ERIC Number: ED436298
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Curriculum Disputes in Early Childhood Education. ERIC Digest.
Katz, Lilian G.
From the academic--or instructivist--perspective, the young child is seen as dependent on adults' instruction in the academic knowledge and skills necessary for a good start for later academic achievement. This perspective is in direct contrast to the active and interactive curriculum assumed by proponents of the constructivist approach. This Digest considers instructivist and constructivist approaches to early childhood education and suggests that attention to children's intellectual development may inadvertently be overlooked by both sides. The Digest considers why the academic approach has grown in popularity, how to distinguish academic from intellectual goals, what research says about constructivism versus instructivism, the importance of children's intellectual development, and teaching methods that support children's intellectual development. Project work is suggested as a way that young children can express their intellectual dispositions in the pursuit of serious topics, apply their emerging and academic skills, and generate high-quality products. The Digest proposes that the early childhood curriculum be structured so that it is focused on at least a trio of goals: (1) social/emotional development; (2) intellectual development; and (3) the acquisition of meaningful and useful academic skills. (Contains 14 references.) (LPP)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Constructivism (Learning), Curriculum Design, Curriculum Development, Developmentally Appropriate Practices, Early Childhood Education, Educational Objectives, Educational Strategies, Intellectual Development, Preschool Curriculum, Student Centered Curriculum, Student Projects, Teaching Methods
ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, 51 Gerty Dr., Campaign, IL 61820-7469. Tel: 800-583-4135 (Toll Free). For full text:
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Champaign, IL.