Early Childhood: Program Planning
Instructor: Aumony Dahl, M.Ed.
Office Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Monday - Friday
Address: Virtual Education Software
16201 E Indiana Ave, Suite 1450
Spokane, WA 99216
Welcome to Early Childhood: Program Planning, an interactive distance learning course designed to give you a new perspective on planning and implementing developmentally appropriate practices for young children from birth through age eight. In this course you will learn what is meant by curriculum, assessment, evaluation, and program planning as these terms apply to early childhood education. We will discuss several historical perspectives and theories of child development, and examine best practice for early childhood education. We will also examine key concepts and specific activities for teaching various curricular content areas including language and literacy, mathematics and science, and the expressive arts.
This computer-based instruction course is a self-supporting program that provides instruction, structured practice, and evaluation all on your home or school computer. Technical support information can be found, in the Help section of your course.
Title: Early Childhood: Program Planning
Author: Aumony Dahl, M.Ed.
Publisher: Virtual Education Software, inc. 2008
Academic Integrity Statement
The structure and format of most distance-learning courses presume a high level of personal and academic integrity in completion and submission of coursework. Individuals enrolled in a distance-learning course are expected to adhere to the following standards of academic conduct.
Academic work submitted by the individual (such as papers, assignments, reports, tests) shall be the student’s own work or appropriately attributed, in part or in whole, to its correct source. Submission of commercially prepared (or group prepared) materials as if they are one’s own work is unacceptable.
Aiding Honesty in Others
The individual will encourage honesty in others by refraining from providing materials or information to another person with knowledge that these materials or information will be used improperly.
Violations of these academic standards will result in the assignment of a failing grade and subsequent loss of credit for the course.
Level of Application
course is designed as one part of a five-part series on early childhood
education. Upon completion of all five
courses, you will have covered all of the
· Identify the general guidelines for early childhood curriculum, assessment, and evaluation as presented by NAEYC.
Explain the key components of a developmentally
appropriate practice (
· Discuss numerous ways to make adaptations, accommodations, and modifications for students with special learning needs.
· Explain the three principles for learning presented by the National Research Council (1999) that directly apply to classroom teaching for children of all ages.
· Discuss research-based positions and standards for various curricular content areas.
· Identify and plan key components of an integrated early childhood curriculum that fosters curiosity and promotes the process of inquiry.
· Describe a variety of ways to integrate language and literacy, mathematics and science, and social studies and expressive arts activities in meaningful ways throughout the early childhood curriculum.
Provide the most current requirements for earning
This course, Program Planning, has been divided into four chapters. The first chapter will discuss numerous considerations for planning and implementing a comprehensive, research-based curriculum for young children. Various perspectives on the history and theory behind early childhood education and child development will be examined, in addition to discussing various forms of diversity among children. We will also discuss what curriculum is, and identify guidelines presented by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) for appropriate curriculum for young children through eight years of age. We will take an overall look at the basic steps for creating an appropriate curriculum, planning a daily schedule, and creating lesson plans and activities for early childhood programs. In addition to focusing our attention on appropriate curricular approaches, we will touch briefly on several curricular approaches to avoid.
While the first chapter of the course provides an overview of general considerations and approaches for early childhood curriculum, assessment, and evaluation, later chapters of the course will take a more in-depth look at appropriate curriculum for various age groups such as infants & toddlers, preschoolers, and primary school children. Curricular considerations for integrating specific content areas such as language and literacy, math and science, and social studies and expressive arts will also be discussed.
Each chapter contains additional handouts or attachments that cover specific topics from the chapter in greater depth. They are provided for you to read, ponder, and apply to the early childhood education setting in which you work. Some of the topics are intended for you, as the professional, while others are intended for you to pass on to parents, when appropriate.
As a student, you will be expected to:
· Complete all information chapters covering Program Planning, showing a competent understanding of the material presented.
· Complete all chapter exams covering Program Planning, showing a competent understanding of the material presented.
· Complete a review of any chapter on which your examination score was below 70%.
· Retake any chapter examination, after completing an information review, to increase that final examination score to a minimum of 70% (maximum of three attempts).
· Complete a course evaluation form at the end of the course.
Chapter One: Developing Appropriate Programs for Young Children—A Look at Curriculum, Assessment, & Evaluation
· What is curriculum?
· Curricular approaches to avoid
· NAEYC’s position on ECE curriculum, child assessment, and program planning
· Developmentally Appropriate Practice—What is it?
· Planning the ECE program—Planning the daily schedule, lesson plans and activity plans
· Making adaptations and modifications for students with special needs
Chapter Two: Developing Appropriate Programs for Young Children—A Look at Language & Literacy
· Creating the curriculum—What does research say?
· A look at Language and Literacy: oral language, written language, reading
· Language and literacy activities across the curriculum
· Curricular considerations for children with special needs: sensory, cognitive, and physical impairments, cultural considerations, giftedness
Chapter Three: Developing Appropriate Programs for Young Children—A Look at Mathematics & Science
· NCTM and NSES principles and content standards for mathematics and science
· NCTM’s curricular focal points for each age group, pre-K through 2nd grade
· Key mathematical concepts for young children: classification, ordering, counting, adding and subtracting, measurement, geometry
· Key science concepts for young children: physical science, biological science
· Assessment: A critical component of ECE and program planning
· Integrating mathematics and science activities throughout the ECE curriculum
Chapter Four: Developing Appropriate Programs for Young Children—A Look at Social Studies & Expressive Arts
· A look at social studies: historical perspectives
· National Council for Social Studies (NCSS): ten themes
· Suggestions for thematic social studies curriculum: Categories of intertwined content
· Social studies disciplines: history, geography, sociology, anthropology, economics, political science, values education
· An important social studies theme: conflict resolution
· Integrating social studies activities across the curriculum
· A look at expressive arts: art, music, movement
· A look at child development: cognitive development, social and emotional development, physical development
· Considerations for infants, toddlers, preschool, kindergarten, and primary children
· Integrating expressive arts activities across the curriculum
At the end of each chapter, you will be expected to complete an examination designed to assess your knowledge. You may take these exams a total of three times. Your last score will save, not the highest score. After your third attempt, each examination will lock and not allow further access. Your final grade for the course will be determined by calculating an average score of all exams. This score will be printed on your final certificate. As this is a self-paced computerized instruction program, you may review course information as often as necessary. You will not be able to exit any examinations until you have answered all questions. If you try to exit the exam before you complete all questions, your information will be lost. You are expected to complete the entire exam in one sitting.
Early Childhood: Program Planning has been developed by Aumony Dahl, MS/ED, the instructor of record. Aumony received her Master’s degree in Exceptional Children from Western Washington University. She is certified to teach in K-12 Special Education with an additional endorsement in Early Childhood Special Education. Aumony began her career working as an elementary special education teacher for several years. She is currently an instructor in the Special Education Department at Western Washington University—teaching a variety of classes on topics related to early childhood special education, students with complex special needs, assessment and evaluation, and program planning. Aumony also enjoys her role as a supervisor for practicum students who are training to become teachers. In addition to this course, Aumony is the author of another course in this Early Childhood series called Early Childhood: Family-Centered Services.
Contacting the Instructor
You may contact the instructor by emailing Aumony at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling her at 509-891-7219, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. PST. Phone messages will be answered within 24 hours. Phone conferences will be limited to ten minutes per student, per day, given that this is a self-paced instructional program. Please do not contact the instructor about technical problems, course glitches or other issues that involve the operation of the course.
If you have questions or problems related to the operation of this course, please try everything twice. If the problem persists please check our support pages for FAQs and known issues at www.virtualeduc.com and also the Help section of your course.
If you need personal assistance then email When contacting technical support, please know your course version number (it is located at the bottom left side of the Welcome Screen) and your operating system, and be seated in front of the computer at the time of your call. or call (509) 891-7219.
Minimum Computer Requirements
Please refer to VESi’s website: www.virtualeduc.com or contact VESi if you have further questions about the compatibility of your operating system.
Refer to the addendum regarding Grading Criteria, Course Completion Information, Items to be Submitted, and how to submit your completed information.
Bibliography (Suggested Readings)
Arnold, L. (1980). Preparing young children for science. New York: Schocken.
Bredekamp, S., & Copple, C. (1997). Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs (rev. ed.), Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Calkins, L (1986). The art of teaching writing. Exeter, NH: Heinemann. New York: Longman.
Chaille, C., & Britain, L. (1997). The young child as scientist: A constructivist approach to early childhood science education (2nd ed.).
Clay, M. (1998). By different paths to common outcomes. York, ME: Stenhouse.
Colbert, C. (1997). Visual arts in the developmentally appropriate integrated curriculum. In C. Hart, D. Burts, & R. Charlesworth (Eds.), Integrated curriculum and developmentally appropriate practice. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Gabbard, C. (1992). Lifelong motor development. Dubuque, IA: Brown.
Good, R. (1977). How children learn science. New York: Macmillan.
Jones, E. (1970). In Dittmann, L. (Ed.), Curriculum is what happens. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Jones, E., & Nimmo, J. (1994). Emergent curriculum. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Kostelnik, M., Soderman, A., & Whiren, A. (1999). Developmentally appropriate curriculum: Best practices in early childhood education. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.
Kreidler, W. (1984). Creative conflict resolution. Glenview, IL: Scott Foresman.
Krogh, S., & Slentz, K. (2001). The early childhood curriculum. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Morrow, L. (1993). Literacy development in the early years. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). (1998). Learning to read and write: Developmentally appropriate practices for young children. Young Children, 53(4)30-46.
Raths, L. Harmin, M., & Simon, S. (1966). Values and teaching. Columbus, OH: Merrill.
Schirrmacher, R. (1998). Art and creative development for young children. Albany, NY: Delmar.
Sunal, C. (1990). Early childhood social studies. Columbus, OH: Merrill.
Taylor, B. (1999). Science everywhere: Opportunities for very young children. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
National Arts Education Association, www.naea-reston.org
National Association for the Education of Young Children, www.naeyc.org
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, www.nctm.org
National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center, www.nectac.org
National Education Association, www.nea.org
National Research Council, www.nationalacademies.org/nrc
National Science Education Standards, www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/nses
U.S. Department of Education, http://www.ed.gov
Course content is updated every three years. Due to this update timeline, some URL links may no longer be active or may have changed. Please type the title of the organization into the command line of any Internet browser search window and you will be able to find whether the URL link is still active or any new link to the corresponding organization's web home page.
Updated 11/16/10 JN