Developmentally Appropriate Practice

Please answer the following questions.
1. What does the acronym DAP in the field of early childhood education stand for? In one sentence, explain what the phrase means to you when you spell it out. (4 points)
“DAP” – Developmentally appropriate practice

DAP refers to a framework designed to encourage young children’s optimal learning and development. Ensures that children’s goals and experiences are suited to their learning and development and challenging enough to promote their progress and interest. Best practice is based on knowledge and not on assumptions of how children learn and develop. DAP is the best practice to promote excellence in early childhood education.
2. What three areas of knowledge must all early childhood professionals consider in relation to DAP? (These are outlined under the first DAP core: Knowledge to consider in making decisions.) (6 points= 2 points each)
Below three areas of knowledge that must be considered by all early childhood professionals should consider in relation to DAP: a. Knowing about child development and learning.
Knowing what is typical at each age and stage of early development is crucial. This knowledge, based on research, helps us decide which experiences are best for children’s learning and development. b. Knowing what is individually appropriate.
What we learn about specific children helps us teach and care for each child as an individual. By continually observing children’s play and interaction with the physical environment and others, we learn about each child’s interests, abilities, and developmental progress. c. Knowing what is culturally important.
We must make an effort to get to know the children’s families and learn about the values, expectations, and factors that shape their lives at home and in their communities. This background information helps us provide meaningful, relevant, and respectful learning experiences for each child and family.
3. Describe an example of what a DAP activity or interaction looks like with children. (5 points)
I quoted an example of teaching a Preschooler an example of DAP activity with Children: Good preschool teachers maintain appropriate expectations, providing each child with the right mix of challenge, support, sensitivity, and stimulation. With their knowledge, skill, and training, teachers can ensure that programs promote and enhance every child’s learning. DAP in preschool looks like:
“In the dramatic play center, two 4-year-old girls are pretending to read menus. Jaimi, noticing that neither girl has taken on the role of waiter, takes notepad and pencil in hand and asks them, “May I take your order?” Over the next few days, more children join the restaurant play. Waiters set tables, take orders, give orders to the cook, and prepare checks for diners.” Jaimi is an observant, inventive, and intentional teacher. Her intervention sparks fresh play, tempting children to take on different roles, enrich their social and language interactions, and use writing and math for new purposes.
4. List the five guidelines of DAP and explain what each one means in your own words. (10 points= 2 points each)
These guidelines address five key aspects of the teacher’s role:
I. Creating a caring community of learners
The early childhood setting functions as a community of learners in which all participants consider and contribute to each other’s well-being and learning.
Social relationships are an important context for learning. Each child has strengths or interests that contribute to the overall functioning of the group. When children have opportunities to play together, work on projects in small groups, and talk with other children and adults, their own development and learning are enhanced
II.Teaching to enhance development and learning
Teachers use their knowledge about children in general and the particular children in the group as well as their familiarity with what children need to learn and develop in each curriculum area to organize the environment and plan curriculum and teaching strategies.
Teachers develop, refine, and use a wide repertoire of teaching strategies to enhance children’s learning and development.
III.Planning curriculum to achieve important goals
Effective curriculum plans frequently integrate across traditional subject-matter divisions to help children make meaningful connections and provide opportunities for rich conceptual development. Curriculum promotes the development of knowledge and understanding, processes and skills, as well as the dispositions to use and apply skills and to go on learning.
IV.Assessing children’s development and learning
Assessments are tailored to a specific purpose and used only for the purpose for which they have been demonstrated to produce reliable, valid information.
Assessment of young children’s progress and achievements is ongoing, strategic, and purposeful. The results of assessment are used to benefit children in adapting curriculum and teaching to meet the developmental and learning needs of children
V.Establishing reciprocal relationships with families
Reciprocal relationships between teachers and families require mutual respect, cooperation, shared responsibility, and negotiation of conflicts toward achievement of shared goals.
Parents are welcome in the program and participate in decisions about their
children’s care and education. Parents observe and participate and serve in decision making roles in the program.

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