As a parent I wish to express my concerns relating to the recent adoption of the mandated curriculum for training children. I believe that for effective early childhood education, it is imperative to select a Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) over mandated curriculum. Since this Developmentally Appropriate Practice is based on the foundations of actual research that would enable a learner to develop and learn while at the same time will incorporate effective early education (Brown, 2012). DAP is thus based solely on the theoretical framework that is designed in a way that ensures that the young children are given optimal opportunity to not only in their learning but as well as in their personal development. This approach to learning would ensure that the children receive the maximum care by ensuring that they are well attended to by their teachers. The children are enabled to receive the most learning as the teacher meets on both individual capacity and as part of a group and helping them to set their own goals (Brown, 2012). DAP include publications, programs of training conferences and accreditation of the academic programs required in order to adequately develop the child.
The DAP program always take into consideration the various abilities and interest of the children interweaving them with the curriculum thus making learning to be fun and involving. The increased research into the human brain development, the early childhood development professionals can be able to change tactics on how they work with the kids. This information can help to these professionals to assist the learners to attain their full potential by developing them socially, physically, cognitively and emotionally (Gonzalez, 2014). The DAP is an approach that is aimed towards performing things better unlike mandated curriculum which that strives to do things right. In order to attain all this mileage, this program sets out standards that provide checks for ensuring that the desired results are attained (Lynch, 2015).
DAP program thus has a set of questions that enhance the learner to assess the validity of the learning process. It seek to examine a number of activities that include; does the program allow enable the kids to participate in their curriculum? Does the program accord flexibility holding no right or wrong outcome? Does the system provide the children with the challenge to think and critically explore their learning environment? Thus this program lays emphasis on the common knowledge about learning experiences of children that are relevant in their life experiences at a particular point in time. Due to the programs personal touch, it is easier to observe cultural and individual differences by incorporating various learning styles (Lynch, 2015).
This program therefore is more advantageous compared to the mandated curriculum due to a number of reasons. Owing to its participative and thought provoking nature, it perfectly helps to challenge and stimulate the minds of children during learning. Developmentally appropriate unlike the mandated curriculum does not only take care of the children. It ensures that the instructor become cognizant of the children they serve and that they become responsive to the needs of those children. Mandated curriculum is awash that routine be followed in the learning process while that developmentally appropriate require that the learning process become as flexible as possible (Pyle, 2013).
According to the research done by the National Research Council (2011), the emphasis on testing as postulated by the mandated curriculum yields little learning progress while on the other hand a significant harm. Some of the negative consequences that associate with the mandated approach include teaching only to test, narrowing the curriculum and also pushing the students out of school (Gonzalez, 2014). Moreover, the mandated learning approach holds the unfounded assumption that students who score low marks require low-level remediation while the developmentally practice provide that all these students need is enrichment, challenge and support. It thus becomes imperative adopt the developmentally appropriate practice that hold the central philosophy that a child, given opportunity, can make appropriate decisions based on trust and competency (Pyle, 2013).
Brown, C. P., & Lee, J. E. (2012). How to teach to the child when the stakes are high: Examples of implementing developmentally appropriate and culturally relevant practices in prekindergarten. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 33(4), 322-348.
Gonzalez, J. (2014). PERCEPTIONS OF KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS REGARDING SYSTEMIC CONSTRAINTS ON TEACHING AND LEARNING. Revista Contrapontos, 14(1), 4-28.
Lynch, M. (2015). More Play, Please: The Perspective of Kindergarten Teachers on Play in the Classroom. American Journal of Play, 7(3), 347.Pyle, A., & DeLuca, C. (2013). Assessment in the kindergarten classroom: An empirical study of teachers assessment approaches. Early Childhood Education Journal, 41(5), 373-380.
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