The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:
- There are observable behaviours and predictable patterns typical of preschool development.
- Although theorists often discuss development in discrete domains, behaviour must be viewed holistically given the interrelated nature of these domains.
- Preschool development including the development of language and literacy should be examined within the context of the child’s heredity and environment.
- Preschool behaviour is often socially mediated.
- Learning often leads development.
- Play based learning environments for young children provide the opportunity to integrate emerging skills and actively engage with materials and other children.
- Play based learning environments can be modified by adults to draw out a variety of experiences for young children.
- Within the population of preschool children, unique individual differences will alter both the onset and mastery of developmental milestones.
- For a small percentage of preschool children atypical individual differences will be present from birth. This necessitates individual program planning and the provision of support to the child and family.
- Gender is both biologically and culturally mediated.
Means of Assessment
The course evaluation is consistent with Douglas College Evaluation Policy. An evaluation schedule is presented at the beginning of the course. This is a graded course. Evaluation may include tests, projects, and/or a research paper/presentation.
Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:
- Familiarize students with theories and models used to explain preschool child development
- Discuss the interrelated aspects of a child’s physical, language, social/emotional and cognitive development
- Examine children’s literacy development within the context of his or her family and culture
- Introduce and discuss the concept of motivation and learning in preschool aged children
- Explore the role of play in the development of the “whole child”
- >Discuss the implication of play-based learning environments in program planning
- Understand individual differences in maturation and growth among preschool aged children
- Understand how individual differences, including special needs relate to the development of the preschool aged child and impact on the family
- Examine the reciprocal relationship between the preschool aged child’s growth and development and the family and culture in which he or she is raised
- Discuss issues of gender and cultural diversity as they relate to preschool development
- Apply and evaluate observation techniques
- Understand positive child centred methods of supervision and guidance
A list of required and optional textbooks and materials is provided for students at the beginning of each semester.