(1) Developmental Theory:   Your Toolbox  [WLO: 1] [CLO: 2]

In previous courses, you studied various learning theories and the role played by theory in our ability as caregivers to support the developmental needs of the children in our care. Now that you have further studied developmental domains in this class, it is time to connect theory to the more individual needs of children within these domains. According to Groark, McCarthy, & Kirk (2014).

In viewing one’s knowledge of developmental theories as somewhat of a tool box, an early childhood professional can identify which theory or theories can best help to make sense of the current circumstances. In identifying these theories, the caregiver can identify which approaches might work best to support the growth and development of the children in his or her care, based on the unique characteristics of the situation at hand. (Section 3.11, para. 3).

Identifying those specific approaches or strategies is the goal of this discussion.

To prepare for this discussion,

· Read Chapter 2: “Influences on Child Development.”

· Review Table 3.5: Summary of developmental theories (Section 3.11: Integrating and Using Developmental Theories).

Review your assigned child development influence and text section from below.


Last Name Begins   With

Assigned Child   Development Influence

Section from Text


A – E

Genetics/Biological   Influences

Section 2.1

Then imagine you are working with a child whose growth and/or development has been impacted in some way by the influence you studied.

For your initial post,

· Summarize, in your own words, the influence on child development you were assigned from above and its impact on a child’s growth and development.

· Specify the age range of the child you identified.

· Tell which domain (s) you are supporting specifically (i.e., cognitive, motor, language, self-help, and/or socio-emotional).

· Describe at least two strategies you can use in the classroom to support the child.


(2) Developmentally   Appropriate Practice: The Key [WLO: 2] [CLOs: 1, 2, 4]

Since you are enrolled in this course, it is hoped that you understand early childhood education is valuable for promoting the well-being of children and families. The ever-increasing support for early childhood programs is a testament to this. Now let’s consider what is key to ensuring early childhood programs and professionals have a positive and long-lasting effect on children and families. While there are several pieces to this puzzle, one of the most important aspects is the use of developmentally appropriate practice (DAP). DAP involves educators meeting the needs of children based on their stages of development, “both as individuals and as part of a group; and helping each child meet challenging and achievable learning goals” (NAEYC, n.d., para. 1).

To prepare for this discussion,

· Read Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) Introduction (Links to an external site.).

· Read Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children From Birth Through Age 8 (Links to an external site.).

· Complete the 10 Effective DAP Strategies interactivity. (Links to an external site.)

For your initial post, describe what, in your opinion, would be the ideal developmentally appropriate classroom environment for an age group you desire to work with. In your description, address the following questions:

· What is your ideal age group of children to work with?

· What does the actual classroom environment look like and have in it?

· How is it developmentally appropriate?

· What are the qualifications and dispositions of the educators or caregivers in the classroom?

· What types of learning experiences will children have? Why are they developmentally appropriate?



(3) Cultural Context:   Discipline

Discipline and guidance are major components of a preschool program.  You need to establish your own philosophy before you can communicate this with parents.  Review the following quizzes to reflect on your opinion of discipline and guidance.

a. The Best Discipline Tactics: A Quiz

b. The Discipline Quiz: True or False

Review Table 7:1 in your text, “Approaches to Guidance and Discipline with Young Children,” and choose two extrinsic reinforcers/rewards and two intrinsic reinforcers/punishments.  Give an example of each choice to demonstrate your understanding of “How It Works” and explain why it is an appropriate choice for a defiant child.  Explain what you would say to a parent who might question your decision to use this method.  Finally, share with your classmates your favorite extrinsic reward for a 3-year-old.


(4) Problem Solving

Choose one of the following scenarios from Chapter 8 in your text:

· Some parents request that their boys should not be permitted to play in the dress up area, and should not be allowed to wear women’s hats, shoes, and clothes to dress up.

· Some parents complain that their children continually come home with paint on their clothes and sand in their hair, and ask that their children not be allowed to paint or play in the sandbox (Wardle, 2013, p. 221).

Using the following strategies from Keyser, presented in Chapter 8, construct a thoughtful response to the parent in your chosen situation.  Name the scenario in your post (Dress Up or Mess).  Then, respond to each of the following points in your post.

a. Listen and ask open-ended questions.  (What questions will you ask to be sure you understand the parent’s perspective?)

b. Restate and reframe the parent’s ideas.  (How will you rephrase the situation to demonstrate to the parent that you understand their problem?)

c. Find common ground.  (Refer back to the child.  Restate that both you and the parent want what is best for the child, therefore______ should be done.)

d. State your position, ideas, and feelings.  (Be sure to leave your emotions out of this.  Be sure to include fact.)

e. Give information as appropriate.  (At this point, you must include one outside resource, preferably a community resource, to assist the parent with this issue.)

f. Give the parent an opportunity to respond. (What will you say to encourage the parent to share their thoughts?)

g. Outline the conflict as equally valid viewpoints. (Although this would be necessary in a conversation, it is not necessary to include in this assignment.)

h. Invite, discuss, and choose possible solutions. (Offer a reasonable solution.)

i. Thank the parent and set up a time to check back in. (What would be the appropriate amount of time before revisiting this situation?)


Required Text

Wardle, F.  (2013).  Collaboration with families and communities [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/

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