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PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES OF TEACHING
Cindy Stephens, Gina Peterson, Sharon Eyrich, and Jennifer Paris
**THIS IS A DERIVATIVE OF AN EARLY RELEASE VERSION, IT MAY HAVE FEATURES THAT ARE NOT YET FULLY ACCESSIBLE**
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Principles and Practices of Teaching Young Children
An Open Educational Resources Publication by College of the Canyons
Created by Cindy Stephens, Gina Peterson, and Sharon Eyrich Contributions by Nikki Savage
Changes in derivative by Jennifer Paris
Peer Reviewed by Jennifer Paris
Edited by Alexa Johnson and Jennifer Paris
Graphics by Trudi Radtke
Cover Images: top left – image is in public domain,
top right – image is used with permission bottom left – image is public domain
bottom right – image is public domain
Generic Derivative of the Early Release of Version 1.1
(spelling and grammar corrections to Version 1.0)
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College of the Canyons would like to extend appreciation to the following people and organizations for allowing this textbook to be created:
California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Chancellor Dianne G. Van Hook
Santa Clarita Community College District College of the Canyons Online Education
© 2020, California Community Colleges, Chancellor’s Office. Except where otherwise noted, the content in this book is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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CHANGES MADE IN VERSION 1.1 In this version, changes were made to address spelling and grammar errors or to adjust formatting. No content was changed.
CHANGES MADE IN VERSION 1.0 In this derivative, changes were made to make this textbook more easily adoptable outside of College of the Canyons and to provide minor updates to content and layout. The following changes were made:
• A Table of Contents was added.
• References to specific courses and institutions have been removed wherever possible. Some references to California specific information is still included and may need to be adjusted to be applicable in other states and countries.
• The endnotes at the end of each chapter were moved to the end of Chapter 8 (for easier downstream formatting). Please note that if this book is used in Google Docs, the endnotes will turn into footnotes which will affect the page layouts. (It may also change font colors in special feature boxes that will make the text hard to read and will require editing.)
• Minor formatting changes (images being moved to a different part of the section) were made to account for page layout changes due to editing.
• Information on developmentally appropriate practices was updated to reflect the revision of the position statement by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
• Minor improvements were made for accessibility.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction to Principles and Practices of Teaching Young Children 8 Structure of this Book 8 Flow of the Book 9 Beginning your Journey 10 NAEYC Standards of Early Childhood Professional Preparation 11
Chapter 1 – The History of Early Childhood Education 12 NAEYC Standards 12 California Early Childhood Educator Competencies 12 NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct 12 Preview 13 History of Early Childhood Education 13 Philosophical Influences 15 Educational Influences 17 Interdisciplinary Influences 21 Contemporary Influences 23 In Closing 25
Chapter 2 – Developmental and Learning Theories 26 NAEYC Standards 26 California Early Childhood Educator Competencies 26 NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct 26 Preview 27 What is a theory and why is it important? 27 Current Developmental Topics to Inform Our Practice with Children and Families 35 In Closing 46
Chapter 3- The Early Childhood Teaching Profession 47 NAEYC Standards 47 California Early Childhood Educator Competencies 47 NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct 48 Preview 48 Why? 49 Who? 52 What? 62 When? 69 Where? 72
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How? 73 In Closing 76
Chapter 4 – Observation, Documentation, & Assessment 77 NAEYC Standards 77 California Early Childhood Educator Competencies 77 NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct 77 Preview 78 The Puprose of Observation 79 Partnerships with Families 90 In Closing 91
Chapter 5 – Developmental Ages and Stages 92 NAEYC Standards 92 California Early Childhood Educator Competencies 92 NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct 93 Preview 93 The Whole Child – Developmental Domains/Areas 93 Developmental Ages and Stages 97 Cultural Identity Development 112 Developmentally Appropriate Practices 113 Behavioral Considerations 113 In Closing 115
Chapter 6 – Curriculum Basics 116 NAEYC Standards 116 California Early Childhood Educator Competencies 116 NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct 117 Preview 117 Development and Learning 117 Play: The vehicle for Development and Learning 119 Interactions 125 Planning 129 Review/Evaluation 140 Integrated Curriculum/Themes 142 The Behavioral Side of Curriculum 144 Types of Programs 147 In Closing 148
Chapter 7 – Creating an Effective Learning Environment 150 NAEYC Standards 150 California Early Childhood Educator Competencies 150 NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct 151
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Preview 151 The Classroom Environment as the Third Teacher 151 Key Components for Creating Early Childhood Environments 152 Let’s Take a look at the Social-Emotioanl Environment 159 Let’s Take a Closer Look at the Temporal Environment 165 Creating an Inclusive Environment 169 Evaluating the Environment 170 behavior affected by environments 171 In Closing 173
Chapter 8 – Partnering with Families 174 NAEYC Standards 174 California Early Childhood Educator Competencies 174 NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct 174 Preview 175 Working with Families 175 What is a Family? 176 Ethical Responsibilities to Families 176 The Diversity of Today’s Families 177 Parenting Styles 178 Stages of Parenting 179 Valuing Families through Reflective Practice 180 Planning Partnerships 181 Behavior as it Relates to Family 183 Family Education 183 Communicating with Families 184 In Closing 189
Appendix 195 Child Development Permit Matrix 195 Descriptions of Families 197
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INTRODUCTION TO PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES OF TEACHING YOUNG CHILDREN We are so excited you have decided to join us on your journey into the wonderful world of young children! If you are reading this, you’re likely interested in learning more about becoming an early childhood professional. Perhaps you’re just curious and want to know a little bit more about young children. Maybe you want to make up your mind after finding out a little bit more about what is involved. In either case, your interest and curiosity are two key characteristics that will make this a positive growth experience for you. You probably had other options but made coming to this class a priority. You care about children. You have an audacity of kindness and passion for teaching. Adhering to these qualities is the launching pad for successful early childhood professionals.
STRUCTURE OF THIS BOOK You will notice that each chapter begins with important information that pertains to the field of early childhood education as well as providing you with the learning objectives for each chapter. This will help you navigate the content with a deeper understanding.
1. Learning Objectives – Those objectives are identified in the course outline of record this book was based on (College of the Canyons). This is what we plan for in setting up the course content. There is an overall arching objective which is called the Course Student Learning Outcome or CSLO.
2. California Early Childhood Educator Competencies – This is a robust document created by a group of professionals to help to guide the field in creating early childhood professionals with the competencies that they need to become quality educators of young children.
3. National Association for the Education of Young Children Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation – These are national competencies, referred to as standards, that help to inform the field and to provide our department with the structure to ensure that when you finish our course of study, you will be prepared to work with young children and their families.
4. National Association for the Education of Young Children Code of Ethical Conduct – This code is our promise to provide children, families, our colleagues, and the community with the integrity needed to be professional early childhood educators.
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FLOW OF THE BOOK The flow of the text is designed with chapters that build upon each other, so starting at the beginning and moving through in order may make the most sense. In addition to content, we include images, quotes, links (which we will update frequently but may change without our knowledge, so we apologize in advance if that is the case for you), and places to pause and reflect about what you have just read. The chapters are as follows:
• Chapter 1 History: presents a little about the history of our field and encourages you to dig deeper as your interest dictates
• Chapter 2 Theories: introduces you to some of the major ideas and frameworks used to guide our practices with young children
• Chapter 3 The Early Childhood Teaching Profession: answers many initial questions students may ask about roles, responsibilities, and opportunities in the field of early childhood education
• Chapter 4 Observation and Assessment: Introduces you to the skills of gathering information about young children
• Chapter 5 Developmental Ages and Stages: builds on observational skills to understand the unique characteristics of children at various ages and stages of development
• Chapter 6 Curriculum Basics: builds even further on observational skills and an understanding of developmental ages and stages to provide appropriate interactions and learning experiences for young children
• Chapter 7 Environments: expands beyond curriculum to bring an awareness of the many aspects of planning physical spaces, routines, and an interpersonal tone that meet the needs of young children
• Chapter 8 Partnering with Families: introduces the concept of valuing families as a child’s first teacher and the importance of partnering to provide positive collaboration between a child’s most important worlds, home and school.
This class will prepare you to work in the field of early care and education as required by CA licensing (Title 22 and Title 5) and Accreditation. The State of California, Department of Social Services houses a Community Care Licensing Division. A portion of Title 22 of these regulations stipulates requirements for early childhood programs, which includes educational requirements, of which this course applies. The State of California Department of Education further regulates early childhood programs receiving any form of state funding through Title V (5). This course meets a portion of that academic requirement.
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The National Association for the Education of Young Children offers Accreditation to those programs that apply and meet all qualifications of a quality program as defined by this organization. This course is included in the academic requirements. The regulations above covered in Chapter 3 (The Early Childhood Teaching Profession) with the links included for you to investigate further. Knowledge of the regulations that govern our work with children and families is important as it provides the basis for our profession.
BEGINNING YOUR JOURNEY We believe strongly in supporting future educators, as a group and as individuals. As you begin and process through your course work, we see you as just that. Your college journey that will end with your successful completion of the coursework required to work with young children and their families. As such, we are here to hold you to high standards and to support you in meeting those standards. Working with children can be very rewarding as well as challenging. In your work with young children and families, you will be expected to:
• work hard
• arrive on time
• come prepared
• participate fully
• continue to grow and learn
• be respectful to yourself, others and property
• maintain confidentiality
• behave in a professional and ethical manner at all times What better place to practice these skills than in your ECE courses. We will expect that you will practice each of the skills mentioned above in every early childhood course you take so that they are perfected by the time you begin your career. This is also a time for you to
• Ask questions
• Try new things
• Step outside your comfort zone
• Join our campus organizations
• Get to know your current classmates who will be your future colleagues
• Get to know your professors, they are here to support you
• Have fun and enjoy the experience What a wonderful balance! Learning new content as well as the professional skills needed to succeed in your future career!
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NAEYC STANDARDS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD
PROFESSIONAL PREPARATION As mentioned early, the beginning of each chapter includes a list of the professional standards that the chapter will be addressing. You can think of them as competencies that help to inform what early educators need to know to become professionals. They include.
• Standard 1: Having knowledge of how children grow and develop and using that to create respectful learning environments.
• Standard 2: Engaging with families to respect their diversity and involve them in their children’s school life promotes more satisfactory school experiences for both the child and the family.
• Standard 3: Using observation and assessment to guide what we do in the classroom is critical in supporting young children and their families.
• Standard 4: The use of positive relationships coupled with strategies that are geared toward the development of the child, allows us to connect with children and families.
• Standard 5: Understanding how to build meaningful curriculum comes from your understanding of how children grow and develop, what is meaningful to them, and what is appropriate for them to explore. Increasing skills of inquiry, specifically, acknowledgment of children’s curiosity, guides how we plan and implement our curriculum and environment.
• Standard 6: Engaging in continuous learning, reflective practice, advocacy for children and their families, upholding ethical and professional standards is our professional responsibility.
• Standard 7: Engaging in field experience enhances our connection with high quality programs that follow the previous standards, applying the knowledge learned in your course of study, affords you opportunities to develop your beliefs (philosophy) of how children grow and develop and your role as a future teacher.
Welcome to the field, future colleagues; we wish you well! College of the Canyons, Early Childhood Education Department
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CHAPTER 1 – THE HISTORY OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
Learning Objective: • Examine historical and theoretical frameworks as they apply to
current early childhood practices.
NAEYC STANDARDS The following NAEYC Standard for Early Childhood Professional Preparation are addressed in this chapter:
Standard 1: Promoting child development and learning Standard 2: Building family and community relationships Standard 6: Becoming a professional
CALIFORNIA EARLY CHILDHOOD
EDUCATOR COMPETENCIES The following competencies are addressed in this chapter:
• Child Development and Learning
• Culture, Diversity, and Equity
• Family and Community Engagement
• Health, Safety, and Nutrition
• Learning Environments and Curriculum
• Relationships, Interaction, and Guidance
• Special Needs and Inclusion
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE
EDUCATION OF YOUNG CHILDREN (NAEYC)
CODE OF ETHICAL CONDUCT (MAY 2011) The following elements of the code are touched upon in this chapter:
Section I: Ethical Responsibilities to Children Ideals: – I-1.1, I-1.2, I-1.5, I-1.8, I-1.9
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Principles: P-1.1, P-1.2, P-1.7, P-1.11 Section II: Ethical Responsibilities to Families
Ideals: I-2.1, I-2.2, I-2.4, I-2.7, I-2.8, I-2.9 Principles: P-2.2, P-2.3
Section IV: Ethical Responsibilities to Community and Society Ideals: I:4.1 (individual), I-4.6, I-4.7, I-4.8
Quotable “History is a kind of introduction to more interesting people than we can possibly meet in our restricted lives; let us not neglect the opportunity.” – Dexter Perkins
PREVIEW This chapter covers the historical underpinnings of the field of Early Childhood Education. You will discover the various influences that have been used as principles that have shaped current practices in early childhood settings. As you begin your journey exploring the field that studies young children, you will come across several terms that are commonly used. While they are often used interchangeably, there are subtle differences that should be clarified at the start:
• Early Childhood: the stage of development from birth to age 8
• Child Development: the ways a child develops over time
• Early Childhood Education: the unique ways young children "learn" and the ways they are "taught". Part of the larger field of "education".
• Early Care and Education: A blend of the care young children need as well as the way they are "educated". Sometimes called "educare".
In this text we will use them interchangeably to mean the many ways children develop blended with their unique care and educational needs.
HISTORY OF EARLY CHILDHOOD
EDUCATION Childhood from a Historical Perspective The field of Early Childhood Education has a rich history. As you will soon discover, history has not only provided us with a strong foundation, it has shaped our beliefs, instilled an appreciation for children, and it has provided us with a context that guides our current practices.
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It is hard to imagine but children were not always considered valued members of society. You might say, children were thought to be second class citizens. In the past, many believed that children should be seen and not heard, and that children should be ruled by might (e.g. “spare the rod spoil the child”). Often time’s children were punished harshly for behaviors that today we understand to be “typical” development. In the past, childhood was not seen as a separate stage of development. There was not time for childhood curiosity and playful experiences. Children were thought of as little adults and they were expected to “earn their keep”. The expectation was that they would learn the family trade and carry on their family lineage. Going to school was thought to be a privilege and only children of a certain class, race and status were given the opportunity to have a formal education. The primary curriculum for that era was based on biblical teachings and a typical school day consisted of lessons being taught by an adult in charge who wasn’t trained as a teacher.
A Time for Change It’s important to note that historically, parents had no formal training on how to raise a healthy well-adjusted child. The only “parenting book” for that time was the Bible and even then, many were not able to read it. They parented based on what the church taught, and it was these strict morals and values that informed societal beliefs and guided child rearing. It wasn’t until the 1400-1600’s, during the Renaissance, that children were seen as pure and good. New ideals began to surface. Individuals that thought differently (outside the box) began to question and investigate treatment of children. They began to observe and notice there was more to children. These were the first advocates to try and enlighten society and change the adult viewpoint in an effort to improve outcomes and support children’s growth and development. Unfortunately, many were persecuted or ostracized for being outspoken and going against the society beliefs. Let’s take a look at some of the historical contributors to early care and education.
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The individuals mentioned in roadmap were noted philosophers and educators who sought to change the status quo. By advocating for the welfare and education of children they were instrumental in bringing an awareness that childhood is an important stage of life. It is critical to note that there were other influences from the field of psychology and medicine that also informed the field of early care and education. The following interdisciplinary influences have contributed directly and indirectly to education, they run separate but parallel from the philosophers and educators on the roadmap, moving through time on their own track. As you consider these influences think about how their philosophies and theories intersected with education and child development.
INTERDISCIPLINARY INFLUENCES3 Interdisciplinary refers to more than one branch of knowledge. In the case of Early Childhood Education, the disciplines include medicine, psychology, biology, parent educators and other early childhood professionals who have knowledge that helps to inform our practices with children and families. The collective knowledge we gain from these contributions, gives our field the evidence to support the role of the teacher in providing engaging environments, meaningful curriculum, guidance strategies, etc. This is often referred to as “best practices.” As you continue to engage with this textbook, this will become more apparent to you as it relates to the unique role of an early childhood professional.
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IN CLOSING This chapter has exposed you to some of the historical influences that have informed the field of early childhood education. In the next chapter, you will be given the opportunity to investigate theoretical ideologies that have been shaped by these influences. When we combine the historical content with theory, we have a stronger foundation for providing the care and support that children need as they grow and develop.
Pause to Reflect How has history informed our current trends and practices in the field of early care and education? What stands out to you as your future or current role as an early childhood professional?
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