In protest of the new state curriculum required for our curriculum, young children in kindergarten, I am a concerned parent who only bases text. In this letter, I will propose a new developmental practice or DAP for the education of young children. First of all, DAP is an educational approach that focuses on the individual young child’s age and growth. As children are aged differently and grow their learning ability at different times, it is unreasonable to use the same content to teach all children at different times (Naeyc, n.d.). Generally, DAP has several benefits to the children compared to the mandated curriculum. Firstly, it is age appropriate. Based on research, it is possible to find out the knowledge of a particular child at a specific age, and therefore the teachers will tailor the lessons to fit the children at a particular age. In addition, the research and experience will also help the teachers to decide the experiences that are helpful in the learning development of the children. Importantly, the children will not end up being exposed to learning material that should have been preserved to be taught in a later class (Naeyc, n.d.).
Additionally, the DAP curriculum is individually appropriate. Although the children may be of the same age, their learning developments are at different levels. Through this curriculum, the teachers can observe how the children interact with each other and also with their environment to establish their development progress, their interests and also the appropriate teaching aid. Therefore, the teachers can take care and also help individual children develop their learning abilities at an individual level and pace (Naeyc, n.d.).
Thirdly, this curriculum is culturally appropriate. Teachers are required to find out about each child’s family values and expectations. In doing this, the teachers can use what is relevant and meaningful to the children in the teaching process. Consequently, the children are more comfortable during learning since they can relate to the different things being introduced to them, aiding in a better and a faster learning process. As a result, it becomes very easy to introduce new concepts to these children since they can already relate to them. Moreover, this curriculum allows parents to be involved in the learning process of their children. For instance, some activities could be suggested which involves both the kids and their parents, which are easy to do since the parents will not need to use textbooks to refer but would easily use their environments as a guide (Naeyc, n.d.).
Finally, since DAP is children directed compared to text based which is teacher and curriculum oriented, it translates to higher confidence levels in children which result to improved and faster learning abilities. Additionally, the retained knowledge is age appropriate which will make it even easier to build on at a later age. The children also learn how to make their decisions at an early age which can only get better with age. Clearly, for the sake of our young kids’ development, the DAP curriculum is more appropriate.
Nevertheless, text-based curriculum puts more emphasis on performance than on child’s development. Consequently, this will result in a negative impact on the children’s learning process. There will be nothing to enjoy during learning for kids who are still learning how to read. The kids will form a negative notion of the learning process which will affect their learning even at later days. Since they are still young, it is very important to teach kids to enjoy learning and also instill positive habits that will see them through their whole school lives (Copple, & Bredekamp, 2009)
Instead of putting more emphasis on following a text-based curriculum, it is of more important if we concentrate on a child’s learning development. It would be better to allow teachers to teach each kid differently based on the age, the developmental level and also the background of the child. In addition, it would also be better if we allowed our kids to be taught how to enjoy learning so that they would not have a problem in future when they are expected to cover more material and on their own.
Naeyc. Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP). National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Retrieved from http://www.naeyc.org/DAP
Copple, C., & Bredekamp, S. (2009). Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs serving children from birth through age 8. Washington, D.C.: National Association for the Education of Young Children.