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Table of Contents
Part I - Building a Secure Foundation for Learning
The Purpose of Curriculum
What Is the Purpose of Early Education?
What Should Curriculum for Young Children Include?
What Is Competence?
How Is Competence Acquired?
What Does Research on the Brain Reveal About the Value of Early Education?
Philosophy of This Book
Putting It Into Practice
Chapter Spotlight: A Summary of Findings and Educational Implications Related to Recent Brain Research
Emergent Curriculum in Action: Toddlers’ Investigation of Light and Shadow
Including Families in the Life of the School
Letting Families Know We Care About Them and Their Children
Accepting Help from Families to Enrich the Lives of Children at the Center
Offering Help to Families to Strengthen Family Life
Weaving All Three Strands Together
Helping Families in Nontraditional Settings
Chapter Spotlight: The Parent-Resource Strand in the Preprimary Schools of Reggio Emilia
Chapter Spotlight: The Parent-Resource Strand in the Parent—Child Workshops of Santa Barbara, California
Play: The Integrative Force in Learning
But What Is Play?
Practical Ways to Encourage Freely Chosen Pretend Play
Additional Benefits of Play
Helping Children with Disabilities Join in the Play
Chapter Spotlight: Surefire Pretend Play Activities
Part II - Planning for Total Learning
Designing the Supportive Environment
Some Yardstick Questions to Ask
Planning the Indoor Environment
Planning the Outdoor Environment
Maintaining the Total Environment in Good Order
Chapter Spotlight: Providing Comfortable Environments for the Emotional Self
Creating Supportive Curriculum Plans and Schedules
The Basic Ingredients: What Should Be Included in the Curriculum?
Planning What Will Happen: Devising the Curriculum Plan
Planning When It Will Happen: Devising the Daily Schedule
Chapter Spotlight: How a Potential Pathway Might Develop with 4-Year-Olds: Planning a Larger Pen for Funny Bunny
Getting to Know the Children by Keeping Track of What They’re Learning
Is Keeping Systematic Track of the Children’s Development Really Worth the Time and Effort It Requires?
Important Principles to Remember
Some Informal Ways to Keep Track of the Children’s Development
Using More Formal Methods to Keep Track of the Children’s Development
Putting the Collected Information to Good Use
Planning with Individual Children in Mind: Using Behavioral Objectives in the School
Pros and Cons of Using Behavioral Objectives
Definition of Formal Behavioral Objectives
Steps in Writing Behavioral Objectives
Creating Informal Objectives
Carrying the Objectives Through: Final Comments
Chapter Spotlight: Just What Is an IEP and Why Do Teachers Have to Care About It?
Part III - Helping Young Children Relish Life and Develop Healthy Bodies
Keeping Children Safe and Well Fed
Keeping Children Safe
Keeping Children Healthy
Feeding Children Well
Including Cooking in the Curriculum
Chapter Spotlight: Food Guide Pyramid for Young Children
Chapter Spotlight: MyPyramid for Kids
Developing Physical Competence
The Great Outdoors
Physical Activity Benefits All the Selves
Identifying Levels of Development
Equipment for Physical Development
Make a Plan for Comprehensive Physical Development
Recommendations for Presenting the Activities
Helping Children Understand and Value Life
Teaching Reverence for Life
Helping Children Learn to Cherish Their Bodies
Answering Questions About Reproduction
Answering Questions About Death
Chapter Spotlight: Helping Children Understand and Appreciate the Wonder of Animals
Emergent Curriculum in Action: How Does the Gosling Get in the Egg?
Chapter Spotlight: The Death of the Chief
Part IV - Fostering Emotional Health in Young Children
Achieving Emotional Competence
Competence One: Foster Basic Attitudes of Trust, Autonomy, Initiative, and Industry
Competence Two: Help the Child Learn to Separate from the Family
Competence Three: Help Children Learn to Control What They Do About Their Feelings
Competence Four: Help Children Use Play and Creative Materials to Resolve Emotional Problems
Competence Five: Help Children Learn to Face Reality
Competence Six: Help Children Cope with Crisis Situations
Competence Seven: Help Children Build Empathy for Other People
Emergent Curriculum in Action: The World Trade Center Memorial Park for Children
Part V - Developing Social Competence and Healthy Self-Identities
Getting Along Together: Achieving Competence in Interpersonal Relations
Help Children Learn Impulse Control
Short-Term Methods for Controlling Undesirable Behaviors and Building Inner Controls in Children
Longer-Term Methods of Building Inner Controls: Using Prevention Rather than Cure
Teach Children Socially Acceptable Ways of Getting What They Want
Help Children Make Friends
Increase the Child’s Ability to Function Successfully as Part of a Group
Encourage Children to Be Kind to Each Other, Help Each Other, and Help the Group
Chapter Spotlight: What’s Wrong with Time Out?
Who Am I? Who Are You?: Coming to Terms with Multicultural, Gender, and Disability Issues
How Do Young Children See Themselves?
How Do Children Develop a Sense of Self?
Practical Ways to Enhance Children’s Feelings of Self-Esteem
Strengthen Children’s Positive Body Images
Cultivate Positive Feelings About Sexual Identities, Ethnic and Racial Heritages, and Children with Disabilities
Foster Positive Attitudes Toward Racial and Cultural Backgrounds
Foster Positive Attitudes Toward Gender Roles
Foster Acceptance and Understanding of Children Who Have Disabilities
Chapter Spotlight: You Mean You’re Black All Over? A Student Teacher’s Lab Experiences with “Isabella”
Part VI - Encouraging Children to Be Creative
Freeing Children to Be Creative
What Is Creativity?
Some General Principles for Fostering Creativity
Some New Ideas About Creativity from Reggio Emilia
Using Pretend Play to Foster Creativity
Using Blocks to Express Creative Ideas
Using Self-Expressive Materials to Foster Creativity
Part VII - Fostering the Use of Language
Developing Verbal Competence
How Do Children Learn to Talk?
Practical Ways to Encourage Children to Use Their Expressive Language Skills
Practical Ways to Encourage Children to Use Their Receptive Listening Skills
Black English and Bilingualism
The Child Who Is Not Fluent in Any Language
Chapter Spotlight: Language and the Brain
Taking the First Steps on the Road to Literacy
Three Important Principles About Literacy
What Kinds of Literacy-Related Behaviors Can Reasonably Be Expected from Young Children?
Practical Ways to Enhance Emergent Literacy Skills
Using Group Time to Develop Literacy Skills
Some Additional Suggestions for Enhancing Literacy with Primary School Children
Chapter Spotlight: Why Do Some Children Dislike Group Time So Much?
Emergent Curriculum in Action: Our Birds
Part VIII - Supporting Children’s Cognitive Development
Helping Children Learn to Think for Themselves: Using the Emergent Approach
Three Approaches to Fostering Mental Abilities
Contributions of Lev Vygotsky
Using the Emergent Approach: An Example from Reggio Emilia
Using the Emergent Approach in U.S. Schools: Some Recommendations
Helping Children Develop Mental Abilities and Academic Competence: Using the Conventional Approach
Contributions of Jean Piaget
A Brief Comparison of Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s Points of View
Which Mental Abilities Are Particularly Important?
Fostering Mental Abilities to Develop Children’s Literacy, Mathematical Understanding, and Scientific Inquiry Skills
Activities That Provide Practice for General Mental Abilities
Opportunities to Learn Mathematical Skills
Practical Ways to Include Mental Abilities in the Everyday Curriculum
Chapter Spotlight: An Example of How Mid-Level Mental Abilities Could Be Included in the Topic of Gardening for a Group of 4-Year-Olds
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