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Education of Young Children - Essay Example

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In its position paper adopted in 1996, the National Association for the Education of Young Children defined developmentally appropriate programs as "programs that contribute to children's development" (National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1997, p…
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Education of Young Children
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Download file to see previous pages However, "the preparation" context of DAP does not neglect the fact that more and more knowledge are being discovered regarding the significance or uniqueness of childhood that should merit the attention and commitment of educators, parents, government and communities alike - thus, DAP is consequently becoming more attuned to the ever-current needs of the child. DAP also recognizes the individual child as much as the diversity of the socio-economic and cultural environments that contribute to the differences in children's perceptions that they carry with them while attending early education.
There are certain elements that make developmentally appropriate programs well suited to the aim of supporting the development of children in their education. These are knowledge or information used to come up with learning programs, the learning environment which is the dynamic interface between children and the educators, whether inside or outside the school system, and the policies which serve to institutionalize the mechanisms that make DAP continuously responsive to its aims.
Knowledge as a key element of DAP allows educators to come up with learning programs and applications that are guideposts on what will work or not for the development of children. ...
Furthermore, knowledge of varying socio-economic and cultural contexts as applied in DAP allows for relevance among children and families coming from different backgrounds.
The learning environment as an element of DAP encompasses the interface between young children and the all the actors such as teachers, families and other children. It also includes the inter-related practices of teaching, developing curricula and the feedback processes that go with DAP. The learning environment is where social interactions and relationship skills are developed, that is why DAP is committed to fostering a safe and caring environment for young children. Continuous assessment of how children fare in learning programs also constitutes an important facet of the learning environment.
Policies also constitute an important element of DAP in as much as they make learning programs committed to the development of young children viable. These include formal mechanisms that would set up personnel with the needed expertise, funding and other guidelines that serve as rules when certain expectations under DAP are not met.
2. What are the underlying values of DEC Recommended Practices
According to the Division for Early Childhood of the Council (no date) for Exceptional Children or DEC, Recommended Practices are important because RP "represents collective wisdom, identifies what practices work, provides a framework to define quality, supports positive outcomes and applies to all settings". Instead on focusing on the larger framework of locating the child in the greater milieu of the education system or the society and to a certain extent and taking off from there, the approach is more evidence-based and is more geared towards what is practical and works. The ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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