Goal: Students will understand theoretical perspectives in order to assume the role of pre-kindergarten/primary teacher in a variety of educational settings.
Assignment description: Students should sign up for one of the program “groups” below and conduct research about the selected program
- Students are encouraged to visit a local school working with the selected program, and visit school websites to become familiar with the program and its practice. When visiting the schools or conducting your research, please have the questions below handy so you can focus your attention to Developmentally Appropriate Practices that you observe.
Your presentation must include the following:
- Theoretical or philosophical theories reflected in this curriculum model
- The role of the teacher
- The role of the child
- The role of the environment
- The role of the family
- Use the questions below to have a framework for observations and craft your ideas from a DAP perspective. Please justify your analysis connecting the readings and using examples from your observations and/or research.
Guiding questions for the analysis
- Does it promote interactive learning and encourage the child’s construction of knowledge?
- Does it help achieve social, emotional, physical and cognitive goals?
- Does it encourage development of positive feelings and dispositions toward learning while leading to acquisition of knowledge and skills?
- Is it meaning for these children? Is it relevant to the children’s lives? Can it be made more relevant by relating it to a personal experience children have had, or can they easily gain direct experience with it?
- Are the expectations realistic and attainable at this time or could the children more easily and efficiently acquire the knowledge or skills later on?
- Is it of interest to the children and to the teacher?
- Is it sensitive to and respectful of cultural and linguistic diversity? Does it expect, allow, and appreciate individual differences? Does it promote positive relationships with families?
- Does it build on and elaborate children’s current knowledge and abilities?
- Does it lead to conceptual understanding by helping children construct their own understanding in meaningful contexts?
- Does it facilitate integration of content across traditional subject-matter areas?
- Is the information presented accurate and credible according to the recognized standards of the relevant discipline?
- Is the content worth knowing? Can it be learned by these children efficiently and effectively now?
- Does it encourage active learning and allow children to make meaningful choices?
- Does it foster children’s exploration and inquiry, rather than focusing on “right” answers or “right” ways to complete a task.
- Does it promote the development of higher-order abilities such as thinking, reasoning, problem solving and decision making? Does it promote and encourage social interaction?
- Does it respect children’s physiological needs for activity, sensory stimulation, fresh air, rest and nourishment/elimination?
- Does it promote feelings of psychological safety, security and belonging?
- Does it provide experiences that promote feelings of success, competence, and enjoyment of learning?
- Does it permit flexibility for children and teachers?
Recommended schools to visit: Please visit the schools’ websites below and become familiar with the school’s philosophies and programs before your visit: