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Child Observation

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Running Head: Final Project

Final Project/Research Paper


Introduction to Curriculum/Programs

ECED 105


There are many different areas that one must focus on as they are attempting to create a developmentally appropriate curriculum for young children. All of these aspects are equally important to the learning process. Therefore, it is imperative that we as teachers take the process of planning this curriculum very seriously. Not only is it important that we understand the basic guidelines for a lesson plan, we also need to be knowledgeable of the developmental and learning theories as well. These theories will help us to understand the way a child learns mentally and physically. Once we fully understand the concepts of early education we can then take them to the classroom and apply them to our students.

Back in the 1900’s a woman by the name of Patty Hill created a curriculum for kindergarten students in the United States. She also founded the laboratory school at Columbia University Teacher’s College; this was the beginning of the use of curriculum in early childhood education. Curriculum was created as an unbiased, cultured, community and parent approved way of teaching. The first national goal was to have every American child ready to start school and learn by the year 2000. Curriculum is a basic guide of implementing cognitive, physical, social, emotional, language and developmental learning skills. When using this method of teaching, the area we are trying to focus on is clear, it is important that all areas receive equal time. If our curriculum is well written out, it will reflect the philosophy and goals of what we are trying to accomplish for that school year. The creation of curriculum was invented so that young children would be able to benefit from it.

If you look up the definition of curriculum in Early Education Curriculum, a textbook written by Hilda L. Jackman, it will read; a multileveled process that encompasses what happens in an early education classroom each day… The word multileveled is a perfect word to explain developmentally appropriate curriculum. When a teacher puts together a curriculum it is kind of like a balancing act. We have to make the work that the children do challenging yet not to simple. We must push our children to reach for that little extra step in their cognitive thinking. We must try to get them to succeed just a little past their limit, but not too far, so that the goal is still obtainable. On the other hand, the curriculum must not be too easy due to the fact that children will get bored if they are not challenged. This means that the curriculum must be a perfect measure in order for the children to thrive.

All children develop their skills on their own time table. So, in a room of three year old children not all of them will be at the same developmental level. As teachers we must be able to create a curriculum that encompasses the entire classroom. This means we have to allow room for flexibility and creativity. We must figure out a way to modify certain programs so that all of our children, even those that don’t learn as rapidly, can experience success. Another significant aspect in creating a developmentally appropriate curriculum for a young child is being able to put out the right amount and type of supplies in the children’s learning areas. For instance, putting out paper, glue and scissors for an art project that only requires cutting and pasting would be more productive than bombarding the child with unnecessary supplies such as paint, brushes, string and glitter. Overwhelming them with too many options only confuses the student which in turn, blocks their creativity. It is all about knowing our students, we have to be able to teach them and provide the appropriate things they will need for that point in their lives.

It will benefit all teachers to familiarize themselves with the many developmental theories. A developmental theory is the belief of how a child grows and learns. Catron and Allen (2003) stated that these beliefs guide our views of teaching in supporting children as learners. Erik Erikson has a psychosocial theory; this is the interaction between the person’s social emotional state and their interpersonal environment. He believes that within the first year of life, an infant learns how

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