Descriptor Details

  • Introduction to Curriculum
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  • 3.0
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  • Uploaded: 6/7/2022 12:02:14 PM PDT

Developmentally appropriate curriculum and environments for children birth through age eight. 

Students will use knowledge of children’s development, theories of learning and development, and examples from various models of developmentally appropriate practice to plan environments and curriculum in all content areas to support children’s development and learning integrated throughout indoor and outdoor settings.




  1. Theoretical Frameworks for Planning Curriculum and Environments
  2. Models of Developmentally Appropriate Play-Based Approaches Such As
    1. Emergent Curriculum
    2. High-Scope
    3. Waldorf
    4. Reggio Emelia
    5. Montessori
  3. Planning Early Childhood Curriculum
    1. Effective practices for planning, implementing, and evaluating developmentally, linguistically, and culturally appropriate curriculum, and learning experiences for
      1. Infants and toddlers
      2. Preschoolers
      3. School-age children
    2. The ongoing curriculum cycle
      1. Observe
      2. Plan
      3. Implement
      4. Assess
      5. Document
      6. Reflect
    3. Level of teacher involvement-teaching continuum
    4. Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
    5. Teacher child interactions
    6. Guidance and discipline
    7. Relationship-based practices
    8. Effective use of questions
    9. Planning opportunities for children to support each other in learning
    10. Family engagement
    11. Ethical and professional practice
    12. Content areas
      1. Application of teachers’ discipline-based knowledge in the content areas
      2. State and national content standards
      3. Planning developmentally appropriate curriculum for
        1. Math
        2. Science
        3. English language development
        4. Language and literacy
        5. History and social science
        6. Social-emotional development
        7. Visual and performing arts
        8. Physical development
        9. Health
    13. Appropriate use of instructional technology
    14. Adjustments to curriculum and environment to address children’s individualized learning needs including:
      1. Culture and ethnicity
      2. Socioeconomic status
      3. Home language
      4. Ability
      5. Gender
      6. Learning style
  4. Planning Early Childhood Learning Environments
    1. Designs and impact of physical space
    2. Learning centers
    3. Selection of equipment and materials
    4. Impact of routines and schedules
    5. Integration of content throughout the indoor and outdoor environments
    6. Indicators of quality
    7. Inclusion of children’s culture and language
    8. Health, safety, and nutrition
    9. Staffing and zoning
    10. Impact on classroom management


At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Explore various early childhood curriculum models, approaches, and professional practices to inform and evaluate curriculum and environments.
  2. Explain how the curriculum is integrated across all developmental domains and content areas.
  3. Observe and evaluate teaching strategies, curriculum, and environmental designs.
  4. Observe children as a basis for planning curriculum and environments.
  5. Use knowledge of academic discipline content and children’s growth, development, and individual characteristics to plan and developmentally and linguistically appropriate learning experiences for infants and toddlers through the early primary years.
  6. Develop plans for physical environments that are appropriate for children’s individual ages and stages, skills and abilities, needs, and learning goals.
  7. Explain how different teaching strategies could be used for a variety of curriculum goals.
  8. Describe guidance and interaction approaches to support social relationships and learning.
  9. Explain how the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) are applied in various situations, and how specific learning experiences could be adapted to address individual children’s learning and development needs.
  10. Describe various strategies for engaging and partnering with families to support children’s development and learning.

  1. Exams requiring identification, description, and analysis of theories, program models, environments, and curricular components.
  2. Written lesson plans demonstrating
    • the ability to recognize and begin to implement concepts in the curriculum,
    • to observe/assess the impact of that curriculum,
    • to accommodate individual, family, and community needs.
  3. Projects and presentations which demonstrate understanding and beginning implementation of course concepts.

A Child Goes Forth, Taylor, current edition, Pearson

The Creative Curriculum, Trister-Doge, Colker & Heroman, current edition, Teaching Strategies, Inc.  

Early Education Curriculum: A Child's Connection to the World, Jackman, current edition, Thompson Delmar Learning

California State Preschool Learning Foundations, Available at:

California State Infant/Toddler Learning & Development Program Guidelines, Available at:

Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs, Bredekamp & Copple, current edition, NAEYC Publications

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  • Materials adopted by the Early Childhood Curriculum Alignment Project (CAP) in 2007 for use by all California Community Colleges. Endorsed by the California Community College Early Childhood Educators (CCCECE).

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  • childhood, development, introdcution