Developmentally Practices Essay

842 Words Mar 31st, 2011 4 Pages
Developmentally appropriate practice is based on knowledge about how children develop and learn, what is known about the needs of individual children in a particular group, and on knowledge of both the social and cultural contexts in which children live. (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997, pp. 8–9)

Developmentally appropriate teaching means that we approach children from where they are and not from where we think they ought to be.

Developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) suggests recognizing the importance of positive, supportive, and caring relationships (Gallagher, 2005). It is creating an inclusive and caring community that extends from the classroom to the community, and fostering respectful and collaborative relationships among
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Is this activity right for this child? Does this activity match the social and cultural contexts in which the children in this class live? (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997). Schwein-hart and Weikart (1998) found in their research that a developmentally appropriate curriculum is beneficial for children living in poverty.

Everything teachers plan and do should focus on the individual child. They tailor, adjust, and adapt the curriculum to fit each child in the program, rather than expecting children to fit the program (Elkind, 1987). It is imperative in a developmentally appropriate perspective that the curriculum and teaching methods be age appropriate, individually appropriate, and culturally appropriate (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997). This means considering and understanding similarities within an age group, and also recognizing each child’s individual differences. In a developmentally appropriate classroom, children are allowed to progress at their own rate, and both the curriculum and teaching strategies are relevant for all the children in the classroom. Thus, a great deal of flexibility is required, but this does not mean a total lack of structure and academics; rather, it means that the structure and academics of the program are based on individual and group needs and current understanding of child development (Raines, 1997).

Children should be encouraged to engage fully in each
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