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8.1: Relevant Developmental Domains

  • Page ID
    205741
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    Course Competency 8. Develop STEM learning experience plans that promote child development and learning.

    Criteria: 8.1. plan incorporates relevant developmental domains (physical, cognitive, language, social/emotional).

    In this chapter, we will look at the components of a learning experience plan. You will review developmentally appropriate practice, developmental domains, individual and cultural appropriateness, the use of effective transitions, the WMELS Framework and the Teaching Cycle. First, let's review developmentally appropriate practice.

    Developmentally Appropriate Practice

    When planning curriculum for children we must be sure the activities are developmentally appropriate. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s Position Statement, “The core of developmentally appropriate practice lies in…intentionality, in the knowledge that practitioners consider when they are making decisions, and in their always aiming for goals that are both challenging and achievable for children.” In order to do this they must use developmentally appropriate practice (DAP). DAP includes three areas of knowledge:

    1. Age-Appropriateness – using what is known about child development and learning in general. More specifically this means: What is known about child development and learning: Knowledge of age-related human characteristics that permits general predictions within an age range about what activities, materials, interactions, or experiences will be safe, healthy, interesting, achievable, and challenging to children.
    2. Individual-Appropriateness – using what is known about each child as an individual to be responsive to each child. More specific examples of this include: What is known about the strengths, interests, and needs of each individual child in the group: [Necessary] to be able to adapt and be responsive to inevitable individual variation.
    3. Social- and Cultural-Appropriateness – using what is known about the social and cultural context in which children live[1]. This means: Knowledge of the social and cultural contexts in which children live: [Necessary] to ensure that learning experiences are meaningful, relevant, and respectful for the participating children and their families. (Bredekamp & Copple 1997, 8–9)

    Head Start has Guiding Principles that reflect developmentally appropriate practice by an intentional teacher.

    1. Each child is unique and can succeed
    2. Learning occurs with the context of relationships.
    3. Families are children’s first and most important caregivers, teachers, and advocates.
    4. Children learn best when they are emotionally and physically safe and secure.
    5. Areas of development are integrated, and children learn many concepts and skills at the same time.
    6. Teaching must be intentional and focus on how children learn and grow.
    7. Every child has diverse strengths rooted in their family’s culture, background, language, and beliefs.[2

    8.1 Relevant Developmental Domains

    Course Competency Criteria 8.1 plan incorporates relevant developmental domains (physical, cognitive, language, social/emotional) aligns with Developmentally Appropriate Practice Area of Knowledge number 1. Age-Appropriateness and the Head Start Guiding Principle 5. Areas of development are integrated, and children learn many concepts and skills at the same time. From our work with the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards, we know children learn in multiple domains through one activity. It also aligns with Head Start Guiding Principle 6. Teaching must be intentional and focus on how children learn and grow.

    The Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards reflect 5 Domains of Learning

    I. Health and Physical Development

    II. Social and Emotional Development

    III. Language Development and Communication

    IV. Approaches to Learning

    V. Cognition and General Knowledge

    Each of those domains is further divided into 3 Sub-Domains. Below you will see how the Cognition and General Knowledge Domain is sub-divided. Please see the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards for detailed information on each of the 5 domains.

    clipboard_e15a0c77be23ec4102d95759f6a91da25.png

    Observing the children in our care and looking at the developmental continuum and sample behaviors in the WMELS book will help teachers to be sure they are planning learning experiences and activities that are age-appropriate.

    References

    [1] National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2009) Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8. Retrieved from https://www.naeyc.org/sites/default/files/globally-shared/downloads/PDFs/resources/position-statements/PSDAP.pdf

    [2] Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is in the public domain


    8.1: Relevant Developmental Domains is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Vicki Tanck (Northeast Wisconsin Technical College).