• Patricia Mezu, LL.M., M.A

Seeking Developmentally Appropriate Practice

I have been taking a closer look at developmentally appropriate practice this week, as it applies to early childhood education. It is practice that works alongside any curriculum and has the power to change an educator's teaching style in a radical way (for good!).At a minimum, developmentally appropriate practice:

  • Meets a child where he/she is; at their own point of need, be it cognitive, social, emotional or physical 

  • Allows the early childhood practitioner to initiate practice that is suitable to a child's age and developmental stage

  • Ensures that the teacher plans activities that are best suited to the children's learning and development and are, notably, challenging

  • Relies on knowledge of how children learn

As an educator, here are 3 questions posed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children ('NAEYC' 2015), to take on board when implementing developmentally appropriate practice:

  1. Did I know everything I needed to know about each child today; did I notice each child’s mood, apparent health, and general sense of well-being and engagement?

  2. Do the objectives for today/this week build on what we did previously? Do I need to make any connections for the children?

  3. Have I made records of each child’s progress through notes from observations, interviews, and conversations; photos; and/or portfolios.


Take one step at a time to improve your practice, but do take the step.

Patricia Mezu published this article originally on LinkedIn in October 20

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