Module 3 A Theories Of Child Development And Developmentally Appropriate Practice

Topics: Developmental psychology, Jean Piaget, Child development Pages: 12 (3682 words) Published: May 25, 2015
Module 3-A

Arizona Child Care Association: Employee Orientation


Module 3: How Young Children Grow and Learn
Section A: Theories of Child Development and Developmentally Appropriate Practice

In this section we will begin by exploring some basics principles of child development and learning about five theories that influence the field of early care and education programs. Early care and education theorists are the people who develop ideas and beliefs about how children grow and learn. Theorists use a variety of methods in developing their ideas including observations of children. Early care and education theories may include ideas about education, social development, health, physical development, and language development.

Early childhood caregivers and teachers look to the various theories to provide the foundations for working with young children. As an early care and education professional you will use the theories in your work with children. After you have gained experience and learned more about early education, you will use the theories to form your own philosophy of early childhood education.

Learning Objectives
After completing this section you will be able to:
 Describe the 12 Principles of Child Development
 Define Developmentally Appropriate Practice
 Explain the 12 DAP Teaching Strategies to implement
 Explain the core idea of each of the theorists discussed in the orientation

Basic Concepts of Child Development
In working with young children it is important that you understand how children learn and develop. The National Association for the Education on Young Children (NAEYC) has created 12 Principles of Child Development and Learning. As you review these principles determine how you will incorporate this information into your teaching strategies.

1. All areas of development and learning are important.
2. Learning and development follow sequences.
3. Development and learning proceed at varying rates.

Module 3-A

Arizona Child Care Association: Employee Orientation


4. Development and learning result from an interaction of maturation and experience. 5. Early experiences have profound effects on development and learning. 6. Development proceeds toward greater complexity, self-regulation, and symbolic or representational capacities.

7. Children develop best when they have secure relationships. 8. Development and learning occur in and are influenced by multiple social and cultural contexts. 9. Children learn in a variety of ways.

10. Play is an important vehicle for developing self-regulation and promoting language, cognition, and social competence.
11. Development and learning advance when children are challenged. 12. Children’s experiences shape their motivation and approaches to learning.

Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP)
You will hear the term Developmentally Appropriate and Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) used throughout the early learning field. DAP is an approach to teaching grounded both in the research on how young children develop and learn and in what is known about effective early education. Its framework is designed to promote young children’s optimal learning and development. It is important that you understand what that means. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has developed the guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice. They have created a book that lists the appropriate and inappropriate practice for all age groups. There are three considerations that are used when discussing DAP.

1. Knowing about child development and learning. Knowing what is typical at each age and stage of early development is crucial. This knowledge, based on research, helps us decide which experiences are best for children’s learning and development. Developmental stages will be discussed at length in the next section of the orientation.

Infants and toddlers have specific needs depending on...

References: Atherton J S (2011) Learning and Teaching; Piaget 's developmental theory [On-line: UK] retrieved 25 July 2012
Trawick-Smith, J. (2008). Early childhood development: A multicultural perspective (Fifth ed.). New York, New York:
Gonzales-Mena and Eyler (2009). Infant, toddler and caregivers: A curriculum of respectful, responsive,
relationships based care and education
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