Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City

CHILD DEVELOPMENT THEORIES THAT ALIGN WITH OUR CURRICULUM

The CDLS objectives for curriculum are based upon a developmental continuum and are taken from the characteristics of young children that build upon one another. Each skill is based on a previously acquired skill or concept. These skills and concepts appear at certain ages and within a broad range as defined by child developmental theorists such as Piaget and Vygotsky. Developmental achievements are not linked to a specific chronological age. Theory behind this will prove that children, with assistance, give a more accurate picture of their abilities than what they can do alone.

 

Although our program may appear very informal, the curriculum and environment are the result of careful and detailed planning, based on the knowledge of child growth and development. Child Development Theorist, Howard Gardner pioneered the theory of multiple intelligences that assist our personnel in identifying individual children’s learning styles. Gardner suggests that rather than having one fixed intelligence people and children can be intelligent in many different areas. Intelligences include linguistic (verbal), logical (mathematical), musical (rhythmic), spatial (visual), bodily or kinesthetic inter and intra personal (conflict resolvers, or able to express feelings and emotions well). By understanding children’s individual learning style and their own area of comfort, we are better able to observe, assess, plan and meet individual children’s needs.

 

The CDLS offers children varied opportunities to learn in all areas: physically, emotionally, socially and mentally. The teachers in each classroom work together to incorporate developmentally appropriate activities for each child. Units and themes may be used for the week and/or a month and are used to benefit all children at their developmental level. Classroom experiences are planned for individuals, small groups and large group – based upon objectives for each child as well as the group. In addition, we also use a project-based approach (Reggio-Amelia) to developing curriculum where activities may extend over a period of time. This approach allows children time to explore detailed, appropriate curriculum within their own comfort level.

 

Ultimately, we provide curriculum that is meaningful to each child. Only when children are comfortable, and activities they experience are appropriate, will children retain concepts and grow. Our curriculum will encompass theorist approaches, our own knowledge of child growth and development, and will primarily focus on preparing children socially and emotionally for a successful experience in school.