What is the value of examining deep beliefs within the early childhood field, and asking challenging questions? Francis Wardle, in his article, “Unpacking Developmentally Appropriate Practice,” discusses his take on the recent “Position Statement on Developmentally Appropriate Practice 2020” released by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). He describes their decision to not use the term “best practices” because “what works effectively with young children depends on the diversity of the children, families, communities and cultures we serve.” He then explains his own thinking, writing that “while I have always advocated for the continued deconstruction of how we engage with young children, especially regarding approaches to diversity and academic practice, I deeply believe that when we discuss how to support and encourage the development and learning of young children, there are absolutes.” Wardle offers his ideas about “absolutes,” using a construct he has developed called “positive and negative instances.”
A new Exchange Reflections called “Debating Developmentally Appropriate Practice” has been created around Wardle’s article. As its name implies, the Reflections invites debate, in the hope that staffs might wrestle with serious thinking together, or college courses have good discussions, or individuals consider what feels true to them. Healthy debate can help people clarify their own belief structures and core values. We hope this Reflections will be a tool to do just that.
for 50% off ANY Exchange Reflections
Exchange Reflections are designed to help a team of people meet in-person or live online to think deeply together about a topic using an article from Exchange magazine as a guide. Included are discussion questions to help guide reflections, as well as a Making Commitments idea sheet to help prompt ideas into action. For your convenience, Exchange Reflections are available in PDF format and you can download immediately on your desktop.
May not be combined with any other offer.
Not valid on bulk purchase discounts.
Delivered five days a week containing news, success stories, solutions, trend reports, and much more.
ExchangeEveryDay is the official electronic newsletter for Exchange Press. It is delivered five days a week containing news stories, success stories, solutions, trend reports, and much more.
Lois and Francis, thank you for the thoughtful conversation!
-Tiffany at Exchange
I agree and was lucky enough to have found the work of J.Bruner and Dewey early in my career. Francis is right on with his belief that we need these foundations they are solid to build upon. ROW to me is building upon that.
I need to make one slight correction to this piece. The idea of positive and negative instances is not mine, but comes from the work on learning constructs proposed by J. Bruner in his seminal book, The Process of Education (1966). In my view Bruner is the greatest American educator after J, Dewey, but hardly known by people in the ECE field, and even less appreciated. (One of the other problems with the new DAP statement is a total rejection of our rich and powerful history).