected to the internet to view this video.

    Child development is
    Child development is:

    “…when you educate the whole child, you can count on academic growth as well, even if that's not the primary intent. “(Curriculum Development Group)

    • A process of change

    • A journey of discovery through the senses

    • multi-faceted and multidimensional: involves health, nutrition, hygiene, emotion, and intellect.

    • Development processes are interrelated: the emotional affects cognitive affects physical, etc.

      (Laying the Foundation)

    Whole child philosophy of early childhood education
    Whole Child Philosophy of Early Childhood Education

    • The aim of early childhood education is to foster the social, emotional, physical and intellectual development of the young child. (Traditions of Early Childhood)

    • Incorporates a maturationist view of development: young children will acquire knowledge naturally and automatically as they grow physically and become older, provided that they are healthy (Theories of Child Development and Learning)

    Whole child philosophy1
    Whole Child Philosophy

    • Reflects a holistic orientation to education.

    • In the human organism, there is no such thing as an independent part; all parts are interconnected.

    • We need to recognize those connections when we teach, when we design education environments, when we provide incentives, and when we grade students. (Back to Whole)

    Why a whole child philosophy
    Why A Whole Child Philosophy?

    • A narrow and persistent attention to academics is potentially harmful to children as it inhibits their social, emotional, and physical development.

    • Many four- and five-year-olds are not developmentally ready to participate in a heavy academic curriculum in which they are expected to sit and pay attention for long periods of time, and where skills are taught in isolation rather than in ways that are meaningful and relevant. (Emergent Literacy)

    Theory of multiple intelligences
    Theory of Multiple Intelligences

    • Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences defined eight intelligences, including linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily, kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal, to which he recently added a ninth, naturalistic.

    • Because of the differences in abilities, children differ dramatically in how they learn, and therefore teachers should incorporate differing approaches to teaching. (Balancing the Whole Child)

    Contemporary thought sternberg
    Contemporary thought: Sternberg

    • Robert Sternberg goes further and contrasts varying learning styles: a child's random approach to problem solving versus using one step at a time; creating and inventing versus judging and evaluating; dealing with the big picture versus dealing with details; preferring to work alone versus working with others.

    • Sternberg's ideal teacher "must accommodate an array of thinking and learning styles, systematically varying teaching and assessment methods to reach every student.“ (Balancing the Whole Child)

    Long term goals of the whole child philosophy
    Long term goals of the whole child philosophy

    • To become people with high moral standards

    • Cultivate a wide knowledge base

    • Strong ability to adapt themselves to a changing world

    Social development1
    Social Development

    • Most of what young children learn, they learn through play and playful interaction with their environments and the people in them.

    • Time for play is critical--children have to have an adequate amount of time for play. (Time to Get Physical)

    Social development2
    Social Development

    “…it is not so much that we need to think of a child who develops himself by himself but rather of a child who develops himself interacting and developing with others.”

    (Malaguzzi , as quoted in Socialization)

    • Create situations where there is interaction among children. Try to produce interactions that are constructive, not only for socializing, but also for constructing the forms and meaning of language. (Socialization)

    Basic needs of all children
    Basic needs of all children

    • Belonging

    • Achievement

    • Freedom for fear

    • Love and affection

    • Freedom from guilt

      (Childcare and

      Guidance Management,

      and Services)

    Emotional development1
    Emotional Development

    • Children’s attachment and affection to caregivers enhances the ability to learn, take on new knowledge and cope with stress and conflict. (Laying the Foundation)

    • Provide opportunities for expression through the visual, musical, and dramatic arts, which allow children to discover themselves and the world and to integrate the two. (Alliance for Childhood)

    Physical development1
    Physical Development

    • In 1749, Benjamin Franklin recommended that public schools emphasize physical fitness because “exercise invigorates the soul as well as the body.”(Balance in the Balance)

    • Too little time for unstructured play leads to increased stress for children and parents. (Kids Need Play)

    • Vary activities to include both gross motor and fine motor skill development

    Linguistic development1
    Linguistic Development

    • Throughout history, there has been a strong connection between art and ideas.

    • Before children can write about their feelings, they are often able to express them through their artwork. (Making Connections Through Visual Arts)

    • Offer rich experiences of oral language, including conversation, storytelling, nursery rhymes, poetry, songs, and books read aloud. (Alliance for Childhood)

    Cognitive development1
    Cognitive Development

    • “The social and emotional well-being that comes from supporting the development of the whole child is an essential element of effective academic learning,” says Diane Levin of Wheelock College. “When we fail to support all aspects of children’s development, academic achievement suffers.” (Alliance for Childhood)

    • Art, recess, physical education, and second languages encourage independent thinking, creative problem solving, physical health, and academic success (Countering Standardization)

    Cognitive development2
    Cognitive Development

    • Learning by doing and the need to know (inquisitiveness) seem to enhance development.

    • Play stimulates imagination and creativity

    Spiritual development1
    Spiritual Development

    • Also referred to as spiritual formation.

    • When there is an emphasis on words, emotions, symbols and actions, children sense their inclusion in faith and remain connected to them as they grow older, learn to express ultimate concerns and perceive value in the way other people express their deepest concerns. (Spiritual Styles)

    Spiritual development2
    Spiritual Development

    • Talk with children, allow them to learn through their emotions, wonder with them about the spiritual and supernatural, and give them opportunities to take action in the world. (Spiritual Styles)

    What does it mean to educate the whole child
    What does it mean to educate the whole child?

    • To recognize the distinctive talents that individual children possess and to create a nurturing environment

    • Take into consideration the various ways in which students respond to what teachers plan (cognitively, emotionally, imaginatively, and socially)

    • Assessment methods that provide a more complete picture of the developing child. Not everything that matters is measurable, and not everything that is measurable matters.

    • The social and emotional life of the child needs to be as much a priority as measured academic achievement- perhaps an even greater priority. (Back to Whole)

    To develop the whole child requires the following contributions
    To develop the whole child requires the following contributions:

    • Communities should provide:

      • Family support and involvement.

      • Government, civic, and business support and resources.

      • Volunteers and advocates.

      • Support for their districts' coordinated school health councils or other collaborative structures.

    • Schools should provide

      • Challenging and engaging curriculums.

      • Adequate professional development with collaborative planning time embedded within the school day.

      • A safe, healthy, orderly, and trusting environment.

      • High-quality teachers and administrators.

      • A climate that supports strong relationships between adults and students.

      • Support for coordinated school health councils or other collaborative structures that are active in the school.

    • Teachers should provide

      • Evidence-based assessment and instructional practices.

      • Rich content and an engaging learning climate.

      • A classroom climate that supports student and family connectedness.

      • Effective classroom management.

      • Modeling of healthy behaviors. (ASCD)

    Principles for implementing whole child curriculum
    Principles for implementing whole child curriculum contributions:

    “The principle goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done.”

    -- Jean Piaget

    • Varied teaching methods and activities support the development of the whole child.

    • Partnership with parents is critical to success

    • Maintain a positive classroom environment

    • Develop policies and practices which further whole child development (Back to Whole)

    Discovery method of instruction
    Discovery Method of Instruction contributions:

    • Give children ample time for hands-on practical experiences of the world around them. This can include gardening, woodworking, cooking, and a wide array of life activities.

    • Hands-on activities are important in and of themselves, and also stimulate mathematical and scientific experience. (Alliance for Childhood)

    Discovery model of instruction
    Discovery Model of Instruction contributions:



    • Children can explore and experiment

    • Allows decision making and reasoning

    • Encourages questioning

    • Promotes independence

    • Requires wide array of materials

    • Children may not learn to follow rules as well

    Child Care and Guidance, Management, and Services

    Whole child assessment tools
    Whole Child Assessment Tools contributions:

    • ANECDOTAL RECORDS are short written descriptions of behaviors or events. While watching, jot down enough information to get the basic story Separate your interpretations or opinions. Write your interpretations on the back of the page or put them in parentheses.

    • PHOTOGRAPHS communicate to children, parents, and administrators the process of how knowledge is constructed. You can use digital photos and images and send them to parents via email.

    • AUDIOTAPING children's verbal communication will provide you with information about their language skills as well as their development as cooperative players and problem solvers.

    • VIDEOTAPING allows you to assess action and emotion and look closely at children engaged in events in your program.

    • WORK SAMPLES You can save originals and make photocopies of children's writing and artwork. It is important to remember to date each work sample.

    • CHECKLISTS are quick, efficient tools that enable you to record children's behaviors and abilities easily. Be sure the checklists are age-appropriate for the children you're observing.

    • PORTFOLIOS are organized collections of children's work throughout the school year. They may include photos, audio and videotapes, checklists, anecdotes, and work samples. At the beginning of the year, determine the type of information you need to collect. A summary sheet is usually written twice a year to evaluate the information collected in each child's portfolio.

    Final thoughts
    Final Thoughts contributions:

    Final thoughts1
    Final Thoughts contributions:

    • Children respond to educational situations not only intellectually, but emotionally and socially as well.

    • To neglect the social and emotional aspects of development is incomplete and does not help children reach their full potential. (Laying the Foundation)

    • Teachers should be empowered to draw on their expertise to develop, adapt, and use whatever pedagogy will work best with particular students and content. (Countering Standardization)

    Questions? contributions:

    Works cited
    Works Cited contributions:

    Child Care and Guidance, Management, and Services Curriculum Guide. (1992).

    Cohen, Lynn, and Bonnie Blagojevic. "Starting school: observing the whole child." Scholastic Early Childhood Today. 17.1 (September 2002): 38-46.

    "Curriculum-Development Group Urges Focus Shift to Whole Child." Education Week 26.29 (2007): 7. Academic OneFile. Web. 3 Dec. 2010.

    Ebner, Aviva. "Making connections through visual arts: in the race to improve academic offerings and raise test scores, some schools have neglected to educated the whole child." Leadership 36.2 (2006): 26+. Academic OneFile. Web. 4 Dec. 2010.

    Edwards, Suzy. "Children's learning and developmental potential: examining the theoretical informants of early childhood curricula from the educator's perspective." Early Years: Journal of International Research & Development 25.1 (2005): 67-80. Professional Development Collection. EBSCO. Web. 29 Nov. 2010.

    Eisner, Elliot. "Back to Whole." Educational Leadership. 63.1 (September 2005): 14-18.

    "Guiding Children to Explore and Create." Early Childhood Today 17.7 (2003): 12. Professional Development Collection. EBSCO. Web. 29 Nov. 2010.

    Hanzelka, Richard. "The Katha School: Where Learning Matters." Educational Leadership. 64.8 (May 2007): 66-9.

    HarvardEducation. " YouTube - The Science of Early Childhood Development ." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. . N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Dec. 2010. <>.

    Honawar, Vailshali. "Curriculum-Development Group Urges Focus Shift to Whole Child." Education Week. 26.29 (March 28 2007): 7.

    Landsman, Julie, and Paul Gorski. "Countering Standardization." Educational Leadership. 64.8 (May 2007): 40-4.

    Lodish, Richard. "Balancing the "whole child"." Principal (Reston, Va.). 78.3 (January 1999): 54-5.

    Perkins-Gough, Deborah. "A Focus on the Whole Child." Educational Leadership. 65.7 (April 2008): 96.

    Rankin, Baji. "The Importance of Intentional Socialization Among Children in Small Groups: A Conversation with Loris Malaguzzi." Early Childhood Education Journal 32.2 (2004): 81-85. Professional Development Collection. EBSCO. Web. 29 Nov. 2010.

    Schroeder, Ken. "Kids Need Play." Education Digest 72.5 (2007): 73-74. Professional Development Collection. EBSCO. Web. 29 Nov. 2010.

    Spodek, Bernard, and Olivia N. Saracho. "“On the Shoulders of Giants”: Exploring the Traditions of Early Childhood Education." Early Childhood Education Journal 31.1 (2003): 3. Professional Development Collection. EBSCO. Web. 29 Nov. 2010.

    Strickland, Eric. "Time to Get Physical!." Early Childhood Today 19.1 (2004): 10. Professional Development Collection. EBSCO. Web. 29 Nov. 2010.

    "Theories of Child Development and Learning." North Central Regional Educational Laboratory. North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, 4 Dec. 2010. Web. 4 Dec. 2010. <>.