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7.9: Types of Programs

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    Many high quality programs using the tenants of Developmentally Appropriate Practices exist today. Most have integrated this information into an eclectic format, providing active learning, quality interactions and environments, and activities based on their observations of children’s interests and abilities. They included families as partners and extend to value the communities and cultures of which they are a part. Below is a list of program and curriculum names that encompass the above tenants. They are all similar at their core, but if you would like to research them further you may find some unique components of interest to you. They are listed alphabetically for convenience:

    • Culturally Appropriate Curriculum – curriculum that helps children understand how they are similar to, yet different than each other based on individual histories, families, and culture.
    • Emergent Curriculum – curriculum planning based on teacher observations of children's interests. Usually, a spontaneous approach where experiences evolve and change as the process unfolds.
    • Faith Based – programs that include the teaching of the religious beliefs of the sponsoring organization.
    • Family Child Care – a program that takes place in a home setting.
    • Head Start – A comprehensive program, that provides learning programs; nutrition; medical, dental, and mental health care, and parent education and vocational training.
    • High-Scope – named for a program High in Quality, Broad in Scope, this curriculum emphasizes active learning and higher-level thinking. It includes a Plan-Do-Review cycle where children learn to make plans, carry them out, and then evaluate those plans; important life-skills.
    • Inclusion – programs designed to include children with a wide variety of abilities and needs.
    • Inclusive Curriculum – the aspect of a program that reflect sensitivity to culture, home language, gender, religion, and abilities.
    • Intergenerational Programs – programs designed for both young children and the elderly, where the two populations interact throughout the day in similar activities.
    • Laboratory Schools – early childhood programs taking place on college campuses, usually with a supervised training component for college students learning to work with young children.
    • Looping – the practice of keeping a group of children and their teacher together for more than one year.
    • Montessori – True Montessori schools are based on the works of Maria Montessori including self-correcting materials, independent learning experiences, and an emphasis on life skills. Because her name was not trademarked, many programs that have Montessori in the title do not meet all of the criteria of a true Montessori program, which can be very confusing indeed.
    • Mixed Age Grouping – also called “family grouping”’ placing children of different ages in the same classroom.
    • Outdoor Classroom – outdoor spaces created to enhance the quantity, quality and benefit of outdoor experiences. Often brings the inside classroom outside, incorporating interest centers and materials usually found indoors.
    • Parent Cooperative (Co-op) – a program designed and run by a group of parents for their young children. Parents will usually hire a teacher to facilitate learning and perform all other duties themselves. More recently called “Learning Pods”.
    • Play based – focuses on the value of play in fostering development in young children, planning interactions and experiences focused on the many types of play.
    • PITC (Program for Infant and Toddler Caregivers) - PITC emphasizes relationship based, culturally consistent, care in small groups with the same caregivers and children from ages 0-36 months. 
    • Reggio-Emilia – this approach is a student-centered and constructive self-guided curriculum that uses self-directed, experiential learning in relationship-driven environments, often through a “project approach”.
    • RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) – based on Magda Gerber’s work with babies, emphasizes the unique stage of infants and toddlers. Curriculum for this age is caring for them, with the belief that caring educates infants about themselves. [80]


    Pause to Reflect

    Which of the programs just mentioned spark your interest? Why?


    This page titled 7.9: Types of Programs is shared under a CC BY-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Cindy Stephens, Gina Peterson, Sharon Eyrich, & Jennifer Paris (College of the Canyons) .