Environments & Curriculum: Birth to Age 8

Course Number: ECE 122
Transcript Title: Environments & Curriculum
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: April 5, 2021
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: No
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0

Prerequisites

RD 90, WR 90 or equivalent placement test scores

Course Description

Explores the teacher’s role in facilitating play in early childhood. Covers effective teaching practices that support diverse learners. Focuses on developing meaningful and challenging curriculum and incorporating developmentally and culturally appropriate pedagogy to design physical, social, and temporal environments for children birth to age 8. Prerequisites: RD 90, WR 90 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain a teacher’s role in facilitating appropriate and meaningful play.
  2. Use effective teaching practices that are responsive to diverse learning styles, abilities, and needs.
  3. Utilize the curriculum planning cycle to design effective and meaningful curriculum for a play-centered approach.
  4. Apply an understanding of learning theories, child development, effective teaching practices, and early learning standards to create lesson plans and activity plans for diverse learning styles, abilities, and needs.
  5. Design developmentally and culturally appropriate physical, social, and temporal environments for children birth to age 8.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessments may include: class participation, quizzes, portfolio artifacts, written site observations, journal reflections, written assignments, research projects, final project.

Texts and Materials

Beeve, K. & Paris, J. (2020). Introduction to curriculum for early childhood education (v1.2). Open Educational Resource.

Course Activities and Design

The determination of teaching strategies used in the delivery of outcomes is generally left to the discretion of the instructor. Here are some strategies that you might consider when designing your course: lecture, small group/forum discussion, flipped classroom, dyads, oral presentation, role play, simulation scenarios, group projects, service learning projects, hands-on lab, peer review/workshops, cooperative learning (jigsaw, fishbowl), inquiry based instruction, differentiated instruction (learning centers), graphic organizers, etc.

Department Required Activities

This course should result in a minimum of one portfolio artifact for NAEYC Standard #4 – Developmentally, Culturally, and Linguistically Appropriate Teaching Practices.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Outcome #1: Explain a teacher’s role in facilitating appropriate and meaningful play.
  • Types of play
    • Unoccupied play
    • Solitary play
    • Onlooker play
    • Parallel play
    • Associative play
    • Cooperative play
  • Stages of play
    • Functional play
    • Symbolic play
    • Constructive play
    • Games with rules
  • Importance of play in learning
  • Teacher’s role
    • Planner
    • Facilitator
    • Observer
    • Model
    • Support system
    • Scaffolding
    • Team player
    • Questioner
  • Spectrum of teaching practices and choosing practices that suit the purpose
    • Direct instruction
    • Free play
    • Guided play
    • Games
  • Advocating for play in early childhood
Outcome #2: Use effective teaching practices that are responsive to diverse learning styles, abilities, and needs.
  • The science of teaching
  • The art of teaching
  • Learning styles
  • Effective teaching strategies
    • Acknowledging and encouraging
    • Giving quality feedback
    • Modeling
    • Demonstrating
    • Giving clues and hints, and offering assistance
    • Creating and adding changes
    • Questioning
    • Co-constructing
    • Giving direct or explicit instruction
    • Scaffolding
  • Activating and building on children’s prior knowledge
    • Cues and questions
    • Advance organizers
  • Strategies that develop concepts
    • Classify and identify similarities and difference
    • Create graphic representations
  • Strategies that promote higher-level thinking and problem solving
    • Planning and reflection
    • Reciprocal teaching
    • Generate and test hypotheses
  • Grouping
    • Whole group
    • Small group
  • Universal Design for Learning Principles
    • Multiple means of engagement
    • Multiple means of representation
    • Multiple means of action & expression
Outcome #3: Utilize the curriculum planning cycle to design effective and meaningful curriculum for a play-centered approach.
  • What is curriculum?
  • Types of curriculum models in ECE
    • Bank Street Model
    • Creative Curriculum Model
    • HighScope Model
    • Montessori Approach
    • Waldorf approach
    • Reggio Emilia Approach
  • Approaches to planning curriculum
    • Emergent curriculum
    • Integrated curriculum
    • Thematic/Conceptual curriculum
    • Webbing
    • The project approach
    • Scope and sequence
    • Inclusive curriculum
    • Anti-bias curriculum
  • Benefits of implementing meaningful curriculum
  • Components of an effective curriculum
  • Components of “high-quality” curriculum
    • Environment Rating Scales (ERS)
    • Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)
  • A teacher’s role
    • Develop positive, caring, supportive relationships with each child
    • Create respectful, responsive, reciprocal relationships with children’s families
  • The curriculum planning cycle
    • Observation
    • Documentation
    • Interpretation
    • Reflection
    • Implementation
Outcome #4: Apply an understanding of learning theories, child development, effective teaching practices, and early learning standards to create lesson plans and activity plans for diverse learning styles, abilities, and needs. 
  • Theoretical foundations
    • Cognitive theory
    • Sociocultural theory
    • Psychosocial theory
    • Behavioral theory
    • Multiple intelligence theory
    • Learning styles
  • Domains of development and developmental progressions
    • Social-emotional
    • Language & literacy
    • Cognition
    • Physical
    • Interconnected and interrelated
  • Academic disciplines (content areas)
    • Language & literacy
    • The arts
    • Mathematics
    • Social studies
    • Science
    • Technology & engineering
    • Physical education, health, and safety
  • Early learning standards
    • Head Start’s Early Learning Outcomes Framework
    • Oregon’s Early Learning and Kindergarten Guidelines
    • Washington State Early Learning Guidelines
    • Common Core State Standards
  • Creating activity plans and lesson plans
    • Selecting a topic of interest
    • Choosing goals & objectives
    • Materials
    • Directions
    • Modifications
      • Applying Universal Design for Learning principles
      • Individualized supports
    • Partnering with families during the planning and implementation process
Outcome #5: Design developmentally and culturally appropriate physical, social, and temporal environments for children birth to age 8.
  • Developmentally appropriate practices (DAP)
    • NAEYC’s Position Statement on DAP
    • Principles that inform DAP
    • DAP: A decision-making tool
      • Child development appropriateness
      • Individual appropriateness
      • Social and cultural appropriateness
    • Five key areas of early learning practices
      • Creating a caring community of learners
      • Teaching to enhance development and learning
      • Planning curriculum to achieve important goals
      • Assessing children’s development and learning
      • Establishing reciprocal relationships with families
  • Physical environment
    • Environment as the “third teacher”
    • Design principles
      • Universal design
      • Principles of design for inspiring spaces
      • Dimensions of children’s caring and learning environments
      • Culturally appropriate and inclusive designs
    • Safety requirements
    • Indoor environments
      • Layout
        • Traffic patterns and other considerations
      • Learning centers
      • Materials
        • Culturally appropriate
    • Outdoor environments
  • Social environment
    • Interactions that occur between teachers, children, family members, staff, and administration
    • Group size and composition
    • Teacher- versus child-initiated activities
    • Materials and activities that promote interaction and inclusion
  • Temporal environment
    • Timing, sequence, and length of activities
    • Vary activity levels
    • Plan effective transitions
    • Teach routines and schedules

Department Notes

NAEYC Standard:
  • #4 – Developmentally, Culturally, and Linguistically Appropriate Teaching Practices
Oregon Core Knowledge Category:
  • Learning Environments & Curriculum (LEC) – 40 hours