The Curriculum Part I From “Who Am I in the Lives of Children?” Feeny, Christensen, Moravcik Prepared by Dr. Carla Piper EDUU465
Three Elements of Curriculum
Kinds of Planned Learning Opportunities
WHO? WHAT? HOW?
Based on Vision of Society
Vision translated into Learning Experiences
What do you believe is worth knowing?
What do you know about the learners and their development?
What do you know about subject matter?
Curriculum is a Product of Time
Influenced by social and political forces
Early 20 th century
European immigrants arrived
Emphasized acquisition of American language, customs, values
Mirrors cultural diversity of current society
Reflects importance of families and culture in children’s learning
Echoes concerns with violence and values
Emphasis on nature and interests of the learner vs.
Emphasis on the subject matter to be taught
Importance for you as an educator
Stand firm for what you believe in
Emphasis on developmentally appropriate practice
Backlash shifts focus to less child-sensitive practice
“ Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.”
The Natural Process of Learning
Curriculum for young children
Focused on providing an appropriate environment for learning
Gives children freedom to choose activities
Opportunities to develop naturally in all areas
Children learn all the time!
“ Curriculum is what happens.”
What the child experiences and perceives during the day
Planned or unplanned
Planned learning experiences
Know what to teach – CONTENT
Know how to teach it - PEDAGOGY
Child Development Domains Emotional Physical Intellectual Social Science Math Sensory Small Muscle Large Muscle Music Art Language Literacy Creative Movement Social Studies Literature Nutrition, Health, Safety
High Quality Program for Infants and Toddlers
The program based on accepted theories of child development .
Build responsive relationships with important adults in their lives
Pair child with a primary caregiver throughout the first three years of their lives
Creative Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers Dombro, Colker, Trister Dodge, 2000
The program is individualized to meet the needs of every child.
Learn through interactions and observations
Gather information from working with children and talking with their families.
Build on your intimate knowledge of each child's
Preferred learning styles
Parent and Family
Each family's culture is respected and family members are encouraged to participate in the program.
Parents are natural partners in promoting children's growth and development.
Make families feel welcome
The physical environment is safe, healthy, and contains a variety of toys and materials that are both stimulating and familiar .
Need warm, engaging, and comfortable environments
Need to build trusting relationships.
Indoor and outdoor environments that are safe, attractive, and stimulating.
Reflect children's culture, interests, and skill levels.
Stirs child’s imagination
Activities and Materials
Children select activities and materials that interest them, and they learn by being actively involved.
"The more you provide opportunities for children to follow their own interests, the more they learn from experience, and the greater the chances that they will continue to be successful learners throughout their lives“ (p. 5).
Adults Show Respect
Adults show respect for children and interact with them in caring ways.
Research indicates that the caring nature of adult-child interactions is the most important factor defining quality in early childhood education programs. (p. 5)
Adults respond immediately and appropriately to meet child's needs
Adults need to be sensitive and responsive in communication, verbally and nonverbally.
Caregivers reflection emotions and experience with the child the excitement of new discoveries.
Staff and providers have specialized training in child development and appropriate programming.
"High quality programs are planned, implemented, and continually revised by trained professionals who have the knowledge and skills to oversee a program that is developmentally appropriate" (p. 5).
Steps to Writing the Outline of the Activity or Lesson Plan
What is the activity?
What curriculum subject area?
Who will participate?
What is the overall purpose of the lesson?
Writing Lesson Objectives
By participating in this activity children will:
Gain greater understanding of…?
Develop an awareness of…?
Express understanding of…?
Develop skill in…?
Begin to be able to…?
What do you need?
What do you do?
Introduction – How do you get them interested?
Procedure – What will you do and say (step-by-step guide)
Closure – How will you help children make a transition to the next activity?
Assessment and Reflection
What will children say or do to show you objectives were met?
What will you collect to show children’s learning (portfolios, observations, work samples, photographs, etc.)
Reflection on your teaching
What will you do differently next time?
How could you extend this activity for another lesson?
Components of Curriculum
Play is Serious Business!
Play is very important for children’s development.
Structure play activities in each of the four domains of development:
Structure our activities so children have adequate opportunities to play
Plays is physical, verbal, or mental engagement with people, objects, or ideas
The Nature of Play
Seven characteristics of Play
Intrinsically Motivated – Children want to play!
Freely Chosen – Can’t force a child to play!
Pleasurable, Enjoyable, and Engaging
Self-Oriented rather than Object Oriented
Often Non Literal or Pretend
Stages of Play
Piaget’s Sensori-motor Stage
Games with Rules
Exploring objects and the use of their own muscles
Handling, touching, feeling, etc. are part of this process
Language and Learning
Understanding and using language is crucial
Learning depends on child’s ability to make meaning out of words.
Depends on language
Forming friendships requires ability to express yourself
Language is important factor
Gain confidence when you can use words to communicate your feelings.
Communication and Language
Ability to express and share ideas with others
Children develop communication skills:
Natural drive to communicate begins at birth
Newborn cries are a reflex.
Infants learn that crying lets someone know of their needs.
Infants communicate with smiles and cooing when they see a familiar face.
Infants learn about the give and take in conversation when caregivers respond to them.
Infants begin to make sounds when they point to objects or when they want to be picked up.
Toddlers and Preschoolers
Develop the ability to understand and use language
Learn to say thousands of words and understand what words mean.
Learn the rules for using words simply by being around adults
Adults listen to children, talk to them, and introduce them to reading and writing.
Emerging literacy skills develop naturally when adults encourage and respond to children’s communication.
The Teacher’s Role
Listen and respond to children’s thought and feelings
Engage children in conversations
Encourage children to use words to tell others what they want.
Serve as a language model for children.
Use words to describe what a child is doing.
Listening and Speaking
Accept a child’s way of speaking while you serve as a model for standard use of language.
Help children express their ideas clearly.
Make comments and ask questions to show you are interested in what they have to say.
Help children learn to take turns in a conversation.
Stop while reading a story to ask questions about the characters and what they are doing.
Learn words in children’s home languages.
Ways to Help Children Use Language
Tape picture and word labels to containers and shelves.
Record children’s words.
Post signs at children’s eye-level.
Help children make their own signs and books about topics that interest them.
Show children how adults use reading and writing to learn or do a task.
Materials and Experiences
Need a well-lit, carpeted, library area with books and comfortable places to sit.
Create a writing area stocked with reading and writing materials.
Provide props and dress-up clothes.
Teach children short poems, songs, and finger plays.
Display books – some in home languages.
Read to children at story time.
Encourage family reading and writing by lending books and sharing writing supplies.
Create a language-rich environment
Label cubbies and make signs
Write down children’s dictated stories
Encourage children to play and talk with each other
Provide a variety of books and written materials
Respond to children’s cultures, interests, experience, and skills
Include paper and writing tools in each area
Storytelling, poems, finger plays, and songs
The body is a young child’s connection to the world
Sensory and motor development have to come first
Large Muscle Development
Small Muscle Development
Kinesthetic sense: movement and position
Auditory sense: hearing
Sense of touch
Skin - Organ of touch
Need human touch
Sense of Smell
Sense of Taste
Manipulating clay and dough
Play in sand, mud, water
Feel shape, weight, texture of blocks
Feel fur, heartbeat
Move to music
Cook and taste food
Listen to stories
Large Muscle Movement
Gross motor skills
Development of arms, legs, and torso
Develop strength and endurance
Develop coordination and agility
Large Muscle Movement
Large Muscle Movement
Provide pleasurable play situations
Play with children
Explain rules of games
Emphasize cooperative games that do not focus on winning or losing
Provide balls, equipment, materials, and activities for ALL children
Small Muscle Movement
Infants – feel, grasp, and manipulate
Leads to competent use of tools
Fine motor activities
Build control, agility, strength, coordination
Small Muscle Movement
Time, practice, and experience required
Sensory and muscular interplay
Coordination of two hands
Controlled use of hands and fingers
Sensitive to individual differences
Cutting, writing, drawing, hole punches, tongs, tweezers, staplers, etc.
Creative Arts Curriculum
Recognize and express their feelings
Communicate ideas in new forms
Develop their senses
Develop creativity and originality
Arts are a vehicle for all kinds of learning:
Feel good about themselves as individuals
Develop ability to observe and respond sensitively
Develop skill, creativity, imagination
Develop beginning understanding of the arts
Become appreciative of music, art, and dance from their own and other cultures, times, and places.
Purpose to enhance artistic and creative development
Develop motor control and perceptual discrimination
Use language and learn vocabulary
Develop problem-solving strategies
Enhance social skills
Develop aesthetic awareness and appreciation for arts