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ERIC Number: ED431535
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Oct
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Resistance to "Developmentally Appropriate Practice": Teachers, Graduate Students, and Parents Speak Out.
O'Brien, Leigh M.
Although developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) has gained widespread acceptance within early childhood education, it is not accepted by all. This study examined resistance to the DAP concept among: (1) Head Start and other early childhood teachers; (2) child caregivers; (3) African-American mothers; and (4) masters students in early childhood education. Information on attitudes was obtained through case study, experiences at staff development and parent workshops, and written critiques by graduate students. The findings suggested that because Head Start teachers felt pressure to prepare economically disadvantaged children for academically oriented schools, they divided their day between child-centered and initiated activities and teacher-directed activities. Resistance to DAP among African-American female caregivers was of concern at one of the early childhood sites involved in staff development; this resistance seemed to stem from concerns about its underlying values. African-American parents expressed concern and anger at the notion of culturally appropriate practice. Although graduate students in early childhood education did not often express concerns about DAP, those who had worked with young children in urban settings expressed concerns that DAP was inappropriate for children whose backgrounds have not allowed for maximizing human potential. Further critique was made in two key areas: (1) the 2-column, "appropriate and inappropriate" format used in DAP instructional materials; and (2) the sense of indoctrination felt when materials refer to "proper" habits and "all" settings. Based on these findings, it was concluded that it is crucial to strive for a model of teacher development that views teaching as a complex, challenging, social, and intellectual task. (Contains 17 references.) (KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A