Early Childhood Curriculum: Developmental Bases for Learning and Teaching (3rd Edition)

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9780130914248: Early Childhood Curriculum: Developmental Bases for Learning and Teaching (3rd Edition)

This book uses the most current interpretations and applications of classic theories as a basis for understanding how to develop early childhood curriculum and instruction for children ages 0-8. The author stresses the need for readers to understand the foundations of their programs prior to developing and using quality curriculum and teaching. Known for its solid theoretical focus and child-centered approach, it serves as a specific guide to implement a quality program in early childhood classrooms. The Changing Role of the Teacher in Developing Curriculum for Diverse Populations; Historical and Theoretical Bases for Appropriate Programs in Early Childhood Settings; The Need for Quality Programs in Early Childhood Education; Developmental Characteristics of Young Children from Birth to Eight Years: Implications for Learning; Organizing Infant-Toddler Programs; Infant-Toddler Curriculum: Birth to Age Two; A Developmental Model for Preschool Programs; Preschool Curriculum: Ages Three to Five: Language and Cognitive Development; Preschool Curriculum: Ages Three to Five: Social and Physical Development; A Model for Programs for Children Ages Five to Eight; The Transitional Curriculum: Ages Five to Eight: Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science; The Transitional Curriculum: Ages Five to Eight: Social Studies and Physical Education; Teaching in the Real World.

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From the Publisher:

This new text brings together the issues of child development and curriculum planning to create a cohesive plan for guiding the education of children from infancy to age 8 in child care, preschool, and primary school settings. Following an excellent introduction to developmental characteristics of young children, the author guides students to an understanding of the crucial relationship between child development and curriculum development ...acknowledging the benefits of employing developmentally-appropriate practices throughout the early childhood years.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

This third edition of Early Childhood Curriculum: Developmental Bases for Learning and Teaching was written for teachers of children from infancy to 8 years of age. It was prepared in response to the need of present and future teachers to understand the role of the child's development in the curriculum. The curriculum discussed is planned for the very youngest children, whether in a child-care, private preschool, or public school setting. The children from birth to age 8 who attend early childhood programs are diverse in their development. Teachers in the primary grades in elementary schools are particularly aware of the difficulty in providing successful learning experiences for children who come to them from diverse backgrounds and with a range of abilities, especially at a time when children may be expected to cover learning objectives more rapidly than in the past. In this edition, more attention is given to how diversity affects development and how life changes can affect young children.

Regardless of the child's age, the teacher needs to understand that the nature of the child's development has implications for the kinds of experiences that are appropriate. Likewise, teachers can benefit from understanding the role of developmental theories in the practice of teaching in an early childhood program. The developmental curriculum presented is strongly based on the work of Jean Piaget; however, in this third edition, more emphasis is given to the work of Lev Vygotsky that includes the social dimensions of learning and the role of the teacher to scaffold and support the child's progress. Urie Bronfenbrenner's conceptualization of the role of the family and community in the child's development complements the constructivist theories of Piaget and Vygotsky.

This text is also about the issues of bridging and making transitions; it offers information and suggestions for bridging theory and practice, and it includes suggestions for guiding children through transitions in developmental stages, especially as they move from preschool into the primary grades. The important transition from preliteracy into literacy and the appropriate strategies that teachers can use are examples of curriculum content presented.

Chapters 1 through 3 establish the background setting and context for the early childhood curriculum that will be described. Chapter 1, "The Changing Role of the Teacher in Developing Curriculum for Diverse Populations," discusses the diversity of children entering early childhood programs; likewise, it describes the teacher's changing role in developing curriculum for very young children. Chapter 2, "Historical and Theoretical Bases for Appropriate Programs in Early Childhood Settings," reviews the historical heritage of early childhood education to include the theoretical bases that inform early childhood curriculum. Chapter 3, "The Need for Quality Programs in Early Childhood Education," discusses national goals for quality early childhood programs in the United States. A discussion of how classical and contemporary theories inform quality programs is followed by examples of model programs that have international importance.

The developmental foundation of curriculum is introduced in Chapter 4, "Developmental Characteristics of Young Children from Birth to 8 Years: Implications for Learning." Continuity of development is traced in young children from birth to 8 years with implications for learning experiences to foster cognitive, physical, language, and social-emotional development. Characteristics of development are explained with regard to the sensorimotor, preoperational, and concrete operational periods.

Chapters 5 and 6 address programs for infants and toddlers. Chapter 5, "Organizing Infant-Toddler Programs," traces the history of programs for infants and toddlers and describes the characteristics of a model program for infants and toddlers today. Chapter 6, "Infant-Toddler Curriculum: Birth to Age 2," discusses how development is nurtured in physical, cognitive, language, and social development and suggests activities that can be used with very young children.

The next three chapters address the developmental needs and programming for preschool children ages three through five. Chapter 7, "A Developmental Model for Preschool Programs," addresses the elements needed in a quality developmental program for preschool children. It describes the characteristics of such a model and the way in which it is implemented. Chapter 8, "Preschool Curriculum: Ages 3 to 5: Language and Cognitive Development," describes curriculum for those developmental domains, while Chapter 9, "Preschool Curriculum: Ages 3 to 5: Social and Physical Development," presents curriculum for the social and physical domains. Each of these chapters discusses the role of play, the environment, and the teacher for development and provides examples of activities and thematic unit topics.

Chapters 10 through 12 move to programs for children from age 5 to 8. Chapter 10, "A Model for Programs for Children Ages 5 to 8," describes how developmental changes during those three years have implications for the way quality curriculum and instruction are designed and implemented as children make the transition into the concrete operational period and toward literacy. The characteristics and implementation of an ungraded primary model are presented. Chapter 11, "The Transitional Curriculum: Ages 5 to 8: Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science," and Chapter 12, "The Transitional Curriculum: Ages 5 to 8: Social Studies and Physical Education," discuss the goals and topics that are the foundations for each of the curriculum content areas.

Finally, Chapter 13, "Teaching in the Real World," takes a final look at the world of early childhood teachers as they encounter and address problems and possibilities present in early childhood programs today. Readers are introduced to the realities of practice experienced by contemporary teachers. These teachers often struggle with making decisions within the context of many kinds of programs from different philosophical perspectives and within their own developmental stages. New teachers entering the field will find both opportunities and frustrations as they join teachers who are working to provide quality programs for the very youngest of children in our society.

The four appendices provide examples of thematic, integrated curriculum. Appendix A is an example of a preschool unit on seeds. Appendix B describes a unit on farm animals for kindergarten. The unit in Appendix C is designed for a multiage class that includes kindergarten and the primary grades. This unit is based on the storybook If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (Numeroff, 1985). The last unit in Appendix D is planned for the primary grades and is based on Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (Viorst, 1972). Each of the units is organized using the processes described in Chapters 7 and 10.

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