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Contemporary Influences in Early Childhood Curriculum (PB) (Contemporary Perspectives in Early Childhood Education) [Paperback]

By Olivia N. Saracho (Editor) & Bernard Spodek (Editor)
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Item description for Contemporary Influences in Early Childhood Curriculum (PB) (Contemporary Perspectives in Early Childhood Education) by Olivia N. Saracho & Bernard Spodek...

Over the years, educational scholars have proposed different conceptions of the curriculum. It is as if each scholar, researcher, university educator, and practitioner has developed her or his own personal definition. Unfortunately, there is no one single definition that everybody has agreed upon. Table 1 presents a sample of these definitions.

A universal definition for curriculum may continue to be elusive and may even change through the years to address changes in the social forces and changes in related school goals. Nonetheless, the approach in curriculum development is consistent. Curriculum developers establish goals, develop experiences, designate content, and evaluate experiences and outcomes. Most curriculum developers consistently use such terms as curriculum planning, curriculum development, curriculum implementation, and curriculum evaluation, and many others to describe curriculum related activities. Unfortunately, without a consistent definition of curriculum, it is difficult for the curriculum developers to identify what it is that needs to be planned, developed, implemented, or evaluated. If curriculum developers rely on the curriculum experts' definitions, they will find that their definitions identify a product, a program, determine goals and objectives, and learner experiences. However, its heterogeneity may be inspiring if curriculum developers rely on the components of each definition that depict the richness of the field, which in turn, can provide a foundation for contemporary content, concepts, and creativity.

A curriculum is an anthology of learning experiences, conceived and arranged based on a program's educational goals and the community's social forces. Each curriculum manifests an image of what children "ought to be and become" (Biber, 1984, p. 303) grounded on the awareness of social values and a system that interprets those values into experiences for learners. The concept of curriculum, as a distinctive domain of study within education, arose from the demand to arrange, organize, and translate such awareness into educational programs of study. It integrates the historical study of the goals and content of schooling, analyses of curriculum documents, and analyses of the children's experiences in school. The first formal curriculum text was published in 1918 (Bobbit, 1918), although in the United States contemporary curriculum study goes back to the early 1890's, when lead committees challenged the form and structure of public schooling. Presently curriculum development is fundamental at all educational levels.


The curriculum in early childhood education is dramatically different from that at other levels of education. Because children are developing at such a rapid rate during the early years, and because what children are capable of learning and doing is so dependent on their development, curriculum decisions regarding young children's education must take into account each individual's developmental level. While all early childhood educators believe that education should be developmentally appropriate, the meaning of that term may vary in relation to the theory of development each educator espouses. Early childhood education methods and materials also differ from those other educational levels. There is more use of concrete materials and "hands-on" activities in the early years, and curriculum experiences are organized more into activities rather than lessons.

While the early childhood curriculum seems unique as compared with curriculum at other educational levels, there are similarities between early childhood curriculum studies and curriculum at higher levels of education. For example, at all educational levels the curriculum reflects the community's social values and the cultural knowledge available. Education integrates those values and knowledge into the learners' experiences.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   292
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 6" Height: 8.75"
Weight:   1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2002
Publisher   Information Age Publishing
ISBN  1930608268  
ISBN13  9781930608269  

Availability  0 units.

More About Olivia N. Saracho & Bernard Spodek

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Olivia N. Saracho has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Maryland, College Park, USA University of Maryland Unive.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Education > Curriculum & Instruction
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education > Curricula
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education > Elementary School
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education > General
5Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Education > General

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