Who Am I in the Lives of Children? An Introduction to Early Childhood Education

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  • Edition: 10th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-12-30
  • Publisher: Pearson
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A warm and comprehensive child-centered approach to early childhood education

Who Am I in the Lives of Children? An Introduction to Early Childhood Education presents a constructivist approach to early childhood education (birth to grade 3) and care programs that is dedicated to the development of the whole child—physical, social, emotional, and intellectual. With its practical orientation; personal voice; appealing photographs, videos, authentic children’s classroom work; and engaging stories, it allows readers to visualize effective classroom practices. Aspiring educators are encouraged to learn about each child’s strengths, interests, and challenges. This understanding, coupled with contemporary, research-based information, inspires readers to support each child’s growth and learning in ways that are in harmony with who they are, rather than according to a predetermined plan. The Enhanced Pearson eText features embedded video and assessments.


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Author Biography

Stephanie Feeney Ph.D. is Professor Emerita of Education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Adjunct Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Portland State University. Her publications include Who Am I in the Lives of Children? (10 editions), Continuing Issues in Early Childhood Education (3rd edition), Professionalism in Early Childhood Education: Doing Our Best for Young Children, the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct, two books about professional ethics in early childhood education published by NAEYC, a curriculum for young children, numerous chapters and articles, and four books about Hawaii for young children. She has served on the Governing Boards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Association for Early Childhood Teacher Educators (NAECTE), and on committees relating to school readiness, early learning standards, advocacy and other aspects of early childhood policy. She has lectured and taught throughout the United States and in China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. 


Eva Moravcik is Professor of Early Childhood Education at Honolulu Community College where she teaches early childhood classes for adults and oversees the Leeward Community College Children’s Center. She has been a preschool, afterschool and kindergarten teacher, center director, education coordinator, consultant, and CDA trainer. Her publications include Meaningful Curriculum for Young Children (Pearson), Who Am I in the Lives of Children? (9 editions), Teaching the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct published by NAEYC, Discovering Me and My World a curriculum for young children, and articles on early childhood education. She has served on the Governing Boards of the State and Oahu Chapters of the Hawaii Association for the Education of Young Children (HAEYC) and The National Associate Degree Early Childhood Teacher Educators Association (ACCESS), the editorial board of NAEYC, as well as on the boards of other early childhood related organizations in Hawaii. Her daily work with children, family, staff, and college students at Leeward Community College Children’s Center provides her with grounding in the reality of life in a program for young children.


Sherry Nolte recently retired as Professor of Early Childhood Education at Honolulu Community College where she specialized in teaching classes for infant and toddler teachers as well as classes in child development, child guidance and preschool curriculum. She has been a preschool teacher, a toddler teacher, a program director, and a staff trainer. She currently works as a consultant to early childhood programs in Hawaii and as a trainer and curriculum developer. She also teaches college classes at Honolulu Community College as an Adjunct Professor. She is a co-author of Who Am I in the Lives of Children? and Meaningful Curriculum for Young Children. She has served on the governing board of the Hawaii Association for the Education of Young children as well as on boards of several other early childhood organizations in Hawaii.

Table of Contents

Brief Table of Contents


Chapter 1 The Teacher

Chapter 2 The Field of Early Childhood Education 

Chapter 3 History of Early Childhood Education

Chapter 4 Child Development

Chapter 5 Observing and Assessing Young Children

Chapter 6 Relationships and Guidance

Chapter 7 Health, Safety, and Well-Being

Chapter 8 The Learning Environment

Chapter 9 Understanding and Supporting Play

Chapter 10 The Curriculum

Chapter 11 Curriculum Planning

Chapter 12 Including All Children

Chapter 13 Partner-ships with Families

Chapter 14 Becoming an Early Childhood Professional


Detailed Table of Contents


Chapter 1 The Teacher

                The Work of the Early Childhood Education

                                The Tasks

                                Working with Families

                                Working as Part of a Team

                The Teacher as a Person

                                Qualities of a Good Teacher of Young Children

                                Personal Attributes

                                Personal Values and Morality

                                Attitudes Toward Diversity

                                The Impact of Life Experiences

                The Teacher as a Professional

                                Specialized Knowledge and Skills

                                Professional Commitment and Behavior

                                Legal Responsibilities

                                Professional Values and Ethics

                Careers in Early Childhood: Finding Your Path


                                Educational Requirements

                                Stages of Professional Development

                Final Thoughts


Chapter 2 The Field of Early Childhood Education

                Types of Programs for Young Children

                                Children Served



                                Sponsorship and Funding

                Programs for Children from Birth to Age 5

                                Child Care

                                Programs Whose Primary Purpose is Education

                                Early Childhood Family Education

                                State-Funded Public Prekindergarten Programs

                Programs for Children from 5 to 8 Years

                                Kindergarten Through Grade 3 Programs: Primary Grades

                                Charter Schools

                                Home Schools

                Programs for Children from Birth to Age Eight Who Have Disabilities

                                Early Intervention

                                Preschool Programs for Children with Disabilities

                                Public School Programs for 5- to 8-Year-Olds with Disabilities

                Program Accountability

                                Program Regulation

                Educational Standards

                                Early Learning Standards

                                Common Core Standards

                School Readiness

                Final Thoughts


Chapter 3 History of Early Childhood Education

                The Origins of Early Childhood Education

                                Ancient Greece and Rome (400 B.C.- A.D. 200)

                                The Middle Ages (500-1450)

                                The Renaissance and The Reformation (1300-1600)

                                The Age of Enlightenment (1700s)

                                The Industrial Revolution (1800s)

                Educational Movements That Shaped the Field of Early Childhood Education

                                 Froebel and The Kindergarten

                                Margaret and Rachel McMillan and the Nursery School

                                John Dewey and Progressive Education

                                Contemporary Examples

                Three European Approaches

                                The Montessori Method

                                Waldorf Education

                                The Reggio Amelia Approach

                                Common Elements of the Three Approaches

                Child Care in the United States

                                The Origins of Child Care in the United States

                                Child Care in Times of National Emergency

                                Child Care after World War II

                                The Evolution of Early Childhood Education and Care

                Final Thoughts


Chapter 4 Child Development

                Why Study Child Development?

                Principles of Child Development

                                The Child Develops as a Whole

                                Development Follows Predictable Patterns

                                Rates of Development Vary

                                Development is Influenced by Maturation and Experience

                                Development Proceeds from Top Down and from Center Outward

                                Culture Affects Development

                                Applying Principles to Practice

                Heredity and Environment

                                The Biological Basis of Development

                                The Impact of Environment

                Theories of Development

                                Arnold Gesell and Maturational Theory

                                Jean Piaget and Constructivist Theory

                                Laurence Kohlberg and Moral Development Theory

                                Lev Vygotsky and Sociocultural Theory

                                Urie Bronfenbrenner and Ecological Theory

                                Erik Erikson and Psychosocial Theory

                                B. F. Skinner and Behaviorist Theory

                                Howard Gardner and Multiple Intelligences Theory

                                Abraham Maslow and Self-Actualization Theory

                Development of the Whole Child

                                Domains of Development

                                Periods of Development

                                Understanding Infants’ Development

                                Understanding Toddlers’ Development

                                Understanding Preschoolers’/Kindergartners’ Development

                                Understanding Young School-Age Children’s Development

                Final Thoughts


Chapter 5 Observing and Assessing Young Children

                The Purpose of Assessment

                Authentic Assessment

                                Learning to Observe

                                Beyond Observation: Other Authentic Assessment Methods


                                Sharing Authentic Assessment

                Standardized Assessment

                                Kinds of Standardized Assessment Instruments

                                Concerns with Standardized Testing

                Final Thoughts


Chapter 6 Relationships and Guidance

                The Foundations of Child Guidance


                                Understanding and Honoring Differences

                                Knowledge of Development

                Goals for Guidance

                                Long-Term Goals

                                Short-Term Goals

                Communication: A Powerful Guidance Tool

                                Respectful and Authentic Speech



                Guiding Groups

                                Use Authority

                Create Guidelines for Behavior 

                                Anticipate Problems

                                Orchestrate Transitions

                                Manage Large Group Times

                Classroom Climate

                                Create a Supportive Environment

                                Encourage Friendships

                                Model and Teach Respect and Fairness

                                Teach Children to Deal with Conflict

                Managing Inappropriate Behaviors

                                Reframing Misbehavior as “Mistaken Behavior”

                                Strategies for Dealing with Mistaken Behavior


                Challenging Behaviors

                Final Thoughts


Chapter 7 Health, Safety, and Well-Being

                Why Study Safety, Health, and Well-Being?

                Safe Places for Children

                                What Is Safe?

                                Developmental Differences and Safety

                                Safe Outdoor Environments

                                Vehicle and Trip Safety

                                Safe Indoor Environments

                                Practices That Promote Safety

                                Helping Children Learn to Be Safe

                                Protecting Children from Abuse and Neglect

                Healthy Places for Young Children

                                Understand How Illness Spreads

                                Follow Healthy Routines

                                Work with a Health Care Professional

                                Know About Conditions That Affect Health

                Help Children Learn to be Healthy

                                Promote Physical Activity and Movement

                                Encourage Healthy Food Choices

                                Make Health a Part of the Curriculum

                                Use Personal Care Routines as Teaching Opportunities


                                The Importance of Touch

                                Good Transitions Support Well-Being

                                Supporting Children During Times of Crisis

                Final Thoughts


Chapter 8 The Learning Environment

                The Indoor Learning Environment


                                Equipment and Materials

                                Making the Indoor Environment Work

                The Outdoor Learning Environment

                                Outdoor Activity Zones

                                An Outdoor Playscape for Infants and Toddlers

                                Using the Outdoor Environment

                Different Children – Different Places

                                Infant–Toddler Environments: A Place Like Home

                                Preschool and Kindergarten Classrooms: A Child’s Place

                                Primary Classrooms: A Place Called School

                                Including Children with Disabilities


                                The Daily Schedule

                Final Thoughts


Chapter 9 Understanding and Supporting Play

                Understanding Play

                                Characteristics of Play

                                Kinds of Play

                                Why Children Play

                                Theories of Play

                                Stages of Play

                The Role of Play in Development

                                The Role of Play in Physical Development            

                                The Role of Play in Emotional Development

                                The Role of Play in Social Development

                                The Role of Play in Cognitive Development

                                The Role of Play in Integrating Development

                                The Special Role of Outdoor Play

                                Explaining Play

                Facilitating Play

                                Supportive Attitudes

                                Supportive Roles

                Issues in Play

                                Diversity and Play

                                Gender-Stereotyped Play

                                Violent Dramatic Play

                                Rough-and-Tumble Play              

                                Exclusion—You Can’t Say You Can’t Play

                                Shrinking Opportunities for Play

                Final Thoughts


Chapter 10 The Curriculum

                What is Curriculum?

                                Where Does Curriculum Come From?

                                How Young Children Learn

                                Curriculum in Early Childhood Education

                                How Early Childhood Teachers Teach

                The Physical Development Curriculum

                                Gross Motor Curriculum

                                Fine Motor Curriculum 

                                Sensory Development Curriculum

                The Communication Curriculum

                                Language Curriculum

                                Literacy Curriculum

                                Literature Curriculum

                The Creative-Arts Curriculum

                                Visual Art Curriculum

                                Music Curriculum

                                Creative Movement Curriculum

                                Aesthetics Curriculum

                The Inquiry Curriculum

                                Math Curriculum

                                Science Curriculum

                                Social Studies Curriculum

                Final Thoughts


Chapter 11 Curriculum Planning

                Why Teachers Plan

                What Influences Planning

                                What You Teach

                                How Curriculum Is Organized

                What Goes in a Plan

                                Basing Plans on What You Observe

                                Teaching Methods or Strategies

                Writing Plans

                                Activity or Lesson Plans

                                Weekly Plans

                                Planning an Integrated Study

                Final Thoughts


Chapter 12 Including All Children

                Dual Language Learners

                                Working with Dual Language Learners in ECE Programs

                Children with Disabilities


                                Laws Governing Services to Children with Disabilities

                                Programs for Children from Birth Through Age 2

                                Programs for Children 3 to 5 Years of Age

                                Programs for Children 5 to 8 Years of Age

                                Identification of Disabilities


                                Characteristics of Young Children with Disabilities

                Children with other Special Needs

                                Children with Special Gifts and Talents

                                Children Who Have Been Abused or Neglected

                                Children with Acute or Chronic Health Conditions

                Working with Families of Children with Disabilities

                Final Thoughts


Chapter 13 Partner-ships with Families

                Understanding Families/Understanding Yourself

                                Responsibilities of Today’s Families

                                Diverse Families

                                Family Systems Theory

                                Understanding Yourself

                Building Relationships with Families

                                Establishing Relationships with Families

                                Strong Beginnings

                                Home Visits



                Engaging Families in Your Program

                                Classroom Involvement

                                Program Involvement

                                Family Education

                Supporting Families

                                Helping in Times of Stress

                                Preventing and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect

                                Supporting Families of Children with Disabilities

                Final Thoughts


Chapter 14 Becoming an Early Childhood Professional

                Part I: Current Realities in Early Childhood Education

                                A Changing Society

                                Continuing Issues

                                Developments in Early Childhood Policy

                Part II: Becoming a Professional

                                Knowledge and Skill

                                Professional Behavior

                                Personal Characteristics

                                Choose Your Path

                                Take Care of Yourself




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