Growth and Development: Preschool Years

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
ECED 1200
Growth and Development: Preschool Years
Early Childhood Education
Applied Community Studies
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Flexible delivery ranging over 1 to 15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
60 hours
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction
  • Lecture
  • Discussions
  • Observations of children
  • Modification of play based learning environments
Course Description
This course explores theories related to the development of preschool-aged children in the context of a family centred approach which emphasizes individual and cultural diversity. A “whole child” approach will be taken to the study of young children in group settings.
Course Content

The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:

  1. There are observable behaviours and predictable patterns typical of preschool development.
  2. Although theorists often discuss development in discrete domains, behaviour must be viewed holistically given the interrelated nature of these domains.
  3. Preschool development including the development of language and literacy should be examined within the context of the child’s heredity and environment.
  4. Preschool behaviour is often socially mediated.
  5. Learning often leads development.
  6. Play based learning environments for young children provide the opportunity to integrate emerging skills and actively engage with materials and other children.
  7. Play based learning environments can be modified by adults to draw out a variety of experiences for young children.
  8. Within the population of preschool children, unique individual differences will alter both the onset and mastery of developmental milestones.
  9. 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.
  10. Gender is both biologically and culturally mediated.
Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:

  1. Familiarize students with theories and models used to explain preschool child development
  2. Discuss the interrelated aspects of a child’s physical, language, social/emotional and cognitive development
  3. Examine children’s literacy development within the context of his or her family and culture
  4. Introduce and discuss the concept of motivation and learning in preschool aged children
  5. Explore the role of play in the development of the “whole child”
  6. >Discuss the implication of play-based learning environments in program planning
  7. Understand individual differences in maturation and growth among preschool aged children
  8. Understand how individual differences, including special needs relate to the development of the preschool aged child and impact on the family
  9. 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
  10. Discuss issues of gender and cultural diversity as they relate to preschool development
  11. Apply and evaluate observation techniques
  12. Understand positive child centred methods of supervision and guidance
Means of Assessment
  1. Observations
  2. Presentations
  3. Reports
  4. Examinations
  5. Participation and Attendance
Textbook Materials


Which Prerequisite