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Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum in Action,9780137058075
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Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum in Action



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A comprehensive overview of all the components necessary to run an effective early childhood program as a teacher, this bright new text remains keenly focused on application and skill-building, utilizing several areas of child development–aesthetic, affective, cognitive, language, physical, and social–as the basis for curriculum planning.


Includes curriculum areas such as aesthetics, affective, language, physical, social, cognitive (math) and cognitive (science); chapters on child guidance; how to observe and assess children’s learning; detailed approaches to planning lessons, days and weeks; circle time activities; creating learning centers both indoors and outside; and projects and themes with sample projects and lesson plan samples throughout.  The book promotes several areas of child development—aesthetic, affective, cognitive, language, physical, and social—and incorporates subject matter areas (art, math, literacy, and science) into the developmental domains rather than focusing on the subjects themselves. There are six activity types (exploratory play, guided discovery, problem-solving, discussions, demonstrations, and direct instruction) in every domain presented to the reader, as well. The contents of the book are all closely aligned to the current developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) guidelines. Strongly methods-based in its approach, the book also imparts the “how to” of teaching, with many developmentally appropriate examples of ways to teach children ages three to six years of age.

Author Biography

Marjorie Kostelnik, Ph.D. began her career in early childhood education as a Head Start teacher and has been involved in educating children and teachers ever since. Following several years in the classroom, she received her master’s degree and doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State University. She was on the faculty at Michigan State for 22 years, serving as Program Supervisor of the Child Development Laboratories and then as chair of the Department of Family and Child Ecology. During her time in Michigan, she worked with early childhood educators in more than 100 programs developing curriculum, enhancing children’s school readiness, and working with teachers to develop positive child guidance strategies. An author of 16 books, Dr. Kostelnik is now dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. A former vice president of NAEYC, Marjorie currently serves on the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance Board (a national distance-education consortium), the Dimensions Foundation Board (focused on early childhood nature education), and the Malaika Foundation Board (focused on global education).


Michelle L. Rupiper is currently an Associate Professor of Practice and the Director of the Ruth Staples Child Development Laboratory at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she has taught since 1994. She has served as a classroom teacher for infants through school-aged children as well as directed community-based programs during her career. Her belief that children deserve well-prepared, competent teachers who understand how children learn and are equipped to meet their needs has resulted in her conducting numerous national, regional and state presentations as well as presentations to faculty in Kenya, Mongolia, Australia and China. She is active in several professional organizations, having served on the National Affiliate Council of NAEYC, president of Midwest AEYC and Nebraska AEYC and on the board of the National Coalition for Campus Children’s Centers.


Anne K. Soderman taught young children for seven years before completing her doctorate and joining the faculty at Michigan State University. For 28 years she taught courses on early childhood curriculum and assessment. During that time, she received the Distinguished Faculty award and served as Acting Chair, also consulting with educators in curriculum and assessment nationally and in over 27 international settings. She has co-authored five books and numerous journal articles on literacy and assessment. For the past six years, she has been working with teachers and administrators in Beijing, China, creating an international school that now serves families and children from more than 25 nations and enrolled in nursery through grade four.  


A lice Phipps Whiren has had an extensive career in early education teaching pre-kindergarten children, working with Head Start, consulting with several full-time childcare programs, and supervising the laboratories of Michigan State University where she has taught pre-service education students in courses related to professional practice. A prolific writer, she has co-authored several texts for early childhood teachers including: Guiding Children’s Social Development and Learning, 7th ed., (Cengage Learning, 2012), Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum: Best Practices in Early Childhood Education, 5th ed., (Pearson, 2011), and Children with Special Needs:  Lessons for Early Childhood Professionals (Teachers College Press, 2002).

Table of Contents

Part 1 — Teaching in Early Childhood Programs


Chapter 1 – Ready, Set, Go! : Teaching in Developmentally Appropriate Programs


Chapter 2 — What You Need to Know to Help Children Grow: Preparing to Teach


Chapter 3 – More than a Referee: Effective Child Guidance Strategies


Chapter 4 — Teacher, Teacher, What Do You See: Observing and Documenting Children’s Learning


Chapter 5 – Roadmaps to Success: Lesson Plans as Teaching Tools


Chapter 6 — Up Close and Personal: Teaching Children in Small Groups


Chapter 7 – Centered on Learning: Creating and Maintaining Activity Areas Indoors and Outside


Chapter 8 — All Together: Teaching Children in Whole Groups


Part 2: The Curriculum


Chapter 9 – The Aesthetic Domain: Celebrating the Artist Within


Chapter 10 — The Affective Domain: Exploring the Inner Self


Chapter 11 – The Cognitive Domain Part 1: Nurturing Young Scientists


Chapter 12 — The Cognitive Domain Part 2: Fostering Mathematical Thinking


Chapter 13 – The Language Domain: Enhancing Communication


Chapter 14 — The Physical Domain


Chapter 15 – The Social Domain: Interacting with Others


Part 3: Moving Forward


Chapter 16 - Projects and Themes


Appendix A – Sample Lesson Plans

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