Teaching Young Children: An Introduction / Edition 5

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Offering a curriculum focus, this is one of the most accessible introductory early childhood texts. It’s an engaging introduction to practical developmentally appropriate practice.

Teaching Young Children is organized around five essential elements of early education—understanding child development, play, guidance, working with families and communities, and diversity. These elements are clearly identified and explored in the prose, through boxed features in every chapter, and in one chapter devoted to each essential element. The book also presents many concrete applications strategies so that you’ll know exactly what to do, including what traits and behaviors to observe and factors to consider and reflect upon in order to insure that you have a firm grasp on each child’s interest and abilities—essential to planning learning activities.

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Editorial Reviews

Provides an introduction to the field of early childhood education, focusing on five foundations of understanding development, play, guiding young children, working with families, and diversity issues. Material is organized in sections on an overview, the five foundations, planning and assessment, and the early childhood curriculum. Includes vignettes, boxes on play and diversity, critical thinking questions, applications boxes, and chapter summaries. Includes b&w photos of classrooms scenes, and color photos accompanying a section of questions on video case studies. The author is affiliated with Western Washington University. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132657105
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 1/23/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 173,055
  • Product dimensions: 2.60 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Henniger is professor of early childhood education at Western Washington University, where he currently serves as Associate Dean of the Woodring College of Education. Prior to this and other administrative assignments, he taught early childhood education courses at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Central Washington University, Northern Illinois University, and Western Washington University for a total of 22 years. University teaching interests include preschool and primary curriculum, play, learning environments, and family/community involvement in education. While completing his doctoral degree at the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Henniger taught preschool children in the university lab school. His public school experiences were in rural Alaska, where he taught first and second grades and high school mathematics.

In addition to numerous articles and presentations on play, playgrounds, parent/community involvement, and technology for young children, Dr. Henniger has authored/co-authored the following books: Working with Parents of Handicapped Children (with Elizabeth Nesselroad); American Education (7th Edition) (with John Johansen and James Johnson); The Teaching Experience: An Introduction to Reflective Practice;and Teaching Young Children: An Introduction (4th Edition).

Dr. Henniger’s professional and research interests include promoting the importance of indoor and outdoor play experiences for young children, multicultural toys and games, the role of technology in the lives of young children, and family/community involvement strategies. Recent research opportunities have led to a deeper knowledge of integrating curriculum through project learning, curriculum options for infants and toddlers, and health and fitness issues for young children and their families.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Overview of the Profession

Chapter 2: Historical Contexts

Chapter 3: Early Childhood Program Models

Chapter 4: Understanding How a Child Develops and Learns

Chapter 5: Play in Childhood

Chapter 6: Guiding Young Children

Chapter 7: Working with Families and Communities

Chapter 8: Diversity and Young Children

Chapter 9: Planning the Physical Environment: Indoors

Chapter 10: Planning the Physical Environment: Outdoors

Chapter 11: Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum

Chapter 12: Health and Wellness

Chapter 13: Supporting Emotional and Social Development

Chapter 14: Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies Learning

Chapter 15: Language and Literacy Learning

Chapter 16: The Creative Arts

Chapter 17: Technology and Young Children

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Educators involved in teacher preparation occasionally hear students make statements such as "I wasn't successful teaching fourth grade, but I know I can do better with younger children. They're great fun to be around and so easy to teach." Although it is true that young children are exciting and enjoyable, teaching them is far from easy. Students new to the field of early childhood education need to develop an awareness of both the challenges and the joys involved in working with young children. This book presents both perspectives, providing a comprehensive, balanced overview of early childhood education.

Conceptual Framework of the Text

This textbook provides an introduction to the field of early childhood education. It provides a framework for understanding how to teach children from birth through age eight by clearly identifying and discussing five foundations of early childhood education. Each element is a critical component of quality programs for young children:

  1. An understanding of children and their development. Educational experiences for young children need to be based on children's developmental abilities and interests. An understanding of child growth and development is a necessary starting point for early childhood education.
  2. Opportunities to play. Young children from birth through age eight need times during their school day to engage in quality play experiences, both indoors and on the playground. Play is one of the most important ways for young children to learn about the world around them.
  3. Guiding young children. Assisting with the social and emotional development ofyoung children is another key element of early education. Guidance in these areas requires a strong knowledge of child development and sensitive interactions between adults and children.
  4. Working with parents, families, and communities. The development of mutually supportive relationships with parents, families, and the community is another essential element of teaching at this level. Strong relationships help ensure maximum opportunities for growth and development in young children.
  5. Diversity issues and young children. An understanding of, and respect for, diversity is the final essential element of early education. Differences due to culture, gender, and physical and/or mental capabilities influence each of the other four foundational elements and must be studied, understood, and discussed in the early childhood classroom.

Each of these five foundational elements is discussed in an individual chapter dedicated to the topic (see Part II). To emphasize the importance of these themes, however, a discussion of child development, play, guidance, family and community partnerships, and diversity is also integrated into each chapter of the book.

Organization of the Text

The text is organized into four major parts. Part I is an overview and introduction to the field of early education. Chapter 1 describes the different program options for young children, discusses how these options are funded, outlines the roles and responsibilities of teachers, and describes teacher preparation programs. Chapter 2 discusses historical figures and events that have had a major influence on early education today. Chapter 3 identifies five early childhood program models: Montessori education, the High/Scope curriculum, the behaviorist approach, the Bank Street model, and the Reggio Emilia program.

Part II specifically focuses on the five foundational elements of early childhood education. Chapter 4 addresses child development and learning and provides an overview of this important topic. Chapter 5 presents play as an essential element of early education and offers a strong rationale for including play in the classroom. Chapter 6 deals with guiding young children and addresses issues related to helping children successfully manage their emotions and strengthen their social interactions. Chapter 7 provides an overview of home, school, and community relationships. The chapter emphasizes building strong two-way relationships through quality communications. Chapter 8 discusses diversity issues in the early childhood classroom and also describes strategies for integrating diversity into the core of the curriculum.

Part III addresses planning and assessment issues in early childhood education. Chapter 9 describes the planning and preparation needed for the indoor classroom and discusses a centers-based approach to classroom organization. Chapter 10 provides details for preparing an outdoor play area for young children. Unique to introductory texts, this chapter includes a detailed discussion of the elements needed for quality outdoor play experiences. Chapter 11 addresses activity planning and assessment issues in the early childhood classroom. The chapter includes discussion of an integrated curriculum and the project approach.

Part IV provides specific information on the major elements of the early childhood curriculum. Chapter 12 addresses physical development and the teacher's role in facilitating motor learning. Chapter 13 discusses specific ways in which teachers can assist with social and emotional development in young children. Chapter 14 emphasizes the mathematics, science, and social studies curriculum. Chapter 15 addresses language and literacy learning in the early childhood classroom. Chapter 16 describes art and music experiences that are appropriate for young children and presents a rationale for including them in the curriculum. Chapter 17 discusses television viewing, video games, and computer use by young children. The chapter also describes the developmentally appropriate use of computers in the early childhood classroom.

Special Features of the Text

This text was designed to be reader-friendly and uses a clear, well-organized, informative, and personal writing style. Throughout the text, the reader encounters thorough overviews of important topics and current references for further study. Vignettes of children and teachers and questions presented throughout the chapters encourage the reader to think, reflect, and discuss with others the topics presented.

Teaching Young Children: An Introduction is unique in several ways:

  • First, the five foundations of early education are clearly identified. These elements are discussed in individual chapters and then integrated into the content of later chapters of the book.
  • A second unique element is the separate chapter on outdoor play. Although several other texts present information on planning outdoor play environments, this text provides a complete chapter identifying the outdoor play area as a significant component of early education.
  • Finally, the concluding chapter on technology is unique in its description of play-oriented, developmentally appropriate computer experiences.

Several special features were built into the text to assist the reader's understanding of important concepts and to add interest.

  • Each chapter opens with a short vignette designed to give the reader a mental image of early childhood classrooms and issues related to the content of the chapter. These real-world images help the content come to life and stimulate interest in the chapter discussion.
  • To emphasize the importance of play and diversity issues, each chapter also includes either a special feature called "Celebrating Play" or another called "Celebrating Diversity." Each provides useful information about play or diversity related to the chapter content.
  • The "Into Practice" feature boxes describe practical classroom applications of the chapter content, helping readers to make the transition from theory to practice and providing them with successful classroom-tested strategies.
  • NEW—The margin notes for technology integration are new to this second edition. They are designed as guides to activities and information located on the Companion Website (http://www.prenhall.com/henniger) accompanying this text. Look for the CW icon.
  • NEW—Also new to this second edition is a Multimedia Explorations and Activities component located at the end of each chapter. Using the Companion Video Series described in the section that follows and other World Wide Web resources, students engage in activities to apply what they have learned in each chapter.

Ancillaries and Supplements

Several additional materials are available for instructor and student use to support learning and instruction:

  • An instructor's manual includes suggestions for teaching, additional instructional resources, and test items for each chapter.
  • Test items are available to instructors in the instructor's manual or in electronic format in the Prentice Hall Test Manager package, which allows instructors to create customized exams on a personal computer.
  • The Companion Video Series includes two cassettes, Current Issues in Early Childhood Education, Volumes 2 and 3. Free to professors upon adoption of this textbook, these cassettes feature 9 thought-provoking video segments of varying length chosen from award-winning news programs on ABC. These segments are integrated into the text via selected Multimedia Explorations and Activities boxes featured at the end of each chapter. Look for the ABC video icon.
  • The Companion Website (http://www.prenhall.com/henniger) is a web-based resource that has been significantly expanded for the second edition of this text. For each chapter there is a Chapter Overview, a student Study Guide that includes sample Multiple Choice, True/False, and Essay Questions, Reflecting on Teaching*; Multimedia Explorations and Activities*; and Web Destinations*. In addition, there is a chat room (i-chat) for online discussions, a message board, and a link to the ECE Supersite* created by Merrill Publishing. Instructors also have access to the Website's Syllabus Manager tool. (* items are new to the second edition.) Look for the CW icon in the margins of the text and in the Multimedia Explorations and Activities boxes.


No book of this complexity can be completed without the assistance of a great many competent and supportive people. Grateful thanks are given to the following staff at Merrill/Prentice Hall: Ann Davis, executive senior editor; Gianna Marsella, senior development editor; Sheryl Langner, production editor; and Sandy Lenahan, photo coordinator. Their support and assistance throughout this process have been invaluable.

I also thank the reviewers of this text for their thoughtful commentary and helpful suggestions. They are Eleanor Duff, Southeast Missouri State University; Pat Hofbauer, Northwest State Community College; Peg A. Ketron-Marose, United States Air Force; Lynn Lessie, Atlantic Cape Community College; Sima Lesser, Miami Dade Community College; and Kevin J. Swick, University of South Carolina.

Many thanks go to my wife, Lisa, as well. Her willingness and ability to provide primary care for our four children (including a newborn and two-year-old at the time of this writing) has allowed me to take the time I needed to complete the revisions for this second edition. Thank you, Lisa, for your continued flexibility, for your encouraging words, and for the understanding you displayed throughout the process.

Michael L. Henniger

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