Early Childhood Curricula

By Cesarone, Bernard | Childhood Education, Fall 2003 | Go to article overview

Early Childhood Curricula


Cesarone, Bernard, Childhood Education


This column summarizes recent ERIC documents and journal articles, and highlights some World Wide Web resources, that describe, evaluate, or compare various curricula or instructional methods, such as Creative Curriculum, High/Scope, the Montessori Method, Waldorf Schools, and Direct Instruction. For details about ERIC and ordering ERIC documents, please see the information following these abstracts.

ERIC Documents

ED464718 DEVELOPING CONSTRUCTIVIST EARLY CHILDHOOD CURRICULUM: Practical Principles and Activities. Early Childhood Education Series. Rheta DeVries, Betty Zan, Carolyn Hildebrandt, Rebecca Edmiaston, & Christina Sales. 2002. 250pp. (Not available from EDRS; write Teachers College Press, P.O. Box 20, Williston, VT05495-0020.) This book provides a constructivist interpretation developmentally appropriate pre-school and kindergarten curriculum, incorporating descriptions how activities evolve over time and how children's reasoning is transformed. Arguing that the criticism by the National Association for the Education of Young Children of inappropriate "work" in early childhood education has had the effect of giving all work a bad name, the authors stress that both play and work can engage children's interest, experimentation, and cooperation, and meet the criteria for constructivist activities. Part 1 focuses on theoretical and practical foundations of constructivist early childhood curriculum, while Parts 2 and 3 offer detailed descriptions of classroom activities and principles of teaching.

ED433101 SING ME A STORY! TELL ME SONG! Creative Curriculum Activities For Teachers of Young Children. Hilda L. Jackman. 1999. 316 pp. (Not available from EDRS; write Corwin Press, Inc., 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218.) This collection of developmentally appropriate early childhood education curriculum activities is organized by themes and incorporates active exploration, problem-solving, and the acquisition of specific concepts or skills. The six broad sections are: 1) "All About Me," 2) "The Senses 3) "Seasons," 4) "Environment," "Animals and More," and 6) "Transportation." The 30 themes are designed to merge play with child-initiated and teacher-created experiences. Descriptions of each s theme include a thematic web diagram, theme goals, suggested vocabulary, a child-created bulletin board, thematic activities, a bibliography of children's books, and parent letters.

ED410019 LASTING DIFFERENCES: The High/Scope Preschool Curriculum Comparison Study Through Age 23. Monographs of the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation Number Twelve. Lawrence J. Schweinhart & David P. Weikart. 1997 120 pp. (Not available from EDRS; write High/Scope Foundation, 600 North River Street, Ypsilanti, MI 48198-2898.) This monograph presents the methods and results of a study that compared the relative effectiveness of three preschool curriculum models: 1) direct instruction, 2) traditional nursery school, and 3) High/Scope. Part 1 provides an overview of the study and surveys other curriculum comparison studies. Part 2 describes the study's methodology, including sample selection, the curriculum models, and data collection and analysis. Part 3 presents findings, which indicated that the nursery school and High/ Scope groups, at age 23, had significant advantages over the direct instruction group, with significantly e fewer felony arrests, fewer years of special education for emotional impairment, and more members doing volunteer work. In comparison to the direct instruction group, the High / Scope group aspired to higher levels of education and had more members living with their spouse, while the nursery school group ranked lower in number of suspensions from work. Part 4 addresses implications of the study findings.

ED395707 MODELS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION. Ann S. Epstein, Lawrence J. Schweinhart, & Leslie McAdoo. 1996. 269 pp. (Not available from EDRS; write High/Scope e Press,600 NorthRiverStreet, Ypsilanti, MI 48198-2898.

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