Approaches to Early Childhood Education


From approaches steeped in the history of education, child development, and the psychological sciences, to contemporary approaches that address multiculturalism and inclusion, this comprehensive book, with its contributions by major experts in the field, more thoroughly examines more topics and models than does any other book on the market. Coverage is strengthened by the broad-based expertise of the contributors and the exceptional reach of the programs chosen for discussion. Chapter topics cover programs for ...
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From approaches steeped in the history of education, child development, and the psychological sciences, to contemporary approaches that address multiculturalism and inclusion, this comprehensive book, with its contributions by major experts in the field, more thoroughly examines more topics and models than does any other book on the market. Coverage is strengthened by the broad-based expertise of the contributors and the exceptional reach of the programs chosen for discussion. Chapter topics cover programs for infants and toddlers, the Head Start program, a model preschool program for typical and special needs children, behavior analysis and principles in early childhood education, the project spectrum approach to early education, the Reggio Emilia approach, Montessori education today, and more. For early childhood educators.
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Editorial Reviews

A textbook overview of the field of early childhood education. After an introductory section covering historical perspectives and the Head Start program, broad theoretical perspectives such as the family center model, the Eriksonian approach, behavior analysis, Montessori education, and constructivism are explored. Six specific program case studies are also presented and, finally, issues of cultural diversity are treated. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780675207041
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 1/1/1987
  • Pages: 320

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Historical Perspectives on Early Childhood Education 1
Ch. 2 Classes for Parents and Young Children: The Family Center Model 33
Ch. 3 The Eriksonian Approach 47
Ch. 4 Early Child Care 71
Ch. 5 Including Everyone: A Model Preschool Program for Typical and Special-Needs Children 81
Ch. 6 The Portage Project: An International Home Approach to Early Intervention of Young Children and Their Families 97
Ch. 7 Behavior Analysis and Principles in Early Childhood Education 113
Ch. 8 The Constructivist Perspective to Early Education 137
Ch. 9 The Ausubelian Preschool Classroom 157
Ch. 10 Educating the Young Thinker: A Distancing Model of Preschool Education 179
Ch. 11 The High/Scope Curriculum for Early Childhood Care and Education 195
Ch. 12 The Project Approach 209
Ch. 13 The Social Individual Model: Mixed-Age Socialization 223
Ch. 14 Montessori Education for Young Children 243
Ch. 15 The Bank Street Approach 261
Ch. 16 Early Childhood Multicultural/Anti-Bias Education in the 1990s: Toward the 21st Century 275
Ch. 17 Computer Technology and Early Childhood Education 295
Ch. 18 Evaluation in Early Childhood Education 317
Ch. 19 Public Policies as They Affect Programs for Young Children 337
Ch. 20 Epilogue: Major Issues and Challenges in Early Childhood Education for the 21st Century 355
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Early childhood education (ECE) is a multisectorial and multidisciplinary field within education that embraces the challenges of complexity, diversity, and multiple perspectives. Early childhood education occurs in many different kinds of settings, is represented in many forms, and serves diverse populations. Guided by research and theory from a number of scholarly disciplines—including developmental psychology, cultural psychology, childhood studies, and psychological anthropology—as well as by history, philosophy, and teacher lore, early childhood education seeks to integrate and to utilize our best knowledge and ideas for understanding children and for finding ways of enhancing their development, learning, and well-being during the early years from birth to age 8.

This book provides current information across a number of important areas within early childhood education: child growth and development, environment, curriculum-content planning and implementation, instruction and communication, assessment, professionalism and leadership, and families, communities, and cultures. This text meets the demands of educating children in an ever-inclusive, multicultural postmodern world. In this regard, early childhood professional educators must be "inclusionists" who can work with all children who are differently "abled," and they must be culturally nonmyopic in order to serve the great diversity of children and their families in a complex, fast-changing, and pluralistic global community.

Early childhood education is a tapestry created by the energies of many different people, working with many different children and families in diverse neighborhoods, communities, andcultures. Weavers of this tapestry are all who have the thread of conviction and dedication to put into practice what they know and believe is the best for children. This book exposes the reader to a multitude of ideas and applications emanating from diverse historical, cultural, theoretical, and philosophical sources. A seminal question remains: "What concepts, realizations, insights, and ideas tied to early childhood educational practices are relevant for use in local, particular situations in today's world?" Readers are urged to judge for themselves what is meaningful to them as they strive to construct a composite, integrative view of the early childhood profession. In particular, how does one weave an understanding of current initiatives and challenges relevant to educating young children in these dynamic and turbulent times that are marked by distinct social and educational trends?

Sociodemographic changes in the United States and globally, coupled with the ever-increasing numbers of children in poverty, children who are homeless, children of immigrants and migrant children, single-parent families, children living in "trial families," lesbi-gay families, and the globalization of childhood, have all presented new challenges to early childhood education. Teachers working with young children must constantly try to find the right balance between their need to make developmental demands on children and their need to show appreciation of individual expression.

Educational trends in the early childhood area include a renewed call for effective curricula brought on by the public's growing awareness of low-quality child care in the United States and elsewhere, together with better appreciation of the importance of early social and cognitive stimulation spurred, in part, by early brain development research. There is heightened concern over curricula for English language learners, the academic performance of low-income children and children of color, and disproportionate numbers of children of color placed in remedial and special education classes in the United States. At the same time, as we achieve consensus on the importance of early education, more and more state governments are legislating, often without sufficient fiznding, universal pre-kindergarten programs ,(e.g., Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, New York). Unfortunately these trends have been accompanied by high-stakes testing, curriculum compression, and downward extension of educational demands. Needless to say, evidencebased programs place a lot of pressure on young children and their teachers. To be a good teacher means facing the many challenges caused by these interweaving educational trends that call for an emphasis on cognitive and academic learning. In the context of narrowly defined academic learning, the good early childhood teacher never loses sight of the whole child and strives to encourage social and emotional development, creativity and imagination, and play, as much as, if not more so, than intellectual development per se.

Our profession requires of us that we acknowledge the need to balance individualized emerging or established specialized interests in early childhood education (e.g., computers and young children, becoming a nanny, specializing in Montessori education, infant and toddler care) with the goal to have in our professional identity an understanding of the field taken in total. This book provides you with opportunities to develop a better grasp of early childhood education practices in order that you may form a composite, integrative view of early childhood education. Admittedly, in-depth specialization in early childhood education subfields results in professional identity, but this identity must be preserved in an inclusive meaningful context of the entire field.


This new edition of Approaches to Early Childhood Education has been reorganized to accentuate the need to examine programmatic ideas and applications through two very important thematic lenses: namely, multiculturalism and inclusion. In this vein, the revised chapters by Louise DermanSparks and Patricia Ramsey as well as Ellen Barnes and Robert Lehr were moved forward to Part 2. Consistent with previous editions, we have sought to give the reader an impressive array of rich and current information about important issues and trends in early childhood curricular approaches or models. We have also retained certain organizational features, specifically including in Part I the chapters by Patricia Monighan Nourot, Kimberlee Whaley, Douglas Powell, and David and Darlene Shearer on history, infant and toddler care, Head Start, and the Portage Model, respectively. Broad approaches, such as Eriksonian, behaviorism and mixed-age programming, are included in Part 3 and followed by specific approaches.

For this edition we have chosen to group specific approaches together: Part 4 contains four well-known "home-grown" early childhood education approaches (High/Scope, Spectrum, Bank Street or Developmental-Interaction Approach, and the Project Approach), and Part 5 contains four programs that have their origins in Europe (Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, Montessori, and Pyramid). The reader is invited to compare the approaches within and across Parts 4 and 5. In Part 4 we have grouped them in an order that we believe goes from most focused to least focused on intellectual development, but with an increased concern for the whole child. In Part 5 the reverse is the case. A recent distinction between the experiential and functional perspectives made by David Elkind guided how we grouped these chapters. Reggio and Waldorf are considered to be more concerned with the whole child and the child's experiential perspective, and Montessori and Pyramid more enmeshed in the adult's functionalist perspective and on cognitive or learning outcomes. This arrangement permits ease of comparison between and across programs that have their roots in Europe and the United States.

This edition not only has a new author for the infant and toddler care chapter, Kimberlee Whaley (chapter 2), but also new chapter topics and authors for chapters 11, 15, 17 and an Epilogue. Spectrum, which was inspired by the theories of David Henry Feldman and Howard Gardner concerning nonuniversal development and multiple intelligences, is presented by Jie-Qi Chen; Waldorf is presented by Christy Williams and Jim Johnson, and Pyramid by Jef J. van Kuyk. All three additional approaches or models of early childhood education are growing in popularity and use, and they have solid reputations in the field. Finally, in the Epilogue, the reader is treated with Marianne Bloch's cogent and critical analysis of the field and timely suggestions as we move further into the twenty-first century.

The book overall includes much content that should add to the reader's acumen of early childhood education pedagogy, practice, and policy. Many applications are traced to philosophy and theory. Historical foundations are included in many chapters, as well as conceptual frameworks and models or images of the child. Complex particulars are introduced and discussed, as real-world issues and challenges may, and often do, collide with ideals and best-laid plans. Early childhood education is constantly on the move, and a book of this nature is meant to help all of us keep up with advancements in best practices in nurturing the minds and psyches of the most valuable resources of our world young children.

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