The Role of the Early Childhood Special Educator

EC Special Educators
• conceptualizer
• synthesizer
• instructor
• evaluator
• listener
The Role of the Early
Childhood Special Educator
Assess development
plan intervention
implement intervention
coordinate services
follow through with
recommendations from others
assess family resources, priorities,
and concerns
plan and implement services for
coordinate interagency services
conduct program evaluation
serve as an advocate for children &
Practice Defined
A label that is commonly applied to quality
programs; instruction. Best practice implies
that there is one set of instruction that is
appropriate for all children
Developmentally Appropriate
High quality early childhood education which
provides a safe and nurturing environment
that promotes the physical, social, emotional,
and cognitive development of young children
while responding to the needs of families
Curriculum & instruction that is:
research based
developmentally & chronologically ageappropriate
Developmentally Appropriate
• Age Appropriateness: instruction
and experiences of children are
appropriate to the physical,
emotional, social, and cognitive
developmental levels of the
children as predicted by the
universal, predictable sequences
of growth and change that occur in
children between birth and age 9.
• Individual Appropriateness: The
curriculum and the adults’
interactions with children should be
responsive to children’s individual
Guidelines of DAP
I. Curriculum:
A. Provides for all areas of
B. Is based on observations of
children’s needs and interests
C. Curriculum planning emphasizes
learning as an interaction process:
explorations & interaction with
D. Experiences (lessons) should be
concrete, real, and relevant
E. Provides for a wider range of
interests and abilities than the
chronological age range of the
group suggests
F. Teachers: vary the materials,
activities, and experiences as the
children change and grow
DAP Guidelines Continued
G. Give opportunities to choose
H. adults facilitate children’s learning
I. Provide multicultural & nonsexist
experiences, materials, and equipment
J. Balance rest and active movement
K. Include outdoor experiences
II. Guidelines to adult behavior:
A. Respond quickly and directly to
B. Provide opportunities for
C. Provide support, focused attention,
physical proximity, and
D. Use appropriate behavior
management techniques
DAP Guidelines Continued
III. Home & School
A. Encourage participation and
B. Share expertise & resources
C. Show respect
IV. Developmental Evaluation
A. Use assessment information to adapt
curriculum to match the developmental
needs of children, to communicate
with families, and to evaluate the
programs’ effectiveness
B. Use developmental assessments and
observations to identify children with
special needs & abilities
C. Interpret evaluative information
according to the child’s unique cultural
and familial background
D. School placement should be
developmentally appropriate
Bredekamp, S. Developmentally appropriate practice in early
childhood programs serving children from birth through
age 8. Washington, DC: National Association for the
Education of Young Children.
Noonan, M. J., & McCormick, L. (1993). Early Intervention
in natural environments: Methods and procedures. Pacific
Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Co.
Odom, S. L. & McLean, M. E. (1996). Early
Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education:
Recommended Practices. Austin, TX: Pro-ed.
National Association for the Education of Young children
(NAEYC); Division for Early Childhood of the Council for
Exceptional Children (DEC/CEC), & National Board for
Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). (1996).
Guidelines for preparation of early childhood
professionals. Washington, DC: NAEYC.