“Infants and toddlers are remarkable, delightful, and engaging human beings who require sensitive and responsive families and teachers in order to develop into capable and caring adults. Connections with others—families, teachers, and peers—support infants and toddlers as they figure out who they are, sustain meaningful relationships, and gain knowledge about their world. As you walk through the incredible developmental journey that infants and toddlers take, you will appreciate how children influence and impact their families and teachers—and in turn how families, cultural perspectives, and the larger world influence who these infants and toddlers become.”
--From Chapter 1 of Infant and Toddler Development and Responsive Program Planning: A Relationship-Based Approach, Second Edition by Wittmer and Petersen
Taking an applied approach, the authors of this comprehensive guide to development, curriculum, and program planning for infants and toddlers ages pre-birth to 36 months emphasize how important nurturing adults are to the young children in their care. Written in an accessible and engaging style to appeal to students at varying levels, the overarching theme of the book is that even infants communicate and how the adults in their lives respond to them will have a profound effect on their development. The goal of the book is that students reading it will learn strategies to promote the well-being, competence, positive developmental outcomes, and quality of life for infants and toddlers and their families.
To accomplish this goal the authors have provided numerous pedagogical aids throughout the book, such as:
Observation Invitations provide photos and written observations about children to show how adults can use such tools to benefit infants and toddler learning.
Strategies to Support Development boxes summarize specific strategies for teachers and other adults that facilitate the child’s development in that domain.
Developmental Trends and Responsive Interactions charts in the development chapters describe the capacities of the child as well as developmental milestones.
Unique Beginnings sections in the development chapters provide insight into how young children and infants differ in their development.
Reflections and Resources for the Reader at the end of each chapter provide follow-up questions and reinforce material that corresponds with the chapter content.
Summary and Key terms review the main points and vocabulary of the chapter.
Interesting Links at the end of each chapter give examples of websites that relate to the chapter content.
They also give strong emphasis on the theories behind how children develop and learn, coverage of research on the important prenatal developmental period, and the five domains of development—emotional, social, cognitive, language, and motor.
New to this Edition
NEW! Chapter One now includes a comprehensive review of the literature regarding the key elements of a relationship-based approach and the research evidence that supports it
NEW! Includes the most recent research on infant and toddler development, individualized planning, and curriculum
NEW! Written to engage the student to respect the capabilities of infants and toddlers
NEW! Discusses issues such as the effect of multiple attachments and bilingual opportunities for infants and toddlers
NEW! Includes a new chapter on observations, documentation, and assessment of infants and toddlers
NEW! Gives updated information on the effectiveness of different curriculum approaches
Dr. Donna Wittmer’s Ph.D. is in Child, Family, and Community Studies from Syracuse University where she studied infant and toddler development, behavior, and intervention with Dr. Alice Honig and Dr. Ron Lally (now the creator and coordinator of PITC). Donna Wittmer was a professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center for 17 years from 1990-2007. She has taught a variety of courses for students obtaining their MA in Early Childhood Education and a license to teach in Early Childhood Special Education (ages 0-5) and she coordinated the program for eight years. Prior to becoming a professor in Colorado, she taught behavioral pediatrics at the Health Sciences Center in Syracuse for eight years. She also was the coordinator and provided assessment and intervention services, on a grant from New York State, for five years on the Onondaga Nation for children (birth to six) and their families.
She and Sandra Petersen wrote the chapter “Programs for Infants and Toddlers” for S. Feeney, A. Galper, & C. Seefeldt’s book Continuing Issues in Early Childhood Education, Third Edition (Merrill, 2008). She is the author of Focusing on Peers in the Early Years: The Importance of Relationships (In Press, ZERO TO THREE, 2008), and she and Sandra Petersen have written Endless Opportunities for Infant and Toddler Curriculum-A Relationship-Based Approach (Merrill/Pearson, 2009), a companion book to Infant and Toddler Development and Responsive Program Planning . Both Donna Wittmer and Sandra Petersen are authors on The Young Child, 5th Edition with M. Puckett & J. Black (Merrill/Pearson, 2008).
Sandy Petersen works for the Early Head Start National Resource Center at ZERO TO THREE: The National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families. She recently worked on the new publication Early Learning Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers: Recommendations for States and the soon to be released second edition of Caring for Infants and Toddlers in Groups: Developmentally Appropriate Practice. She created and teaches the special needs workshop for the WestEd Program for Infant Toddler Care. Before joining ZERO TO THREE, she was Coordinator of Training and Technical Assistance for Early Childhood Initiatives at the Colorado Department of Education. She was one of the primary authors of Colorado’s “Building Blocks”, preschool content standards in reading and mathematics, and the Guidelines for the IFSP and Service Coordination.
Ms. Petersen has direct service experience in early intervention, infant-parent psychotherapy, and childcare. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology and completed doctoral coursework in Early Childhood Special Education at the University of California – Berkeley.
Infant and Toddler Development and Responsive Program Planning and PITC
The authors have both taught for PITC’s national faculty. Their text embraces and captures the PITC language and philosophy and incorporates suggestions for use of the PITC videos throughout a course. You will find many quotes from Dr. Ron Lally in the book. The instructor’s manual recommends specific PITC videos that instructor’s could use when teaching a particular chapter. Ron Lally, creator and coordinator of PITC, wrote a strong recommendation for the textbook.
Both Sandy Petersen and Donna Wittmer are fellows of ZERO-THREE and have written articles for the ZERO to THREE journal. They have presented at national conferences numerous times. During their fellowship years, they studied with Berry Brazelton, Stanley Greenspan, Jeree Pawl, and Dolores Norton.
The authors have been on the faculty of the Colorado Department of Education’s Infant and Toddler Expanding Quality Initiative (EQI) for approximately eight years. The model is a trainer of trainer’s model. The faculty of the EQI has taught over 100 Colorado community teachers/coaches to use a 48 clock-hour course developed by the faculty to train 3000 infant/toddler caregivers to provide responsive and relationship-based care to infants and toddlers. Donna Wittmer, with Sandy Petersen and other faculty members, has created the RELATE—A Self-Reflection and Coaching Tool for Relationship-Based Practice that is used by the community teachers to coach the infant/toddler caregivers.