A GUIDE: Early Childif
S. in Florida Schools
STATE DEPI J EDUCATION
FLOYD T. CHOMMRIDAS
FLOYD T. CH iO M MtISSIONER
Early Childhood Education
in Florida Schools
STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
FLOYD T. CHRISTIAN, COMMISSIONER
BULLETIN 76, 1969
State Department of Education
Floyd T. Christian, Commissioner
Publication.of A Guide: Early Childhood Edu-
cation in Florida Schools, coincides with an en-
couraging and significant forward step in Florida's
public school system. Authorization of a statewide
kindergarten program by the 1968 Florida Legisla-
ture means that already thousands of additional
young children are included in the state's plan of
education, and by 1973 it is expected that all chil-
dren in Florida will be able to attend a public school
This step is the result of the devoted efforts of
hundreds of lay and professional leaders, who through
the years, have worked toward the goal of kinder-
garten for all.
In a similar fashion, this guide is the result of
the devoted efforts of those educators who were ap-
pointed to carry out the task of producing a guide
to assist teachers of young children.
Writers of the guide have attempted to collect
practical suggestions for teachers, along with philo-
sophical guidelines to be used by teachers in plan-
ning their curricula. The guide is intended as a
flexible, supplementary resource to assist the teachers
who are working constantly to improve educational
experiences for Florida's youngsters.
Floyd T. Christian
The talents and devoted efforts of some of
Florida's leading educators have contributed to
the production of this publication, which is in-
tended to assist teachers of young children in
Those who are responsible for the writing
and production of the guide are:
Kindergarten Guide Committee
DR. NANCY DOUGLAS, CHAIRMAN
Professor of Education
Florida State University
MRS. MADALENE CULPEPPER
Kate Smith Elementary School
DR. ALMA W. DAVIDS
Professor of Education
University of Miami
MISS WILLIE B. GAVIN
N. B. Young School
Florida A & M University
MRS. JULIA HARPER
P. K. Yonge School
University of Florida
MRS. BETTY BRANTLEY
College of Education
University of South Florida
DR. ROBERT HENDRICKS
Associate Professor, Elementary Education
University of Miami
MRS. KAREN STEVENS
Pinellas County Schools
State Department of Education Staff
DR. JOSEPH W. CRENSHAW
Division of Curriculum and Instruction
MISS MINNIE LEE ROWLAND
Consultant, Early Childhood Education
MRS. JO LONG
Instructor, Elementary Education
Florida State University
MRS. MARGARET LONGDON
R. J. Longstreet School
MISS CAROLYN STEELE
Jessie P. Miller School
DR. RALPH WITHERSPOON
Professor of Education
Florida State University
DR. EMMY LOU WIDMER
Associate Professor, Early Childhood
Florida Atlantic University
DR. JAMES T. CAMPBELL
Specialist, Graphic Arts
Director, Publications and Textbook
FOREWORD ______---------- iii
ACKNOWLEDGMENT ....---------------. iv
TABLE OF CONTENTS --- v
INTRODUCTION 1-------- -.
THE CHILD AS A LEARNER -- -- 2
THE SCHOOL STAFF AS A TEAM ---- 8
INVOLVING PARENTS AND THE COMMUNITY 12
CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING 16
Objectives -------- ---17
Language Arts .--.---.-------------------------------- .- 1S
Social Studies ..-- .....--- ----- ---- 22
Science _______..-------------- 23
Mathematical Concepts ..... .------------------- 32
Art .......... -------------------------- 34
Music ----- -----....----------------- 36
Health and Safety -...............-------------------- 37
Physical Education ..-------------- ...------ ---..... .--------- 38
Play ----------------------- -- -........---------- 39
Organizing the Day _-- -------- 40
Conceptual Learnings Through Planned Experiences and
Activities --__.........---------------------------- 46
ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING ----------------------- 50
Equipment, Materials, and Supplies ------------------------ 56
RECORDING, REPORTING, AND EVALUATING -- 70
EMERGING TRENDS .------------------------ --- 77
BIBLIOGRAPHY .---------------------- 81
Early childhood education is unique in that it is
the beginning of the home-school relationship. If
this relationship is built on mutual trust and under-
standing and parents are involved in the educational
process, many of the problems commonly found in
later school life can be avoided.
The child moves abruptly from the close family
group into the larger social world of the school with
varying degrees of experience in social living. He
is interested in playmates, but is only beginning to
learn to get along with others, to share, and to con-
form to existing standards of school living. Physi-
cally, he is energetic and concerned with muscular
activity and motor coordination. He lacks skill in
handling emotions and needs much assurance and
support. Intellectually his interest is in the why,
the how, the here, and the now, and he learns through
doing, exploring, discovering, and creating.
He should be provided an environment which
permits him to utilize his abilities to the highest
degree commensurate with his level of development.
The program must be an expanding one, accepting
each child's uniqueness and providing experiences
where each can achieve success and develop his own
approach to learning how to learn. The teacher of
young children recognizes the uniqueness of each
child and plans for his individual needs and growth.
This first break from home offers opportunities
for establishing common understandings between
school and home which will carry over through all
the school years. Understandings of the child's pre-
vious experiences are gained by the teacher while the
parents learn about the school program. The impor-
tance of these early years indicates the need for care-
ful planning of the program and close relationships
with the home.
The Child As A Learner
In order to provide the kind of environment
which fosters growth and learning in all of the
children entrusted to her care, the teacher must
have a knowledge of the nature of the child, how
he develops and how he learns. It is hoped that
a summary of these areas will stimulate teachers
to read widely and keep abreast of current
theory and research. Basic to understanding the
nature of the child is recognition that:
Each child is unique. He is growing and
developing the same as other children but in
his own pattern and at his own pace. He at-
tempts to adjust to his environment in the most
effective way from his point of view. His past
experiences and his desires help to shape his
behavior and the experiences he has today will
affect his behavior in the future. He has his
own readiness for new experiences, his unique
way of responding to them and his own per-
ception of himself.
All factors in his development are inter-
related and interdependent and function as a
unit. Feelings and emotions, attitudes and
values, thinking and reasoning are interdepen-
dent with physical and motor development, and
these affect his interaction with others. The
combination of these factors cause each child
to respond to the environment differently from
other children in the same group. As the
teacher learns to see growth as an interrelated
pattern, she is more able to understand the
There are basic needs common to all chil-
: dren, but the degree and manner in which these
needs are met will affect each child according
Sto his unique pattern. These needs are both
physiological and socio-psychological.
S Physiological needs include:
Adequate food, water, rest, and sleep. A
hungry, tired, or sleepy child cannot par-
ticipate fully within a group.
THE CHILD AS A LEARNER 3
Exercise. Young children have a basic
need for movement. Their bodies de-
mand an almost continuous flow of
muscular activity that is good and satis-
fying. Freedom and room to move are
Rhythm between activity and rest. All
children benefit from planned, quiet
periods during the day.
Socio-psychological needs are:
A predictable and orderly world with
predictable limits within which they can
A familiar, sensory environment where
the child is free to interact with sights,
sounds, and bodily contacts with others.
Love which continues to be expressed
no matter what the child is or does.
A feeling of belonging in relationship to
family, friends, and other social groups.
Approval through praise or admiration
by peers and adults.
Independence which is acquired gradu-
ally through guidance.
To know and understand one's world:
the what-why-where and how of experi-
Self-esteem for personal adequacy and
Self-actualization through creative effort
and freedom to explore and satisfy'indi-
When these needs are ignored and unmet,
learning is blocked and the motives of the child
are changed. His unmet needs then become the
Each child must find his place in the social
group. Other people supply "the mirror" in
which he learns to see himself. From the way
they respond to him or the way he thinks they
respond, he constructs his self-concept. Ex-
periences of being loved and valued by others,
of being successful, of failing without condem-
nation but with guidance toward future success,
build a self-image of being a desirable and
worthwhile person. Experiences of rejection,
indifferences, being overlooked and often criti-
cized by teachers and peers, create a self-image
with which a child finds it difficult to live.
GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
Knowledge of the principles of growth and
development will help' the teacher to plan for
the individual needs of children. The following
principles should help in understanding all
Growth is patterned. Each child inherits his
own pattern of growth which emerges at his
own characteristic rate. Some children mature
early, others late. No two growth patterns are
alike and patterns within the individual vary.
Growth is sequential. There is an orderly
sequence to growth which, in general, is the
same for all children. Individuals may vary
in terms of rate, but the sequence usually re-
mains stable. Deviations from the sequence
provide clues to growth difficulties.
4 THE CHILD AS A LEARNER
The rate of growth is not even. Each child
grows at his own rate. It is important to know
each child's growth pattern in order to avoid
disturbing comparisons with other children.
Growth is the result of the response the child
makes to his environment. The teacher can in-
fluence this by the environment she sets and
the help she offers.
Growth progresses in two directions. One
is toward increasing individualization or unique-
ness and the other toward integration or inter-
dependence and cooperation.
Growth is cyclic. Studies reveal cycles as
well as patterns in growth. These cycles are
shown as periods of rapid acceleration, with an
intervening period of slow, steady growth.
There is unity in growth patterns. Children
who mature rapidly usually do so in all facets
of growth children who do not grow in this
way are known as split growers and frequently
have behavior problems.
Growth is continuous. It proceeds evenly
and smoothly when the environment is opti-
mum. The child will resist attempts to force
growth and will tend to grow faster when mak-
ing up for any temporary period of depriva-
Growth is forceful and organized. Its ener-
gies are used in a goal-bent direction deter-
mined by inherent design.
Growth characteristics vary widely. It is
important that teachers recognize the range
within the group in order to help each child.
The rate of growth for the child approach-
ing school age is slower and steadier than in
infancy and the body is "lengthened out." There
is a wide variation of height and weight be-
tween individual children. Vision is farsighted
and focusing is difficult. The energy rate is
high and there is a constant need for movement.
It is satisfying for the child to use his body
physically through movement and manipulation.
This use contributes to muscular development
and coordination and respiratory and circula-
tory systems are benefited. Fatigue comes
easily but recovery is quick. Muscle develop-
ment is large but the child has an inner urge to
bring them under control. The ability to use
smaller muscles and exercise coordination is
dependent upon maturation and previous
experiences. Developing muscular coordination
contributes to aesthetic, emotional, and social
development. Sensory processes are stimulated
through physical activity and much learning
occurs. A child's self-concept is affected by his
feelings about his ability to control body move-
ments and use of tools and objects in his en-
Learning occurs through sensory experiences
and manipulation of concrete objects. It is the
meaningfulness of things to the child and how
he can use them which causes him to learn.
His ability to handle abstractions comes with
maturity and experiences.
Concepts of time, space, and number are
limited. They are developmental in nature and
dependent upon maturation.
Attention span is short and the ability to
concentrate, to persist in a task, and to reason
Language is becoming the most effective
tool. Its use is both graphic and picturesque.
Ability to solve problems varies with age, ex-
perience, and individual make-up. Ability to
distinguish between fantasy and reality is diffi-
cult. Dramatic play, construction, and move-
ment are used to clarify understandings of re-
Curiosity is great, questions are numerous,
and experimentation is important.
Self-concept, opportunity, motivation and
perception of purpose determine how a child
will use his intelligence.
There is steady differentiation in emotional
responses as children respond to a wider vari-
ety of emotional situations and show increasing
control of emotional outbreaks.
Growth in language and motor skills makes
it increasingly possible to deal with frustrations.
There is much complex emotional learning in
associating feelings and reactions to people,
particular objects and events. With this learn-
ing comes the need to find methods for hand-
ling one's feelings.
Affection expands in scope from parents to
others in the environment. The quality of af-
fection increases with ability to appreciate
feelings of others, to sympathize, feel compas-
sion, and respond to others with thoughtfulness
Attitudes toward self and others are revealed
in emotional behavior. Wide variations in en-
vironmental stimulations and developmental
rates cause variations in behavior within a
Experiences and maturation influence social
development. This is evidenced as the child
moves from solitary to onlooker, to parallel,
and to associative and cooperative play with
others; increases in ability to share, take turns,
and consider the needs and wishes of others.
Socially desirable behavior can be fostered by
Social participation in a group is influenced
by previous experiences and readiness. Children
become more aggressive and competitive and
also more cooperative, friendly, and sympa-
thetic. Many aspects of social behavior change
simultaneously. As in emotional development,
the self-concept is significant.
Teachers of young children need to keep
abreast of research in the area of learning and
to evaluate its importance in the light of cur-
rent knowledge and how a child grows and
develops. The following concepts on learning
will offer guidelines for further readings:
The effects of maturation and learning can-
not be separated from each other. Stages of
maturation make learning possible whether
learning to walk, perceive, use words or adjust
to a group outside the home.
When a child organizes maturation pheno-
mena so that he accomplishes a task he could
not perform before, he is involved in learning.
When both structural and functional readiness
are present, satisfaction in learning is inherent.
Forcing, results in no learning, unskilled learn-
THE CHILD AS A LEARNER 5
ing, or learning which may take longer or cause
undue strain. The child indicates, in some man-
ner, when he is ready for certain learning. It
is the responsibility of the teacher to recognize
Learning involves integrating new informa-
tion with previous knowledge, including atti-
tudes and former actions. New information
alters previous ideas.
A child learns by acquiring new skills and
meanings and by avoiding some things he has
done before. He does not learn unless a motive
or need exists. Learning not to do can be as
positive a performance as learning to do.
When a child learns a new skill, this learn-
ing affects other phases of growth. The most
important aspects of behavior are learned.
To learn, a child must want something
(drive), notice something (stimulus), do some-
thing (response), and get something (reward).
The first developmental task in learning for
the young child is to assimilate the meanings
he has acquired through sensory experiences.
Inexperienced with many things, he investigates
through direct methods and by questions. He
relates the new aspect of a situation to what is
old and familiar by a process of generalization.
If he is familiar with the term "dog," he may
apply this term to all four-footed animals. As
he learns about other animals, he corrects this
association and learns to differentiate between
a dog and other animals.
Discriminative learning in all areas of de-
velopment continues to be refined. By the time
he starts to school, the child is expected to
speak his native language (audio-discrimina-
tion) and recognize differences in printed sym-
bols (visual discrimination).
Association occurs when the child uses
memory to recall previous experiences. By as-
sociating new experiences with past ones, he
gives meaning to the first. When he remembers
previously associated experiences and interprets
them, perception has occurred. Thus, past ex-
periences influence the way new situations are
perceived. Children who have failed previously
at a task may perceive themselves as failures
and stop trying. The more abundant the sensory
6 THE CHILD AS A LEARNER
experiences and past associations the child has,
the richer will be his perception and the greater
will be his learning potential.
Concepts are formed from concrete experi-
ences. They are essentially sets of classified
ideas and become more abstract with increasing
opportunities to group objects. They develop
slowly and move from simple to complex, from
concrete to abstract, from undifferentiated to
differentiated, discrete to organized and ego-
centric to social.
To be communicable, a concept must be
represented by a symbol whose meaning others
understand. Thus, if the child is to acquire
educably adequate concepts, adults must sup-
ply the proper word as he needs it. As his
store of concepts increase from direct experi-
ences, he can begin to develop concepts from
vicarious experiences such as stories, pictures,
and conversations. When he can learn a con-
cept from a term, then define and illustrate the
concept, he is learning inductively. This is
accomplished by using well formed and vivid
concepts to help him construct a mental image
of the new concept.
To assist the child in learning the teacher
Recognize varying limits to the learning
potential during school time.
Learn something about each child's
Present new experiences in simple prog-
ression in such a manner that the child
feels he can dare to try new situations
Remember children are not equally pre-
pared to learn. Accept this and know
how these children are different in their
Provide abundant and varied sensory ex-
periences to develop discrimination,
learning and associations.
Be alert to learning opportunities the
child may overlook and help him use pre-
Help him to use language appropriate to
the activities he is experiencing.
Pace learning opportunities so that im-
ages are clear and new learning are
used for reinforcement.
The School Staff As A Team
Teachers of children in early childhood,
working cooperatively with supervisors, admin-
istrators, school staff, aides, and parents form
a team to attempt to create a program which
will encourage maximum growth and develop-
ment for each child. Teachers are undoubtedly
the most vital force in early childhood educa-
tion. The atmosphere of each class is set ac-
cording to the teacher's personality, philosophy,
background, and training, as well as by the
interest and abilities of the children in the
It is easy to say that a teacher in a school
for young children will provide experiences
which will direct children toward goals in at-
titudes, skills, and habits which will then lead
them to become worthy individuals and useful
members of society. However, a very special
kind of person is required to actually create an
environment which will promote an ideal
learning situation for each child in an informal
atmosphere free from pressure but where he is
attempting to take full advantage of his capa-
With less emphasis on structured learning,
but with carefully planned goals and curricu-
lum, it is essential that a teacher use her own
imagination to create the proper climate for the
group. Actually, teachers of children in their
early years should be practically masters of
many varied subjects. They must have a vast
knowledge of psychology, child development,
educational practices and theories, as well as a
command of information in many different
areas. And, they must be able to use such
knowledge spontaneously, often without bene-
fit of reference to books.
A teacher's personality can be a great asset
in dealing with a group of children, as she uses
THE SCHOOL STAFF AS A TEAM 9
it to help set the tone and pace for the class,
uses it as a factor in both instruction and disci-
pline, and uses it as a vital instrument in both
individual and group relations with children.
Successful teaching requires significant quali-
ties and specific teaching and guidance skills.
Physically strong enough to meet the
rigors of each day without becoming
overly tired and possibly short tempered.
reasonably consistent and stable. Chil-
dren gain security from knowing what to
expect from day to day.
Warm and genuine. Children can sense
insincerity and lack of faith and trust.
The ability to be natural is most impor-
Enthusiastic, not only for activities within
her class but also for each child and his
Honest, fair, understanding, sympathetic,
Imaginative, flexible, versatile, and well
Willing to admit a mistake and to meet
even distasteful and unpleasant situations
with tact and diplomacy.
Set immediate and long-range goals and
plan for evaluation.
Plan a flexible and varied daily schedule,
keeping in mind good health practices
and child development.
Set realistic and practical routines.
Arrange the classroom attractively and
functionally, so that it is appealing to
children and gives the feeling that it
really belongs to them.
Create a world suited to the class, includ-
ing work centers, displays, and arrange-
Have good sense of humor and be able
to use it readily, often in unlikely situa-
Plan activities and experiences which will
appeal to and benefit mature, average,
and immature children.
Plan many different activities to give each
child something in which to excel and a
chance to gain positive recognition from
Be alert for spontaneous teachable mo-
ments in any situation.
Be aware of all activities taking place in
the class, although seemingly totally in-
volved with only a few children at a
Use a variety of teaching techniques to
rirrP~P h a B
THE SCHOOL STAFF AS A TEAM
meet the needs, abilities, and interests of
Teach by example. Children tend to mir-
ror the teacher's actions, attitudes, vocal
expressions, and habits.
Allow children with appropriate guid-
ance, to plan goals and to make many
Have a complete repertoire of songs,
stories, games, finger plays, and poems
that can be used "on the spot."
Know immediate sources of information.
Provide new experiences and equipment
throughout the year as children become
ready for them.
It is also a responsibility of teachers of chil-
dren in early childhood to function effectively
with parents and within their communities.
They must know what resources are available
and involve them when possible, just as they
must attempt to involve parents and other com-
munity members in school activities.
Teachers of young children must convey the
aims and beliefs of early childhood education
in all contacts with parents and other citizens.
They must also read extensively and keep
abreast of current research and theories in child
development, as members of the community
and parents may want to seek advice from them
and may want them to serve as resource persons
for speeches and workshops.
The same personality traits which are ap-
pealing to children are usually admired by
adults, so successful teachers of young children
should also know success in conferencing, re-
porting, and working with parents and com-
Be reasonably consistent, patiently per-
sistent, and firmly, yet gently, insistent.
Make statements in a positive manner.
Praise when possible, but not falsely.
Set reasonable limits, goals, and conse-
quences with children. She will also
supervise a change in these as necessary.
Provide many opportunities for children
to grow in accepting and carrying out
Follow through on statements and actions.
Avoid issue if possible, be aware of ex-
plosive situations and prevent their oc-
Challenge each child to grow in line with
his maturity and ability.
Give children a choice, only if she in-
tends for them to have one.
Help children to anticipate and accept
the outcome of their actions.
Help children to know their own feelings
and to organize their own ideas and
Help children develop a sense of pride in
themselves, in their actions, their work,
and their environment.
The administrator must be acquainted with
the needs and aims of early childhood educa-
tion. His responsibilities as specifically related
to early childhood education include:
Understanding and accepting the purposes
and philosophies of early childhood educa-
tion and helping convey such beliefs to
parents, personnel, and other groups.
Seeing that classes for young children meet
state standards for class size, space, equip-
ment, and scheduling.
Helping teachers of young children with-
stand possible pressure from parents and
other groups who may want to place unde-
sirable activities and subject matter in the
early childhood program.
Accepting both early childhood programs and
teachers as integral and important units in
the total school program.
Providing assistance of supervisors, resource
persons, and supportive services whenever
THE SCHOOL STAFF AS A TEAM 11
Allowing time for: room visitation by chil-
dren before they begin school; parent con-
ferences; teachers to plan the child's
program with parents; teachers to keep ex-
tensive records of children.
Aiding teachers by: providing all funds allo-
cated to early childhood education for
teachers to use to select equipment for their
programs; helping teachers of young chil-
dren to secure money from various special
projects and funds when possible.
Exhibiting a positive, friendly attitude and
image to children.
Refusing to burden teachers of young chil-
dren with duties unrelated to early child-
hood education after the younger children
have been dismissed.
Working closely with teachers in attempting
to involve parents in the school programs.
Everyone connected with a school system
is usually eager to help both children and
teachers when possible. These people include:
general county-wide supervisors
special area supervisors
speech therapists and consultants
music teachers or supervisors
art teachers or supervisors
physical education teachers or supervisors
librarians or audio-visual specialists
remedial reading teachers or consultants
exceptional child program coordinators
testing and research coordinators
public health or school nurses
government program workers.
In certain schools teachers have the advan-
tage of help from teacher aides. Wise use of
aides can be invaluable, both to teachers and to
children, especially in disadvantaged areas or in
large, over-crowded classes.
Aides may be:
older children in school
members of secondary school future
volunteers from various service organiza-
Red Cross volunteers (sometimes called
members of government sponsored pro-
Aides should become familiar with such facts
as rules and regulations of the class, teacher
expectations, location of materials and equip-
ment, and routines.
Teachers may use aides to:
assume clerical duties
supervise children in self-help activities
help children prepare for lunch
type and duplicate materials
help children with activities such as car-
ing for plants
supervise certain large group activities
work with small groups of children
help with planning.
Cooperation is the key to success in working
with all members of the educational staff.
Early childhood teachers should keep in mind
the philosophies, policies, and routines of the
school so as to function with other staff mem-
bers in effective operation of the entire school.
When working with other members of the
staff, they should build bridges of understand-
ing of the aims of early childhood education.
They should, at all times, communicate and in-
terpret the purposes of the program to others.
Involving Parents and the Community
All those who work with young children
have long recognized the need for cooperation
of parents in the education of their children.
As school programs are extended to provide
educational experiences for three, four, and
five-year-olds, cooperation, not only with par-
ents but also with the services and agencies
of the community, will become a pressing need.
School programs which involve the combined
services of many community agencies in the
areas of health, education, nutrition and social
services will benefit the children and serve to
strengthen the family unit as well. This new
approach involves more than teachers and par-
ents working together to improve educational
opportunities for children. It requires a spirit
of cooperation and careful planning by mem-
bers of community services and agencies and
school personnel, at all levels, in order to pre-
sent a well-coordinated program which is de-
signed with the needs and resources of the
community in mind.
Working with Parents
Traditionally, the school and home have at-
tempted to work closely together to provide the
INVOLVING PARENTS AND THE COMMUNITY 13
best school experience for the child through
cooperation of the teacher and parent. This
relationship is a vital one, involving the indi-
viduals who have the closest contact with the
child and the greatest influence on growth and
behavior during the beginning school experi-
ence. The parent and the teacher each have
a unique responsibility in this relationship
through the mutual understanding that the
child's experiences, in school as well as at home,
can affect his behavior and learning. To this
relationship, which has the understanding of
the child as its focus, the teacher can contribute
her knowledge of child growth and develop-
ment. She can interpret to parents the purposes
and goals of a good school experience for young
children. The teacher can help parents be-
come aware of the values in pre-school educa-
tion and help them recognize the growth which
is taking place in their own child as a result of
having this experience.
To the relationship between the home and
the school, the parents bring not only the in-
sight and understanding of their own child, but
also a variety of skills, knowledge and experi-
ences which can be utilized by the teacher to
enrich and extend the learning environment for
all the children. The teacher can create many
opportunities to involve parents in the educa-
tion of their children. If this active involvement
is begun wisely in early years at school, it can
create an effective home-school relationship
which will last throughout the school life of the
Working with parents effectively requires a
great deal of time and effort on the part of the
teacher. School administrators must assume the
responsibility for making this possible. The
teacher-pupil ratio in kindergarten groups
should not exceed twenty-five, with correspond-
ingly smaller groups of children where educa-
tional programs are provided for three and
four-year-olds. Teachers must have adequate
time in order to plan effectively for the children,
to keep meaningful records of their progress
and to have mutually productive contacts with
Planned Opportunities for Teacher-Parent
A good parent-teacher relationship does not
just happen it is the result of many contacts
between home and school in which the main
concern is providing the best school experience
for the child. The school must provide a variety
of planned opportunities for teacher-parent
communication through home visits, conferences
and study groups.
Contacts with the home prior to the first day
of school experience through scheduled home
visits can be of help to the child, the parent and
the teacher. For the parent, it will be reassur-
ing to meet, informally, the teacher who will
work with the child in his first group experience
away from the home. The child will have the
benefit of having his first personal contact with
the teacher among familiar surroundings in the
security of his own home. From a home visit,
the teacher can learn much about the child and
his family relationships. Just being in the home
and experiencing family interaction can give the
teacher another frame of reference from which
to view the total child. Policies with regard to
making home visits are determined by local
schools in keeping with the needs of their com-
Individual conferences give the teacher and
the parent an opportunity to sit down together
and share the knowledge each has of a particu-
lar child. This should be a special time, free
of responsibilities and interruptions, which will
permit free and open communication between
parent and teacher. The teacher can offer the
parent her understanding of the child as an
individual in the school situation and as a group
member. The parent brings to the conference
his insights into the child's behavior at home, in
the neighborhood and as a family member. As
this sharing of knowledge about a particular
14 INVOLVING PARENTS AND THE COMMUNITY
child takes place, both parent and teacher
should grow in understanding and be able to
guide the child more effectively, both at home
and at school.
By planning to involve both parents in a
meeting early in the school year, the teacher
will have an opportunity to provide parents
with general information about the school pro-
gram. Topics of general concern, such as spe-
cific health and safety regulations and special
services offered by the school, could be ex-
plained at this time. A meeting of this kind
offers parents a chance to become better ac-
quainted with each other and the teacher as
they discuss questions of general interest.
Parent Study Groups
An excellent means for working with parents,
which has, unfortunately, not been widely used
in the schools, is the parent study group. The
groups offer parents an opportunity to exchange
ideas and explore new avenues of thought, a
variety of programs, involving films, lectures,
demonstrations and group discussion. They can
have great value if parents are actively involved
in planning the meeting and choosing the topics
of study. Through the study group, parents can
gain a better understanding of their own child
as they discuss problems which are of concern
to parents of all pre-school children.
Informal Contacts with Parents
Parents need to become involved in the edu-
cational programs which are offered to their
children. The alert teacher is aware of the
values of this involvement and plans many ways
of communicating with parents and involving
them in the pre-school program. The child's
first venture into school, though it is exciting,
may produce some initial anxiety. Both the
parents and the teacher need to be aware of
this possibility and to work together to make
the transition from home to school as smooth
as is possible for the child.
Informal visits by the parents to the class-
room can contribute much to their understand-
ing of the aims and goals of pre-school educa-
tion. They can gain insight into the behavior
of their own child as they observe many chil-
dren of the same age participating in individual
and group activities. During the informal visits
to the classroom, parents may take part in the
program by reading stories to the children, as-
sisting with field trips or helping with parties
or picnics. Parents who have special hobbies,
skills or talents are often willing to share them
with the children. As frequently as possible,
fathers should be encouraged to contribute
knowledge of their occupations and interests
to the pre-school classroom to provide a male
model for the many children who come from
one-parent homes. All parents have some gift
to offer young children, and all parents should
have an opportunity to help the teacher offer
a rich and varied learning environment to the
As the teacher works with the children day
by day, she finds many ways to establish warm,
friendly relationships with the home by sharing
school experiences with the parents. When
parents come to school, to bring or pick up
their children, there is an opportunity to have
casual contact with the teacher. These contacts
can be used to share home experiences, to an-
swer parents' questions, discuss the children's
activities or relate a humorous incident. These
informal and natural contacts can do much to
strengthen the relationship between home and
Telephone conversations between parents
and teacher can be another way of maintaining
close contact with the home. While these calls
cannot take the place of conferences, they do
allow for a quick exchange of views and give
help or specific information about a problem
which is of immediate concern.
INVOLVING PARENTS AND THE COMMUNITY 15
The teacher may find a monthly newsletter
a valuable aid in keeping parents informed
about activities and experiences taking place at
school. It can serve as a way of announcing
coming events, sharing experiences and request-
ing help with projects.
Working with the Community
The teacher of very young children has a
two-fold responsibility in working with the com-
munity in which she teaches. The first is to
plan experiences and activities which help chil-
dren learn about the community, and second, to
be informed about the services available to the
families and to share her knowledge about the
children with the agencies who provide these
services to the families in the community.
Young children can gain a beginning under-
standing of, and an appreciation for, the com-
plexity of community living through well-
planned learning experiences in their early
school years. In planning these experiences, the
teacher should seek to utilize a variety of com-
munity resources. This insures that the knowl-
edge which the children gain is not limited to
just the services the community provides, but
extends to such widely diverse topics as the
geographic characteristics of the area, the dif-
ferent kinds of houses in which the people live
and the forms of transportation available in
We tend to equate educational trips out into
the community with a ride on a school bus and
sometimes overlook the opportunities which lie
within walking distance of the school. Bug and
bird-walks are but two of the possible kinds of
walking trips on which children can see and
hear, feel and understand the world immedi-
ately around them. Almost every neighborhood
has local businesses such as bakeries or super-
markets which may be visited by groups of
children on a walking field trip. A trip to the
local post office to buy stamps and mail cards
for Mother's Day or for a sick classmate can be
a meaningful experience for young children
interested in services in their community.
These trips can be followed up by visits to the
classroom of resource people from the com-
munity who can further extend and enrich
these experiences for the children.
When school buses are available, more am-
bitious trips into the community can be planned
to visit nearby farms, dairies, or perhaps an
Indian mound or the beach. These trips require
very careful planning and the help of additional
adults, not only as a safety measure, but to as-
sure maximum individual attention for the chil-
dren. Questions come fast and furiously in a
stimulating new environment and attentive
adults are needed to satisfy the children's
curiosity and to provide them with important
In order to help children learn about their
community, the teacher must be well acquainted
with the resources and services that are avail-
able to the families in the community. To
work most effectively, she must be involved
professionally in helping provide these services
to the families when they are needed.
The early years of school offer an oppor-
tunity to identify physical problems of the chil-
dren and to assist parents in seeking treatment
and remediation for them. The teacher, with
her knowledge of the growth and development
of individual children, can assist community
agencies in making initial contacts with the
home and providing the agencies with follow-
up information concerning the children.
It is generally in the early school years that
parents are most open to the suggestions and
information offered by school personnel and are
most willing to cooperate for the welfare of
their children. The wise teacher of young chil-
dren is aware of this and seeks many oppor-
tunities to demonstrate to parents the benefits
of close cooperation between school and home
in the education of young children.
Curriculum As Experiencing
Careful planning is vital to the success of
any program for young children. This planning
is based upon the intellectual, physical, social,
emotional, and aesthetic needs of the children
enrolled. It is based upon sound educational
principles and reflects the philosophy of the
The objectives of a good program for chil-
dren under six are:
To help each child experience intellec-
tual growth and educational stimulation
developing a positive attitude toward
making discoveries, developing prob-
sharpening sensory awareness, learn-
ing about his environment by explor-
ing, observing, listening, touching,
tasting, smelling, and balancing.
expressing himself verbally, communi-
cating with others, increasing his vo-
cabulary, gaining skill in enunciation
and pronunciation, developing auditory
listening to and appreciating stories,
poetry, music, and rhythms.
developing concepts and understand-
ings about the world around him.
participating in dramatic play, drama-
tizing stories, telling experiences in
sequence, reporting on trips, helping
to plan group experiences.
acquiring an understanding of concepts
in mathematics, science, social sciences,
language arts, and other curriculum
experimenting with tools, materials,
and equipment designed to lay basic
foundations for future learning.
To help each child become emotionally
building a positive self-concept; valu-
ing himself as a unique individual.
developing confidence in himself and
in his abilities; becoming independent
developing confidence in others: chil-
dren, parents, teachers, and other
adults in his immediate environment.
persisting in his efforts; experiencing
CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING 17
* accepting and adjusting to opposition
or lack of success.
* expressing his emotions of affection,
pleasure, boredom, sympathy, compas-
sion, humor, laughter, fear, anxiety,
anger, frustration, hostility, jealousy,
and learning how to channel them
* building empathy for the feelings and
emotions of others.
To help each child become socially well
* building positive relationships within
his family, with his peers, with adults
outside his home.
* experiencing a recognition of his own
rights as a human being in a demo-
* learning to respect the rights of others.
* learning to cooperate with others and
to respect those in authority.
* learning to participate as a leader and
* learning through experience to share
possessions and to take turns.
* assuming responsibility for his own
* learning to give and to accept helpful
* learning to respond to directions and
to accept the limits involved in living
in a democratic society.
* accepting the responsibility of caring
for his own possessions and for the
property of others.
To help each child acquire physical well-
* developing muscular control and co-
* establishing desirable health habits
such as toilet routines, hand-washing,
relaxation during rest period, suitable
clothing for weather conditions, posi-
tive attitudes toward nourishing foods.
* developing wholesome attitudes toward
body and bodily functions.
* practicing good posture for walking,
CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING
running, sitting, standing and lying
accepting casually and without embar-
rassment the physical differences be-
tween boys and girls.
practicing safety procedures in the use
of tools and equipment.
developing security through confi-
dence in safety practices.
experiencing a balanced program of
activity, relaxation and rest.
accepting and understanding disabili-
ties in himself and others.
developing positive attitudes toward
the physician, nurse, dentist and com-
munity health authorities.
engaging in a variety of motor activi-
ties such as running, skipping, jump-
ing, hopping, climbing, pushing, lifting,
pulling, sliding, falling, and rolling.
gaining skill in throwing, catching,
bouncing and rolling a ball, walking
and balancing on boards, suspending
his weight from horizontal bars and
ladders, turning somersaults and climb-
ing on apparatus.
recognizing safety hazards such as deep
water, strange animals, broken glass,
wire, sharp edges, splinters, etc.
refusing to accept rides and gifts from
To help each child develop aesthetic
exercising all his senses.
awareness of beauty in the world
expressing feelings as well as ideas.
appreciation of the contributions of
various cultures in music, art, lan-
guage, dance, and other forms of crea-
enjoyment of good literature, poetry,
story-telling, and dramatization.
expressing himself creatively through
language, movement, music, art, con-
struction, and other activities.
experiencing the joy of creating and
interpreting his own work.
appreciating the productions and aes-
thetic expressions of others.
enjoyment of the contributions of mu-
sicians, artists, dancers, writers, poets,
and artisans in the community.
Effective communication skills become im-
portant early in life. They serve as tools which
the child uses in thinking and in expressing his
thoughts and ideas to others. The young child
develops language as he feels a need to express
himself and to have someone understand him.
As he interacts and communicates with others
and has experiences in listening, he begins to
understand and appreciate the many uses, the
beauty, and the potential force of the spoken
and written word.
Language is not only important to the child
in his efforts to communicate with others, but
its development is imperative if he is to be able
to organize, evaluate and assimilate information
necessary for success in various academic
fields. The adequacy of a child's skill in lan-
guage seems to determine, perhaps more than
any other factor, his success in academic en-
Each child seems to have his own time-table
for language development (as he does for other
areas of growth) which is influenced not only
by his physical growth but also by his. early
experiences and interactions with others. It is
from his early vocalizations, which usually re-
ceive smiles and pleasant responses from adults
in the environment, that speech begins to grow.
These positive responses and the pleasure he
seems to receive from being able to make sounds
encourages him to continue vocalizing. The
child learns to understand and respond to words
before he can vocalize them. As he begins to
make sounds which are interpreted as words,
he usually applies a single word to numerous
situations. For example, "dog" may be the name
given to any four-legged animal. Those around
the child help him become more and more spe-
cific in his word usage. In the process of
building a vocabulary, he may change words in
several different ways. He may omit, substitute,
distort or add sounds. In general, he trans-
forms words according to his own level of un-
derstanding and development. He gradually
learns to speak with correct grammar and sen-
tence structure or makes errors similar to those
The language development of children may
be influenced by any number of factors or cir-
cumstances. A lack of sensory stimulation early
in life may cause retardation in speech develop-
ment. Many children who have been reared in
institutions are affected in this manner. A lack
of intellectually stimulating experiences may
foster slow development of inadequate com-
munication skills. Learning difficulties resulting
from poor language development of many chil-
dren from "deprived" families have been at-
tributed to this cause. The language model
afforded the child also has a great influence on
his development. More adult contact seems to
give a child advantage in developing language.
"Only" children, who, as a rule, have more adult
contacts than others, usually progress more
rapidly in this area. Twins and children from
other types of multiple births who generally
have more contact with children are usually
slower in speaking. Often girls talk at an earlier
age and acquire a larger vocabulary than boys.
Of extreme importance is the quality of the
speech model provided. If the adult's speech is
vague and limited in vocabulary, the model is
less than adequate.
Also, of possible importance in speech
development are the following factors, which
CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING 19
may serve to delay or impair it: prenatal factors,
such as diseases of mothers during pregnancy;
birth complications; mental deficiency; speech
defects in family background; poor general
health; diseases; emotionally traumatic experi-
ences; and constant anticipation of child's needs
Opportunities to build language skills in
schools for young children begin when the child
arrives. He may be eager to share an experi-
ence or a toy with his classmates and teacher.
Another child may appear timid and seem to
have no desire to communicate. This child may
need encouragement to talk and should be given
opportunities to participate in many experiences
which will stimulate him to express his thoughts
and feelings in nonverbal means (painting,
clay work, dramatic play, etc.) before he be-
gins to make much use of oral language. One
can be certain that language skills used by chil-
dren in the group will vary in quality and
quantity from one child to another.
Children come to school using the language
spoken by those with whom they have had close
contact. Whether or not this language is cor-
rect, the teacher must accept it. She must pro-
vide a setting in which each child can feel
secure to express himself confidently with the
tools he possesses and must set an example
which will help him become aware that there
are different ways to communicate. If he feels
secure in his language, he will, through many
contacts with those in the school environment
begin to add new words to his vocabulary.
In the development of language, it is logical
for children to use forms such as "buyed" or
"hurted" or to make other structural or gram-
matical errors in an effort to use word forms
with which they are familiar. Responses from
the teacher, such as "I'm very sorry you hurt
your finger" or "Daddy must have been pleased
with the slippers you bought" often will help
children gradually become more accurate.
The teacher can encourage language de-
velopment by providing many opportunities for
children to speak. A program which plans for
rich, concrete experiences which stimulate chil-
dren to think, question, and share thoughts and
20 CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING
ideas can do much in promoting the develop-
ment of oral language skills. Trips to observe
nature in various forms, and excursions of other
types, can be extremely valuable in encouraging
language skills if conversation, discussion, ques-
tioning and clarifying are a part of them. Chil-
dren can help with planning and can be assisted
in observing and discussing likenesses and dif-
ferences, cause and effect, and in developing
senses, by alert adults who seek to help them
deepen their understandings.
Individuals are bombarded with sounds,
throughout their lives, which make the develop-
ment of discriminative and effective listening
habits imperative. Very early in life, a child may
develop poor listening habits if little interest is
shown in what he has to say. If he seldom has
a moment of quiet or an attentive audience, he
will see little importance in listening and will
find doing so very difficult. Conversely, a child
who, at an early age, has interested listeners
and has opportunities for quiet, as well as
numerous first-hand experiences, will tend to
have a broad range of interests and a desire to
listen to others. A number of other factors, how-
ever, may also influence the growth of listening
skills. A child's hearing may be physically im-
paired; he may suffer from illness or be uncom-
fortable due to lack of sleep, hunger or other
physical condition. The physical environment
poor ventilation, too cold or warm tempera-
ture, and distracting noises may also influence
a child's listening ability at any particular time.
The teacher must create a physical and psy-
chological environment in which children are
comfortable and feel free to exchange ideas. It
is also important to be alert to possible physical
defects which may influence a child's hearing
capacity. Listening can be promoted by seeing
that those communicating are near one another;
by encouraging children to identify sounds and
to listen for likenesses and differences in various
sounds; and by sharing interesting poems,
stories, rhymes, and songs with the children and
giving them opportunities to participate in such
activities. Giving instructions and explanations
clearly the first time, without habitually repeat-
ing them again and again, emphasizes the neces-
sity for listening. Wording sentences in such a
way that the child must hear the whole state-
ment before he has the desired information also
makes listening necessary. The teacher must be
alert at all times to the length of time children
can listen. Watching their faces and noting their
responses can give clues regarding the need for
change of activity. Above all, the teacher must
show interest and be attentive to what children
Children have numerous opportunities to
develop some understanding of the importance
of writing through their observations of the use
their parents, teacher, and others make of this
skill. They see mother jot down personal re-
minders, leave notes for the milkman, delivery-
man, etc. They see their fathers take telephone
messages, write checks to pay household bills
and use writing for a host of other purposes.
In school, they see their teacher write messages
to send home, write their names and other words
when needs arise. Thus, from an early age,
most children have some interest in writing.
Young children often express their thoughts
and ideas through art work, body movements,
facial expressions, dramatic play and through
written expression as they dictate messages or
stories to the teacher. Many occasions for such
expression present themselves as the group
works together in school. A get-well note, an
invitation to someone to visit the group, a
thank-you note to someone who has been help-
ful, a short story or title for a picture a child has
created may be composed by a child or the
group and written by the teacher. Writing be-
comes important in school, not only in letter
and story-writing, but also in labelling shelves
on which materials are kept, children's storage
areas, their art work, clothing and other per-
sonal possessions. A child sees his name and
common words in these and other places and
soon learns to recognize them.
As children observe the teacher writing, they
become acquainted with many techniques and
skills which are necessary in learning to write.
Among these are letter and word formation and
spacing, left-to-right and top-to-bottom se-
quence, writing on lines, correct writing posture
and the way chalk or pencil is held.
Though most formal instruction is begun in
the primary years, the many activities in which
the child participates in his pre-school years
which help develop muscular control and eye-
hand coordination finger painting, easel paint-
ing, cutting, coloring, pasting, using equipment
at the workbench, working with blocks, puzzles,
manipulating buttons, zippers and other type
fasteners, dressing dolls, and others assist
him in acquiring skills necessary in learning the
mechanics of writing. The teacher must be
alert continually to children's writing needs,
their desire and readiness for using and develop-
ing this skill so that individual guidance and
assistance can be given when it is needed. A
child may wish to write his name on a piece of
art work, or send a letter or card to a relative,
and he may request help. The teacher must be
aware of the type help he needs whether it is
for someone to write the message or to write it
for him to copy. Though assistance may be
needed with letter formation, the more impor-
tant emphasis should be on the content or the
conveying of the desired message.
The increase in knowledge and the com-
plexity of our modern world have played a part
in creating pressures which are being placed on
young children to start formal school work
earlier. Since reading plays such an important
role in other aspects of learning, schools for
young children are under pressure to begin
teaching this complex skill to their pupils.
There seems to be no question as to whether
or not some young children can learn to read.
Many children show intense interest in books
at a very early age and learn to read almost on
their own. The teacher encourages these chil-
dren, answers their questions, listens to them
read if they wish, and gives them the type
guidance they seem to need, but places no
pressure on them to read.
Though there is no question regarding the
ability of some five-year-olds to read, there is a
question as to whether or not formal reading
instruction for all young children is the most
profitable type program for them. Great bene-
'fit can be gained if the teacher provides a pro-
gram of enriching, stimulating experiences
which promote intellectual curiosity and con-
cept development; provide a store of informa-
tion; foster an appreciation for books and a de-
sire to learn to read; increase ability to listen
to others and to express oneself clearly and con-
CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING 21
fidently. Not only can these skills which aid in
the complex process of reading be fostered in
programs for young children, but also other
specific pre-reading skills, among which are:
Auditory discrimination ability to dis-
tinguish likenesses and differences in
sounds. Children can play games with
rhyming words making use of classmates'
names and can be encouraged to notice
similarities and differences in words
through noting names of children which
begin alike (Betty, Bill), etc.
Ability to listen and follow directions -
give several directions and encourage
children to take turns following them in
the order given. Assist children in fol-
lowing directions of simple recipes.
Adequate speaking and listening vocabu-
lary discuss meaning of words which
arise during day. Talk about words
which sound alike but have a number
of different meanings (run, hose and
Visual discrimination ability to dis-
criminate between words; ability to
recognize likenesses in form, size, color,
etc. Encourage observation of differences
in names of various children; sort cray-
ons by colors; sort sheets of paper by
color, size; work with puzzles, form boards
and similar materials.
Ability to read from left to right, top to
bottom and turn pages properly as
teacher reads, she draws her hand from
time to time under lines of print; children
have opportunities to exercise care with
books (hold them and turn pages prop-
erly, return them to proper storage areas
after use, etc.). Children observe as
teacher writes stories they dictate on the
A child who is provided a broad range of
experiences with opportunities to explore, to
question, to create, to manipulate, to express
ideas in many forms and to have assistance in
clarifying ideas and concepts is very likely to
be enthusiastic about learning to read and about
continually refining all the other skills of com-
munication he has acquired.
Young children are curious. They are curi-
ous about animals and insects, about other peo-
ple around them, about themselves. Actually,
their curiosity embraces the world around them
in a great sweeping arc, with themselves at the
hub of it all. They are not content with merely
asking about the hows and whys and where-
fores. They investigate with all the awesome
energy of their young bodies. The poking,
probing, testing, seeking that goes on in an
active child's day are all part of a great interest
in, and urge to discover more about, the physical
and social world surrounding him.
A major goal in these early childhood years
is to help the child broaden his social environ-
ment through guided opportunities to live, play,
and work with other children of various back-
grounds and experiences. He needs to begin
thinking in terms of "otherness" rather than
just "me-ness." The conflicts which naturally
arise as part of these early social experiences
are recognized as important learning in the
long process of understanding live-and-let-live
"Susy pushed you? I know you're upset,
but why don't you tell her how you feel? You
can use words instead of fists."
"Mike won't let you see his truck? Well, do
you think you could make him feel friendly
toward you? That might help. We usually like
to show things to our friends."
The housekeeping unit can be an impor-
tant means for facilitating social development
as well as providing fertile ground for spon-
taneous conversation and guided discussions,
role playing and dramatic play. Carefully
selected, child-size equipment and toys are ac-
tually the props of a human relations labora-
tory. There are rich opportunities here for early
childhood learning such as sharing, taking
turns, working and playing in large and small
group situations, and living within some well-
Young children need guidance in develop-
ing understandings about living together with
consideration for the rights of others. They
also need opportunities to try to work through
solutions to the inevitable conflicts which arise.
The wise, watchful adult on the sidelines real-
izes that it is only through experience that they
can learn, but knows to step in when tempera-
tures are at the boiling point and the situation
is clearly out of hand.
General themes to be explored are living
in the home, at school, in the neighborhood and
community, all within the framework of the
interdependence of man. These are large mean-
ings, indeed, but can be understood by the
young child within the context of his depend-
ence upon parents, siblings, classmates, teachers,
other school personnel, neighborhood and com-
munity helpers. The child's home-based hori-
zons should also be stretched to include new
understandings about children of other lands:
what they eat, the games they play, the stories
they hear, the songs they sing, the clothing they
wear, the kind of lives they lead, and the ac-
tivities they enjoy. For the young child to
understand these concepts, they must be pre-
sented within the framework of his styles of
learning, which includes dependence upon a
multi-sensory approach, direct and vicarious ex-
periences, and active involvement in his im-
A variety of activities, incorporating the
Language Arts, Mathematical Concepts, Sci-
ence, Art, Music, Games and Rhythms will aid
the child's understanding of the social world
around him. Concepts can be built up and en-
larged by means of involvement in activities
expressed in the following list:
Discussions, demonstrations, and exhibits.
Murals, paintings, drawings, and other
Dioramas, globes, peep shows, surprise
Puppets, dramatizations, and role play-
Scrapbooks, experience booklets, and
Books, stories, illustrations, panorama of
Folk music, recordings, dances, and
Celebrations and holidays.
Visitors and other community resources.
Objects and artifacts from other lands.
Audio-visual materials, e.g., films, film-
strips, tapes, television, photographs.
Trips, also, are planned as part of the child's
growing discoveries of a wider world outside the
home and school building the community.
Powers of observation are sharpened by discus-
sions of the anticipated excursion, as well as
group evaluations of what was seen, heard, felt,
and learned on the trip itself. The neighborhood
is a fertile laboratory for first-hand learning
about the world around the child.
The aims and objectives of the social studies
program, then, encompass areas critical for the
young child's further growth and development.
These can be stated as follows:
Develop understandings of cooperative
group living with an awareness of and
appreciation for the rights of others, per-
sonal property, honesty, courtesy, re-
Broaden the child's social environment
through guided opportunities to live,
play, work, and meet with other children
and adults of various backgrounds, reli-
gions, and races.
Explore the child's here-and-now inter-
ests in his environment, focusing on
home, school, and neighborhood; stress
the interdependence of man in neigh-
borhood and community.
Aid the child's understanding of his de-
pendence upon parents, older siblings,
teachers, school personnel, neighborhood
and community helpers, and how he can
Stretch the child's horizons to include
CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING 23
new understandings relating to children
in other countries of the world and their
ways of living.
These are the important beginnings of con-
cept formation. Learnings become meaningful
to the early childhood learner in a stimulating
school environment which provides diverse
sensory-manipulative experiences and a breadth
of purposeful activities. His here-and-now con-
cerns are used as a base from which to build
up to new understandings and interests in his
ever-expanding social world.
The developmental characteristics of young
children are well known. They are curious; they
manipulate objects; they have a relatively short
attention span; they ask questions related to
how, why, when, and where. In short, they
possess those characteristics which are essential
to the pursuit of science.
Young children learn through concrete sen-
sory experiences with objects in their environ-
ment. Continuity of learning experiences is
achieved when children develop skills that will
enable them to expand the range of their obser-
vations and make more precise observations.
The nature of science and the nature of chil-
dren make science a "natural" opportunity for
teachers. All other areas of the curriculum are
related to the science area: field trips and other
group experiences in science provide oppor-
tunity to practice social skills; describing and
sharing observations require the application of
language skills; mathematics is applied when
24 CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING
observations are quantified to make them more
It is rather well established that children's
mental growth, in terms of cognitive operations,
follows a developmental pattern or sequence.
Children seem to be motivated by and receive
satisfaction from intellectual challenge. These
insights are influencing the production of ex-
perimental curricula, methods, and materials by
a number of study groups and commissions.
The results of experimentation should be studied
by the teacher to determine what part of these
new developments should be utilized in the
early childhood science program.
Through many and varied learning experi-
ences children should acquire science facts from
concrete sensory learning. Certain of these facts,
when understood by the child to be related, can
be "thought together" to produce concepts of
science. Several concepts can then be utilized
to develop generalizations. This sequence
(fact---> concept---> generalization) takes
into account the nature of the learning process,
the developmental characteristics of children,
and the nature of science. The continuity of
learning experiences is preserved and the possi-
bility of transfer of learning is enhanced.
Science as Process
A current and significant view of science
education emphasizes the processes of learn-
ing. Young children should experience the proc-
esses of science by exposure to methods of
inquiry. Certain rudimentary skills can be de-
veloped in science: observation, description,
problem solving, classification, seeing relation-
ships, logical reasoning, inferring, etc. Young
children should also have opportunities for
growth in scientific attitudes, interests, and ap-
preciations. Topics from the areas of conser-
vation, health, and safety lend themselves to the
development of these objectives.
Science as Product
The product of learning in science is scien-
tific knowledge. Understandings should be de-
veloped so that children can interpret and deal
effectively with their natural environment.
Through continuity in the learning process each
child should progress as far as possible from
concrete learning (fact), through conceptual
images (concepts), to more and more abstract
generalizations. That is, children can experi-
ence daily changes in weather, changes in night
and day, seasonal changes, changes in plants
and animals, changes in their own height and
weight and from such concrete facts develop a
concept of change which serves as a basis for
future understanding of the generalization, "The
universe undergoes constant change."
Children should deal with topics from their
physical environment and there should be a
balanced choice of such topics. Matter, energy,
and life are the three major areas from which
topics should be drawn and these areas may
be broken down in many ways, but statements
about these areas can be grouped under one
of the following headings:
Man and his environment
Matter and energy
The major areas suggested above can be
expanded to include more specific topics as:
seasons, weather, human body, machines, mag-
netism, electricity, light, rockets and space,
microbes, conservation, safety, health, pets,
rocks, stars, heat, sound, plants, etc.
There is no substitute for the teacher's
familiarity with the objectives which children
are expected to achieve. All other things being
equal, the quality of teaching is directly pro-
portional to the amount of planning the teacher
has done. The use of kits, workbooks and other
"canned" instructional aids is no substitute for
planning. Such materials can be helpful if the
teacher uses them because they will contribute
to the implementation of an existing instruc-
If a teacher is to capitalize upon the environ-
ment, the situation, and a particular group of
children in order to create optimal learning ex-
periences, that teacher must know the long-
term directional goals of the total science pro-
gram. For example, broad goals might be in
the form of the following generalizations of
The earth is a part of the universe.
Studying the earth gives information about
its past, present, and possible future condi-
Living things are dependent upon the litho-
sphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere of
earth and upon energy from the sun for
Living things are of many kinds and are
The many forms of energy can be converted
from one to another but a major part of the
energy used by man to do work is derived
from the sun.
Man has learned to harness chemical and
physical forces to make work easier.
Man can apply knowledge and skills of sci-
ence and this technology influences his so-
ciety and culture.
CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING 25
Further organization could be explored to
insure that gaps or duplication of knowledge
would be identified. Under each of the seven
science generalizations listed above one could
include seven concepts of science, namely:
In such an organizational framework the
teacher would have flexibility and still be
guided by the important goals of science edu-
26 CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING
SUBJECT-MATTER BREAKDOWN SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES FOR
Subject, Topics, or Units CHILDREN TO PERFORM
I. There are many kinds of living
things and they are interdepend-
II. Living things are dependent upon
the earth and its atmosphere and
the sun for their food, their shelter,
and their very lives.
Hatch a chicken egg.
Imitate walks and noises made by ani-
Experiment with plants.
Sprout bean seeds.
Nature walks to look for nests.
Make bird feeding center.
CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING 27
EXPECTED OUTCOMES IN CHANGED PUPIL BEHAVIOR
Facts to be Learned Skill Performance to be Developmental Values
Facts to be Learned Developed to be Accepted
A. All animals have babies.
Some animals lay eggs.
Trees and flowers grow from seeds.
B. Seeds are often carried long dis-
tances by wind.
C. Growing things need air, sun, and
water to grow.
D. Some vegetables grow under the
ground; some fruits grow on trees;
some fruits grow on vines, etc.
There are different kinds of animals.
Land and water animals differ.
A. Animals life in different kinds of
Animals get ready for winter in dif-
B. Many animals migrate during win-
Use of words as: wild, do-
mestic, zoo, farm, pet, ani-
mals, colt, calf, etc.
Skill in observation.
Use of words as: nest, bur-
rows, cave, migration, hi-
Interest in plants and ani-
mals. Desire to read and
learn about nature.
Willingness to share obser-
Willingness to express ideas
28 CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING
SUBJECT MATTER BREAKDOWN
III. There are many forms of energy
which can be changed from one to
another; but most of the energy
which men use is derived from the
IV. The earth is a small part of a vast
universe containing other planets,
stars, and astral bodies.
V. The earth's story, its history and
current condition, can be read
from its rocks, soils, and waters.
SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES FOR
CHILDREN TO PERFORM
Use magnifying glass to start a fire.
Experiment with mirrors.
Cook various foods and observe chang-
es that occur.
Experiment with toy balloon.
Observe shadows at different times of
the day. Make silhouette portraits.
Use MY WEEKLY READER science sec-
Build and fly kites.
Make bulletin boards.
Make paper snowflakes.
Take nature walks.
CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING 29
EXPECTED OUTCOMES IN CHANGED PUPIL BEHAVIOR
Facts to be Learned Skill Performance to be Developmental Values
F s to be L d Developed to be Accepted
A. The sun is the main source of heat
B. Light travels in a straight line.
Sound waves bend.
C. Heat changes some things.
D. The abrupt release of gases can
push jet planes.
A. When something blocks out sun-
light we have shadows.
B. We get light from the sun.
C. The earth is a planet. The moon is
a natural satellite.
A. In Florida there is a hurricane sea-
B. There are seasonal changes.
C. No two snowflakes are alike.
Skill in listening.
Skill in describing what is
Compare and contrast re-
sults of observation.
Skill in reading pictures.
Use simple materials and
Skill in use of scissors.
Value of good manners.
in the world about
Excitement of discovery.
Recognize the need to read.
Fear can often be lessened
I I II -- -I
30 CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING
Subject, Topics, or Units
VI. Men have learned how to use nat-
ural forces, both chemical and
physical, to make their work
VII. Men must use their knowledge of
Science to keep themselves healthy
and to improve society.
SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES FOR
CHILDREN TO PERFORM
Make cloud pictures using cotton.
Observe imaginary faces, etc. in cloud
Play with magnets.
Play on see-saw.
Build structures with blocks.
Make a temperature chart.
National Dairy Council materials.
Keep a "good breakfast" chart.
Examine teeth, hands, feet.
131 '1 I
CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING 31
EXPECTED OUTCOMES IN CHANGED PUPIL BEHAVIOR
Facts to be Learned Skill Performance to be Developmental Values
Facts to be Learned Developed to be Accepted
D. Some clouds bring rain.
Thunder is sound.
Lightning is electricity.
E. Thunder and lightning can be help-
ful and harmful to man.
A. Machines can change things.
B. Magnets are used by people.
Levers and wheels -make work
easier for people.
C. Many machines are used to build
a house, etc.
D. Different kinds of machines are
used for building.
E. Magnets will attract some things.
Thermometers can tell temperature.
A. Time for a nap or rest is important
to our bodies.
A good breakfast is important.
Germs can cause disease and ill-
B. Outdoor play is important to
C. Cleanliness is essential to good
Milk is a good food.
D. We should eat many kinds of foods
for best health.
Ability to use different ma-
terials to make pictures.
Skill in use of words as big,
Growth in ability to coordi-
Using charts. Making neat
Skill in running, hopping,
skipping, jumping rope, etc.
Automatic washing of hands
before meals and after use
Automatic covering of mouth
while coughing or sneezing.
Appreciate beauty in nature.
Value creative and aesthetic
the value and
all kinds of occu-
Appreciate need for proper
Attitudes w h i c h enhance
personal health and safety.
32 CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING
Whatever scope and sequence is used, it
should provide for balance and continuity in
learning experiences as well as result in both
the process and product of science being em-
phasized. It is imperative that young children
today have the opportunity of becoming the
literate citizens of tomorrow because they will,
while still in their early thirties, be living in the
twenty-first century. If they are to be effective
citizens in an ever increasing science oriented
and technological society, they must be literate
in science. Indeed, the continued existence of
man on this planet may depend on it!
The child lives in a world of concrete ob-
jects, and from these objects he must learn ways
of being understood through abstract mathe-
matical reasoning. Therefore, the curriculum
experiences should be designed so that he learns
to react orally and actively to concepts of quan-
The concept of size, time, quantity, sets,
space, shape, part and value must be a part of
the daily learning experiences.
If the concept is to be meaningful and con-
tinuous, mathematics should be an integrated
part of every program experience if the full
benefit of the program is to be realized.
The teacher should correlate mathematical
concepts with such experiences as stories, songs,
rhythms and experiences with creative materials.
Much of the vocabulary used with and by
young children has mathematical connotations.
The following concepts are in keeping with
the basic modern mathematics. Terminology
can be used and readily understood by the aver-
age child and used in any activity that is suit-
able for a child development program.
Size: The materials and equipment offer
many and varied sizes which can be used with
understanding. Balls come in a variety of sizes
from marble size to basketball size; animals are
small, medium and large; plants change in size
as they grow; children vary in size; so will
blocks, pails, wheel toys and many other objects
used in daily living. Concepts such as long,
short, thick, thin, wide, narrow, large, larger,
small and smaller grow out of daily experiences
with a variety of materials.
Time: The daily schedule offers excellent
opportunities for the child to understand that
only a short while is needed to put his wraps
away, but it takes longer to eat lunch. He
begins to understand from hearing words and
phrases such as minute, hour, day, week, year,
month, now, soon and never in terms suited to
the occasion at hand. He sees the teacher look
at the clock and calendar to determine the next
activity. Without too much formality the teach-
er arranges the activities so that the child not
only realizes time in important but he can ver-
balize with some accuracy and understanding.
Quantity: How much, how little, few, more,
whole, many, none, same, and all are only a few
of the terms to be incorporated into a learning
"We will need more blocks to build a boat
large enough for both of us." This statement
opens the door for not only quantitative rea-
soning but measuring too. A very long block
might be needed if the seat is to reach from
one side of the boat to the other side.
Many opportunities for liquid measurement
can be provided, such as a big tub for water
play and little glasses for juice.
Sets or Groups: The set theory can be in-
troduced to the child by grouping for certain
duties or activities, clarifying that the box of
crayons has all the colors, that this group of
children is a special kindergarten unit, a set of
dishes include different items, and a part of any
of these sets is a sub-set of the whole set. These
and many more terms can be planned by the
teacher and introduced when the topic fosters
Space and Shape: Geometric figures are all
around us and need to be capitalized on by
the teacher. Understandings of square, triangle,
circle, oval, cube and cylinder grow out of ex-
periences with blocks, paper, containers, games
The good teacher sees that the material and
the program provide all of these mathematical
opportunities and others as the cases arise.
Parts: A part of any object or quantity is a
fraction of the whole. The child can easily
understand whether he has all or half, the most
or least, the larger or smaller portion of a piece
The following statements will give the basic
concepts of fractions:
"The space will fit two blocks."
"This box needs a red crayon in it."
CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING 33
"I want my milk up to here in my glass."
"That pencil is broken in two parts."
Value: Mathematically, the worth of an item
is determined by monetary values or other value
measurements. Coin values should be intro-
duced on a limited scale according to the ages
of the children.
Some children readily identify coins such
as a penny, a nickel and a dime. With experi-
ence, they will soon learn which one will pur-
chase more or less. Recognizing the exact value
of one coin in proportion to another depends
Position: The knowledge of whether an ob-
ject is on, over, above, under, near, in front of,
in back of, in the middle, or beside will broaden
and expand the child's mathematical concepts.
Other "positional" terms will arise daily and
through teacher-student planning. The usage
of the terms can be related to all experiences.
These "where" positions help clarify relation-
ships in many daily occurrences.
Ordinal and Cardinal: The order and posi-
tion of objects, number and numerals should be
meaningful to the child. Understandings of
ordinal and cardinal numbers are developed
through being first in line or the third from
the end and from counting the number of
children in the block corner, the places needed
at snack time and the blocks in a building.
Rote counting is of little value, although many
children can count to a hundred or more.
Arithmetical Process: Adding, dividing, and
subtracting will become meaningful to children
as they add one more chair to the circle, divide
cookies with a friend, or take away crayons
from the box.
Materials and Books: Materials with mathe-
matical usage such as balls, pails, blocks, puzzles
and wheel toys are listed in this guide. The
list should be checked by the teacher in order
for her to make use of normal materials for the
No selected books will be listed here for
mathematical purposes because program experi-
ences and activities will determine the suit-
ability of reading materials.
CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING
Art is another means of communication. For
the young child with a limited vocabulary and
inability to read and write, art provides a rich,
broad vocabulary, flexible enough for personal
expression in communication with himself and
with others. Discovering what he has to say,
he must seek symbols to express these ideas.
He must depend on what he knows, what he
is learning, and what he feels is important when
he tries to reproduce them. Through art he
clarifies and refines ideas about his world. He
recalls, imagines, organizes, and then expresses
what he has experienced and how he feels about
it. He is growing in understanding much the
same as when he "pretends" to be a ferocious
lion or docile kitten. Through art activities he
can express impressions and feelings he is un-
able to put into words.
Learning Through Art
Since the major learning of the young child
are based on sensori-motor experiences, art holds
a unique position for learning. As the child
explores the qualities of paints, paper, and clay,
he builds concepts. As he works with clay, he
experiences its wetness, softness, and its plas-
ticity. Concepts of acting upon become mean-
ingful as he pushes in, pulls out, pounds, rolls,
and shapes. The smoothness or roughness of
paper, the wetness of paint, the dryness of chalk
and the stickiness of paste are experienced first
hand and meaningful concepts are built. lHe
learns to choose, shapes materials into forms,
makes judgments, and solves problems. Through
art he grows increasingly skilled in visual dis-
crimination, verbal fluency, motor control, see-
ing spatial relationships, and texture differences.
He learns to construct, imagine, organize, and
to express himself through an art vocabulary.
Art as Dialogue
Both intelligence and emotions are involved
in responding to art. Art knowledge needs to
be both visual and verbal; therefore, participa-
tion in critical dialogue is part of art learning.
Stimulation from an aesthetic environment, and
exposure to a variety of art works about which
children are encouraged to talk sharpens indi-
vidual perceptions and descriptive vocabulary.
Young children can talk about the kinds of
materials used, possibility of using others, how
the artist did it, and kinds of tools he used, if
approached on their level of understanding.
They should be helped to build an art vocabu-
lary with such terms as artist, space, line, color
painting, sculpture, pattern, texture, etc. These
early years offer the teacher the opportunity to
lay the foundations for future aesthetic appre-
ciation since the young child learns from his
environment and experiences.
As in other phases of development, a child's
art expression is sequential in developing.
Through opportunities to use materials, rich
experiences for motivation, and encouragement
from the teacher, the child moves easily from
one stage to the other.
Scribbling is characterized by uncontrolled
horizontal, vertical and circular lines which
progress toward more and more control and
organization as large muscular activity be-
comes more refined. The child needs large
paper, crayons, and brushes and room to
work at the easel, on a table, and on the
Manipulation or experimentation is necessary
to get the feel of materials to try out their
potentialities. All children need this period
to discover what they can do with a given
material. Paste may be used as paint rather
than a tool, paint is overlaid until the colors
are muddy, and clay is pinched, pounded,
and rolled into balls and coils. Exciting de-
signs also occur at this stage.
Symbolizing enables the child to portray his
ideas in a recognizable form. In the begin-
ning people usually are portrayed by heads
and legs. As he becomes more adept, large
figures and objects appear with little regard
for spatial relationships. Color is used in the
pure form but accidental mixing often makes
an inventor. He invents the secondary color.
Objects are drawn in the sequence of his
thoughts and are portrayed by what is emo-
tionally outstanding to him. The process is
important to the child not the product. By
the end of the kindergarten year, many
children will begin putting their figures on
a ground line which may be the edge of the
paper or one they have drawn.
Guiding Children in Art
The teacher: The teacher guides young
children in growing in art by knowing:
The broad meaning of art and its importance
to daily living.
How to set the stage for art by making
materials easily available, by highlighting
experiences and appreciating each child's
The proper tools and materials best suited
to the children's abilities and needs.
The characteristics of the children, their
needs, abilities, and experiences.
The importance of first hand experiences for
vivid imagery, the value of freedom of ex-
pression and the satisfaction in performance.
That available time is as important as ma-
terials in promoting art expressions; that the
best time for an art experience is when a
motive or need is there; and that insufficient
time to finish a creative expression can cause
That children's art expressions most often are
reflections of the richness of experiences in
the program and the quality of the work in
the class often is a reflection of the quality
of that program.
That art is both visual and dialogue and
children need to grow in both areas; contact
with works of art enriched by dialogue is
as important as contact with materials.
CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING 35
That coloring books and ditto stencils to
trace and color rob the child of his integrity
and self-confidence, block learning and re-
strict creative thinking and problem solving.
The Environment: If children are to grow in
understanding and ability to become involved in
art, the environment must be such that:
Choices can be made from a variety of
These choices are self-selected and self-
Cleaning up after oneself can be managed
easily and quickly.
The room excites children visually with color,
texture, and arrangement.
Bulletin boards are at children's height for
displaying finished products and art works
Atmosphere is free from criticism and dicta-
tion. All children's work is recognized.
Space is available to work at easels, tables,
and on the floor and where one's work can
be looked at from all angles.
The environment should include an art center
for materials and the program should make it
possible for children to use the center when
the need and motive is there. This center should
be accessible to water for cleaning up and mix-
ing paint, well lighted, and away from traffic.
Adequate drying space and cleaning materials
are essential for children to serve their own
needs and grow in independence. Included in
the center should be areas where the following
materials are available: large wax crayons in
containers with large sheets of paper, clay with
tools for rolling and cutting, scissors that will
cut, paste, scrap materials in boxes for easy
selection, and wood working materials. Sugges-
tions for kinds of suitable materials are listed
under "Equipment and Supplies."
CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING
Music k B
Music for very young children consists of a
variety of experiences with sound and move-
ment, adapted to the maturity and interest of
the children and allowing them much freedom
and opportunity of creative expression and ex-
perimentation. For the individual child, music
is a means of self-expression, a way to enhance
his self-concept, to give him a better feeling
about himself. Music experiences provide a
release from tensions as well as offering a means
of aesthetic enjoyment. Therefore, the pre-
school curriculum should contain a well-bal-
anced program of musical activities which in-
cludes singing and rhythms as well as a wide
range of creative activities and experiences in
listening and responding to many different kinds
Children love to experiment with sound and
movement, and the pre-school program should
provide many informal opportunities for them
to do this, both individually and in groups. The
teacher must keep in mind the need to provide
interesting and stimulating materials-songs, rec-
ords, percussion and melodic instruments and
materials for dramatic play, which will accom-
modate the variety of attention spans, coordina-
tion and interests of the participating children.
Children should be allowed plenty of freedom
in experimenting with materials. This leaves
them free to discover the exciting world of
sound and movement, the rich heritage of art
and music, poetry, stories and dance which
should be a part of everyone's life-by making
these things a part of themselves. This is what
The teacher must be willing to accept the
children's activities, not judging them by adult
standards of performance or by what may seem
"cute." She must be willing to start an activity
or let the children start one, watch what hap-
pens and follow the leads which the children
give without deciding prior -how she wants the
musical experimentation to turn out. For the
young child, the experience of participating in
musical activities is far more important than
the resultant product.
Most children love to sing and should have
many opportunities to do so. The music cur-
riculum should contain many kinds of songs-
for many purposes: nursery rhymes, holiday
songs, funny songs, and quiet songs. A teacher
of pre-school children should have a repertoire
of songs memorized so that they can be sung to
and with the children. It is a big help if she
can accompany the song on the piano or auto
harp. The latter is preferable for the sound is
softer and it can be carried to wherever the
children are. Many things can be done to make
songs more fun to sing. Some call for specific
action or creative movements. Some songs are
question-answer songs or songs with a repeated
section which the children can sing immediately.
Rhythm instruments should be used both
indoors and out-very informally. These instru-
ments are really only extensions of tapping feet
or clapping hands. Playing them gives children
opportunities to express rhythm in a controlled
form of bodily movement. Many records are
available for use with rhythm instruments as
well as with the piano. Children often become
interested in the scientific aspects of sounds
made by the rhythm instruments and should
have an opportunity to explore this interest.
All children love to move around. Through
movement, the child can communicate thought
and feelings to the world around him-express-
ing joy, fatigue, anger, many things. Every move-
ment has a time element, a space element and
a weight element. These can be done with or
without accompaniment. Children also love to
dramatize stories, either with or without elab-
orate props. Favorite stories of the group, fairy
tales or made-up ones may be ideal to act out.
Listening is, of course, basic to all the pre-
ceeding forms of expression and in addition,
listening for its own sake, without an accom-
panying activity, should be encouraged and in-
Health and Safety
The pre-school health and safety program is
of vital importance. Providing a healthful and
safe environment, guidance in health and safety
practices, and identifying health deficiencies in
children is the responsibility of the teacher. The
program should be well planned so that it is
an integral part of the curriculum. Children
learn health principles through choosing suitable
clothing, eating proper foods, exercising and
resting. They learn safety habits as they go to
and from school, go up and down stairs, and
use tools and equipment.
The teacher plans experiences which enable
children to grow in understanding the impor-
tance of health and safety and in evaluating
these understandings for further growth. In-
struction for the young child should place
emphasis on developing sound habits and atti-
tudes during daily living. Healthful living ex-
periences for them should include:
Understanding about the body and building
wholesome attitudes toward it. Concepts
about the importance of the senses, rest and
CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING 37
eluded in the program. In these ways, both as
performers and as audience, children have op-
portunities to grow in their appreciation of the
whole world of sound and movement, which
can provide such a rich source of pleasure to
them in their experiences as young children.
exercise, cleanliness, and the need for rou-
tines and proper food should be developed.
Beginning understandings in the importance
of community health. Conceptual under-
standings of the importance of safety signs
and signals and why they are used; the con-
tributions of community helpers such as the
doctor, nurse, dentist, school dietitian, traffic
policeman, patrol boys, school custodians,
and bus drivers; the need for helping to keep
the community clean should be built.
Developing sound mental health practices.
Helping the children to feel good about
themselves and others, to find acceptable
outlets for pent-up emotions, to learn con-
sideration for others, to accept and overcome
fears and worries, and to cope with reason-
able success and failure, should be an im-
portant part of planning.
Developing sound nutritional habits. In this
area the children should gain understandings
of the importance of balanced meals, develop
standards for eating, enjoy a variety of foods,
38 CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING
and understand the importance of careful
handling of foods.
Building wholesome attitudes for family
living. Children can be helped to under-
stand that families are different and every
family has its own ways of working together;
each member of the family has a contribu-
tion to make, and each member differs in
age, sex, size, feeling, and desire.
Developing concepts in human relations.
Children should be helped to develop satis-
fying relationships with others, to accept
differences, to share responsibilities and take
The pre-school physical education program
should provide for vigorous exercise of muscles
through choice of equipment, guidance in de-
veloping skills in the use of body muscles, and
allotting ample time. A balance of activity and
rest should be maintained.
The playground should be an extension of
the regular program. Equipment should be ar-
ranged and rearranged to invite and encourage
turns, and to consider the needs of others.
Developing knowledge and attitudes toward
personal safety and that of others. This area
should include understandings in the impor-
tance of setting limits and living with them,
following directions, remembering what to
do, handling blocks and tools properly and
putting them away when not in use, wearing
the proper clothes and keeping the room and
playground clean. Children should under-
stand the reason for fire drills, know the
proper conduct on the bus, and how to cross
climbing, sliding, pedaling, swinging, pushing,
pulling, dropping, crawling, walking, running,
and jumping. Encouraging children to walk
boards, squeeze through small spaces, climb
over and under equipment helps them in body
coordination and space perception. The use of
balls and jump ropes also helps.
The teacher supervises play, teaching children
how to use equipment safely, and providing
rhythms and other activities in a balanced pro-
gram. A careful check of each child's activities
on the playground during the week gives a
teacher insights into the areas where children
are not participating or where skills are not be-
Play has an important role in early child-
hood education, for it is a child's natural way
of "learning to learn" through the active ex-
ploration and manipulation of objects and ma-
terials in the environment. In order for children
to derive the benefits from self-education
through play, the environment must offer a
variety of activities, materials and equipment
which are appropriate to the needs and interests
of the children. The materials and equipment
should be available to the children in such a
manner as to permit self-selection of activities,
to encourage independence, and to maximize
the opportunities for discovery learning.
The play activities of young children may be
categorized into three main types: free or spon-
taneous play, dramatic or imitative play, and
constructive play. Each type of play permits
children to learn in different ways and each
contains aspects which contribute to their phys-
ical, social-emotional and/or intellectual devel-
opment. Some equipment and materials are
utilized in all three types of play activities and,
consequently, should be given priority when
CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING 39
equipping the learning environment for the
Free or spontaneous play is a composite
type of play, for it comprises elements of all
three basic forms of play. It is, in essence, the
child's way of approaching the materials and
equipment in his environment to structure his
manipulative activities, to express feelings, to
explore relationships or simply to find joy in
movement for its own sake. Free play can in-
volve such diverse activities as the use of out-
door climbing apparatus or experiences with
music involving experimentation with sound and
movement. To promote the values inherent in
free play, time should be provided daily for the
expression of spontaneity and creativity in the
activities of all the children.
Dramatic or "simulation" play can be play
in which the child, through his language and his
behavior, invests objects and materials with at-
tributes other than those which they actually
possess. It can also incorporate elements of ac-
tivities which the child imagines, imitates or
has actually experienced. Dramatic play offers
the child the opportunity to play out "real"
life roles as well as to express creative ideas
through the use of materials. To provide these
opportunities, the environment should offer a
variety of unstructured play materials such as
blocks or sand, as well as puppets, dolls and
dress-up clothes in the housekeeping area.
Constructive play covers a wide range of
activities in which children manipulate objects
and/or materials. This includes experience in
art media, working with puzzles and other types
of table games as well as blocks, boards and
sawhorses, and participating in sand and water
play activities. As they lift blocks or walk
planks, children gain control of large muscles
and increased coordination. As they work puz-
zles, string beads, or cut with scissors, eye-hand
coordination is enhanced. Social values in con-
structive play grow out of the efforts of children
to build objects which require planning, and
the cooperation of a group of peers, to be com-
pleted. Social interaction occurs as children
share their products with others and their feel-
ings about their activities with each other.
Blocks, clay, sand and water play are of value
in emotional growth for they provide a perfect
40 CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING
means for "letting off steam" in an acceptable
form. It is through constructive play that chil-
dren gain experience with the concepts of space,
seriation and classification essential to the de-
velopment of the symbolic processes in intellec-
The teacher is responsible for providing a
wide variety of the raw materials necessary for
play and for providing an environment in which
children are encouraged to exhibit independence
in planning and selecting their own learning
activities. The teacher provides the many ma-
terials needed, the space in which to work and
play, and the adult interaction which can ex-
tend learning experiences in keeping with the
children's abilities and interests at different
stages of growth. By her own actions, she sets
the standards of behavior and discipline so that
children can experiment creatively and can learn
effectively-in an interesting and emotionally
The early childhood program provides three
essential ingredients which encourage the child
to learn through his natural play experiences.
It provides a stimulating environment rich in
the raw materials for learning: time, space, and
opportunity to learn through play; and the
teacher, who, functioning as the supportive
adult, mediates between the perceived needs of
the child-learner and the materials available in
the environment, to maximize the learning op-
portunities for the young child.
Organizing the School Day
In order to attain the objectives of a good
school program, the daily schedule must be
well-planned. There are many considerations
which determine the organization of the day's
and year's activities.
A well organized day should include:
a balance of activity and rest.
a smooth transition from one type of
activity to another, allowing for over-
lapping of activities.
a balance of social, aesthetic and skill
a balance of large group, and individual
allowances for flexibility to take advan-
tage of spontaneous activities or occur-
ences and to minimize pressures on
routines which encourage good habits
and give children the security of a well-
ordered and pre-planned sequence of
large blocks of time which allow for
children's choice of activities.
a balance of quiet and noisy activities.
a division of responsibilities among the
adults working with the children, utiliz-
ing the special talents of each.
Some of the conditions which affect the
teacher's plans are:
the chronological age, developmental
level, and experiential backgrounds of
the length of the allotted school day.
bus schedules, car-pools, transportation
space and physical facilities, location of
bathroom and playground.
the ratio of adult leadership to the num-
ber of children.
The curriculum and schedule will change
as children grow and develop. The teacher must
be alert to every opportunity to deepen and
broaden children's perceptions, concepts and
The child's first impressions of his school
and teacher have a significant effect upon his
attitude toward school. Therefore, his orienta-
tion should be planned very carefully. Each
school must plan for the induction of the child-
ren according to local circumstances. It is urged
that the school ascertain several months in ad-
vance of the opening of school the names, ages,
and addresses of the children to be enrolled.
If this information can be obtained, there are
many ways of planning for the successful transi-
tion from the child's home to the school. Parents
benefit from the orientation as well as the child.
They can be given guidance in preparing the
child for school in addition to becoming more
knowledgeable about the program in which he
will be enrolled. Teachers, too, profit immeas-
urably from the opportunity to get acquainted
with the child and his parents and to plan the
fall program around the needs of the specific
individuals. Some suggested plans follow:
Children to be enrolled in the fall may be
invited in the spring, individually, or in
small groups, to visit a regular session of the
group to which they will be assigned. Present
CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING 41
children my serve as hosts and hostesses.
Parents may or may not be invited, at the
discretion of the teacher.
Children currently enrolled may be dismis-
sed and prospective enrollees invited to visit
the room and get acquainted with the
teacher. Parents may be invited to meet
with the principal, director, school nurse,
etc., for a planned program of parent orien-
tation, distribution of registration blanks,
school record forms, medical and dental
forms, handbooks, etc. Care should be
taken to ensure that children receive indi-
vidual attention. The length of the period
should be planned in accord with the age
level of the children. Some arrangements
should be made for the teacher to meet the
parents briefly and to set up other group
or individual meetings.
The parents and the child may be invited to
visit the school outside of school hours.
While the child explores the classroom, the
teacher and his parents may get acquainted
and share information which will benefit the
child, the parents, and the teacher.
A home visit by the teacher may be the pre-
ferred first contact in some communities.
One advantage is that the child meets the
teacher in his own environment. The teach-
er profits from being able to know more
about the child's background and to get
acquainted with the parents in a relaxed,
unhurried setting. This plan may not be
advisable if the parents might be embarrassed
to have the teacher visit the home. Home
visits should be prearranged.
How the teacher plans the first day of school
depends to some extent upon whether or not
the children have had any previous acquain-
tance with the teacher and the school. The
first day may be difficult even for those children
who had some orientation. School regulations
may prohibit the gradual induction of children.
However, if policies will allow some flexibility
for the orientation of pre-school children, the
entrance of the children may be approached in
a variety of ways:
The children who have had no orientation
CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING
may be invited to attend a short session the
Some of the children who have visited pre-
viously may be invited to attend the first
day with the new enrollees. A few from each
group may come on succeeding days until
all children have had an opening day in a
Two or three shortened sessions for one-half
or one-third of the children may be provided
during the first week.
The group may be divided with two groups
coming on alternate days for the first week
A few children may be invited on the first
day with a few children added each day
(depending upon the age of the group) until
they all come together as a total group.
If the group is small or the children have
had previous school experience, the first days
may be planned for the whole group with
PREPARATIONS FOR OPENING DAY
First impressions are important. The teacher
will be well repaid for the advance preparations.
The first day should be so well-planned that the
teacher is free to spend a maximum amount of
time observing and getting acquainted with the
children. Simplicity should be the keynote
during the first days of school.
The teacher should have some assistance.
If an assistant or aide is not provided, one
or two mothers or other volunteers may
Provisions should be made for the child who
feels insecure. If it seems advisable, a parent
or older sibling may be invited to remain
with him. The teacher will determine when
he is ready to be left alone.
Safety procedures for the arrival and depar-
ture of children, use of playground, fire drills
and other safety regulations should be care-
Before the children arrive, the room should
be attractively arranged. It should invite the
children to explore their new environment.
Advance preparations might include:
a maximum open play area
activity areas and materials which the
children may use with a minimum of
adult direction such as:
block building corner with some trans-
portation toys and toy people
library area with books arranged for
a variety of -materials arranged on
tables or open shelves, peg boards,
puzzles, beads, crayons, and small
stacks of paper.
pictures and wall-hangings placed so that
the children may view them at eye-level.
arrangements of plants and flowers
around the room.
a bulletin board with a name card for
each child ready to be pinned on as soon
as he enters the room.
identification on each child's locker so
that he will feel that he has a place of his
own in his new environment.
THE FIRST DAY
The first day's abbreviated program might be
planned as follows:
Arrival of children
Personal greetings to each
Pin on name card
Free play indoors
Children explore the room and select activ-
ities on a free choice basis.
invites the children to sit on the floor or
welcomes the children,
calls attention to many interesting things
in the room,
calls the names and identifies each child,
establishes signals to be used when she
needs their attention (piano chord,
chimes, hand raised, etc.),
discusses toilet routine (where bathroom
is located, place for paper towels, etc.),
assigns locker to each child and shows
him how to identify it later.
Children may begin to put materials back
where they were found with adults help-
ing. Perfection in clean-up is not expect-
ed the first day.
Toilet and hand-washing
Some children begin toileting while
others continue putting toys away.
After washing, children assemble around
tables for light snack.
A simple story, familiar to most of the
children, might be told or read to the
Establish a definite system for letting
children know when it is time to go
inside. Explore the playground equip-
ment, outdoor facilities and explain the
A short quiet time may be substituted for
a lying-down rest period in an abbrevi-
ated first day's schedule.
Singing of songs familiar to the children.
Introduce a new song they might sing
Provide an active period of clapping,
walking, or hopping to music.
Discussion and Evaluation
Talk about their first day, what they
Mention some pleasant experiences to
look forward to next day.
Stress safety in loading buses, cars, or
CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING 43
Take up name cards and replace on
Say "good-bye" to each child and remind
him that the teacher is looking forward
to his return.
The End of the Day
The teacher should plan to spend extra
time restoring the room to order, as too
much cannot be expected of young chil-
dren on the opening day.
A review of the children's names and a
recall of each child's reaction to the new
experience will aid the teacher in plan-
ning for succeeding days.
The teacher might use the following eval-
Did each child feel as if he belonged
and is wanted?
Does each child feel as if I am a
pleasant person and that I like him?
Were there enough interesting activ-
Did each child learn something or ex-
perience a feeling of success?
Does each child look forward to re-
turning to school?
What did I learn today that will make
tomorrow a better day for all con-
44 CURRICULUM AS
3 YEAR OLDS
Dramarr... p.la,-home cerlter
Dramn.ic Fi-,p -srore center
Easel and finger po.nTing
.:enrce--le.tcd. f1,h. .urlles e'r
Sr.i.:k or lu.ce
PesT on matc.
Pu1 a.v ,' m,3ls
Shc.r r Trrp
*rr,.al and health inspection F
C'ui:c r plo, ii .'ei lher perrr i;t-.
i..:_.. le g,mr bars sldes s,'ngs
balls. ianj .oTer plo, .vl-e
9 15- 9:30
D,.,,. or snacl
r n.erc.ar.or, sicr, poeir,
C'ea~l.3- act .r, Oia, parnTs r.l
lae bl.:,k 0,oodACorl' ,3olC I'n.
ger pa.r.ir drimaric pl.3, n
h ...,sekeep-r,.- area,
Cu.er reiP or ccit
Cle. r....p ideIr., prep.araOl n foi
N-D:C or :Cs,
.', ke ..p rclet rc ..lne dre.i
QC,.e' pl., or Iables uril all are
cr.i. mr,I c.r iu.ce
C,.-cdo.r pla, ,c,31L or ihorl Irp ,n
Tcil .rir.g ..jer
1...s..: rhF,lhmr danrce
Geir,ng reoad, i.:. go home rloleing
it:r iho;e .*.ho lea:.e or C 00)
C' .n-,,.iIsal icr :orne
applee cir,:l sicki or I,ghr srnck
for i e .h.., ,ho ITO, .,nrtl 6 or laier
C'T.,i plF or1 ableS 'lores
4 YEAR OLDS
Sj,,.pr ..eed free plo,
c:,n.ersar.r.n pl.nnr,.I check.ng
Outdoor pla, .:limrrb s...ngr,n.
ball pla, rope l...mp,nq smple
gorre :3r.d cr :lier plE3 short
V.'ash;r., Todlern settnr. tabit for
J.j,.:e :.r 5nack
SIor, p...ppets pe.eir,
Ch.-ojir. a,.: ., fo, r..orl period
".:T,..i, or .:)rk per.cd
Hou.ekeep.r.i d,: '. nh h.n: .'.h.
,r,g doll clohei rnmarker.nqi le.
phcl-,nri o :A p.rq moppr.g
du, .i.r ei; bl:,':l b.Jldn.q hol
lo.v .r.,r or :r im ll bl.:k: p.-nr
.r,.-a r_.nler p_ .r.hr., C :3, rmcd--l
ir,._ .:onsr..:r 'A ,Tbh v. o,:.d
.orkrn ...:;I., Iok.rig care of
S.eTS plants ccok.n.r experienres
'....; rin,rng pl3,ing tr.,rnmenis
Isien.nr To re.:crds dorc.rg
rh ,ihm,. acT. ..*i
12-00 or 12:30
CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING 45
5 YEAR OLDS
FULL DAY 1/2 DAY FULL DAY
Arrival, health inspection, outdoor
play if weather permits until all
8:30 or 9:00
Simple opening routine, plans for
Activity period (see above for 4's)
Clean-up, toileting, washing, pre-
paring table for snack or juice
Snack or juice
Outdoor activities (see 4's above)
(In Florida during the hottest part
of the season outdoor play may
be shortened or schedule rear-
Trips or nature walks
Washing for lunch, toileting, setting
Quiet time with books or in cots, if
children are over-stimulated
Lunch, children serving themselves
and cleaning tables
Preparation for rest
Rest on cots
Toileting, dressing, looking at
books, playing with puzzles, quiet
activities until all resters are
awake, children put away cots
Table conversation, clean-up
Music, rhythms, singing, playing
instruments, dancing, listening to
Outdoor play or special activity
such as making instant pudding,
baking cookies, popping corn, dig-
ging and planting gardens; ex-
perimentation with science aspects
of the environment
Story, film-strips, movies, slides
Quiet games, review of the day,
plans for next day
Dismissal for some
Light evening snack
Quiet games, songs, individual time
with teacher until picked up to
Arrival, individual greeting
Opening exercises (on public ad-
dress system in some public
schools), salute to flag, patriotic
Roll call (similarities in beginning
letters of names, rhyming names,
etc., may be part of roll call, lat-
er in year cards with names may
be used for sight recognition dur-
ing roll call, etc., finding out how
many are present, how many are
absent, girls, boys, etc.)
Checking the calendar and day's
Newstime with child as chairman
and children reporting on special
personal event, news from news-
paper, T.V. or radio of interest to
Music, rhythms, physical exercises
to music, playing musical instru-
Planning for work activities
Children choose from such activi-
ties as: making picture scrapbook,
making collages, finger-painting,
tempera painting, clay-work,
block-building, housekeeping play,
Children spread mats for rest time
and then go out to play; free
choice of outdoor equipment, or-
ganized games, rope jumping,
water play, short trips
Children come in from outdoor play
and lie down on mats already
Quiet music during rest
Put away mats
Self-service juice and cookies at
Stories, poems, dramatization of
11:30 or 12:00
Children go home
Arrival, free play outdoors
Opening exercises (see 5's above)
Activity or work period (see 5's
Clean-up, handwashing, setting
table for juice
Juice and crackers or cookies
Outdoor play (see 5's above)
Bathroom, wash-up for lunch, set
tables, put down cots
Library and story-time, poetry ap-
preciation, choral reading
Lunch with children serving them-
selves, one child serving as host
or hostess at each table, teachers
alternating tables from day to day
Clearing and cleaning up tables
Rest on cots
Dressing, putting away cots
Outdoor play, organized games
Trips in cars or buses to places of
Special events such as visitor to
play an instrument, tell children
about various occupations such as
policeman, postman, etc., show
Cooking experiences, making butter
Science experiments, gardening,
Dramatization of simple stories
Construction activities such as build-
ing grocery corner in room
Clean-up and arrange room for
Wash-up and prepare for light
Snack or milk
Music, rhythms, dance, instruments,
Quiet play until time to go home
Dismissal for those who accompany
older brothers and sisters home
Summary of day and plans for next
46 CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING
Learnings as envisioned by the teacher are
interrelated and integrated into every experience
and activity of the child's school life. For these
learning to be fruitful, it is imperative for the
teacher to plan the curriculum to include a wide
range of open-end experiences. These activities
should be so well founded on the child's back-
ground of understanding that regardless of his
innate ability, interest and past expereince, he
can progress in a self satisfying pace and experi-
ence success. Motivation and approach to plan-
ned learning experiences are important keys to
concept understanding. The outcomes of ex-
periences will be influenced by instructional
objectives and developmental level of the chil-
The objective of the following "Sample
Planning Procedure" is to demonstrate one of
many methods of formulating and accumulat-
ing plans and information concerning a topic
such as birds. This example can be as varied
as the teachers who make use of it.
The subject-matter areas included here are,
Music and the Arts, Mathematics, Science, So-
cial Studies, and Language. Some of the items
are stressed, but this does not suggest that the
same items would be stressed in the planning
of another person.
Overlays Are Helpful
The diagram is designed to emphasize some
of the conceptual learning a child might ac-
quire in a given subject-matter area. With care-
ful notice, learning possibilities might be seen
in each item for each subject-matter area.
The subject-matter areas have been treated
under separate headings in these chapters on
curriculum. In this section "sample planning
procedure" the subject-matter areas have been
combined to provide. for creative teaching by
individuals. This type of procedure allows for
the development of adventure with regard to
differentiation of instruction.
CONCEPTUAL LEARNING MUSIC AND THE ARTS <^ SCIENCE
X SOCIAL STUDIES
THE BIRDS 2 MATHEMATICS LANGUAGE
I. Conceptual Understandings II. Experience, Activity and Play Ill. Possible Location of Informa.
Possibilities tion and Material
1 There are many kinds, colors 1 Identifying and classifying local 1 Books, filmstrips, posters. (In
and sizes of birds, birds, the school and near-by li-
2 All birds have feathers for pro- 2 Collecting feathers on a nature 2 Museums. (Observation win-
tection. walk for use in making collages dows and displays)
and other activities.
3 Birds live in many different 3 Making a bird house. 3 Nature walks. (Wooded area if
kinds of localities, and homes possible)
4 Birds depend on nature for their 4 Making a feeding station and 4 Bird sanctuary. (This depends
variety of food needs, observing birds at the station, upon the location of the school)
5 Travel and communication and 5 Imitating the movement, habits 5 Pet shops or homes of persons
self preservation vary with the and sounds of a variety of with birds.
species of birds, birds.
NOTE: The statement or phrase might be different from the ones stated here. The statements will depend on the general ob-
ject, teacher planning, incidental approach and expected outcomes.
CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING 47
THE BIRDS I] MATHEMATICS
I. Conceptual Understandings II. Experience, Activity and Play 11I. Possible Location of Informa-
Possibilities tion and Material
il There are many kinds, colors 1 Identifying and classifying local | Books, filmstrips, posters. (In
and sizes of birds, birds, the school and near-by li-
J All birds have feathers for pro- 2 2
3 Making a bird house.
4 4 4
5 Imitating the movement, habits Pet shops or homes of persons
and sounds of a variety of with birds.
CONCEPTUAL LEARNING SCIENCE
1. Conceptual Understandings II. Experience, Activity and Play III. Possible Location of Informa-
Possibilities tion and Material
I All birds have feathers for pro- 2 Museums. (Observation win-
tection. dows and displays)
3 Making a bird house. Nature walks. (Wooded area if
SBirds depend on nature for their > Making a feeding station and 4 Bird sanctuary. (This depends
variety of food needs, observing birds at the station. upon the location of the school)
) Travel and communication and 5 > Pet shops or homes of persons
self preservation vary with the with birds.
species of birds.
48 CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING
THE BIRDS SOCIAL STUDIES
1. Conceptual Understandings II. Experience, Activity and Play III. Possible Location of Informa-
Possibilities tion and Material
1 Books, filmstrips, posters. (In
2 27 Museums. (Observation win-
dows and displays)
Birds live in many different 3 Nature walks. (Wooded area if
4 Making a feeding station and 7Bird sanctuary. (This depends
observing birds at the station. upon the location of the school)
Travel and communication and \w h Imitating the movement, habits Pet shops or homes of persons
self preservation vary with the and sounds of a variety of with birds.
species of birds, birds.
THE BIRDS LANGUAGE
1. Conceptual Understandings II. Experience, Activity and Play Il. Possible Location of Informa-
Possibilities tion and Material
A There are many kinds, colors Identifying and classifying local Books, filmstrips, posters. (In
and sizes of birds, birds, the school and near-by li-
SAll birds have feathers for pro- /\ Collecting feathers on a nature / Museums. (Observation win-
tection. walk for use in making collages dows and displays)
and other activities.
/A Birds live in many different \ Making a bird house. A Nature walks. (Wooded area if
kinds of localities, and homes possible)
A Birds depend on nature for their /\ Making a feeding station and 4 Bird sanctuary. (This depends
variety of food needs, observing birds at the station, upon the location of the school)
STravel and communication and Imitating the movement, habits Pet shops or homes of persons
self preservation vary with the and sounds of a variety of with birds.
species of birds, birds.
CURRICULUM AS EXPERIENCING 49
CONCEPTUAL LEARNING Q MUSIC AND THE ARTS
I. Conceptual Understandings
STravel and communication and
self preservation vary with the
species of birds.
II. Experience, Activity and Play
O Collecting feathers on a nature
walk for use in making collages
and other activities.
O Making a bird house.
III. Possible Location of Informa-
tion and Material
Q Books, filmstrips, posters. (In
the school and near-by li-
SMuseums. (Observation win-
dows and displays)
SMaking a feeding station and 4
observing birds at the station.
Imitating the movement, habits 5
and sounds of a variety of
NOTE: The statement or phrase might be different from the ones stated here. The statements will depend on the general ob-
ject, teacher planning, incidental approach and expected outcomes.
Environment For Learning
Every educator knows that a good program
for the education of young children can be de-
veloped in an inadequate physical plant, but
the same program would be more effective if
facilities were adequate.
Thus, during the planning of physical facili-
ties, one should consider the growth patterns
of the children; their inability to control their
movement; their curiosity for adventure; their
need for materials and equipment suited for
intellectual and physical growth; and their
emerging social patterns. These areas of de-
velopment depend, to a large extent, on the
physical environment, its arrangement and its
usage. Adequate room for movement is con-
sidered one of the most important aspects of a
young child's environment.
Housing facilities should be planned by a
person who knows the characteristics of young
children. Plans should consider all of the areas
of development inasmuch as the whole child is
ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING
affected by his physical surroundings. The
architect will need assistance from an early
childhood teacher as a consultant for the spe-
cific job at hand. The architect should be called
in after the educational program has been writ-
The legal requirements for adequate physical
plants for kindergartens are set by the State.
The architect and the teacher are responsible
for working these legal requirements into a
functional, useful, and aesthetic structure.
A. The location of the building is essen-
tial to the effectiveness of the program.
In selecting a location, it is recom-
mended that consideration be given to
the following aspects:
1. The plant should be a safe distance
from heavy traffic areas. This dis-
tance should provide for safe load-
ing and unloading of the children,
under a covered drive-way when
land space permits.
2. The terrain should be suitable for
landscaping and provide for a bal-
ance of sunshine and shade on the
playground. When natural shade is
impossible, a constructed shed is
recommended, with a hard floor and
and a place for storing outdoor sup-
plies and materials.
3. The kindergarten should be con-
structed of masonry materials and
located on the ground floor of the
elementary school. This arrange-
ment provides other excellent fea-
tures: (a) safety in case of fire and
(b) easy supervision of indoor and
outdoor patio activities by one per-
son. Inasmuch as the young child
is curious about the world around
him (especially the out-of-door
areas) the windows should be
placed low enough for full view of
the outside world.
A. Ventilation should allow plenty of fresh
air without a draft. Pivoting sashes in
fixed windows serve this purpose.
Blinds that can be opened and closed
allow for control of sunshine and en-
able the room to be darkened for rest
periods and audio-visual activities.
B. Space in classroom must be governed
by the state requirement of the appro-
priate square feet of floor space per
child. A twenty pupil teacher load and
a minimum of 30 square feet (35-40) of
floor space per child is recommended
for a kindergarten unit. This type of
construction allows for activity plan-
ning by children and personnel. This
also provides for larger empty space in
the center bf the room for large muscle
activities, such as block building and
C. Floor should be durable and of a com-
bination of easily cleaned materials.
This variety of materials (wood, tile,
and carpet) would provide opportuni-
ties for distinguishing textures through
senses of touch and vision.
D. Locker space provides for open faced
storage for each child. This space is
more effective if it is accessible to the
classroom. Lockers, on casters approxi-
mately 12 inches deep, 12 inches wide
and 50 inches high are recommended.
When it is necessary for lockers to be
located in the classroom, they can be
used for room dividers and the peg
board backs can be used for display
E. Other features of the indoor facilities
52 ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING
are built-in wash basins, low open
shelves designed for unit blocks and
other items, cabinets for,storing varied
supplies, at least two cork bulletin
boards placed about 12 inches above
the floor for children to use, acoustical
ceiling to reduce noise, and a tempera-
ture control system.
F. A patio is desirable for each classroom.
This extra space can serve as in- or
outdoor play area. It can be easily
supervised from the inside and can
also be used as a shelter during inclem-
ent weather for outdoor play.
G. Arrangement The planning of the
physical facilities by the architect and
teacher should take into consideration
the possible arrangements of furniture
so that the room will be conducive to
H. Beauty Young children are sensitive
to aesthetic surroundings. Therefore,
effort should be exerted to provide for
pleasing design in structure, color,
place for growing plants and view of
outdoors. A qualified teacher can take
advantage of a pleasant surrounding to
foster intellectual, social, emotional
and spiritual development.
I. Toilet facilities should be well venti-
lated and equipped with one child-size
stool for every ten children. This
type of fixture will permit the children
to toilet themselves with ease. A small
storage cabinet will enhance the neat-
ness of the bathroom. For maximum
convenience, toilet facilities should be
directly adjacent to the classroom and
sleeping area as well as have easy
access from the playground. This type
of arrangement calls for a minimum of
supervision on the part of the teacher.
J. Sleeping arrangement A classroom
that is large enough to set up the 20
cots at least 18 inches apart is suitable
for sleeping. Naturally, this sleeping
arrangement with cots is needed only
in the full-day program. If the pro-
gram is half-day, rugs or mats can be
placed about 18 inches apart for a rest
period. A separate sleeping room is
desirable whenever possible.
K. Food and Dining Facilities
1. Dining area Family-style meals
usually take place in the classroom
where the tables and chairs are
suited to the size of the children.
The room should be screened and
meet other health requirements.
This type of service encourages
social development and increases
the mental development through
conversation in a familiar atmos-
2. Kitchen The kitchen should be
accessible to the eating area. The
food can be carried to the area on
carts that are designed for easy
handling. When the public school
cafeteria must be used, a designated
area should be set up for young
L. Observation booth Parents, social
workers and other observers need to
visit in an area where their presence
will cause little or no distraction for the
children. This observation booth
should be located near the entrance of
the classroom and equipped with a one-
way view screen.
M. Conference-library For good parent-
teacher-pupil relationship, it is impor-
tant to have a quiet area where con-
ferences can be held in private. This
ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING 53
room could serve as a library for adult
and children's books. The parents could
browse through materials on child
N. Health center The health center
should be located near the office so
that the isolated child can be observed
through a one-way view glass.
O. Office The office serves administra-
P. Utility room The utility room should
be centrally located for proper usage
by the housekeeper and be easily acces-
sible to the teachers when it is needed
by them. It should be equipped with
open shelves for the storage of supplies.
Q. Entrance hall or breeze-way The en-
trance and exit area should be wide
enough for easy passage of the children
and movement of equipment. All doors
should open out so as to make exit easy
in case of panic among children.
R. Floor plans Suggestions for floor
plans can be seen in many books and
publications. These should be studied
carefully and used in accordance with
weather, climate, location and avail-
ability of funds by the planners.
A. Most schools in Florida have access to
a great deal of outdoor space and
Florida's weather encourages the use
of the outdoors. The active muscles of
the young require movement, still,
there must be a limit on how far a child
is permitted to explore. At all times,
he must be supervised and guided to
benefit from his explorations. This area
is an integral part of the plant and the
B. Area About 75 to 100 square feet of
fenced outdoor space per child is
recommended. The area should have
a balance of shade and sunshine.
C. Surface Certain types of equipment
and activities require certain types of
ground surface. Therefore, t h e r e
should be some hard surfaces for
bouncing balls, soft earth for digging,
paved surface for riding wheel toys,
grassy section for rolling, tumbling or
just sitting and looking. The whole
outdoor area should be well drained.
A place for water play and pets should
be a part of this area.
D. Storage The humid weather in
Florida causes wheel toys to rust and
movable wood equipment to decay if
not stored. Therefore, a storage shed is
recommended. This shed can also be
used for a play area on rainy days.
E. Fountains Drinking water should be
available in the classroom and on the
playground, and water fountains should
It is recognized that many kindergarten units
are located in already established elementary
school centers and might not have all the fea-
tures described above. But, as far as possible,
teachers and administrators should work toward
obtaining as many educational features in the
setting as possible.
S4 ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING
A Child Development Guide for Teachers of
Three-Four-and-Five Year Old Children.
Albany, New York: New York State Educa-
tion Department, 1957.
Space, Arrangement, Beauty in School. Associa-
tion for Childhood Education, International
Bulletin, 102, 1200 1st, N. W., Washington,
Stanton, Jessie, and Randolph M. Planning a
Nursery School Building. New York: 60
Bank Street, Publications, Bank Street Col-
lege of Education.
Waechter, H. and Waechter, E. School for the
Very Young. New York: Agricultural Rec-
ords, 119 West 40th Street, 1951.
ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING 55
56 ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING
In the selection of equipment, supplies and
materials, one of the significant tasks of teachers
and administrators is to consider the total school
environment of children as a learning laboratory.
It is a serious responsibility to choose equip-
ment, materials and supplies for they are the
tools by which the young child creates, experi-
ments and learns. This responsibility should be
delegated to a person knowledgeable in all
facets of early childhood education. Every child
will not respond to or profit from the same
materials; therefore, individual differences of
children are respected when a variety and abun-
dance of media are provided.
GUIDELINES FOR SELECTIONS
Equipment, materials and supplies provide for:
1. Safety and physical well-being
2. Stimulation of large muscular activity
3. Cooperative play, social give and take
4. Expression of ideas and feelings
5. Quiet and noisy activity
6. Development of independence, self-reli-
7. Problem solving, intellectual stimulation
8. Aesthetic growth, cultural understand-
ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING
9. Experimentation and creativity
10. Enjoyment of literature, poetry and the
11. Skills which are challenging but attain-
12. A variety of purposes, stimuli and uses.
Equipment, materials and supplies should be:
1. Durable, well constructed
2. Hygienic, easily cleaned and maintained
3. Free of sharp edges, splinters, rust
4. Proper size, height and proportions
5. Non-flammable, non-poisonous
6. Flexible and multi-purpose in use
7. Movable unless anchorage is required for
Some items may be bought as part of a long-
time purchasing plan while others should be in-
cluded in a yearly budget. There should always
be a fund in the budget for the replacement and
maintenance of all equipment, materials and
supplies equivalent to one-third of the original
BASIC LIST OF EQUIPMENT,
MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
(To serve only as a guide in making selections.)
(Number of pieces or amounts suggested are for
20 children for a one year program.)
I. BASIC CLASSROOM FURNITURE
Social development is one of the major pur-
poses of the early childhood program. It will be
necessary to free the floor space often for active
games, music activities, dramatic play, building
and the like, as well as establishing "face to
face" and "work together" situations among the
children. For these reasons furniture and fur-
nishings should be flexible and functional. They
should be movable (whenever possible), dura-
ble, comfortable, child size, storable or stack-
able, and easily cleaned. The space available
and the ways the furniture will be used will
also determine the size, kind, and amount of
A. CHILDREN'S FACILITIES
All tables will not be the same height
if they accommodate the children in-
volved. A table should be high enough
for a child to fit his legs under the table
apron when in a sitting position, enable
him to use his arms comfortably as he
rests his elbows on the table. Small
tables which can be moved easily, or put
together quickly are more satisfactory
than heavy, long tables. Tables which
can be easily cleaned and are light in
color are most desirable. Suggested sizes
are: 4 ft. to 6 ft. rectangular; seat 4 to 6
children; apron max. 21/2" wide, 20 to
24 inches in height (or 10 inches greater
than chairs) formica top; for younger
children 18 to 22 inches in height.
Chairs are built to contribute to the
health, comfort and well being of the
child. Wooden posture chairs with sad-
dle seats will fit the contours of the
child's body and offer good support.
When a child sits in a chair he should
be able to rest his feet flat on the floor.
There should be a clearance between the
front edge of the seat and the table. The
child's weight should be distributed
over the whole seat area and the back
of the seat should offer support for the
lower back of the child. Chair standards
should be 10 to 14 inches in height, 8
to 12 inches for younger children; light
weight but sturdy and stackable.
3. Storage Space or Shelves (unfinished
work, materials in current use):
58 ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING
Low, open shelves will avoid any
bruises and accidents occurring from
doors covering the shelves. Movable
shelf units are desirable; however if
there is a possibility of tipping, the unit
should be anchored. The total storage
space will determine the number, size
and shape of the units. The back of the
shelf units can sometimes be used as
racks for smocks, or for display boards.
Storage bins are not recommended
for small children. Children have diffi-
culty getting things out of the bins, they
have less opportunity to learn about
various sizes and shapes of objects.
Three bookcases or shelves, for
blocks and other supplies in current use,
plus two cabinets with individual com-
partments, should be sufficient storage
space for twenty children. It should
be remembered that storage units for
children's use should be easily acces-
sible to them.
4. Lockers (for wraps, personal posses-
One locker per child is necessary.
Wooden lockers are better adapted to
child's use because they reduce the
hazards of sharp edges. Separate com-
partments with hooks for wraps, and
shelves for personal possessions, help the
child to learn to take care of his personal
These lockers should be safe, within
the reach of the child, sanitary and with
adequate storage space for the child.
5. Rest Equipment:
a. Aluminum cots, 54" long, 24" wide,
12" high, able to support 60-65
pounds are recommended.
b. Pads or mats 27" to 54", washable,
and thick enough to protect children
from the cold floor may be used.
c. Each child should have his own cot
or pad, easily marked for him to recog-
nize as his own.
d. Whenever possible a well ventilated
closet is preferred for storing the rest
B. TEACHER FACILITIES
1. 1 desk
2. 1 steel filing cabinet
3. 2 adult chairs
4. Cupboards and drawers for storage of
supplies and materials used only occa-
5. Storage cabinet with doors 6' high,
36" long, 12" deep, or some type of
cabinet of proper dimensions to provide
adequate storage space
6. Adequate locker space for personal be-
C. GENERAL FACILITIES
1. Low bulletin or display boards cork
boards approximately 4 feet high. This
enables displays to be hung at child's
eye level. It is desirable to have display
boards on casters.
2. Book rack slanting shelves rack on
casters easily accessible to child.
3. Waste baskets.
4. Clock large numerals.
5. U. S. Flag.
6. Miscellaneous items such as vases, vari-
ety of containers for displays, supply of
paper handkerchiefs, paper towels and
towel containers, toilet paper, soap dis-
penser, and other lavatory supplies.
Suitable and sufficient quantity of
brooms, dust pans, sponges should be on
ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING
D. DESIRABLE BUT NOT BASIC FACILITIES
1. Low movable screens, 32" high, 48"
long with 14" firm base, used to enclose
small work areas, display boards, or to
separate rest cots.
2. Movable materials cart.
3. Rug easily cleaned.
4. Tables circular or other shapes for
displays in room.
5. Cooking cart equipped with the nec-
essary items for simple cooking experi-
ences, sturdy, movable and easily
II. ACTIVE OUTDOOR PLAY
Both stationary and movable equipment is
necessary in all schools. Carrying materials back
and forth is sometimes impossible, so in this
chapter outdoor equipment has been divided
into two groups stationary and movable. The
type of material of which the equipment is
made will be determined by the locale as well as
the group of children using the equipment.
Some schools prefer equipment made of metal
piping because of the sturdiness of the ma-
terial and especially when older children use
the equipment after school; however, other
schools prefer equipment made of treated wood
because it is not so hard on the children's
hands. Whichever material is selected, the ma-
terial should be of high quality, sturdy and
A. Stationary Outdoor Equipment
Stationary outdoor equipment should be
placed and installed so that supervision is easy
and each piece far enough apart to prevent acci-
dents. Stationary equipment should be carefully
and safely installed and maintained in good
repair. Sawdust, sand, or similar material should
be placed under climbing apparatus in order
to break falls.
Stationary outdoor equipment will not be
purchased each year. This type of equipment
is expensive and possibly will be "added to"
yearly; however, a maintenance allotment should
be provided in a schools yearly budget. Many
well constructed pieces of homemade equipment
would prove satisfactory in supplying adequate
active outdoor play for the young child.
The following list is incomplete and should
be used only as possible suggestions for station-
ary playground equipment. The number of
pieces listed for each piece of equipment is
based on a program including twenty children
for a one year program.
a. Climbing structure not more than 7
feet high. A jungle gym, an arched
climber or a three way climbing and
chinning ladder cleated on end.
b. Manila ropes 8 to 10 feet in height
with knots tied about 18 inches apart,
suspended from a well balanced
c. Platforms railing and fence around
top. Measurements; height, 5 to 7
feet, platform, 4 x 6 feet; steps, 20
to 26 inches wide; risers, appropriate
for children, approximately 3 to 6
d. Climbing pole 5 to 6 feet, an-
chored in cement.
e. Tree house a large tree on the
playground around which a platform
(with railing) and ladders may be
built. Many well constructed climb-
ing structures may be built; in which
case a commercial climbing appa-
ratus will not be needed.
a. 1 horizontal turning bar 3 to 4
60 ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING
feet high and about 10 feet long. Up-
rights should be set in concrete.
b. 1 horizontal ladder 3 to 5 feet
a. Large barrel secured in concrete.
b. Clay pipe or sewer pipes set in con-
a. 2 sandboxes hinged cover mini-
mum 50 to 60 sq. feet; shelf around
edge; constructing pit type; cover
floor with 4 inches of gravel; fill with
18 to 24 inches of sand (locate in sun
for part of day).
5. Swinging: 6 swings
a. Open with canvas or rubber seats.
c. Rope 1/ to 1 inch in diameter 8
to 10 feet suspension.
d. Platform type to accommodate more
than one child.
a. 1 slide: metal, safe ladder, not to
exceed 10 feet (desirable 6 to 8 feet)
B. Movable Outdoor Equipment
1. Balancing walking climbing:
a. Rails, varying lengths.
b. 6 walking and balancing boards -
cleats should be bolted to bottom of
the plank about 6 inches from end.
Planks of varying lengths ranging
from 6 to 8 feet in length, 1 inch
thick, 8 to 10 inches wide.
c. 3 step-ladders: 3 to 5 feet, safety
cleated or hooked on end, light
enough to drag around and sturdy
to withstand usage.
d. Barrels various sizes.
e. 1 pair nesting bridges 38 to 48
f. 2 sets of steps.
2. Lifting and building:
a. Assorted boxes, and kegs: 12 dozen,
12 inches diameter, 14 to 15 inches
high, weather proofed.
b. Assorted plain boards: 1 to 2 dozen;
48 to 52 inches in length; 51 inches
wide, 3/ inch thick, weather proofed.
c. Large hollow blocks: enable children
to make structures that can be used.
1 dozen 12 x 12 x 12 inches; 2 dozen
12 x 12 x 6 inches; 3 dozen 24 x 12 x
6 inches. For the very young child
hand holes or rope handles may be
needed on hollow blocks.
d. Solid building blocks: cut from
11/ x 2% inch lumber proportionate
lengths such as 51/., 11, 22 inch
e. 1 set unit type solid building blocks
of varying size and shapes, straight
cut, arched and circular blocks.
About 500 blocks.
f. 1 set of blocks which will fasten to-
gether to enable children to make
g. 1 or 2 sets "stay-put" blocks these
fasten together with snaps, pegs, or
h. 6 saw horses 11/ to 3 feet height,
varying widths, 18 to 36 inches. Use
a. Wheel toys: sturdy, metal, roller-
bearing wheels, rubber tires, adjust-
able bars and seats.
(1) 1 or more tricycles 12-16
(2) 1 car or truck, 1 tractor, riding
4. Pulling and pushing:
a. 2 or more wagons.
b. 1 scooter.
ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING
c. 2 or more wheelbarrows.
d. 1 large truck, ride on type.
a. Types of horse or boat.
a. 6 ropes 3 long for group activities
and 3 short for individual play.
b. Bouncing boards.
7. Throwing, kicking, and rolling:
a. 6 balls: light weight, various sizes.
Rubber balls 8 to 24 inches in di-
b. 6 bean bags.
c. 8 deck tennis rings.
d. 2 hoops.
e. 2 or 3 barrels or kegs painted.
a. Garden tools durable working
tools, but child-size shovels, rakes,
watering cans, trowels, and hoes.
b. Sand box utensils hand spades,
hand shovels, dishes, pails, large
spoons, colanders, softers, trucks.
a. Water tray on legs, 36 x 24 x 26
inches high and 22 x 48 x 6 inches
deep; water toys and house painters
brush, egg beater, funnels, pitchers.
b. Truck tire and tube.
c. Wooden packing boxes.
d. 1 steering wheel.
e. 2 or more stick horses.
f. Wheels for converting boxes into
auto, airplanes, etc.
g. Short lengths of garden hose.
h. Wading pool.
i. "Beautiful junk" many play items;
an old rowboat or saddle, or a water
pump these can be collected and
will be enjoyed in endless number of
j. 1 cage with a removable bottom for
III. Construction and Manipulative Play
Types of blocks recommended for the
young child are listed under "Lifting and
Building" in the section on Movable
Outdoor Equipment; however, because
blocks are essential in a program for the
young child a suggested list is included
Solid unit blocks one complete
set of 500 or more, straight cuts,
arched, circular blocks; a set includes
various sizes and shapes. These
should be hardwood blocks, smoothly
sanded surfaces, free of varnish or
shellac and made for safe and easy
handling. Hardwood hollow blocks
- several dozen, 12" x 12" x 12";
12" x 12" x 6"; 24" x 12" x
b. Accessories for block building are
necessary if a child is to be given
the opportunity to project himself
into "role living" or to create a live
activity or to play with the structure
he builds. All accessories should be
of good quality material and durable.
Accessories for block building may
(1) 1 dozen or more miniature
family figures made of either
wood, rubber or plastic, firm
based and scaled to proportion-
(2) 1 dozen or more zoo and farm
animals made of either wood,
rubber or plastic, firm based and
scaled to proportionate sizes.
(3) 1 set of community helpers -
same type of play people as
listed for family figures.
(4) 15 transportation toys, medium
62 ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING
size (12" or more), sturdy,
wood, or metal. Airplanes, cars,
boats, barges, tractors, trucks,
and wagons. Trains (3) inter-
locking wooden, flat bottom.
(5) 2 dozen transportation toys,
small, sturdy, rubber or wood.
(6) 2 or 3 ropes, 3/8" for hitching
wagons, etc., odd lengths.
(7) Beautiful junk such as baskets,
orange crates, packing boxes,
and other things which may be
1. 12-15 puzzles simple wooden, inter-
locked and framed, jig-saw, 12-20 pieces.
(5-12 pieces for younger children)
2. Puzzle frame, wooden or metal.
C. Educational Toys for Small
Groups or Individuals
1. Peg board and round pegs, 1 or 2 dif-
2. 2 peg boards, landscape
3. Variety of educational games such as
lotto, geometric, color, etc., with vary-
ing degrees of difficulty.
4. 1 or 2 sets of dominoes picture and
5. Pounding peg boards.
6. Trucks, cars, trains, boats, airplanes,
and other wooden transportation toys
of various sizes.
7. Farm set with hard rubber animals.
8. 2 sets of wooden and rubber figures
of people, animals, trucks, and other
9. Play people bendable, rubber.
10. 1 ring toss and other quiet games.
11. 2 boxes beads (1") for stringing.
12. Sewing cards.
13. Set of 5 puppets hand, and stage for
14. 1 wooden dollhouse and furniture.
15. Viewmaster and slides.
17. Color cone.
18. Lacing boot.
19. Lock box.
21. 1 flannel board and different pieces of
22. Accessories such as fireman's hats, cow-
23. 1 or 2 hole puncher 1/4" round hole.
24. Manipulative construction toys, a vari-
25. Nuts and bolts about 20 assorted
26. Magnetic toys.
27. Interlocking toys.
28. Simple pull toys.
D. Carpentry Bench and Tools
1. 1 work bench, adult table or packing box
2. 1 tool board or cabinet.
3. Tools adult quality:
a. 4 hammers, claw, 13 oz. 16 oz.
(lighter for nursery).
b. 2 screwdrivers.
c. 2 saws (crosscut) 12 x 16 inches.
d. 2 clamps or vise.
e. 2 pliers.
f. Ruler, yardstick.
g. Hand drills and bits.
h. Soft wood and mill scraps various
lengths, widths, and thickness.
i. Dowel rods, different sizes.
j. 6 lb. nails assorted sizes, large
k. 1 brace.
1. Sandpaper assortment.
ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING
IV. Language Development Center
(desirable but not considered
C. Tape recorder
D. Language lotto and other games
E. Books, pictures
F. Films, slides, viewer
H. Flannel boards and magnetic boards
V. Aesthetic Experiences
A. Many art supplies will be purchased
commercially, and if so the accent
should be on quality and all should be
nontoxic. Many materials may be made.
Leaflet 11 Creating with Materials for
Work and Play, ACEI, Washington,
D.C., gives many formulas for 'This and
That." The list of materials which fol-
lows are those most frequently used. The
suggested amount is based on a program
for 20 children. The list is in no way
exhaustive. There will be many materi-
als, and many ways of using and caring
for them that will be presented as the
teacher and the child plan and experi-
ment together. Basic art equipment:
1. Easels, double, adjustable, raised
paint trays with holes for paint jars.
2. Easel clips or clothes pins for hold-
ing paper sufficient number for
easels plus a few extra.
3. 12 or more containers, cartons or
cans, plastic, or metal, with covers
4. Paint brushes and large round flat
ferrules seamless and crimped for
strength 1 dozen 1" camel hair or
bristle, 12" handle and short handle;
1 dozen 2" bristle, 12" handle.
5. Paste brushes or sticks -1 dozen.
6. Smocks or Dad's shirts -may be
brought by children.
7. 12 clay boards-9" x 12" or 14" x 18"
or oil cloth.
8. 1 or 2 clay jars and covers heavy
earthen crock or unbreakable poly-
ethylene clay container with cover
and handle. A plastic garbage can
with liner and cover may be used.
9. Scissors good quality 11/ dozen
about 6" long; 1/2 dozen left-handed;
2 pairs adult size.
10. 1 rack for drying children's paint-
11. 1 galvanized pail for cleaning up.
12. 1 can (18" or 19" wide): for wetting
finger paint paper unless sink is
accessible for this.
13. Cabinets, one for storing paper and
one for storing children's paintings.
B. Expendable Art Supplies
Approximately 1 year's supply for twenty
1. Crayons 25 boxes of mixed primary
colors; large 41 x 1/" flat sur-
face on one side; crayons should be
soft enough to give a brilliant hue.
Too much wax in crayons will cause
"texture roll up." A variety of lengths
should be available plus several boxes
of smaller crayons in a wide assort-
ment of colors to meet the needs of
the more mature children. If so de-
sired, crayons may be purchased in
boxes with eight colors in a box or
bought in boxes of various colors. A
wide assortment of colors should be
2. Chalk -2 large boxes- colored and
64 ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING
white; large, 1" diameter; nontoxic,
bright clear colors. Pressed chalk is
a. Tempera paint-69 pints, liquid:
5 pints each; white, violet, orange,
brown; 7 pints each; yellow, blue,
red, black, green, magenta, tur-
69 pounds, powered; 5 pounds
each: white, violet, orange, brown;
7 pounds each: blue, red, yellow,
black, green, magenta, turquoise.
Liquid paint is a little more ex-
pensive than the powdered, how-
ever, some teachers prefer it to the
To keep children's paintings from
rubbing off, a small amount of
liquid starch may be added to the
mixture. Detergents added to the
mixture will also make paint easier
to wash from hands, clothing, floor.
b. finger paint: 18 pints -3 pints
each: red, yellow, blue, green,
c. miscellaneous paint: water paint,
plastic paint, shellac, enamel and
flat house paint may be used occa-
sionally. These amounts will vary,
and will be needed only on special
4. Modeling clay:
a. 100 lbs. if purchased in dry form.
Available in various forms -dry,
semi-dry, brick, powdered or pre-
pared. Whichever form is pur-
chased the clay should be moist.
b. modeling dough or plasticine: 10
pounds. This medium never dries
out. Soft and pliable.
a. 3 quarts, library, a good quality.
Should have a supply of rubber
cement or glue for making collages,
mobiles and fastening 3-D materi-
a. a wide variety of paper should be
available, large 18" x 24" paper is
recommended. The paper should
not be smaller than 9"x 12". A
good variety will include:
(1) manila: 5 reams; rough,
18" x24", 500 sheets to pack-
(2) newsprint: colored, 3 reams,
24" x 36", 32 lbs. to ream;
2 reams, 18" x 24" and 24" x
36", 32 lbs. to a ream.
(3) construction: colored, 16 pack-
ages, 12" x 18": 3 each: red,
green; 2 each: orange, yellow,
blue, black, brown. A few
packages of 9" x 12" assorted
colors and thickness.
(4) bogus: 4 packages-500 sheets
to package. (for texture dif-
ference in paper)
(5) butcher: 1 roll white or 1 roll
36" brown wrapping paper.
(6) finger painting: 3 packages,
glossy, 16" x 24", or 15" x 18"
glazed shelf paper.
(7) tagboard: 18" x 24" white
(8) poster paper: 3 packages-
18" x 24", assorted colors.
(9) miscellaneous: tissue, shelf,
gummed back, bogus and a
varied supply of odds and
ends: cellophane, tinfoil, fea-
thers, wall paper, cloth, rib-
ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING 65
bon, lace, newsprint, maga-
b. large marking crayons 1 dozen.
c. pencils large lead 1 dozen.
d. yarn, 6 hanks, bright colors.
e. string, 2 balls.
f. sponges, spools, straws, screen wire,
tooth brushes, surgical cotton, and
other miscellaneous supplies.
g. discarded scraps, styrofoam, pipe
cleaners, cloth and "beautiful junk."
h. salt, flour, liquid starch, detergent,
sawdust, q-tips, and other materials
will be needed as playdough, finger
paint and other art mediums are
prepared by the teacher.
j. standard materials: (miscellaneous
(1) 2 boxes brads
(2) 4 boxes paper clips
(3) 2 boxes rubber bands
(4) 2 rolls cellophane tape
(5) 1 tape dispenser
(6) 2 rolls masking tape
(7) 2 boxes thumb tacks
(8) 1 box pins
(9) 2 large staplers
(10) 2 boxes staples
(11) 2 dozen pencils, large lead
(12) 1 pencil sharpener
(13) 1 punch
(14) 2 rulers
(15) 2 boxes large chalk
(16) 3 erasers, chalkboard
(17) 2 reams paper, duplicating
(18) access to: paper cutter, kiln,
C. Library Center
1. Books for children:
a. a well balanced collection:
Subjects based on the child's in-
terest. Include picture books, na-
ture study, everyday experiences,
folk stories, information, holiday
fun, creative expression and inspir-
Young children usually read books
via pictures. The illustrations
should match the plot of the story
and include things unfamiliar as
well as familiar to the young child.
Few details, plenty of action, and
color appeal to small children.
c. book bindings: (library or pre-
To encourage children to care for
books, the bindings should be
sturdy and attractive. Pages should
be strong, heavy paper to prevent
tearing. A good binding is an
economy for books that are used
day in and day out. Holiday books
and special occasion books may be
purchased in less expensive edi-
tions; however, the criteria for con-
tent and illustrations should apply.
There are many children's books
published every year. Numerous
guides are available for assisting
the teacher in making good
2. Books for Teachers and Parents
3. Attractive Library Center with mov-
able, slanted book shelves or cases
for displays or books. A library table
in a well lighted section of the room
is vital. The table may be circular
or some other shape rather than the
shape of the other tables in the room.
A brightly colored "reading table"
lends excitement to this area. The
chairs should be comfortable and
sized to fit the table. If space permits,
"lounging" chairs may be placed in
66 ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING
the library center.
D. Adventure Through Pictures
1. Pictures and charts
a. simple and artistic composition
b. subjects within range of the young
child's appreciation birds, ani-
mals, family and child activities,
Mother Goose, nursery rhymes
are examples of familiar subjects.
2. Films, filmstrips, pictures, models,
exhibits and collections should be
related to the problem or question
with which the children are con-
cerned. These and other audio-visual
materials should be made available
for teacher use and child enjoyment
because by using audio visual materi-
als the children are able to visualize
and understand ideas more clearly.
There are numerous guides available
for selecting films and filmstrips.
Catalogues and supplements are pub-
lished regularly and will prove help-
ful for teachers in making their
E. Discover a Child's World of Music
1. Record player:
a. 3 speed, school quality
b. one available for children to use
and one for adult use
c. stand for record player
a. minimum of 25 to 30
b. record, selection: record selection
should be short, rhythmic, tuneful
and of good musical quality. Rec-
ords should not be limited to those
records commonly known as chil-
dren's records. Careful selection
of records should be made to vary
the listening and singing experi-
ences of children. Supply a bal-
ance for quiet listening and rhyth-
mic activity. Rhythmic and activ-
ity records are vital to the pre-
school child, but it is well to keep
the rhythms time short since these
types of records are frequently
stimulating and often times
3. Musical Instruments:
A few well chosen instruments of
good tonal quality are a wise invest-
ment. Some teachers may prefer a
piano, but because of the expense of
such a piece of equipment a guitar,
an autoharp (12 bar), or a xylophone
will enable the teacher to accompany
children's spontaneous singing and
4. Rhythm Instruments:
Complete sets of rhythm band instru-
ments are not recommended because
of the degree of organization requir-
ed to play these instruments; how-
ever, a few simple rhythm instru-
ments will enhance the music center.
b. jingle bells
c. jingle clogs
e. rhythm sticks
f. sand blocks
g. melody bells or song bells
j. tone blocks
1. drums (tom-tom, bongo, Indian,
5. Music Books:
a. best from musical standpoint
b. simplicity of melody, rhythm and
ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING
c. include books of songs and
VI. Dramatic, Social and Imitative Play:
A. Housekeeping Materials:
1. 2 6 dolls, unbreakable, 2 washable,
rubber babies 10 to 16" dolls are
recommended sizes, boy and girl
dolls, representing different races
2. 1 set of family dolls, wooden, plastic
3. doll clothes, assortment, mattress
(plastic. covered), sheets, pillows,
pillow cases, blankets, quilts
4. 1 or more doll carriages
5. 1 or more doll beds, approximately
32" long, 17" wide, large and sturdy
enough to hold a child.
6. 1 rocking chair
7. 1 bathinette
8. 1 bureau, chest of drawers or sub-
stitute, approximately 26" high, 20"
wide and 12" deep
9. 1 ironing board, sturdy, wooden
type, approximately 23" high, 30"
long and 71/2" wide
10. 1 play iron
11. 1 laundry set, large enough for real
use, 1 or 2 washboards small enough
to fit basin
12. 1 toy refrigerator
13. 1 sink, child size, removable dishpan
or wash basin, 12" deep, 36" wide,
14. 1 toy stove, 12" deep, 20" wide and
15. 1 cupboard for dishes, child size,
approximately 40" high, 22" wide
and 12" deep
16. dishes and cooking utensils, assort-
ment of child and adult size, un-
breakable dishes and utensils
17. clothes rack, clothespins, clothes
line, an assortment of these items
18. 3 brooms, short handles
19. 2 dustpans, long handles
20. 2 or more mops
21. 1 mirror, full length, tempered glass
22. 1 table, durable, child size
23. 3 chairs, durbale, child size
24. 1 cash register
25. play money, assortment
26. 2 telephones
27. 1 suitcase, small size
28. dress up clothes: pocketbooks, shoes,
scarves, veils, aprons, hats, assort-
ment of men's and women's clothes
29. storage rack or place for dress up
30. toy and washable stuffed animals
B. Transportation Toys:
Cars, trucks, trains, airplanes, boats,
barges, tractors, wagons, two to three
dozen of a variety
C. Sand and Water Toys:
1. deep pan or wash tub (6" deep)
2. gardening tools, variety
3. 1 or 2 pails 1 or 2 quart size
4. 2 or 3 measuring cups, aluminum or
5. 2 or 3 pitchers, and a variety of
6. 2 or more egg beaters
7. 3 or 4 sponges
8. 2 strainers
9. 2 or 3 hand shovels
10. 2 or 3 large funnels
11. 2 or 3 hand spades
12. 10 or 14 corks and other floating
ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING
13. 4 or 6 small boats, trucks and cars
14. 3 or 4 scoop spoons
15. 4 or 6 spoons, large
16. house painters' brushes, for water
D. Miniature People and Familiar Objects:
1. wooden and rubber figures of people
different races, occupations and
2. wild and domesticated animals
3. trucks, farm and construction equip-
VII. Science Basic "Do With"
A. 1 thermometer
B. 1 magnifying glass
C. 1 magnifier, stand
D. 3 magnets bar, V, horseshoe
E. iron filings
G. 1 compass, magnetic
H. aquarium and terrarium
I. flower boxes and containers, seeds and
J. gardening implements, adult quality,
K. watering cans, hoses
L. 1 insect cage; glass jars with lids
M. 1 incubator (15 to 20 egg desirable;
however 2 to 4 egg satisfactory)
N. access to microscope
O. access to hot plate
P. simple weather instruments; rain
gauge, weather vane, barometer
Q. 1 cage for visiting pets removable
R. water play tray or its equivalent toys
S. simple equipment for cooking experi-
ences and simple basic science experi-
VIII. Additional Equipment
for All Day Program:
Equipment, materials and supplies required
for activities are the same for a half-day and an
all day program; however, additional equipment
is needed for an all day program for hot lunches
and afternoon naps. All utensils used for cook-
ing and eating should comply with health reg-
ulations, and the hot meals should be nutritious.
When the midmorning health snack is served
in the classroom, there will be a need for un-
breakable glasses, napkins, straws, and other
luncheon supplies. These will vary with the
group of children being served.
Programs for young children should have
flexible and functional equipment, materials,
and supplies so that the teacher who under-
stands children will be able to have the right
things in the right place at the right time for
~e~-~~-~c g ~Ow
r~~Ln~o li- wF i
Recording, Reporting and Evaluating
In helping children build a solid foundation
in school, teachers have the responsibility to
begin the records that will accompany children
It is during these early years that teachers
have much contact, rapport, and involvement
with families of children they teach. They may
enjoy a relationship or feeling of closeness
peculiar to the early childhood years, and it is
often possible to discover and record valuable
information which may go unnoticed in the
more "formal" grades.
Teachers of young children usually have
time allotted for conferences, home visits, and
record work. Therefore, there is no reason why
children leaving their classes should not have
Conscientious teachers will also take time
to communicate and evaluate with successive
teachers to see if records are being used wisely
and are meeting the needs of students, admin-
istrators, and teachers.
To keep accurate and complete records for
every child is a time-consuming and arduous
task . a task that cannot be accomplished
completely when children are in school.
Teachers of children in the early years have
been trained to keep many and varied records
of their students, and should be able to devote
their full time, when children are not present,
to the class-related tasks of planning and re-
cording. They should not be expected to spend
their time working in the library, teaching reme-
dial reading, or assuming other school responsi-
bilities which relate to the total school
Complete, accurate, comprehensive records
will assist other teachers in helping children
further their schooling with as much under-
standing as possible.
Throughout the year various records should
be kept to:
1. Help teachers understand their chil-
2. Provide a basis for reports to parents
3. Discover and meet special needs
4. Discover personality and behavior
5. Provide information to outside spe-
6. Guide teachers in planning new ex-
periences for both groups and indi-
7. Gain evidence of growth and devel-
8. Determine school placement
9. Serve as guides for curriculum plan-
10. Provide information for other schools
11. Provide information for research.
Records are varied and may involve any or
all of the following:
1. Anecdotal behavioral episodes
2. Written reports of observations
3. Samples of work
4. Tape recordings or important conver-
sations with children or parents
5. Copies of previous work
7. Copies of test results
The following guideline is all-inclusive and
will help teachers keep complete records of their
children. It may also be used as a guide for
conferences with parents, administrators, and
9 *; f j& i
RECORDING, REPORTING AND EVALUATING 71
GUIDELINE FOR REPORTS AND CONFERENCES DATE
NAME OF CHILD ~._-.- -- --------------------------... BIRTH DATE_---
INDICATE THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE CHILD FUNCTIONS:
Is progressing in growth and weight ...-------------------------------
Is susceptible to colds or communicable diseases -----------------.------
Has control of large muscles ............. ...---------------------------------------------
Achieves in activities developing fine muscular coordination........ ..-------.------..
Has developed his handedness --------------------....------ .......------ ---
Has specific physical problems --. ......-------------_.---. .. ---------------------
Is able to relax---------- .-.-.-.-.--------------------....
Has developed good posture -----------.--------------------------...
Evidences good nutrition ---------------------------------------------------_..----------------------
Is able to handle bodily functions ----------------
Expresses feelings of self-adequacy .-----...----------------------- --------
Controls fears, angers, and unpleasant feelings .-..-------------------------
Is happy and affectionate ---------------- ----.- -... ..----------------------------
Reacts positively to beauty in his surroundings --------------------..-------.
Possesses a sense of humor ---------.---------------------------
Channels his feelings in a constructive way _.---------.- --------- --------
Shows disturbing emotional characteristics ---..---------------------------------
Keeps appropriate balance in individual, small, and large group participation -_---------------
Affects groups through activities involving followership as well as leadership-- --
Accepts group decisions courteously and intelligently ....---------------------------
Takes initiative in group processes, respecting the rights and contributions of others --
Assumes responsibility for individual activities which promote the purposes of the group -----..
Successfully approaches problem situations-----------------------------
Is influenced by home and influences other than school...----------- ..-----------------------------
72 RECORDING, REPORTING AND EVALUATING
MUSIC AND RHYTHM
Enjoys group and individual singing.--------------- ---.--
Acquires control of singing voice and habits. -- ----- ----
Manipulates and experiments with instruments -.--------
Discriminates between different types of instruments and is able to match songs and rhythms to
suitable instruments ------------------- .-
Responds to basic rhythmic patterns through coordinated bodily movements ..-------
Expresses ideas, feelings, and attitudes creatively, using movement, voice, or instruments ---
Appreciates listening to a variety of good music--------------
Develops a repertoire of songs and listening music -----------
Participates and becomes involved in a wide variety of art activities.--------
Shows freedom to manipulate and experiment with many materials to express his ideas, feelings, and
Has confidence in self and in his ability to use many media to show his appreciations, under-
standings, and awareness- -------------------
Respects and appreciates the work of others .---------------------------
Uses many processes of self-expression to participate in a wide variety of activities --- -
Shows originality, initiative, and responsibility in becoming involved in dramatic play situations
Expresses ideas, feelings, and attitudes in dramatic play-_---
Evidences possible problems in home or neighborhood situations through dramatic play ---
Exhibits personality problems during involvement in dramatic play -....--- ......--------------------
Evidences concentration, conceptualization, comprehension, and memory ------
Solves problems ..--. ........----------------...-
Evidences perseverance getting the job done --------_ ---- ----
Learns to follow both general and specific directions
Uses time wisely -- -- - - -- - -- -- ------------------------------ -------
Is developing good listening habits .-- -----------------
Selects materials in relation to need ...-------------------------------------------------------------------
Shows degree of inquisitiveness, curiosity, imagination, originality, and creativity -----
RECORDING, REPORTING AND EVALUATING 73
LANGUAGE AND VERBAL ABILITY
Breadth and vocabulary. -------------------- ------------
Comprehends word meanings.. ----------------------- -- --- -----.---..........------------------------.. --
Organizes thoughts ----------- ----- -------------.. -----------
Expresses ideas in correct grammatical form......... ..------------------ ..-----.--------
Expresses himself freely in conversations and questions intelligently-..--...---- ------------
Evidences sensitivity to new words and sounds ------------------- .... ........--------------------.- -...
Shows interest in stories, literature, and poetry... ------------------..---------- -
Has ability to listen indiscriminately to ideas of others -----------..-.. -------- .
Shows ability to enunciate clearly--------------............ ...-------- ----------------------..
Has pleasing quality of voice-- ..--------------- ---------..
Understands mathematical concepts ------- -- --- ------
Understands and uses shapes, forms, sizes, time, quantity, and space in relationship to everyday
living ------ -----------------------
Develops a mathematical vocabulary such as more than, less than, over, under, etc.----
Is curious about his natural environment-- .. ..-----_-.----__---------
Is able to make generalizations-----------------
Observes, classifies, infers, and predicts...----------------------.----------
Reasons logically ------------- ------.----------........_. .--------.
Develops concepts--. ------------------- ---
Shows enthusiasm for scientific processes and continued interest in science ---
Understands space/time relationships---------------
Develops understandings of his environment and community .---- ...------------------_--
Shows interest in current events. .. .
Gives directions _. __.
Understands and enjoys special days and events ...- -------------------..
Understands weather and activities associated with seasons ---------------------------------
Understands contributions of occupations and professions to his community -----
Accepts likenesses and differences of others .....-------
Understands and accepts interdependence of man to society: to family...- -------------.---...
Appreciates the historical and cultural aspects of his heritage.------------- ---.----- .
Understands his place in his family----------- --.. .
ADDITIONAL NOTES AND COMMENTS
RECORDING, REPORTING AND EVALUATING
Cumulative guidance record folders are kept
for each child by public schools in Florida.
Initial entries on these records are written by
early childhood teachers (in public school situ-
ations) and then expanded or changed as neces-
sary by subsequent grade teachers. Cumulative
records must be as accurate and as complete as
possible. When children transfer to public
schools within the state, their cumulative rec-
ords are sent to their new schools where they
are an important source of information to
teachers and form a valuable link in continuity
and communication between schools. Profes-
sional use of these confidential records should
A background information record is com-
pleted by parents of children entering Florida
elementary schools for the first time. Informa-
tion is then transferred from this record by the
teacher to the cumulative record folder. Indi-
vidual teachers in early childhood education
may desire more specific information from
parents, and many have their own record for
gaining background information about their
students, in addition to the ones provided by
their school system. To be really useful, these
records should include the following:
address of child
birth date of child
address of place of work of parents
phone number and address of person other
than parents to be notified in case of
ways child has been disciplined
occupation of parents
physical, dental, or psychological examina-
name and telephone number of family doc-
serious illness or accidents of child
hospitalizations of child
serious family problems or illnesses
emotional temperament of child
physical or mental limitations of child
speech defects of child
indication of economic conditions in home
information about family members
previous school experiences
special interests or activities of child.
The school health record which includes the
required physical examination, used in coopera-
tion with the Florida State Board of Health, is
kept by all teachers. It is kept in the cumula-
tive folder and is kept up-to-date by all teachers.
Records do not have to be complicated to
be useful. Rather, simple but wisely kept and
used records will give valuable information
about the "total child." Records are of no help
if they are stored away all year. Teachers of
children in early childhood have the challenge
of beginning and keeping complete, accurate,
up-to-date records. Objective information con-
tained in records, kept intelligently, is inval-
uable, both at present and in the future. Its
importance cannot be over-emphasized.
Records can be especially successful if
teachers are correct in their evaluations of chil-
dren. Teachers should use many varied types
of evaluative measures and should record their
data accurately to try to give a true picture of
children to parents, administrators, outside spe-
cialists, and first grade teachers.
Just as teachers know many different areas
which need to be evaluated, they use many
different types of evaluative measures, such as:
questions and answers
anecdotal records or behavioral episodes
Teachers who keep thorough records may
use all of the above measures, but in a normal
class of young children it is usually not neces-
sary to employ all techniques.
What should be evaluated? Teachers will
usually evaluate each child's:
achievement in work periods
achievement in curriculum areas
RECORDING, REPORTING AND EVALUATING
responsibility for group living
Teachers should remember that certain eval-
uations must be continuous, that evaluations
should be in terms of common goals, that eval-
uations take many forms, that evaluations should
be part of everyday teaching procedures, and
that evaluations should help determine the next
steps that they, individuals, or the classes, will
Evaluation means more than appraising a
child and his work for the purpose of keeping
records and making reports. Rather, a thorough
approach to evaluation means that children and
their teachers are constantly evaluating such
areas as work, behavior, curriculum, interests,
attitudes, and objectives.
Growth and development in all class activi-
ties can result from successful teacher-class dis-
cussions. Skillful early childhood teachers will
realize that many different evaluative techniques
are necessary in guiding boys and girls.
Naturally, maturity and the age-level of the
group determine types and amounts of evalua-
tive measures undertaken. The ability to evalu-
ate successfully grows as teachers and children
have experiences in evaluating together. Evalu-
ations with very young children will usually
be simple, individual, and teacher instigated,
although skilled teachers direct the children
toward more extensive evaluations as they be-
come ready for them.
Teachers should realize that they are helping
guide children toward the main objective of
self-evaluation, a skill which is beneficial to all
Children may take part in such evaluative
question and answer sessions
helping evaluate art or unit work.
Teachers and classes may evaluate such areas
group and individual behavior
Sensitive, skillful teachers of young children
will also realize that to do their best for their
youngsters, they will also need to evaluate them-
selves continuously and make changes when
necessary. Teachers may ask themselves such
Am I treating each child with respect?
Am I completely fair with everyone?
Am I sincere in my dealings with children?
Are my directions clear and geared to this
Am I expecting too much? Too little?
How is my grooming am I attractive to
When teachers have evaluated extensively
and recorded their findings, they are ready to
make necessary reports.
Communication between home and school
is of vital importance in early childhood educa-
tion. Parents and teachers should work closely
together to help develop the "total child," and
of course, to help parents, teachers, and children
Reports to parents take many different
forms, such as:
visits to room by parents
home visits and conferences
conversations at meetings.
76 RECORDING, REPORTING AND EVALUATING
Oral reports are perhaps the most satisfactory
means of reporting to parents. They involve
much listening, and should emphasize the part-
nership of interest in the growth and develop-
ment of the child. Conferences should be well
planned by previous careful observation of the
child, should consider the child's best interests,
and should be confirmed by anecdotal records
or samples of work.
Successful conferencing helps to establish
good rapport between parents, teachers, and the
school system. Many schools in Florida have
special "Conference Days" in which students
have holidays but teachers are on duty to visit
with parents. However, if conferences are
needed between these special days, they should
be requested without hesitation.
While written reports or report cards cannot
substitute for conferences, they, nevertheless,
help point out the child's growth and develop-
ment, present or future difficulties, desirable
qualities, social behavior, level of motor con-
trol, and should reflect the philosophy and pur-
poses of early childhood education.
Conscientious teachers will have in their pos-
session anecdotal records and samples of work
to substantiate reports. They will also call for
conferences before report cards, which might
show undesirable qualities, are sent home.
Much care should be given to the matter of
report cards, for their negligent use may cause
parents to put extreme pressures on children.
Use of report cards is optional in Florida's child
development programs, and their use varies from
county to county.
Records, evaluations, and reports constitute
an important facet of the duties of early child-
hood teachers. Each of the three has equal
value and teachers cannot ignore one phase or
the others will suffer, possibly jeopardizing the
future success of individual boys and girls.
The work of teachers of children in the
early years is not finished when their children
leave school. Conscientious teachers will see
that their records, reports, and evaluations are
as complete and as objective as possible. They
will use faithfully all their skills, training, and
abilities to keep accurate records. They will be
certain that records reach successive teachers.
Then, and only then, will teachers have the
satisfaction of knowing that, even after their
boys and girls are in the next age group, their
records and reports have perhaps helped the
new teachers understand members of their new
classes more fully. Only then have teachers of
young children truly done their best.
In order to understand the confusion, the
criticism, and the concern for what has happen-
ed to the education of the young child in the
1960's, the teacher must be able to synthesize
in perspective the developments in, and the
purposes of, school for young children over a
period of time. Changes in procedures and em-
phasis do not occur without a reason.
Society and its needs are constantly chang-
ing. Since World War II, change in the United
States has been dramatic, bringing with it un-
rest and concern as to the effectiveness of the
educational program. Briefly, the major roots
of this change have been caused by:
The Population Explosion which has greatly
reduced the average age of the population
and a resulting shortage of man power in
the productive middle-age group. More than
one-half of the people in the United States
in 1967 were 25 years of age or under. This
new age distribution has placed great em-
phasis on youth and the young child. The
1960's has become known as the "Decade of
78 EMERGING TRENDS
The Knowledge Explosion which was
brought about by new, but highly competi-
tive, break-throughs in the scientific and
technological fields. Thus, a new emphasis
on more and earlier learning has developed
to insure that the adult will be intellectually
and academically able to compete in a soci-
ety demanding more knowledge and more
skills of everyone. There is the feeling that
we are behind, educationally, and that an
additional one, two, or three years of early
schooling would help us catch up.
The Economic Explosion affecting a larger
proportion of the population which has re-
sulted in an era of economic growth unparal-
led in the history of man. One inevitable
result has been that the rich have grown
richer and more powerful and the poor have
grown poorer and less powerful. The plight
of the poor has been blamed mainly on non-
existent or poor educational opportunities.
Thus, the 1960's has seen a revolution in
educational thought with a return to the
"beginning" (early childhood education) as
a major effort to break the poverty cycle.
Crash programs, many poorly planned and
often conducted by persons unfamiliar with
the young child and his needs, have appear-
ed in great numbers.
A brief and thought provoking view from
Froebel to the present has been presented by
Spodek and Robison.' They point out that the
purpose of early school experience is to foster
intellectual growth. The article traces change
from the symbolic approach of Froebel to the
present experimental approaches based on the
structure of knowledge approach sparked by
Bruner.2 These authors point out that while the
symbolic intent of Frobel, the social-life-basis
for the curriculum of Dewey and Patty Smith
Hill, the "here and now" experience approach
of Lucy Sprague Mitchell and Caroline Pratt,
and the more recent "child development" and
"readiness" approaches may have been valid at
the time of their inception, their continued use
may well make early school programs obsolete
if they are to foster the intellectual development
of the child in today's complex societal context.
For the disadvantaged, intervention seems to be
indicated. In addition, more attention to lan-
guage development and planned learning is
'Spodeck, Bernard and Helen F. Robison. "Are Kinder-
gartens Obsolete?" Elementary School Journal, Vol. 65
#6, March 1965, pp. 300-305.
'Bruner, Jerome S. The Process of Education. Cam-
bridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1960.
Downward Extension of the Public School.
Following World War II, the continuous rising
economy has forced more and more families to
become two-income families, and the increasing
educational level of women with the corres-
ponding lack of man power, has resulted in a
high incidence of working mothers of young
children. As a result, private pre-schools and day
care centers have mushroomed. Legislation and
standards have not kept pace with these devel-
opments and the public has been slow to become
aware of the importance of early educational
influences. In many Florida communities large
numbers of pre-school children are being "cared
for" in educationally sub-standard environments
by teachers and others with little or no spe-
cialized training for their responsibilities. Only
if children attend public school kindergartens
are they protected by legislation requiring
legally qualified and adequately prepared
teachers. The Economic Opportunity Act of
1964 and The Elementary and Secondary Educa-
tion Act of 1965 brought the federal govern-
ment increasingly into the educational scene.
For the first time, unprecedented funds were
made available to every community in the na-
tion. Both acts, and their subsequent implemen-
tation, placed major stress on early education,
particularly for children of disadvantaged fami-
lies. The tremendous and immediate public
response of Head Start pointed up an urgent
Educational and governmental leaders feel
confident that means have been provided where-
by it is now possible to provide publicly sup-
ported programs of education for all children
beginning at age four and earlier for disadvan-
taged children. What is required is careful and
cooperative planning on the part of community
and school officials. Publicly supported early
childhood education will likely become a per-
manent part of the educational scene in the
Changing Patterns of School Organization.
In many communities schools are being estab-
lished on an age four through the third grade
basis, resulting in an organization roughly pa-
ralleling the once familiar primary, intermediate,
and high school pattern. The advantages of this
form of organization are that the early school
experiences are available close to home in each
community, minimizing transportation problems
for young children, and emphasis can be placed
on the child development center concept, better
utilizing the total resources of each community.
Psychological and growth studies of children
have consistently pointed to a stabilizing change
at about age nine. Thus, the early, middle, high
school organizational pattern is supported by
child development research.
Development of the Child Development Cen-
ter Concept. Many educators have long advo-
cated concern for each child's total development
- intellectual, aesthetic, physical, social, and
emotional. This was formerly not possible be-
cause of the lack of adequate resources available
to the public schools. One of the most impor-
tant contributions of Head Start has been to
place emphasis on small teacher-pupil ratios,
medical-dental and nutritional needs, parent
involvement, and community-school responsi-
ability. Labeling these school Child Development
Centers has done much to create an awareness
of the needs of young children which must be
met if the educational program is to have maxi-
Changing Emphasis from Day Care to Edu-
cation. While professionals working with young
children have long known that learning is taking
place at all times when young children are in
group situations, a sharp, distinction between
custodial care and nursery and kindergarten
education has often existed. Developments dur-
ing the early 1960's did much to point up the
disadvantages of custodial care only, for young
children. Early childhood education became,
for the first time, one of the most important
areas in education at the federal, state, and
The Changing Curriculum. The period fol-
lowing World War II, spurred by federal and
foundation funds, experienced a renewed inter-
est in child development and educational re-
search. Gradually there emerged a new
recognition of the early years as ones of rapid
learning and development and more researchers
turned their attention to projects involving
learning in very young children. On the basis
of early and often minimal findings of short-
teim research, some extremists have advocated
teaching babies to read as early as six months
of age. Others would teach rather complex
science and mathematic concepts, foreign lan-
guages, gymnastics, formal music instruction,
and many other disciplines to children of five,
four, or three years of age. Some learning
research results and Bruner's concepts of the
educational process would tend to indicate the
feasibility of such programs. (Feasibility does
not necessarily imply desirability or prac-
ticality.) In addition, the needs of society, dis-
cussed earlier, would tend to point up the im-
portance of each additional year of planned
learning as a gain. But experienced teachers
concerned with growth and development of
young children and many child development
and early childhood education specialists have
tended to resist change geared mainly toward
intellectual skills as measured by isolated test.
Yet, the child of the 1960's is, in general, much
more advanced in ability and development than
the child of the same age in the 1930's and the
needs of society in the 1960's are much more
complex and urgent. Furthermore, technology
and instructional materials have developed to
the extent that individualized instruction, even
for young children, is possible on a large scale
for the first time. These facts cannot be ignored
in planning the curriculum for today's pre-
school children. This means that early child-
hood teachers are being better prepared than
ever before in the use of research findings in
relation to the needs of individual children.
Rather than planning "play" as the "child's
work," more and more programs are structuring
activities with definite learning goals in mind.
Planning for ordered learning occupies more of
the school day than formerly. The development
of cognitive skills is receiving proportionately
more attention than the development of physical
skills. Formalizing individual instruction
through experimentation, use of new educational
media and equipment, simple programmed in-
struction, structured procedures such as in the
Montessori schools, and a host of new and in-
novating practices stimulated by operant condi-
tioning research are being found in early child-
hood classrooms. The strict adherence to the
play, story time, rest, eat, play routines are
receiving less attention in today's programs.
Real life experiences are used to promote
the natural curiosity of children and to stimu-
late meaningful language usage. Correct lan-
guage patterns, new and expanding vocabularies
and meaningful concepts are developed by pro-
viding a rich and ever challenging environment.
Art and music experiences, and the use of
inspiring creative activities add enjoyment and
exciting adventure to the child's day.
Parents too, have been re-discovered and
parent involvement has replaced formal "parent
education." Parents take part in planning, de-
cision making and, when appropriate, the actual
supervision of children's activities. Parents with
special skills share them freely with the school
children, and other adults acquaint the children
with the work and life of the community.
Today's Child Development Centers provide
for all aspects of development. A healthy, emo-
tionally secure, self-confident child is prepared
for, enjoys, and is challenged by intellectual
and cognitive experiences carefully designed to
prepare him for the exciting world of reading
and the academic endeavors that lie immediately
ahead in the regular grades of the elementary
The Changing Teacher. Today's teachers,
too, are better prepared and are not afraid to
experiment and to try new and innovating prac-
tices indicated by research findings. The formal
pre-planned lesson plan, rigid schedules, com-
mon experiences in large groups, dependence
on structured manuals and materials, and pre-
scribed procedures and kits hold little challenge
and are usually unnecessary for the qualified
teacher who has the assistance of aides and
parents and adequate supplies and resources to
plan for the optimum development and learning
for every child in the group or center. To meet
the challenges of early childhood education, the
teacher of young children must be among the
most competent, and best qualified in the en-
tire teaching profession. The increasing public
recognition of this fact should challenge the best
efforts of our colleges and universities and en-
courage the most able young people to choose
early childhood education teaching as a career.
Competent and confident teachers will provide
the basis for recognition of the importance of
early childhood education.
Almy, Millie. Young Children's Thinking. New York: Teachers College Press, Columbia University,
Association for Childhood Education International. Toward Better Kindergartens. Washington, D. C.:
The Association, 1966.
Berson, Minnie Perrin. Kindergarten: Your Child's Big Step. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1959.
Bloom, Benjamin S. Stability and Change in Human Characteristics. New York: John Wiley & Sons,
Burgess, Evangeline. Values in Early Childhood Education. Washington, D. C.: Department of Ele-
mentary-Kindergarten-Nursery Education, National Education Association, 1965.
Department of Elementary-Kindergarten-Nursery Education, National Education Association. Kin-
dergarten Education. 1201 Sixteenth Street, N.W., Washington, D. C.
Foster, Josephine C., and Headley, Neith E. Education in the Kindergarten. New York: American
Book Co., Fourth Edition, 1966.
Frost, Joe L. Early Childhood Education Rediscovered. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1968.
Gardner, D. Bruce. Development in Early Childhood The Preschool Years. Elmsford, New York:
Harper & Row, 1964.
Gordon, Ira J. Studying the Child in School. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1966.
Gore, Lillian L., and Koury, Rose. Educating Children in Nursery Schools and Kindergartens. U. S.
Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Office of Education, Bulletin 1964, No. 11,
Washington, D. C., Government Printing Office, 1964.
Headley, Neith E. The Kindergarten: Its Place in the Program of Education. Englewood Cliffs,
New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1965.
Heffernan, Helen, and Todd, Vivian Edmiston. The Kindergarten Teacher. Boston: D. C. Heath
and Co., 1960.
Hoffman, Martin L., and Hoffman, Lois Wladis. Review of Child Development Research. New
York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1964.
Hymes, James L. Teaching the Child to Six. Columbus, Ohio: Charles E. Merrill, 1968.
Imhoff, Myrtle M. Early Elementary Education. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1959.
Landreth, Catherine. Early Childhood: Behavior and Learning. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1967.
Leavitt, Jerome Edward, editor. Nursery-Kindergarten Education. New York: McGraw-Hill Book
Leeper, Sarah Hammond; Dales, Ruth; Skipper, Dora Sikes; and Witherspoon, Ralph L. Good Schools
for Young Children. New York: The Macmillan Co., 1968.
Lindberg, Lucile. Kindergarten for Today's Child. Chicago: Follett Publishing Co., 1968.
Logan, Lillian M. Teaching the Young Child. Atlanta, Georgia, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1960.
Moore, Elenora Haegele. Fives at School. Teaching in the Kindergarten. New York: Putnam, 1959.
Mukerji, Rose, and Yonemura, Margaret. Schools for Young Disadvantaged Children. New York:
Teachers College Press, Columbia University, 1968.
Neubauer, Peter B. Concepts of Developments in Early Childhood Education. Springfield, Illinois:
Charles C. Thomas Publishers, 1965.
Pitcher, Evelyn Goodenough, and others. Helping Young Children Learn. Columbus, Ohio: Charles
E. Merrill, 1966.
Read, Katherine H. Nursery School: A Human Relationship Laboratory. Philadelphia: W. B. Saun-
ders Co., 1960 revised.
Robison, Helen F., and Spodeck, Bernard. New Direction in the Kindergarten. Columbia University,
New York: Teachers College Press 1965.
Rudolph, Marguerita, and Cohen, Dorothy. Kindergarten A Year of Learning. New York: Apple-
Todd, Vivian, and Heffernan, Helen. The Years Before School. New York: The Macmillan Co., 1964.
Torrance, E. Paul. Rewarding Creative Behavior. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1965.
Wann, Dorn, and Liddle. Fostering Intellectual Development in Young Children. Columbia Univer-
sity, New York: 1962.
Wills, Clarence Dechent, and Lindberg, Lucile. Kindergarten for Today's Children. Chicago, Illi-
nois: Follett Publishing Co., 1967.