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4.9: Developmentally Appropriate Practices

  • Page ID
    117340
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    In Chapter 2 – Developmental and Learning Theories, there is a section on Developmentally Appropriate Practices. What is important to note here is that identifying the developmental ages and stages of children helps us to plan curriculum (Chapter 6) and learning environments (Chapter 7) that are appropriate for their developmental age and stage. Below is a refresher from Chapter 2 as it is pertinent in this chapter. Understanding the importance of DAP sets the stage for identifying ways in which to support children in the early childhood learning environment.

    There are three important aspects of Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP):

    1. What is known about child development and learning – referring to knowledge of age-related characteristics that permits general predictions about what experiences are likely to best promote children’s learning and development.
    2. What is known about each child as an individual – referring to what practitioners learn about each child that has implications for how best to adapt and be responsive to that individual variation.
    3. What is known about the social and cultural contexts in which children live – referring to the values, expectations, and behavioral and linguistic conventions that shape children’s lives at home and in their communities that practitioners must strive to understand in order to ensure that learning experiences in the program or school are meaningful, relevant, and respectful for each child and family. [67]

    This page titled 4.9: Developmentally Appropriate Practices is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Cindy Stephens, Gina Peterson, Sharon Eyrich, & Jennifer Paris (College of the Canyons) .