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ERIC Number: ED436262
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
An Integrated Early Childhood Curriculum: Moving from the "What" and the "How" to the "Why."
New, Rebecca S.
Usually considered a pedagogical plan, the term "curriculum" is linked with decisions regarding educational content and often with related instructional strategies. However, a curriculum for young children embodies more than the "what" and the "how" of children's learning experiences in early childhood settings. Based on the premise that contemporary interpretations of both an integrated curriculum and developmentally appropriate practices are inextricably linked, this chapter examines the relationship among the "what," the "how," and the "why" of an integrated curriculum designed for young children in a rapidly changing and challenging society. An integrated curriculum is defined as one nesting discrete educational goals and objectives within conceptually and experientially rich learning opportunities deemed socially relevant and responsive to children's developmental characteristics. The chapter begins with an overview of current understanding about young children as learners in particular sociocultural contexts, including changing views of competence. The chapter considers essential qualities of an early childhood curriculum as it might reflect this knowledge, and advocates for the inclusion of families and community members in the determination of curriculum goals and strategies. The chapter concludes with a call for a new version of an integrated curriculum that is both contagious and courageous, one that acknowledges: the abilities, interests, and rights of young children; the values, beliefs, and goals of families and community members; and the responsibilities of educators in a pluralistic democratic society. (Contains approximately 80 references.) (KB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A