Growth and Development: Early School Years

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
ECED 2300
Growth and Development: Early School Years
Early Childhood Education
Applied Community Studies
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
Flexible delivery ranging over 1 to 15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
60 hours
Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities
  • Lecture
  • Discussions
  • Observations of children
Course Description
This course explores theories related to the development of school aged children (ages five to eight years) in the context of a family centred approach. This approach emphasizes individual and cultural diversity while considering the “whole child” in group settings.
Course Content

Global Ideas that Guide the Design and Delivery of the Course

  1. There are observable behaviours and predicable patterns typical of early school development.
  2. A range of factors contribute to individual differences found in children aged four to eight including the timing of growth and development, personality and other biological factors, interests, skills, and experiences.
  3. Individual differences including special needs must be considered in program planning using Individual Education Plans.
  4. School aged behaviour is often socially mediated.
  5. Socially constructed learning can provide school aged children with valuable opportunities to explore concepts and enter into meaningful dialogue while listening and/or sharing their point of view.
  6. Individual programming for children requiring extra support is philosophically based on the principle that learning often leads development.
  7. Children in the early primary grades benefit from play based learning environments which provide the opportunity to develop or modify theories about the world, integrate emerging skills and actively engage with materials and other children.
  8. Through observation, individual learning styles can be identified. This information must be incorporated into program planning to maximize each child’s potential within the learning environment.
  9. The child is best understood in the context of his or her family and the unique culture present within each family.
  10. A classroom culture will also develop which gives children particular messages (either implicit or explicit) about acceptance and diversity.
  11. Child development theory must be examined critically within the context of the research methods used to derive the information.
  12. Children’s language and literacy development can be enhanced through family literacy experiences and the creation of a literacy rich classroom environment.
Learning Outcomes

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


  1. Identify the observable behaviours that are typically found in children aged four to eight.
  2. Understand that within typical and observable patterns of behaviour each child is unique in his or her own timing of growth and development, personality, traits, interests, abilities and experiences.
  3. Understand how individual differences, including special needs, relate to the development of the school aged child.
  4. Explore differences in learning styles and how those styles relate to classroom practice.
  5. Examine inclusive practice in programs for children aged four to eight.
  6. Examine the reciprocal relationship between the child’s growth and development and the family and culture in which he or she is reared.
  7. Discuss issues of gender, multicultural and anti bias curriculum in relation to programs for children aged four to eight.
  8. Emphasize the connection between research, theory, and practice and the role of observation.
  9. Critically analyze relevant child development theory.
  10. Explore language and literacy development in school aged children.
Means of Assessment
  1. Reflections on Learning
  2. Presentations
  3. Observation Report
  4. Reports
  5. Examinations
  6. Attendance and Participation
Textbook Materials


Which Prerequisite