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 families coordinate interagency services conduct program evaluation serve as an advocate for children & families Practice Defined Best 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 Recommended Curriculum & instruction that is: research based family-centered multicultural “normalized” cross-disciplinary developmentally & chronologically ageappropriate Developmentally Appropriate Practice • 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 differences. Guidelines of DAP I. Curriculum: A. Provides for all areas of development B. Is based on observations of children’s needs and interests C. Curriculum planning emphasizes learning as an interaction process: explorations & interaction with environment 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 children B. Provide opportunities for communication C. Provide support, focused attention, physical proximity, and encouragement D. Use appropriate behavior management techniques DAP Guidelines Continued III. Home & School A. Encourage participation and observation 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 References 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.