Contact

Judy Hudson, PhD
Director of ECED
Office: 1628D
Phone: 566-3246

Mary Schumacher-Hoerner
ECED Instructor
Office: 1844
Phone: 566-3064

Early Childhood Education

Learning Environment and Curriculum Implementation

Rationale

Teaching and learning with young children is a complex process embedded in relationships. These teaching and learning relationships provide the scaffold for jointly constructing meanings about self, others, and the world. Early childhood professionals use their child development knowledge, their knowledge of developmentally appropriate practices, and their content knowledge to design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote optimal development and learning for all children from birth - eight (0-8) years. In addition, their use of observations is grounded in a thorough understanding of children’s families, cultures, and communities. Early childhood professionals encourage young children’s problem solving, critical thinking, and academic and social competence within a supportive and challenging learning environment. These challenging teaching and learning experiences build children’s confidence in themselves as competent learners.

Demonstrate knowledge of varying program models and learning environments that meet the individuals needs of all young children, including those with diverse abilities.

Entry Level

  1. Discuss basic elements of quality learning environments for children birth through age eight.
  2. Discuss developmentally appropriate programs for all children birth through eight.

Certificate/Associate Degree Level

  1. Plan a quality learning environment which meets the individual and unique needs of all children.
  2. Assess a variety of learning environments to determine their appropriateness (e.g., age developmental level, culture, language, diverse abilities) (CI & CII).

Create environments that encourage active involvement, initiative, responsibility, and a growing sense of autonomy through the selection and use of materials and equipment that are suitable to individual learning, developmental levels, diverse abilities, and the languages and cultures in New Mexico.

Entry Level

  1. Observe and discuss how young children, birth through age eight, actively interact with their environment.
  2. Observe, identify and discuss how elements of the learning environment support children’s active exploration of their environment.

Certificate/Associate Degree Level

  1. Identify, observe, and describe how young children learn through their active interaction and exploration of the environment.
  2. Plan environments that are responsive to the diversity of all children through selection of materials and use of space.
  3. Identify and match appropriate materials to children at different developmental levels.
  4. Select and use materials and space that encourage active involvement, initiative, responsibility, and a growing sense of autonomy.

Demonstrate knowledge and skill in the use of developmentally appropriate guidance techniques and strategies that provide opportunities to assist children in developing positive thoughts and feelings about themselves and other through cooperative interaction with peers and adults.

Entry Level

  1. Discuss the meaning of the term “guidance” (see Glossary).
  2. Discuss the use of developmentally appropriate guidance techniques and strategies with children birth through age eight.
  3. Discuss how adults influence the ways young children view and value themselves.

Certificate/Associate Degree Level

  1. Describe the importance of young children’s development of healthy self-concepts, self-identity, self-regulation, and the ability to positively interact socially.
  2. Describe how the use of developmentally appropriate guidance techniques, strategies, and opportunities for social interaction lead to young children’s healthy concept of self, self-regulation, and ability to interact appropriately with others.
  3. Plan developmentally appropriate guidance techniques, strategies, and opportunities for a young child’s healthy concept of self, self-regulation, and ability to interact appropriately with others.

Create and manage inclusive learning environments that provide individual and cooperative opportunities for children to construct their own knowledge through various strategies that include decision-making, problem-solving and inquiry experiences.

Entry Level

  1. Describe various ways that children make decisions in the learning environment.
  2. Discuss various ways children construct their own knowledge through various strategies that include decision-making, problem-solving, and inquiry experiences.

Certificate/Associate Degree Level

  1. Describe ways the learning environment provides opportunities for children to construct their own knowledge through various strategies that include decision-making, problem-solving, and inquiry experiences.
  2. Plan and implement activities that encourage active learning, child choice and decision-making, exploration of the environment, and interaction with others.

Demonstrate understanding that each child’s creative expression is unique and can be encouraged through diverse ways, including creative play.

Entry Level

  1. Discuss the ways that children’s unique creative expression is encouraged through the learning environment.
  2. Discuss the importance of emphasizing the creative process over the final product.

Certificate/Associate Degree Level

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the developmental continuum of creative representation in young children.
  2. Describe effective ways to facilitate children’s exploration, creative expression, and learning through open-ended activities.
  3. Plan and implement an environment that provides many opportunities for each child’s creative expression.

Plan blocks of uninterrupted time for children to persist at self-chosen activities, both indoors and out.

Entry Level

  1. Discuss the importance of self-selection of activities by children of various ages and in various environments.
  2. Discuss ways of structuring environments for encouraging self-selected activities by children.
  3. Discuss Rationales for developing daily schedules for all children of various ages.

Certificate/Associate Degree Level

  1. Describe strategies that foster uninterrupted time for children to persist at self-chosen activities.
  2. Design and implement daily schedules that include uninterrupted blocks of time for developmentally appropriate self-selected activities.
  3. Plan opportunities for children to explore and experiment with materials and activities during uninterrupted periods of time.

Demonstrate understanding of the influence of the physical setting, schedule, routines, and transitions on children and use these experience to promote children’s development and learning.

Entry Level

  1. Discuss the influence of the physical setting, schedule, routines, and transitions on children’s behavior.
  2. Discuss ways that they physical setting, schedule, routines, and transitions can be used to promote children’s development and learning.

Certificate/Associate Degree Level

  1. Intentionally plan the physical environments and daily schedules to promote children’s development and learning.
  2. Consistently use routines and transitions to promote children’s development and learning.

Use and explain the Rationale for developmentally appropriate methods that include play, small group projects, open-ended questioning, group discussion, problem-solving, cooperative learning, and inquiry experiences to help young children develop intellectual curiosity, solve problems, and make decisions.

Entry Level

  1. Discuss the important role of play in children’s learning.
  2. Discuss elements of developmentally appropriate practices to encourage learning through play.
  3. Discuss strategies to facilitate play in early learning environments

Certificate/Associate Degree Level

  1. Describe developmentally appropriate practices (DAP) for developing intellectual curiosity, solving problems, risk-taking, and making decisions in all children.
  2. Identify the various learning strategies young children use as infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children.
  3. Describe the role of play in young children’s growth and learning in each developmental domain.
  4. Develop DAP activities to be implemented in early childhood programs.

Create and manage a literacy-rich environment that is responsive to each child’s unique path of development.

Entry Level

  1. Discuss the sequence of language development.
  2. Discuss various communication modes.
  3. Discuss language and the link between oral language, early reading, and writing modes.

Certificate/Associate Degree Level

  1. Observe and identify typical stages of oral language development of children and identify characteristics of language differences.
  2. Describe individual children’s use of language in various settings.
  3. Describe forms of symbolic representation.
  4. Plan and implement a literacy-rich environment that encourages children’s use of language and other forms of symbolic representation.

Use a variety of language strategies during adult-child and child-child interactions and facilitate communication and dialogue of and expressive language and thought.

Entry Level

  1. Observe and document various adult-child and child-child communicative interactions.
  2. Discuss how these interactions help young children develop expressive language skills.

Certificate/Associate Degree Level

  1. Identify ways to interact with young children to facilitate the development of expressive language and thought.
  2. Support young children’s expressive language development by interacting with them in ways that facilitate language development.
  3. Implement a variety of learning strategies to facilitate expressive language and thought in young children.

Demonstrate a variety of developmentally appropriate instructional strategies that facilitate the development of emergent literacy skills.

Entry Level

  1. Discuss the importance of emergent literacy skills.
  2. Discuss a variety of instructional strategies that facilitate the development of literacy skills.
  3. Observe and discuss emergent literacy skills at different developmental stages and various environments.

Certificate/Associate Degree Level

  1. Describe the developmental stages of reading and writing.
  2. Describe strategies to support children’s reading and writing skills at each developmental level.
  3. Plan and implement developmentally appropriate strategies to support children’s reading and writing skills.

Demonstrate knowledge of developmentally appropriate uses of technology, including assistive technology.

Entry Level

  1. Discuss developmentally appropriate software for young children.
  2. Discuss a variety of assistive devices used with children with diverse abilities.
  3. Discuss high and low technology devices/toys.

Certificate/Associate Degree Level

  1. Identify appropriate uses of technology for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children.
  2. Describe how technology may be integrated into a developmentally appropriate program.
  3. Identify assistive devices that could be used with specific children in various environments.

Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively with educational assistants, volunteers, and others to individualize the curriculum and to meet program goals.

Entry Level

  1. Discuss the various roles of adults in early childhood programs.
  2. Discuss the importance of collaboration.
  3. Discuss the ways to develop a collaborative team approach.

Certificate/Associate Degree Level

  1. Engage in dialogue with all team members about program philosophy and goals
  2. Collaborate with team members in designing and implementing an individualized curriculum that meets program goals.
  3. Describe strategies for mediation of differing perspectives.

Demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills when working with children, families, and early care, education, and family support professionals.

Entry Level

  1. Discuss the difference between child and adult communication skills.
  2. Discuss the importance of continuous improvement of one’s own communication skills.
  3. Identify strengths and weakness in one’s own communication skills.

Certificate/Associate Degree Level

  1. Develop a plan to strengthen areas of weakness in communication skills.
  2. Demonstrate correct oral and communication skills.
  3. Develop strategies to effectively communicate with children and their families in their home language.

For more information, please call Judy Hudson, PhD at (505) 566-3246. Or send an email to HudsonJ@sanjuancollege.edu.