Introduction to Curriculum for Early Childhood Education
Jennifer Paris, College of the Canyons
Kristin Beeve, College of the Canyons
Clint Springer, College of the Canyons
Copyright Year: 2018
Last Update: 2019
Publisher: College of the Canyons
Conditions of Use
This book addresses a wide range of topics pertaining to curriculum design and inquiry with young children. Learning through Play is a central focus of the book. However, the authors introduce the reader to the most common approaches to early... read more
This book addresses a wide range of topics pertaining to curriculum design and inquiry with young children. Learning through Play is a central focus of the book. However, the authors introduce the reader to the most common approaches to early childhood education.
I think that at times the authors rely too much on secondary documents instead of citing scientific research findings directly. However, the authors draw from relevant theories and anecdotes to illustrate what the application of specific pedagogical principles may look like in practice, which I found particularly valuable for education students at the undergraduate level in general.
One of the important contributions of this book is summarizing in one place, theories, principles, and concepts that often demand the use multiple books and articles. This book gives future teachers a good grasp of essential concepts such as transitions, routines, student readiness, assessment, and documentation. In addition to the solid discussion of the traditional literature, future editions could benefit from discussions on the contributions of neuroscience to how we understand young children's learning.
The authors use a language that is clear and accessible. Some of the articles I assign in my Art Education method courses can be hard to read for some of my undergraduate students. I am considering substituting some of those articles with chapters and sections from this book.
The organization of the book is consistent throughout the different chapters. The pop-up windows "Vignette" and "Pause and Reflect" add content and experiences that facilitate the connection between theory and practice.
In my case, not all chapters are useful for the courses I currently teach, but the book structure makes it conducive to assign specific chapters that align with some of my weekly topics.
The book is organized into five large thematic sections. Each section is divided into uneven number of chapters. However, the organization of the text is consistent throughout the different chapters. The book starts with more general theoretical and practical considerations that could be useful to students from different disciplines. Section IV, covering Chapters 7-16 provides insights into specific subject areas.
While the book is comprehensive and useful for introduction to curriculum design and education method courses, the interface of the book could benefit from more elaborate formatting and design. Several images are low resolution, and the format and quality are not consistent. In general, a more professional design could make the book more visually appealing.
I did not notice significant grammatical errors.
The authors are attentive to how cultural and social factors affect students’ engagement. They intentionally examine learning experiences from diverse cultural settings and discuss how disadvantage students may lack access to technology.
I was expecting more specialized and in-depth discussions on the Creative Arts in Chapter 11. Nonetheless, this book is a great resource to address general curriculum design considerations with young children. I plan to use this book in the future.
This text brings a comprehensive approach to curriculum making in early childhood education. I really liked the emphasis on play-centered approach to education of young children. read more
This text brings a comprehensive approach to curriculum making in early childhood education. I really liked the emphasis on play-centered approach to education of young children.
The content information is researched-based, unbiased and accurate.
The text consists of best practices experienced and grounded in research for the education of young children. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement.
The text is clearly written, full of examples and visual graphs, charts, tables, and photos. The language is appropriate for the context.
There is a consistency in organization, terminology and framework of the book which makes it easy to follow. Each chapter begins with objectives and brief introductions. I really like the Pause to Reflect sections included throughout the text.
The text content is divided into sixteen chapters which can be easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course. Instructors will find this format easy to follow to organize their course.
The content topics are presented in a logical, clear fashion.
The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts.
The book is readable with no grammatical errors.
The text book content and images represent diverse population of children and families schools serve today. More information on teaching children with special needs and ESL/ELL students would make this book more appealing to instructors.
The text is readable and complete in scope and Early Childhood responsibilities. read more
The text is readable and complete in scope and Early Childhood responsibilities.
The text shares accurate information that is correct and timely based on current research.
The text is relevant in today's education environment.
The book is readable and compete.
The book focuses on nurturing care and attachment as paths for early learning.
The book has a preface and a table of contents.
The book is organized as a readable book, but also by chapter subject for easy reference on many topics.
The PDF download makes it convenient to use as a reference anywhere.
The book is readable with no grammatical errors.
The book is relevant when compared to current early learning research.
The book is arranged in a logical order and includes relevant up-to-date topics. read more
The book is arranged in a logical order and includes relevant up-to-date topics.
The book reflects accurate information
This book includes relevant topics that are arranged in a logical way. One thing that might be helpful is to make sure that terms/topics that are intertwined (technology and culture for example) are also noted in a chapter summary or hyperlinked from the Chapter Objectives sections for easy access/talking points for users.
The book is well written, grounded in research, and easy to read.
The book is consistent with current research, accuracy in data/tables and laid out in a way that the friendly to the user.
The text features a clearly laid out chapter objective section and chapter headers. I think that it would be made even stronger if the objectives were aligned to the headers or hyperlinked to the sections they support.
This book is well laid out and is scaffolded nicely throughout.
An opportunity for strengthening this book, even more, is to provide hyperlinks from the chapter objects to the sections of the book where each objective is addressed. Also, since the author does such a nice job of supporting the content with cultural and technology references, keywords that are hyperlinked from the table of contents to these topics that are not stand-alone chapters might help users if they want to use this book in part/section.
Professional and accurate without grammatical error
As noted above, easier access to clickable links or noted where to find culturally relevant content would strengthen this area.
This is well thought out book that gives an in-depth look at early childhood education in a practical approach. More information about culturally responsive teaching would make this book a home run. The authors have done an outstanding job providing useful, researched-based information. One glaring issue is the lack of glossary or index and clickable links from Table of Contents and Chapter Objects would be helpful.
There is a table of contents which is very helpful and transparent about the contents. I found the information in this text to be very comprehensive and thorough in regards to an introduction to Early Childhood Education. There is no index or... read more
There is a table of contents which is very helpful and transparent about the contents. I found the information in this text to be very comprehensive and thorough in regards to an introduction to Early Childhood Education. There is no index or glossary to accompany this text.
I have taught this course with another book, and I find that the information in this resource is accurate and up to date. I did not find errors in my review, and I did not find anything that was biased in my opinion.
The topics are relevant, and the vignettes that are added in each chapter are valuable for deeper understanding of real life experiences. It is helpful for Early Childhood Education teacher candidates to have practical and specific examples of how theories are applied. I found the topics covered in this book to be important and well-represented.
The flow of the text is easy to follow. It is helpful to have tables and charts to help clarify information in the text. The objectives at the beginning are also helpful to clarify what is contained in each chapter. I appreciated the multiple lists that were included in the tables. The readability was easy and engaging. I found the tables and charts in the fourth section to be helpful in understanding developmentally what skills students have at certain ages and stages. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on teaching science where it was divided into sub-categories of earth science, life science, and physical science.
I see consistency throughout the resource in regard to text structure and text features. Each chapter begins with the objectives, and is laid out in an easy to read format with headings, tables, and vignettes (in green boxes) and research highlights (in purple boxes). The consistency made it easier to read and follow.
I found this text to be well-organized with text features used to keep information in manageable chunks. Illustrations and tables are used to help clarify information and it flows well for the reader. I especially like the vignettes that were consistently in green boxes. They are well-written and relevant.
I found this resource to be well-organized and easy to follow. It is divided into sections and chapters where the first three sections are more of an introduction, and the fourth section is the real meat and potatoes of curriculum and lesson planning. The final section gives an extension for other age groups.
The interface was exceptional. I downloaded it as a PDF and it was easy to navigate. I had no issues at all with any of the displays or features, and it would not be confusing or distracting to readers. This resource is easy to navigate and consistent in its format.
I did not identify any grammatical errors in my review of this resource. A link was included at the beginning to report any such findings.
While I did not see anything blatant, in comparison to the book that I currently use, there is not an entire chapter dedicated to cultural sensitivity. Rather, it is intertwined within the chapters. There was a piece in an early chapter that talked about including books and materials that are culturally diverse, There was a reference in the Infants and Toddlers chapter about cultural sensitivity as well as working together with families. English Language Learners is also not included as a chapter on its own, but is interwoven into the contents of this resource.
I enjoyed this resource very much, and I will plan to use it with my ECU: Foundations course that I teach. Well Done!
This textbook covers all of the major topics for developing a curriculum in a preschool setting. read more
This textbook covers all of the major topics for developing a curriculum in a preschool setting.
The book breaks down each developmental level expectations in a way that is easy to read and understand.
The textbook focuses on the California Early Learning Standards, but can easily be adapted to your state framework.
The textbook uses phrases that should be common knowledge to all early childhood education professionals.
The chapters are laid out similarly so the student always knows what to expect.
Each subtopic is in its own chapter and can be easily skipped (or added to) if needed.
The book flowed easily from basic theorist knowledge to more in depth procedures on how to incorporate curriculum into your classroom.
The links provided in the footnotes are live and easy to access.
I did not see any grammatical errors.
The photos used were inclusive and representative.
The vignettes provided real life examples of best practices in early childhood education.
I really like how the book is broken down into sections and works from the understanding how children learn to developing curriculum. I like seeing how to set stage for learning and guiding behavior in classroom. I like how the book wraps up the... read more
I really like how the book is broken down into sections and works from the understanding how children learn to developing curriculum. I like seeing how to set stage for learning and guiding behavior in classroom. I like how the book wraps up the last 9 chapters with what the curriculum looks like. Concluding with documentation and assessment is a great way to end the students learning.
This book will be very helpful in many classes in ECE.
As I was reading I found the information to be accurate and error-free. The author is unbiased.
It will be pretty easy to update what would need to be updated as years go by.
I really liked the clarity and the examples in the chapters. Not much jargon/technical terminology to confuse the reader. Easy to read.
I liked how the book started in the understanding and ended with examples. The text was consistent in how it was written.
Different chapters can be spaced out over the course and also through other courses as well. It can easily be broken down into different sections for easier digestion of the reading. Lots of charts and pictures break up the blocks of text.
Definitely written in a logical and clear fashion. It shows someone how to educate young children.
Although there are images and charts, it is easy to navigate around them or through them. There seems to be a nice lead into the charts or images that makes it so that they are not distracting or confusing to the reader.
I did not see any grammatical errors.
I did not find the text to be culturally insensitive or offensive in any way.
I would use this book in a couple of my classes. It has information that I cover in in 3 different classes.
The text is comprehensive in covering areas of early childhood curriculum. I like the straightforward nature of chapter content with photos, charts, webs, links and other resources. I like the links that are available in each chapter. Some of the... read more
The text is comprehensive in covering areas of early childhood curriculum. I like the straightforward nature of chapter content with photos, charts, webs, links and other resources. I like the links that are available in each chapter. Some of the links are related to California State Standards and California Child Care Licensing Regulations. It would be good to have links from other states. I would also like more in the text on kindergarten - grade 2 curriculum, cultural competence, equity, Universal Design for Learning, and inclusion .
The content appears to be very accurate with references and links provided in each chapter. I was not able to check all sources and documentation.
The content is very relevant and straightforward with links that can be updated.
I found the text very clear and to the point.
The text is internally consistent with terminology and framework. My only concern relates to limits of California regulations and standards. Is it possible to add regulations and standards of other states to the text?
There is good organization in text. The text is broken down into small organized sections with headings, subheadings, charts, and webs.
The topics in the text are in general presented in a logical, clear fashion. I would like to see infant-toddler and kindergarten - second grade curriculum connected with the preschool curriculum in a logical order. More focus on both infant-toddler, Birth - 3, and kindergarten through primary curriculum, age 5-8, would add to the flow of the book. Chapters 15 and 16 cover the areas of infants and toddlers and school age curriculum at the end of the book.
The text is very clear and direct. I found no distortions of images or charts. I liked the displays of charts and webs in the book. The appendices were particularly clear and helpful.
I found the text grammatically correct but I did not review it with a fine tooth comb.
A greater focus on social justice, equity, and cultural competence throughout the book would add to its cultural relevance. More culturally diverse images would also add to the text.
In general, I like the book. It is comprehensive. I would like to see a greater focus on cultural competence, social justice, and equity.
The textbook is quite comprehensive as an overall introduction to early childhood curriculum. Content covers theories, curriculum models, developmental span from infancy to school age, and specific curriculum areas. The textbook provides a good... read more
The textbook is quite comprehensive as an overall introduction to early childhood curriculum. Content covers theories, curriculum models, developmental span from infancy to school age, and specific curriculum areas. The textbook provides a good foundation for many of our other early childhood courses, where we delve into specific topics and issues. Expansion in a few areas could be further incorporated, as indicated in other criteria sections of this review. There is an appendix section which provides useful supplemental resources. Incorporating an index and glossary would be helpful to have for future revisions of this textbook.
The content is accurate and free of bias, citing theories, research, and child development milestones and principles.
Information presented is relevant to curriculum approaches and content areas which students will need to be knowledgeable of, when considering how to apply and integrate these into their developing teaching practices. Expanding on the topics of DAP, anti-bias curriculum, and intentional teaching would increase the textbook's relevance to current and future competencies for early childhood practitioners.
The text is written in a clear manner, utilizing terminology that is pertinent and essential to those in the early childhood field. The theoretical aspects were described in a straightforward and understandable way, and further enhanced with diagrams, tables, and other visuals.
The textbook is consistent with its format of outlining objectives, followed by a concise and clear introduction of the chapter/topic, and providing vignettes and reflection questions in each chapter to connect theory with practical application. Terminology is consistent throughout the text.
The chapters cover the content areas well without being overly lengthy and include essential and relevant subtopics. In the chapters that address the various subject/curriculum areas, developmental milestones and skills for preschool ages four to five are nicely outlined in tables. For a more integrated approach emphasizing the continuum from the infant stage to school age, I would suggest that the tables include skills/milestones from infancy to school age in each of these curriculum areas, which would require revision or renaming of the ‘preschool’ planning section to include a broader scope. An additional recommendation would be to place the chapter on infant and toddler curriculum before the section/chapters on preschool curriculum. This would emphasize the adult-child interactions as central to infant and toddler curriculum, and then proceed to the more specific curriculum content chapters, providing information on how math, science, literacy, social science concepts can be identified and supported in everyday routines and explorations with infants and toddlers.
Overall the topics in each chapter are organized in a clear and systematic manner with guiding principles presented at the beginning of the chapters, followed by vignettes that bring these concepts 'to life.' The chapters end with reflection questions, providing the reader/student with a personal connection to the chapter content. Adding a more defined chapter on anti-bias curriculum in section 1 would highlight the importance of our awareness of incorporating anti-bias curriculum throughout formal and informal planning. One additional recommendation is to include a subtopic or section on managing group times in the chapter for 'Guiding Behavior and Managing the Classroom, as this is a vital skill that all teachers will need for guiding children's learning and self regulation.
The interface presented well. The visual diagrams and tables were displayed well, and enhances the written text on the respective topics. Navigation was smooth, with only one broken link at the time of this review (to the Australian Government Department of Education).
No grammatical errors were detected.
There are several vignettes presented throughout the textbook which reflect the growing diversity in our early childhood classrooms, which I found to be culturally sensitive and relevant to the experiences of our current practitioners. As mentioned earlier in this review, I suggest adding an additional chapter specific to anti-bias curriculum and cultural responsiveness.
Of all the OER textbooks written for early childhood education, I have found this Introduction to Curriculum for ECE textbook to be the best thus far. It is a compilation of all the essential information we would want to impart to our early childhood education students about what curriculum encompasses. There is a balance of theory presented in a clear and understandable manner, blended with numerous vignettes and reflection questions to support our students in their emerging teaching practices. The content provides a good foundation for knowledge of curriculum, along with many opportunities for rich discussion based on real life scenarios.
The chapters are very well developed with achievable and comprehensive objectives. The content of each chapter unfolds each objective and provides opportunities to reflect with examples and thoughtful scenarios. Chapters are matching one another... read more
The chapters are very well developed with achievable and comprehensive objectives. The content of each chapter unfolds each objective and provides opportunities to reflect with examples and thoughtful scenarios. Chapters are matching one another in thorough order. However, the text does not have an effective index/glossary.
The content is accurate, error free and unbiased.
Content is up to-date but not referring to the most recent studies to make it more relevant. The technology section is not comprehensive and needs more relevant and up to date strategies to provide a better understanding of the importance of utilizing appropriate technology and developing required skills in ECE. In addition, building family school community relationship is a critical factor in ECE that should be more highlighted and extended throughout the content.
The content is explicit and understandable. It is easy to follow each section and build connection between chapters.
The book is developed based on a strong consistent framework. This framework creates clarity and prevents unexpected expectations from the reader.
The authors used objectives as overall outline to create clear subheads for each chapter. Their method helps readers in understanding the content and instructors in planning teaching content.
The authors developed a great organizational layout to break down each section and keep it consistent.
There is no major interface issue. The images are not distracting, however, they do not add any significant values to the text.
The text contains no grammatical errors.
This book has a universal approach in presenting the content. The examples and scenarios are inclusive. Authors are intentional in emphasizing the importance of culturally responsive teaching. The content is developed based on children who are culturally diverse, linguistically diverse, diverse in ability, and from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.
Introduction to Curriculum for Early Childhood Education is a great vehicle to prepare future early childhood teachers through a clear and consistent content.
This is a very comprehensive text covering pertinent topics in early childhood education from understanding how children learn to the appropriate setting for their learning to the curriculum topics that cover their complete educational development. read more
This is a very comprehensive text covering pertinent topics in early childhood education from understanding how children learn to the appropriate setting for their learning to the curriculum topics that cover their complete educational development.
The content is relevant, accurate and unbiased.
The text is a compilation of current best practices experienced and grounded in research for the education of children.
It is easily read and does provide an appropriate context for use of educational terminology.
The text is consistent in use of its terminology and framework.
Each chapter presents objectives, frameworks, theories, reflections/vignettes and examples of practical applications on the chapter topic.
The topics in the text and in each chapter are presented with a comprehensive overview to specific applications.
There are no features that are distorted that may distract or confuse the reader.
There are no grammatical errors evident in the text.
Examples and pictures within the text are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.
This early childhood education text is clearly and beautifully written and presented with research based, comprehensive and practical information on the development and instruction of children addressing their early education environment with appropriate learning strategies.
I found this text to be supremely comprehensive in scope, as well as fully current and progressive in tone and intent. To my mind, it would make an ideal foundational work for undergraduate programs in early childhood education. It is... read more
I found this text to be supremely comprehensive in scope, as well as fully current and progressive in tone and intent. To my mind, it would make an ideal foundational work for undergraduate programs in early childhood education. It is sufficiently broad in topical coverage as to have utility across multiple courses, from Foundations or Early Childhood Development through Ethical and Professional Standards or Children with Special Needs. At the same time, specific sections or chapters provide sufficient depth to serve as excellent pathways of entry into dynamic and evolving topical arenas such as Diversity and Multiculturalism or Infants and Toddlers: Learning through Relationships. An index would be a useful addition to this excellent work.
I found the content to be entirely accurate, bias-free, and appropriately current in the selection of supporting resources incorporated throughout. A salient attribute of the authors' approach is the presentation of nuanced advocacy (toward full inclusion, for instance, or the need to engage families) in very matter-of-fact fashion. Rather than taking a prescriptive tone, so typical in overview college texts, the sensibility is collegial, engaging, and welcoming: content is introduced and consistently reinforced in a manner that invites readers who may be new to the field to participate in optimal, dynamic, and creative ways.
I found that the early chapters provide exemplary grounding of fundamental educational frameworks in such engaging, expansive, and globally relevant fashion that everything that follows flows logically and consistently from those introductory passages. Such clarity of concept and logic of sequencing affords a seamless structure to which future essential changes can be made in organic, authentic fashion as core professional concepts get refined or added. In the vernacular of the moment, the authors have created a 'living document' which captures central current best practices while being open to creative amplification going forward.
In my view, the writing throughout is accessible while appropriately academic, and richly informative while never being pedantic or turgid. The enthusiasm and expertise of the authors shines through in lucid prose and evocative, relevant, often inspired selection of supporting photographs and figures. The tone is inviting along with being professional; the always-implicit, often-explicit expectation is that optimal professionalism is a given, at all times and in all contexts. The reader is guided to the fundamental recognition that, while every practitioner can and should enhance their competencies, there is a baseline of excellence to which each person who enters an early childhood education center as a professional needs to adhere: a most appropriate metaview, in short.
The authors have deftly managed to frame the entire work in such a way as to be infused with a single authorial voice--no small accomplishment for a work with multiple contributors. The clarity of the format, recursive but never simply repetitive, serves as an intuitively-navigable sequence of guideposts. Consequently, the reader is provided an opportunity to construct their own incrementally-enriched, coherently guided, and pedagogically interconnecting gestalt. Whether a student works through this text in sequence or in a more complex, topically-guided manner, the thematic underpinnings of the content are consistently made evident.
This is one of the most appealing attributes of the text: while the authors have rendered a field-wide overview in clear and comprehensible fashion, they have also managed to produce individual segments, whether sections or chapters, that are fully self-contained. To my mind, a dedicated practitioner--faculty member or student--could choose any such item with which to begin a unit of study, with equally substantive results. Thus, the work affords marvelously wide pathways via which to access desired content, whatever the particular curriculum of the institution choosing to use its exemplary range of opportunities.
This could be my favorite attribute of this textbook: after working through the first fifty pages or so, I realized that the organization of material was so lucid that it was perfectly seamless. It simply makes exquisite sense, providing an exemplary compendium of essential information while remaining transparent as to overall goals and intent of the overall document. The term 'reflective practitioners' kept surfacing for me: the creators understand the field, are confident as to the depth and range of their insights, and convey their expertise and enthusiasm in an entirely appropriate, coherent, and connected fashion.
This aspect of the work is particularly noteworthy, perhaps because, in its clarity, simplicity, and comprehensive nature, it is virtually invisible if one isn't specifically focused on it. Essential guiding items such as 'Pause to Reflect,' 'Vignettes,' 'Teacher Tips,' or 'Research Highlights' are emphasized without being intrusive: they flow easily into the rest of the content, welcome amplifications without being unduly distracting from the overall forward direction of the passage. The choice of placing a significant bank of relevant but secondary supporting content into an appendix is an example of a navigational decision that makes great sense. Figures available here include such items as classroom floor plans, charts of developmental metrics across domains or of salient developmental sequences, and CSEFELS tables, all of which are valuable but which would have been distracting had they been embedded in their entirety in the text proper.
As suggested above, the prose style is vivid, dynamic, and highly effective. I found no instances of content presentation that were anything less than lucid, direct, and exemplary: all that is essential is included, while nothing extraneous has been retained.
Again, the authors have been exemplars of presenters in this regard. Concepts of diversity or multiculturalism have been interwoven in every section of the text, in smooth, seamless fashion that makes such respect and inclusion perfectly matter of fact--as of course they should be. I so appreciated the full range of topics and concepts that this integrative approach subsumed, across dimensions of race and ethnicity, countries of origin, home languages, socioeconomic status, and religious beliefs as well as those less typically incorporated such as differently-abled individuals or those presenting with the full range of gender identifications or sexual orientation preferences. These presentations of equity and equality emerged consistently both in text and images.
I plan to begin using this text as soon as possible in my upcoming courses in the field, whether in blended or online modalities. My students will benefit both conceptually and economically.
This textbook provides a comprehensive summary of curriculum planning for preschool-aged (3-to 5-year old) children. With only a chapter truly dedicated to infant/toddler and early elementary-aged children, instructors who are teaching student... read more
This textbook provides a comprehensive summary of curriculum planning for preschool-aged (3-to 5-year old) children. With only a chapter truly dedicated to infant/toddler and early elementary-aged children, instructors who are teaching student teachers seeking a broader license (e.g., PreK-2 or Birth-5) will need to supplement the text in these areas. The book assumes a basic knowledge of child development (though a summary of developmental milestones is provided in the Appendices), and would be most useful to students who have yet had little exposure to early childhood classrooms.
The book does not have a glossary or a ‘References’ section.
The content is accurately presented, and examples illustrate the diverse demographics of students that may be encountered in a United States preschool context. The authors cite recent work from prominent scholars in the field, or research that is considered to be ‘seminal’ – together, these provide a sound summary of relevant knowledge.
One concern is that diversity/anti-bias curriculum is treated as a separate curricular area; for example, in the Preface, it is listed as one of the specific domains to plan for (separate from literacy or science). Current best practices in anti-bias curriculum planning emphasize how considerations of diversity should be embedded across all curriculum areas (in other words, as part of language and math), not as a separate domain of its own. Anti-bias curriculum is discussed, but is presented as a way to support History and Social Sciences, instead of as something that should be included in all areas of curriculum planning.
The information presented is generally relevant, given the quality and recency of the works cited. However, as pointed out earlier, the approach to discussing anti-bias work detracts from the relevance, as well-integrated anti-bias work is central to high quality early education in our current society.
The language is clear and accessible. Summary tables and charts were particularly helpful for aiding comprehension of text.
The terminology is used consistently throughout the text, and the presentation of the material is structured similarly in all chapters, making it easy to navigate.
The text is broken down into logical and manageable sections that could be divided if relevant for the course or instructor. The subheadings are very helpful in orienting the reader to the goals of each section.
Generally, the organization of the book is logical and easy to follow. The only suggestion would be to add a section about diversity/anti-bias in Chapter 1 to emphasize how these topics are relevant across all of the curricular areas (i.e., in the same way that the authors discuss technology and media in the first chapter, to describe how it pervades various developmental domains).
The text is easy to read on a screen, and the photos, tables, etc. are clearly displayed. It would have been helpful to add a ‘landmark’ on each page naming the chapter title/topic, to facilitate browsing the resources provided in the book. For example, if a reader references Appendix C following its mention in the text, the reader may then have difficulty finding their way back up to the chapter to continue reading.
The textbook is well-written, with no noticeable grammatical errors.
Some forms of diversity are quite visible throughout the textbook; for example, there are examples, anecdotes, and photos of children who are linguistically-, culturally-, racially- and neuro-diverse. However, the approach to explaining anti-bias curricular approaches is limited (which seems particularly problematic in light of the racism-related uprisings occurring at the time that this review was completed).
Throughout the text, the authors reference licensing requirements, curriculum frameworks, etc. for the state of California. Instructors planning to use this text with students working towards licensure in other states will need to be prepared to clarify, adapt, or supplement with their own state guidelines, requirements, standards, etc.
The text covers most areas and ideas of the subject appropriately. Although NAEYC was referenced throughout, they have a new position statement on equity. Race, poverty, social inequities, and the importance of teaching these topics in early... read more
The text covers most areas and ideas of the subject appropriately. Although NAEYC was referenced throughout, they have a new position statement on equity. Race, poverty, social inequities, and the importance of teaching these topics in early childhood needs to be integrated in the text. The text does not have an effective index/glossary. Additionally, at the bottom of each page it would be helpful to write which content area is being covered. For example, in chapter 10 which covers Science add Ch. 10 and the word Science at the bottom of the page.
The content presented in the text is error free, unbiased, cited,and backed with solid research.
Some of the information is and will be important to the field of early education forever, such as theories, theorists, and child development. Brain research, AAP recommendations for media usage, ways to embed diversity, and trauma informed care were not adequately covered nor up to date. It is essential especially during this moment in history that we adhere to what we know is best for children. Although our students will be learning remotely, and are reaching out to families virtually, they need to be sure that parents/families understand the harm of too much media exposure.Although family involvement was mentioned at the end of each chapter in section IV, knowing that parents are children's first teachers and the importance of community involvement in early childhood education there should be a chapter dedicated to this topic.
The writing was clear, full of examples both with graphics, webs, charts, and photos. The language was appropriate for the context. Again, for any student that may struggle, such as an English Language Learner, a glossary of terms may be useful.
The framework for each section is consistent. Students will enjoy this easy to follow format. A strength of the text is that each section and chapter began with objectives and an introduction. This format was followed throughout.
For the most part the text could be easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections. The vignettes and reflection boxes could be used as an assignment within themselves. The questions and scenarios posed would lead to further reflection by students.
Section IV: Infants should be discussed before toddlers, then preschoolers, and finally school age children. As a reader, and instructor I struggled with the order of this section in the text. The remaining topics are presented in a logical, clear fashion.
The interface was issue free. The charts, photos, and other display features are excellent.
The text is well written and with no noticeable grammatical errors.
Early educators set the foundation for human's life. It is imperative that we teach and address topics of anti-racism, anti-bias, multicultural education, equality, social justice, and celebrating differences in our classrooms with our students so that they can teach the children in their classrooms. This cannot be an add-on to what we are teaching at any level, rather we must integrate these messages in all that we do.
First and foremost, thank you to the authors for creating and making your text available for our students. I have been teaching early childhood and elementary education courses for more than 25 years and I will be using your text in the coming year; supplementing it with the important topics, and new information and research from our field as discussed in my review and aligning with state and national standards.
Comprehensiveness was overall strong, but there were some areas that I felt should have been explored with more depth. For example, approaching social justice topics and those that are deemed “uncomfortable” that small children often times ask... read more
Comprehensiveness was overall strong, but there were some areas that I felt should have been explored with more depth. For example, approaching social justice topics and those that are deemed “uncomfortable” that small children often times ask were not fully addressed. I would recommend supplementing this book with "Black Ants and Buddhists: Thinking Critically and Teaching Differently in the Primary Grades" by Mary Cowhey to fully address social justice education in the early childhood grades. I think that more about home-school partnerships would have benefitted this text as well. What about the role of home visits?
After reviewing this text, it was clear to me that the information presented was accurate. I did not disagree with any of the statements that were made. In addition, the citations that were throughout the text substantiated the claims satisfactorily. I greatly appreciated the balanced perspective the authors provided by including the work of many different development and education theorists. From Piaget, to Dewey, there was satisfactory breadth. One point for consideration is while intentional teaching methods is highlighted, I think that unintentional teaching should also be highlighted. There are a myriad of implicitly learned skills that children learn while participating in their explicit learning experiences. Implicit learning could be a great way to then discuss inquiry-based learning.
Relevance was achieved in this text as the citations were well-connected. Also, the sources used to compile the information presented were all fairly recent. I appreciate that when citations that were not within the past few years were seminal pieces that have not been recreated due to their high regard in the field. With the increase of educational research on the importance of social justice education and multicultural understandings, I saw this as an area that hinders its relevance. In addition, as I am writing this review in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, I would be remiss if I did not also mention that technology is not emphasized more with specific resource options and parental recommendations to continue the learning at home. If a future teacher is reading this text and they need to teach remotely, I have to wonder if this text helps with the remote teaching mind-set. This isn't to say that the author could have anticipated the widespread need to teach remotely, but future in-class usage should pose these questions to think beyond the text.
I was impressed by the writing style in this textbook because I found it incredibly approachable and clear. The complex ideas pertaining to cognitive development were delineated and I was able to read through dense topics with ease. I think students would benefit from this writing style.
I would consider this text to be consistent in how it presents information. The writing did not show any biases and provided balanced perspective throughout. The language used throughout was academic and did not include colloquial phrasing consistently throughout it. With an introductory text like this, it is essential to offer consistent terminology usage to reinforce students' understandings of such terms to increase their comfort and familiarity with using the terms correctly.
Modularity was an area of improvement for this text. Some topics needed more detail and others needed less to be more even. This would have, in turn, supported the organizational structure of the text. For example, section 2 that was about setting the stage for play did not integrate the routine and expectations practice that is a major portion of "the first six weeks of school" that many schools use as a standard. Behavioral expectations and routine should be further highlighted. One area that there was a great deal of information that may have offered too much depth was health and safety. Arguably, this could be integrated thought the book as health and safety need to be considered in all aspects of early child hood education. The order of the topics covered built upon one another appropriately, however.
The organization of this book, as mentioned in regard to the modularity, is appropriate. The ideas build upon one another from chapter to chapter. Th chapters also nicely refer to ideas presented early in the text to further reinforce understanding. For example, to fully understand the importance of the learning environment and play-based learning, as discussed in sections 2 and 3, the reader has to have a full understanding of theoretical implications, as outlined in part 1.
Interface was approachable and eye-catching. It was not overwhelming. The amount of images was appropriate. They supported the information and each served an ample purpose.
Grammatical errors were not present to me. As previously mentioned, the writing style of clear and cohesive.
Cultural relevance was a final area that I think warrants revision. I think that bringing in cultural implications may add to the well-roundedness of this text. As previously mentioned, the text would benefit from multicultural education and social justice education recommendations. Since Dewey is mentioned as a seminal theorist, his work is an ideal connection to helping shape future citizens through the democratizing of education. Future citizens need to foster multicultural understandings and it is integral that the process begins in their most influential years: early childhood.
I think that this text would make a great course text for an introductory-level course on early childhood education. If the students have taken a course in development of educational psychology, they may find the theoretical portion repetitive, but it serves as a helpful refresher. This text could be used as a foundational text for a course, but to provide ample insight into early childhood education, I would recommend the instructor use supplementary readings to fill in the lacking areas outlined in my review, like multicultural education and social justice education.
The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary. Response: The book does cover the subject well, however there is no index or glossary. read more
The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary.
Response: The book does cover the subject well, however there is no index or glossary.
Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased.
Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement. Some sources are from 2000 but still relevant today.
The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used. I found the text easy to read with no jargon un explained.
The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework. This text is very consistent in layout and framework – very easy to navigate
The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.
Response: All of the above were noted in this text. Photos provide additional breaks in readings and there are “pause and reflect” questions for the reader to consider. Vignettes also offer readers opportunities to apply and clarify what is in the chapter.
Well organized by chapters & headings.
The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader. I did not find any interface issues or concerns.
The text contains no grammatical errors, at least none that I could find in my reading.
The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. All examples, photos and vignettes were diverse in the text.
One major omission:
I could not find a glossary or index anywhere in the text. In text citations had no references to refer to either.
Table of Contents
Section I: Understanding How Children Learn
- Chapter 1: Foundations in Early Childhood Curriculum: Connecting Theory & Practice
- Chapter 2: The Importance of Play and Intentional Teaching
Section II: Developing Curriculum to Support Children's Learning
- Chapter 3: The Cycle of Curriculum Planning
- Chapter 4: Developing Curriculum for a Play Centered Approach
Section III: Setting the Stage for Children's Learning
- Chapter 5: Setting the Stage for Play: Environments
- Chapter 6: Guiding Behavior and Managing the Classroom
Section IV: Planning for Children's Learning
- Introduction to Planning for Preschoolers
- Chapter 7: Social and Emotional Development
- Chapter 8: Language and Literacy
- Chapter 9: Mathematics
- Chapter 10: Science
- Chapter 11: Creative Arts
- Chapter 12: History & Social Science
- Chapter 13: Physical Development
- Chapter 14: Health and Safety
- Introduction to Planning for Other Ages
- Chapter 15: What Curriculum Looks Like for Infants and Toddlers
- Chapter 16: What Curriculum Looks Like for School-Age Children
Section V: Making Children's Learning Visible
- Chapter 17: Documentation and Assessment
About the Book
Welcome to learning about how to effectively plan curriculum for young children. This textbook will address:
- Developing curriculum through the planning cycle
- Theories that inform what we know about how children learn and the best ways for teachers to support learning
- The three components of developmentally appropriate practice
- Importance and value of play and intentional teaching
- Different models of curriculum
- Process of lesson planning (documenting planned experiences for children)
- Physical, temporal, and social environments that set the stage for children’s learning
- Appropriate guidance techniques to support children’s behaviors as the self-regulation abilities mature.
- Planning for preschool-aged children in specific domains including
- Physical development
- Language and literacy
- Creative (the visual and performing arts)
- Diversity (social science and history)
- Health and safety
- How curriculum planning for infants and toddlers is different from planning for older children
- Supporting school-aged children’s learning and development in out-of-school time through curriculum planning
- Making children’s learning visible through documentation and assessment
About the Contributors