Holistic Development

Topics: Developmental psychology, Childhood, Child development Pages: 127 (27111 words) Published: February 5, 2014
.
Curriculum
and Service
Provision
II.A. Adult/Child Interactions and Curriculum.................. 122 II.B. Alignment to the Illinois Early Learning Standards
and Guidelines............................................................... 135 II.C. Family Involvement in Curriculum............................. 163 II.D. Family Culture and Curriculum.................................. 193 II.E. Program Flexibility....................................................... 203 II.F. Children’s Healthy Physical Development................... 209

121

Adult/Child Interactions and Curriculum
Illinois Birth to Five
Program Standard
II.A.

The curriculum reflects the centrality of adult/child
interactions in the development of infants, toddlers,
and preschoolers.
The curriculum provides a framework to ensure positive interactions between and among children, staff, and parents. It is recognized that positive adult/child interactions serve as the basis for young children’s learning. Through staff modeling and support, as well as through engagement of parent/child dyads and staff/child dyads in developmentally appropriate activities, adult/child relationships will be enriched. As a result, the children’s growth and development and the family’s knowledge and understanding will be enhanced.

122

II.A. Adult/Child Interactions and Curriculum

Quality Indicator II.A.1.

Positive adult/child interactions are encouraged and
promoted in all aspects of the program.
Recent advances in brain-imaging techniques have proven what early childhood educators and researchers have believed for many years: the infant’s environment has a dramatic effect on brain development and provides the foundation for all subsequent development. In fact, research now confirms that consistent, predictable, warm, and loving relationships between parents and young children, as well as exposure to many and varied experiences from the time of birth, do make a difference in children’s development for a lifetime.

In the first years of a baby’s life, the brain is busy building its wiring system. Babies are born with all the brain cells they are going to have for the rest of their lives. At birth, a baby’s brain contains 100 billion neurons and a trillion glial cells. The task after birth is to make connections between the cells. Activity in the brain creates tiny electrical connections called synapses. Repetitive stimulation strengthens these connections and makes them permanent, whereas cells that do not get stimulated and do not form connections eventually die out. This process is referred to as pruning. Thus an infant’s experience actually “wires” or grows the brain. This intense period of brain growth and network building happens only once in a lifetime. Parents have a brief but golden opportunity to help their babies’ brains grow and develop. Following are some facts that researchers have discovered:

Babies are born biologically and neurologically primed to learn. Infants and toddlers have more neurotransmitters and place more energy demands on their brains than do adults.
The foundational networking of the brain’s synapses is nearly complete after the rapid brain development of the first three years. However, it is important to note that brain growth continues throughout life.

Visual stimulation can produce developmental advantages including enhanced curiosity, attentiveness, and concentration. • The more stimulating experiences that parents can give their babies, the more circuitry is built for enhanced learning in the future. However, it is important to recognize that these experiences must be individually tailored to each child’s interest level and abilities

Adult/Child Interactions and Curriculum | II.A.1.123

(National Research Council and
Institute of Medicine, Jack Shonkoff
and Deborah Phillips, eds., 2000.)

to cope with the experiences. Finding this balance is a delicate process.
The amount of...

References: 1. Brazelton, T. B., Sparrow, J. D. (2006). Touchpoints. Cambridge,
MA: Da Capo Press.
2. American Academy of Pediatrics (2009). Toilet Training. Retrieved
from http://www2.aap.org/publiced/BR_ToiletTrain.htm
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