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Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education / Edition 8

Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education / Edition 8

by George S. Morrison


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Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education / Edition 8

Note: This is the bound book only and does not include access to the Enhanced Pearson eText. To order the Enhanced Pearson eText packaged with a bound book, use ISBN 0134403193.

What it means to be an early childhood professional in today’s world–from renowned author and educator, George S. Morrison.

This brief, reader-friendly look at the field of early childhood education has become a best-selling classic, appreciated for its practical, applied approach and its engaging chapter features that look at every aspect of the field of early childhood education–early childhood programs, professionals in practice, diversity strategies, technology issues, and ethical decision making. Young children’s unique developmental and education needs are covered from birth through age eight in separate chapters on infants and toddlers, preschoolers, kindergartners, and the primary grades. The book’s emphasis on professionalism throughout keeps the focus on meeting the needs of each and every child and providing up-to-date information and strategies to develop competent, informed early childhood professionals. Thoroughly revised and updated throughout, this edition offers a contemporary, accessible, user-friendly approach to all of the major topics, programs, and issues at the forefront of the field today. The Enhanced Pearson eText features embedded videos and assessments.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780134060330
Publisher: Pearson
Publication date: 01/27/2016
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 343,867
Product dimensions: 7.80(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

George S. Morrison is professor of early childhood education at the University of North Texas, where he teaches courses on early childhood education and development to undergraduates and mentors masters and doctoral students. He is an experienced teacher and principal in the public schools. Professor Morrison’s accomplishments include a Distinguished Academic Service Award from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Outstanding Service and Teaching Awards from Florida International University, and the College of Education Faculty Teaching Excellence Award at the University of North Texas. His books include Early Childhood Education Today, Thirteenth Edition and Teaching in America, Fifth Edition. Professor Morrison has also written books about the education and development of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers; child development; the contemporary curriculum; and parent, family, and community involvement.

Dr. Morrison is a popular author, speaker, and presenter. His research and presentations focus on the globalization of early childhood education, the influence of contemporary educational reforms on early education and teacher education, the integration of technology in instructional practice, and the efficacy of large class instruction in the preparation of preservice teachers. Professor Morrison also lectures and gives keynote addresses on early childhood education and development in Thailand, Taiwan, China, South Korea, and the Philippines.


With this new Eighth Edition of Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education, there are three contributors who provided major content for all the chapters. They are:

Elizabeth Beavers (Chapters 1, 6, 9, and 10).

Dr. Elizabeth Beavers has over 25 years of experience teaching and working with public school systems, preschools, and Head Starts in the fields of early childhood and early childhood special education. Elizabeth has experience as a classroom teacher, a program coordinator, a consultant for school districts, a trainer, and teacher educator. She is presently an assistant professor at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Elizabeth earned her B.S. in psychology, M.S. in Special Education, and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction (emphasis on Early Childhood and Elementary Education). Her areas of expertise include teacher education (critical thinking and reflective practices), the emotional dimensions of teaching and learning, developmental disabilities, and instructional and intervention pedagogy. Elizabeth has presented at multiple local, state, national, and international conferences and has published in early childhood education journals. Elizabeth is an active member of national and local organizations including serving as President of the Texas Division of Early Childhood; President of Gulf Coast AEYC; Outreach Chair for Texas AEYC; and Membership Council for Council for Exceptional Children’s Division of Early Childhood. Elizabeth also serves on several early childhood advisory boards.

Donna Kirkwood (Chapters 3, 7, 12, and 13).

Dr. Donna Kirkwood has been working with children since she was in high school. She has been a nanny, a teacher’s aide, a teacher, a program coordinator, a director of an NAEYC accredited program and a college professor. She has done training across the state of Texas and at various local, state and national conferences. Donna has a Ph.D. in Child Development from Texas Woman’s University. She has been an Assistant Professor and Adjunct Professor of Early Childhood Education and Child Development at several colleges and universities in Texas. Currently, Donna is the National Program Director for HIPPY USA.

Mary Jean Woika (Chapters 2, 5, 8, and 11).

Mary Jean Woika, M.Ed. has worked in early childhood education and early childhood special education for over 30 years. She is currently an assistant professor and program manager at Broward College in Early Childhood and K-12 Education. She teaches courses in Math and Science for Young Children, Creativity, Language Arts and Literature, Diversity and Exceptionalities in Education, Child Guidance, and Management of Early Childhood Centers. In addition to teaching, her responsibilities at the college include mentoring practicum students in their early childhood classrooms throughout Broward County, and providing oversight to the North Campus Lab School, where Broward College students from multiple disciplines interact and learn about the development of young children, best practices in early childhood education, and the management of early childhood centers. Ms. Woika has co-authored a textbook and trainee’s manual, All About Child Care and Early Education, which was developed to be used in the training of CDA students.

Before coming to Broward College Ms. Woika was a child care director, an early interventionist, an early childhood special education teacher, a behavior consultant, and inclusion specialist in an outreach program. She has taught college courses in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Massachusetts, and in Florida In face-to-face, blended, and online formats. Ms. Woika has sat on several state and county committees where she assisted in the curriculum selection process and the development of the QRIS program in Broward County. Currently she sits on the Conference and Professional Development Committees for the Early Learning Coalition of Broward County.

Table of Contents

Chapter  1 You and Early Childhood Education

Chapter  2 Early Childhood Education Today

Chapter  3 History and Theories

Chapter  4 Implementing Early Childhood Programs

Chapter  5 Teaching with Standards

Chapter  6 Observing and Assessing Young Children

Chapter  7 Infants and Toddlers

Chapter  8 The Preschool Years

Chapter  9 Kindergarten Today

Chapter 10 The Early Elementary Grades: One Through Three

Chapter 11 Educating Children with Diverse Backgrounds and Special Needs

Chapter 12 Guiding Children’s Behavior

Chapter 13 Parents, Families, and the Community

Appendix A: Time Line of the History of Early Childhood Education 



Name/Author Index 

Subject Index


The field of early childhood education is undergoing significant change and transformation. In fact, early childhood education has changed more in the last five years than in the previous fifty years. Some of these changes include:

  • New knowledge and ideas about how children grow and develop, and the conditions that support optimal learning.
  • New views about how best to teach young children.
  • Changing roles and responsibilities of early childhood professionals.
  • Increasing demands from the public and politicians for accountability in ensuring that all children will learn to their fullest capacity.

This third edition of Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education captures the important changes occurring in early childhood education today and shows how they apply to teaching young children and collaborating with their parents and families.

As you, other early childhood professionals, scientists, and the public respond to the changing field of early childhood education, more opportunities arise for new programs and curricula to meet the ever-changing needs of children and families. These changes and opportunities create an aura of excitement in the field of early childhood education. As a result, we are in what I call a "Golden Age" of early childhood education. This Golden Age provides you and other early childhood educators with unprecedented opportunities and challenges. How well we respond to these opportunities and challenges will determine, to a large extent, whether or not this Golden Age continues into the next decade. I hope and believe it will.

Themes and Goals

The primary goal of Fundamentals ofEarly Childhood Education, Third Edition, is to help you respond positively and professionally to the opportunities of early childhood education today and to help you be the best early childhood professional you can be. This edition gives you the knowledge, skills, and insights necessary to confidently and appropriately achieve your goal of being a leader in educating children, parents, and families.

When I ask early childhood educators how I can help them be better professionals, they repeatedly express their desire for an early childhood book that is user-friendly and applies theory to practice. Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education, Third Edition, meets this need for a book that is both practical and based on current research and thinking about how young children learn and how best to teach them.

In this book, eight core themes serve as an organizing framework:

  • Professionalism—Being a professional is the foundation of high-quality programs for young children. Professionalism is the compass that guides and directs you throughout your work with children and families. In Chapter 1, "You and Early Childhood Education: What Does It Mean to Be a Professional?" you will encounter a Professional Development Checklist that consists of thirteen core professional outcomes consistent with NAEYC and CDA professional guidelines. The checklist and its core outcomes create a professional profile that will guide your professional thinking, reflection, and development throughout your career. Each chapter of this text begins with one or more of these thirteen professional outcomes and serves as an advance organizer for chapter content, "Professionalism in Practice," and "Program in Action" vignettes. As you read and engage in the activities in this book, you will be well on your way to becoming an accomplished professional.
  • Theory to Practice—This text helps you understand how teachers and programs translate theories of learning and educating young children into practice. The "Program in Action" and "Professionalism in Practice" features provide real-life insights into how teachers in programs across the United States endeavor to apply early childhood theories to their everyday practices. These features personalize the practice of early childhood education by adding faces, names, and authentic voices of practicing professionals and high-quality programs to chapter content. You will read firsthand about professional colleagues who make theories come alive in concrete ways that truly help children succeed in school and life.
  • Diversity—The United States is a nation of diverse people, and this diversity is reflected in every early childhood classroom and program. You and your colleagues must have the knowledge and sensitivity to teach all students well, and you must understand how culture and language influence teaching and learning. Chapter 10, "Educating Children with Diverse Backgrounds and Special Needs: Ensuring All Children Can Learn," helps you understand how all children are unique individuals with special strengths and challenges and emphasizes how all children, regardless of their multicultural, physical, mental, and emotional needs, can be included and fully taught in all early childhood classrooms. In addition, every chapter of this edition emphasizes the theme of diversity through narrative examples and program descriptions.
  • Family-Centered, Community-Based Practice—To effectively meet children's needs, you and other, early childhood professionals must collaborate with families and communities. Today, teaching is not an isolated endeavor in which one seeks to practice the craft of early childhood education removed from colleagues and others in the school and community. Successful partnerships at all levels are essential for effective teaching and learning. Chapter 12, "Cooperation and Collaboration with Parents, Families, and the Community: Building a Partnership for Student Success," emphasizes the importance of family-centered practice, while every other chapter provides examples of successful partnerships and their influences on teaching and learning.
  • Timeliness—This is a book for the twenty-first century. The information it contains is timely and reflects the very latest in trends and research. Every chapter has been thoroughly revised to reflect the changes in the field.
  • Developmentally Appropriate Practice—The theme of developmentally appropriate practice is integrated and emphasized throughout this text. Developmentally appropriate practice is the foundation for all that early childhood professionals do. It is important, therefore, that you, as an early childhood education professional, understand developmentally appropriate practice and become familiar with how to implement it in your teaching. Every chapter provides examples and illustrations to show you how to apply developmentally appropriate practice to the teaching of young children.
  • Technology Applied to Teaching and Learning—Technological and information literacy is essential for living and working in contemporary society. This edition provides you with the information and skills you need to integrate technology effectively into the curriculum and use new teaching and learning styles enabled by technology. Each chapter has a "Technology Tie-In" designed to enable you to become more technologically proficient. Teachers and all professionals in education are expected to use technology in a number of ways and for multiple purposes; today's professional cannot plead technological ignorance.
  • Literacy Development—Currently, there is a great deal of emphasis on promoting children's early literacy development and helping children learn how to read. This emphasis will continue well into the future. Therefore, it is imperative for early childhood educators to know how to support and promote children's literacy development. For this reason, Chapters 6, 7, 8, and 9 place a special emphasis on literacy development, and knowledge, information, and activities about literacy development are integrated throughout the text.

Organization and Coverage of the Third Edition

Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education, Third Edition, provides a thorough introduction to the field of early childhood education in a straightforward and engaging style. The text is comprehensive in its approach to the profession and is divided into four large areas:

  • Area I—Consists of Chapter 1, "You and Early Childhood Education: What Does It Mean to Be a Professional?" and Chapter 2, "Early Childhood Education Today: Understanding Current Issues." Chapter 1 has been extensively revised to emphasize the importance of becoming a professional. It identifies four dimensions of professionalism and discusses each of these dimensions in detail. The Professional Development Checklist is introduced in this first chapter to emphasize that professional practice is at the heart of good teaching. Chapter 2 immerses you in contemporary practice and helps you understand how current issues and trends are influencing the practice of early childhood education.
  • Area II—Consists of Chapter 3, "History and Theories: Foundations for Teaching and Learning," Chapter 4, "Implementing Early Childhood Programs: Applying Theories to Practice," and Chapter 5, "Observing and Assessing Young Children: Guiding, Teaching, and Learning." Chapter 3 enables you to become familiar with your profession's history and enables you to use knowledge of past practices to inform your current practice. Chapter 4 discusses major models of early childhood education today, familiarizes you with high-quality programs for young children, and identifies essential model features. Chapter 5 provides you with the knowledge and skills necessary to assess your students' achievement and behaviors with authentic measures and helps you understand how to apply assessment information to guide your teaching.
  • Area III—Consists of Chapter 6, "Infants and Toddlers: Foundation Years for Learning," Chapter 7, "The Preschool Years: Getting Ready for School," Chapter 8, "Kindergarten Today: Meeting Academic and Developmental Needs," Chapter 9, "The Primary Grades: Preparation for Lifelong Success," and Chapter 10, "Educating Children with Diverse Backgrounds and Special Needs: Ensuring All Children Can Learn." In each of these chapters, a new focus on curriculum illustrates what to teach young children and how to teach it. This new focus is in keeping with the new professional emphasis on providing experiences and activities that support and promote children's learning. Chapter 6 provides an in-depth discussion of infant and toddler programs and supplies you with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide high-quality programs for children in these critical years. Chapter 7 addresses the important preschool years and discusses the changes occurring in the teaching and education of three- and four-year-olds and focuses on how to implement programs that will help children get ready for learning and school. Chapter 8 is devoted to kindergarten children and provides you with the most recent developments affecting five- and six-year-old children and the tools for advancing their intellectual, social, and emotional development. Chapter 9 discusses the development of young children in grades one to three and outlines curricula and effective teaching practices that will help children learn and be successful in school and in life. Chapter 10 emphasizes how to effectively teach and provide for children with diverse backgrounds and special needs and how to provide for these needs in inclusive and multiculturally sensitive and appropriate ways.
  • Area IV—Consists of Chapter 11, "Guiding Children's Behavior: Helping Children Act Their Best," and Chapter 12, "Cooperation and Collaboration with Parents, Families, and the Community: Building a Partnership for Student Success." Chapter 11 focuses on guiding the behavior of children so they can become independent and motivated, responsible learners. Guiding children's behavior is a cooperative effort with parents and families and serves as a bridge to the next chapter. Chapter 12 emphasizes treating parents with dignity and respect and outlines ways to collaborate, encourage, and engage parents in their roles as their children's primary teachers.

The Appendix, "The NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct," provides the basis for teaching in an ethical and professional manner.

Special Features

  • Programs in Action—One of the hallmarks of the third edition of Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education is its practical nature and its ability to translate theory into practice. The "Program in Action" features in every chapter enable you to experience actual programs designed for children in real-life classrooms and early childhood programs throughout the United States. These real examples of schools, programs, classrooms, and teachers enable you to explore the best practices of early childhood education and see "up close and personal" what teaching is really like. They also offer special opportunities to spotlight current topics such as helping children resolve conflicts, high-quality infant care and education, educating children of diverse backgrounds, applying brain research to early childhood practice, bilingual education, gifted education, inclusion, multicultural education, early literacy, and improving children's mental and physical health. This approach enables you to make the transition from thinking about being a teacher to becoming a competent professional.
  • Professionalism in Practice—I believe it is important for the teacher's voice to be heard in and throughout this edition of Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education. "Professionalism in Practice" provides experienced teachers with the opportunity to explain their philosophies, beliefs, and program practices. These teachers mentor you as they relate how they practice early childhood education. The majority of the "Professionalism in Practice" feature boxes are contributed by national, USA Today, and state Teachers of the Year. Combined, these words from award-winning teachers provide you with outstanding role models and mentors to guide your professional practice.
  • Video Viewpoints—Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education, Third Edition, is a contemporary book. The "Video Viewpoint" boxes, linked to the ABC News/Prentice Hall video library, provide opportunities to interact with current child, family, and early childhood issues. These videos encourage engagement, reflection, and problem solving and promote professional development.
  • Electronic learning—Today, learning about early childhood education involves the use of a wide range of learning tools. One of the most important of these "tools for learning" involves the Internet. This text provides you with many opportunities to learn via the Internet.
  • Margin and text notes direct readers to related information on the Companion Website for this textbook. In this way, you and others are supported in using the Internet and new technologies as sources of professional growth and development.

New to This Edition

A number of new features have been added to this third edition. These new features make the book even more user-friendly and useful. They add value to the content and expand and enrich your understanding.

Technology Tie-Ins are included in each chapter. These are designed to help you be technologically literate and incorporate technology of all kinds into your teaching. Each of the "Technology Tie-In" boxes provide you with specific examples related to chapter content. They bridge theory and classroom practice and enable you to be a connected teacher. Collectively, the "Technology Tie-In" features help you to:

  • Apply technology to your teaching of young children. Every day you will want to explore the opportunities the curriculum provides for using technology to help young children learn.
  • Understand the full range of technology options. Technology includes more than computer hardware and software. Technology also includes digital cameras, overhead projectors, tape recorders, and hand-held electronic devices.
  • Empower young children with appropriate technology skills that will promote, enhance, and enrich learning.
  • Enhance collaboration with parents. E-mail is a good way to stay in touch with parents and keep them informed. You can also help parents use the technology they have in their homes to help them assist their children and themselves in learning.

The Professional Development Checklist, introduced in Chapter 1, provides a graphic tool enabling you to assess your professional practice and gauge your professional development. Each chapter opens with one or more of the thirteen essential professional goals that constitute professional practice. Each chapter concludes with "Activities for Professional Development" designed to help you achieve the professional development goals emphasized in the chapter. In this way, professionalism is integrated throughout each chapter and the entire book.

A new Chapter 4, "Implementing Early Childhood Programs: Applying Theories to Practice," combines coverage of theories about how children develop and learn with models of early childhood education designed to help children grow and develop to their fullest. In this chapter, theories are directly connected to program practices, allowing you to see how theories are applied to developing and implementing programs for young children.

Supplements to the Text

  • Instructor's Manual—The Instructor's Manual provides professors with a variety of useful resources, including chapter overviews, teaching strategies, and ideas for classroom activities, discussions, and assessment that will assist them in using this text. The manual also includes a comprehensive printed test bank containing multiple-choice and essay questions.
  • Computerized Test Bank Software—The computerized test bank software gives instructors electronic access to the test questions printed in the Instructor's Manual, allowing them to create and customize exams on their computer. The software can help professors manage their courses and gain insight into their students' progress and performance. Computerized test bank software is available in both Macintosh and PC/Windows versions.
  • ABC News/Prentice Hall Video Library—Available free to instructors upon adoption of the text, Current Issues in Early Childhood Education, volumes 1 and 2, contain a total of eleven video segments. Video segments cover a variety of topics and vary in length for maximum instructional flexibility. The "Video Viewpoint" boxes in the book can be used to link the segments to the text and to promote thoughtful classroom discussion of current issues in early childhood education. A special table of contents identifies topics discussed and their locations in the text.
  • Companion Website—The Companion Website for this text includes a wealth of resources for both students and professors. The Syllabus Manager enables professors to create and maintain the class syllabus online while also allowing the student access to the syllabus at any time from any computer on the Internet. "Focus Questions" help students review chapter content. Students can test their knowledge by taking interactive "Self-Tests" (multiple-choice quizzes that provide immediate feedback with a percentage score and correct answers) or by responding to essay questions that can be submitted to instructors or study partners via e-mail. The "Linking to Learning" feature contains hot links to all the websites mentioned in the text and assists students in using the Web to do additional research on chapter topics and key issues. The "Programs in Action" module provides hot links to many of the Web pages of the "Program in Action" boxes featured in the text and extends students' learning via Web-based activities. The "Glossary" helps students familiarize themselves with key vocabulary. Both the "Message Board" and "Chat" features encourage student interaction outside the classroom. The "Professional Development" module provides students with readings for professional enrichment, activities to enhance professional development, and a "Professional Development Checklist" to assist students in monitoring their progress toward becoming accomplished early childhood educators. Finally, the "Resources" module links to Merrill Education's Early Childhood Education Supersite and provides special chapter resources.
  • Student Study Guide—The Student Study Guide provides students with additional opportunities to review chapter content and helps them learn and study more effectively. The study guide leads readers through each chapter and helps them identify key concepts and information. Each chapter of the guide contains a number of helpful review resources, including a self-check quiz.

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