The Early Years
Welcome to Early Childhood Development.
You are about to begin a journey that will take you through the early childhood and elementary years of growing, thinking and learning. The following notes will help you through the chapter. Each subsequent week, you will find lecture notes to help focus your learning.
Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) is a key term that will be used throughout this course and other child development courses. This term is vitally important as it helps us as educator’s to focus a child’s learning on material that is age appropriate, meaning that they have the skill sets to learn the material, as well as individually appropriate, meaning that each child has an individual learning style. A child is only capable of learning material that is developmentally appropriate.
The chapter also presents the various theories of development that influence and guide how children grow and develop. Some of these theories may look familiar to you from your General Psychology/Introductory Psychology course, some may be new. As you review each theory, pay careful attention to the aspects of the theory that you agree with and the aspects that you find difficult to embrace. You will find yourself leaning towards a particular theory but you will also find yourself adding in bits and pieces from the other theories. It is not unusual to be eclectic in your approach to Early Childhood Education. As children are very diverse learners, the eclectic approach can often be the most sensible approach. It is one of the theories of development or one of the models of Early Childhood Development found in Chapter 2 that will become the basis for your Research Paper.
All of the theories of child development that you will review examine development across common domains. These domains are the physical domain, social/emotional domain and the cognitive (intellectual) domain. The Table 1.1 in your text does an excellent