I sit here writing another paper, this time on curriculum design and I realize that a lot of teachers/educators probably don't realize the importance. Most of us go into a program or a school and it is already there. If you don't know what your curriculm is, find out. Some may argue some of the points of an early childhood curriculum, but here are the facts. The results of teaching children primarily through drill comes nowhere near our goals for a quality curriculum in Early Childhood. We don't expect a child to walk before he/she crawls, so why would we expect a child to read and write before he/she can hold a pencil, make controlled marks, or recognize his/her name? Your curriculum must be based on sound child development principles and be individualized to meet the specific needs of each child in your program. Ask yourself these questions:
Does the curriculum . . .Promote interactive learning and encourage the child's construction of knowledge? Help children achieve social, emotional, linguistic, physical, and cognitive goals? Encourage development of positive feelings and dispositions toward learning while leading to acquisition of knowledge and skills? Have expectations that are realistic and attainable at this time? Include children with disabilities in the curriculum? Build and elaborate on children's current knowledge and abilities? Lead to conceptual understanding by helping children construct their own understanding in meaningful contexts? Facilitate concept learning and skills development in an integrated and natural way? Challenge children with disabilities to attain goals beyond those specified in the IEP/IFSP? Permit flexibility for children and teachers? Encourage active learning and frequently allow children to make meaningful choices? Foster children's exploration and inquiry, rather than focusing on "right" answers or "right" ways to complete a task? Promote the development of higher order abilities, such as thinking, reasoning, problem solving, and decision making? Promote and encourage social interaction among children and adults? Respect children's psychological needs for activity, sensory stimulation, fresh air, rest, and nourishment? Promote feelings of safety, security, and belonging? Provide experiences that promote feelings of success, competence, and enjoyment of learning? Promote positive relationships with families?....If it doesn't answer these, maybe it's time for a new curriculum.
(adapted from NAEYC)
(adapted from NAEYC)