Developmental Guidelines


I can understand the concern posted by “anonymous” on this blog site. The posting indicates a concern with the developmental order of preschool standards when children progress at different rates. I do not think that having a plan of developmental guidelines precludes the individual rate of growth for children. Even though children progress at different rates, it is still essential for teachers to organize their teaching strategies in developmental order. It is true that not all children will have mastered all preschool skills prior to kindergarten. However, it is the responsibility of the preschool teacher to know where the child is functioning on the continuum of standards. I think having a developmental guidelines plan helps the teacher to individualize and track the progress of each child. In my work with Head Start and with the Excelligence Learning Corporation, I have tried, with other early childhood professionals, to hone preschool skills and indicate when a developmental progression occurs within those guidelines. There are approximately 68-70 preschool skills in the eight domains of learning (domains similar to those of the Head Start program). While literacy, math and science have a definite developmental order for the skills, areas such as creative arts, social emotional stages and physical health have skills that can be worked on simultaneously. The real issue behind my earlier entries is that many teachers do not realize that some preschool skills have a scope and sequence to build upon and should not be haphazardly introduced in random order.

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3 responses

  1. I totally agree with Mr. Funk and “anonymous”. I think I was misunderstood when “anonymous” asked if I thought my preschooler should be sitting for more than an hour. That was not my complaint; I am very concerned with DAP and know that children at that age should be experiencing their world through things like play. My concern with her class was not the fact that she was sitting for an hour (which she wasn’t) but they were not accomplishing anything during that hour. She would come home with cut-and-paste “art” that she didn’t do but the high school students who were “learning” to teach preschoolers would do for her. So my concern goes along with the comment Mr. Funk recently made about having a plan based on a continuum of developmental skills. My daughter did not learn anything in class that was related to the “homework” she was bring home and there was no order or sequence to the skills she was being asked to demonstrate (as much as she could on a worksheet). And so I know that her teacher had not followed any sort of developmental plan and sequence and that she could not tell me what my daughter knew. I’m lucky my daughter was not starting school this year because I honestly would not have been able to assess what skills she needed work on or what skills she knew because there was no “plan”.

  2. I have often thought of this subject. Over the years I have worked through the stages. You know the ones… 1st it’s confusion, 2nd frustration, 3rd anger, 4th resolution, and 5th determination to do something about it. I believe the reason my children struggled in the early years was the lack of scope and sequence for preschool educators. They were somewhere on the continum of figuring it out and I, not knowing at the time, was limited in my knowledge to help. Years of experience later, I wish I could do it all over. What I have learned without a doubt is that developmental guidlines are a critical component in any preschool curriculum to aid the instructors and help the children be the most successful they can be at the point they are at on the continuum.

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