Curriculum Models and Programs
EDU 259
Spring 2014
Theories Influencing
Programs and Curricula
Collection of concepts and terms to predict
childhood development and behavior.
Numerous theories to explain and predict how
children behave and learn.
Level of influence is determined by schools and their
program philosophy.
Theories of Piaget and Vygotsky most widely used
today.
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Fundamental Principles
Early Childhood Education
 Developmental practice to meet the needs of
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each child.
Individual and age appropriate practice.
Family involvement and appreciation.
Authentic inclusion of children.
Observation and assessment of the children.
Professional accountability.
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Developmental Theorists
 Erik Erikson –Psychosocial
 Jean Piaget – Cognitive Development
 Lev Vygotsky- Sociocultural
 Howard Gardner – Multiple Intelligences
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Psychosocial Theory
 Eight stages
 First four stages most relevant to ECE
 Trust versus mistrust
 Autonomy versus shame and doubt
 Initiative versus guilt
 Industry versus inferiority
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Cognitive Theory
 How young children learn
 Constructivism
 Assimilation
 Schema/schemata
 Accommodation
 Equilibrium
 Constructivism
 Other terms
-object permanence, egocentric, symbolic thinking
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Cognitive Theory (continued)
 Stages
 Sensorimotor (birth to about 2 years)
 Object permanence
 Preoperational (about 2 to 7 years)
 Egocentric
 Concrete operations (7 to 12 years)
 Formal operations (12 through adulthood)
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Sociocultural Theory
 Learning is socially constructed
 Zone of proximal development
 Scaffolding
 Teachers must be excellent observers
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Multiple Intelligences
 one form of intelligence is not
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better than another
individual differences in
children need to be taken very
seriously
cross-cultural exploration of
the ways individuals are
intelligent
Verbal linguistic and logicalmathematical intelligences are
well known and valued
All intelligences must be
addressed and celebrated
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Types of Intelligence:
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Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence
Logical-Mathematical
Intelligence
Musical-Rhythmic Intelligence
Visual-Spatial Intelligence
Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
Interpersonal Intelligence
Intrapersonal Intelligence
Naturalist Intelligence
Multiple Intelligences (continued)
 This theory provides a framework for teachers to:
1. identify how children learn to build on their strongest
assets
2. help children become more intelligent by exposing them
to a variety of ways of learning
3. better individualize for children’s interests and needs
4. use teaching strategies that make learning more
appropriate, successful, and enjoyable for all children
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Learning Styles
 Various legitimate methods of learning and processing
information
 Sensory styles
 Visual learner
 Auditory learner
 Tactile-kinesthetic learner
 Field dependent learning style—able to grasp broad
distinctions among concepts and see relationships
through a social context
 Field independent learning style—look at things
analytically, imposing one’s own structure to the task
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Play-Based Curriculum: The
Foundation for Learning
 Play is foundation for learning
 Children need meaningful materials
and activities in order to learn
 Need to be physically, mentally, and
emotionally involved
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Play
 Play is the core of developmentally appropriate practice
 Play is the foundation for the curriculum
 Threats to play
 Teachers, administrators, policy-makers, and families
who do not understand the importance
 Push-down of curricula expectations
 Social and economic factors
 Lack of time and opportunity
 Electronic competition
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Parten’s Developmental Stages of Play
• Unoccupied behavior
• Onlooker play
• Solitary play
• Parallel play
• Associative play
• Cooperative play
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Types of Play
Types of Play
Theorists and Play
 Erickson
 Play helps develop cooperative relationships
 Piaget
 Practice play
 Symbolic play
 Games with rules
 Lev Vygotsky
 Social play helps child “interpret the world”
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Some Tips for Teachers
 Play is neurological therefore is critical to
brain growth
 Be aware of current research and resources
that validate the importance of play.
 Create a positive place for play
 Provide open-ended materials and activities
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Some Tips for Teachers
 Introduce age-appropriate play activities and
materials
 Provide time for play
 Respect individual differences in play
 Respect and provide for cultural diversity in
play
 Observe children’s play and learn about
them
Play: Essential for All Children
 Play enhances all developmental domains—
physical, social, cognitive, emotional, creative
 Play inspires imagination, creativity,
exploration, self-confidence, more play
 Play enhances problem solving, new skills, selfesteem, and sense of security
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Program Perspectives and Practices
1. Trends cycle and affect activities and
experiences.
2. Various programs:
Reggio Emilia Inspired
HighScope
Waldorf Schools,
Montessori
Creative Curriculum.
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Types of Programs
 Some provide child care.
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Some provide opportunities for learning.
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Some provide both care and early learning.
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Programs offer care and/or learning to infants and
toddlers, to preschoolers, and to school-age children
before and after school.
Copyright 2013 Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
All Rights Reserved.
Best Practices for Quality Programs
Are Developmentally Appropriate
Teachers who caringly and actively interact with
the children establish best practices
 Sincere and meaningful relationships contribute
to forming an essential foundation for assuring
developmentally appropriate practice.
 Developmentally appropriate curriculum
planning will support high-quality play
experiences while, at the same time, reinforce
children’s optimal skill development and
educational success.
Copyright 2013 Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
All Rights Reserved.
Practice Strengthening Connections: Harmony, Equity,
Respect in Children’s Programs
1. Programs follow
standards of quality
2. Responsive to
diversity of the
children, their families,
their communities
3. Strong connections
between the
children and
teachers
4. Curriculum
represents and
includes all children
realistically and
appropriate
Copyright 2013 Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
All Rights Reserved.
Curriculum Models and Programs
Head
Start
Bank
Street
Montessori
High/
Scope
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Reggio
Emilia
Montessori
 “Absorbent minds”
 Environment important
 Hands-on activities
 Involvement of family
 Attitude of cooperation rather than competition
 Self-correcting materials
 Didactic materials
 Focus on daily living tasks
 Sensorial and conceptual materials
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Head Start
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Publicly funded
Comprehensive services
Aimed at low-income, at-risk children and families
Low child-staff ratio
Written curriculum plan known as performance standards
Ten percent of enrollment available for children with special
needs
Involvement of families
Early Head Start to promote infant and toddler
development
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Bank Street
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Founded by Lucy Sprague Mitchell
Child-centered learning
Emphasizes the interaction between the child and the
environment and interaction between the cognitive and affective
(developmental interaction)
Creation of meaning is the central task of childhood
Distinct learning centers
Opportunities for children to experience democratic living
Flexibility in the schedule
Synonymous with “open education”
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High/Scope
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Created under the leadership of David Weikert
Began as an intervention program for low-income, atrisk children
High/Scope Perry Preschool Study
Active learning
Plan-do-review sequence
Emphasizes key experiences now known as key
developmental indicators (KDIs)
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Reggio Emilia
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Founded by Loris Malaguzzi
Image of a strong child central to philosophy
Teachers are skilled observers
Pedigogista, atelierista, & The hundred languages of children
Principles are congruent with the principles of
developmentally appropriate practice
Environment is a “third teacher”
Relationships central in learning
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Curriculum Development
Themes and
units
Projects
Child
Webs
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Lesson
plans
Themes and Units
 A theme is a broad concept or topic
 A unit is a section of the curriculum
 Basic concepts for developing thematic
curriculum
 Merge play with child-directed and teacherinitiated experiences
 Should be developmentally appropriate
 Support a positive self-esteem
 Activities should be adaptable
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Themes
 Generally a smaller part of a unit, allowing for a
more specific focus
 Those that directly concern children are generally
of greatest interest to the children
 There is a danger of creating an artificial unit that
has no relevancy to the children’s experiences or
interests
 Themes can be too restrictive and adult-directed
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Holiday Themes or Not?
 Inappropriate to limit the use of themes to specific times
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of the year or to celebrate holidays
Themes tend to isolate and narrowly define the topic
Some holiday themes may not be appropriate to every
family represented by the group
Tourist approach to cultural diversity: holiday themes are
often the only exposure the class has to a particular
culture
Overuse of holiday themes actually paints a flat picture
of a cultural or religious event without taking into
account how people in that culture live, work, sleep, or
play in ways that are similar to other children
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Life-Oriented Themes
 Of great interest because they directly
concern themselves with young children
 Teachers must know what reflects children’s
interest and abilities
 Some themes address children’s own issues
 Themes can be inclusive, integrated, and
appropriate
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Projects
 A project is an in-depth investigation
- Addresses the four major learning goals of all education
 Can be done by a small group, entire class, or individual child
 Inquiry skills are utilized
 Goes through 3 phases
1. Choose a topic
2. Investigate the topic
 Co-learning
3. Review and reflect about what you have learned
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The Project Approach
 Exploring a theme or topic over a period of days or
weeks
 Children work in small groups throughout the process
and have the opportunity to make numerous choices
about their level of participation
 Has different levels of complexity so it meets the needs
of children of different ages and abilities
 Projects emerge from children’s own interests, the
teacher’s observations of children’s needs and interests,
and parents’ suggestions
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Process of Project Approach
 The project approach: structural features
 Discussion
 Representation
 Fieldwork
 Investigation
 Display
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Curriculum Webs
 Graphic representation of brainstorming ideas
 Integrate various learning activities
 Develop the scope and content of the theme
 Child-centered webbing can be used to create
activities that focus on the identified needs/goals
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Webbing
 Webbing—the process through which a
teacher develops a diagram based on a
particular topic or theme, highlighting key
ideas and concepts
 A planning tool that provides depth to a
topic and creates a map of possible activities
and projects
 May be organized around a theme, into
curriculum areas, or around program goals
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Curriculum Web Developed for the book
Listen to the Wind
The Webbing Process
1. Brainstorming
2. Grouping
3. Sharing
4. Drawing
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Lesson and Activity Plans
 Lesson plans involve making series of choices
 Specific planning time
 Planning form
 “Things to remember” form/checklist
 Activity plan
 Step-by-step procedures
 Writing measurable objectives
 Key words
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Curriculum Models and Programs