Developmentally Appropriate Practices
And Their Challenges
The most important elements to me have to boast their ability to offer child-centered, child-engaging experiences relevant to who the learner is as a whole, coupled with clear objectives. Personally, it seems that the most important elements in a developmentally appropriate literacy program are relevance and significance. For kids, fun is always relevant and significant. If it was developmentally appropriate for kindergarten students to learn algebra, they would have no trouble learning it if a person could make it a fun (relevant and significant) experience. Also, what crossed my mind while reading “Yeah, Buts” was, is it better to eliminate public schools as an option while searching for teaching jobs, or to endure the opposition within the arena of developmentally inappropriate practices as an advocate for personal, meaningful education for little humans?
Thus far, it appears that the major factors that often get in the way of implementing a child-centered curriculum are the teachers themselves. The doubt, the lack of ambition, the pile of “what ifs” that seem to form due to the slightest opposition. If a parent disagrees with the way a teacher is allowing their child to have fun all day, the parent is ill-informed of the “fun” being had. For instance; the teacher needs to explain that their son, Gustav seems to enjoy painting, hence the numerical and alphabetical characters in his earlier work. The teacher is the ambassador of child to parent and community.
To defend or explain my use of DAP in promoting literacy development as a teacher; I will communicate with other teachers about what is working or not working in my classroom, I will build friendships with parents, I will advocate to the school board and school district of the importance of having a personal obligation to upholding the standards of Developmentally Appropriate Practices in promoting literacy development.
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