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ED 575 Curriculum and Assessment in Early Childhood Education I
Wilson, Catherine


COURSE NUMBER:  ED 575

COURSE TITLE: Curriculum and Assessment in Early Childhood Education I

TERM:  Fall 1

FACULTY MEMBER:  Catherine Wilson

TITLE: Associate Professor of Education

OFFICE LOCATION:  Copley 320

OFFICE HOURS: M-F 12:45-1:45 (Watson Literacy Center); T-TH 9:00-10:00 and 11:30-12:30; and by appointment

OFFICE TELEPHONE NUMBER:  816-584-6342

PARK EMAIL ADDRESS: catherinew@mail.park.edu

WEB PAGE ADDRESS:

DATES OF THE TERM:  August 23-October 17, 2004

CLASS SESSIONS DAYS:  Tuesday   Independence Campus

CLASS SESSION TIME: 5:00-9:50pm

PREREQUISITE(S): Admission to graduate program

CREDIT HOURS: 3 hours

 

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

 

VISION STATEMENT

Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The first course in a two-course sequence that explores historical foundations and current approaches to early childhood curriculum and assessment. Theoretical perspectives will be examined in the first course.

 

EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY:

Developing as a teacher is a complex process that occurs most effectively in learning communities that provide rich opportunities for inquiry and reflection, and that cultivate a sense of curiosity, integrity, social justice, and professionalism. 

 

COURSE GOALS: The following questions are central to an investigation of curriculum and assessment in early childhood education: What are the purposes of education?  How do we imagine the child and society?  How is curriculum defined?  What is worth knowing?  How does learning occur?  How do we know learning is occurring?  What political, social, economic, and cultural forces shape the curriculum and the assessment of learning? What are the roles of the teacher?  What knowledge, skills, and dispositions do teachers need to be effective?  Using the cross-cultural perspective provided by the infant-toddler centers and preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, this course provides opportunities for teachers to examine these questions through reading and by researching and reflecting on the curriculum (and its assessment) in their own early childhood or primary settings, both as it is planned and experienced by children, teachers, and families.

 

 

COURSE OBJECTIVES: Upon completion of this course, learners will be able to:

1.       analyze and evaluate historical and contemporary tensions in approaches to curriculum and assessment in education in the United States. (NAEYC Standards 1, 3, 4; NAEYC Professional Tool 4, 6) (Weekly reflections)

2.       investigate evidence of the curriculum as experienced by children in a classroom/program. (NAEYC Standards 1, 3, 4; Professional Tool 6) (Teacher Inquiry)

3.       synthesize approaches and refine personal philosophical framework for curriculum and assessment.  (NAEYC Standards 1, 3, 4, 5; NAEYC Professional Tools 2, 3, 4) (Philosophy of Teaching and Learning)

 

COURSE TEXTS:  (all readings are on reserve in the Park University home campus library)

 

Delpit, L. D. (1986).  Skills and other dilemmas of a progressive black educator.  Harvard Educational Review, 56, 379-385. (Week 7)

 

DeVries, R., Zan, B., Hildebrandt C., Edmiaston, R., & Sales, C.  (2002).  Developing constructivist early childhood curriculum: Practical principles and activities.  NY: Teachers College Press. (Week 3)

 

Dewey, J. (1938).  Education and experience.  NY: Simon and Schuster.  (Week 2)

 

Edwards, C. (1998).  Partner, nurturer, and guide: The role of the teacher. In C. Edwards, L. Gandini, & G. Forman (Eds.), the hundred languages of children: The Reggio Emilia approach – Advanced reflections.  Westport, CT: Ablex Publishing, pp. 179-198. (Week 4)

 

Edwards, C. (2004).  Parallels and contrasts: Reggio Emilia and Montessori. Innovations in Early Education, 11, 15-20. (Week 7)

 

Gandini, L., & Kaminsky, J. A. (2004).  Reflections on the relationship between documentation and assessment in the American context.  Innovations in Early Education.  11, 5-17.  (Week 6)

 

Hill, L. T. (2002).  A journal to recast the Reggio Emilia approach for a middle school. In V. R. Fu, A. J. Stremmel, & L. T. Hill (Eds.)  Teaching and learning: Collaborative exploration of the Reggio Emilia approach.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall, pp. 83-107. (Week 1)

 

Horm-Wingerd, D. M. (2002).  The Reggio Emilia approach and accountability assessment in the United States.  In V. R. Fu, A. J. Stremmel, & L. T. Hill (Eds.)  Teaching and learning: Collaborative exploration of the Reggio Emilia approach.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall, pp. 51-65. (Week 6)

 

Katz, L. G. (1998).  What can we learn from Reggio Emilia?  In C. Edwards, L. Gandini, & G. Forman (Eds.), the hundred languages of children: The Reggio Emilia approach – Advanced reflections.  Westport, CT: Ablex Publishing, pp. 27-45.  (Week 7)

 

Krechevsky. M., Stork, J. (2000).  Challenging educational assumptions: Lessons from an Italian-American collaboration.  Cambridge Journal of Education, 30, 1-21. (Week 1)

 

Meier, D. (1995).  The power of their ideas: Lessons form American from a small school in Harlem.  Boston, MA: Beacon Press. pp. 3-38 (Week 1)

 

New, R. (1998).  Theory and praxis in Reggio Emilia: They know what they are doing, and why. In C. Edwards, L. Gandini, & G. Forman (Eds.), the hundred languages of children: The Reggio Emilia approach – Advanced reflections.  Westport, CT: Ablex Publishing, pp. 261-284.  (Week 7)

 

New, R. (1999).  What should children learn?  Making choices and taking chances.  Early Childhood Research and Practice, 1, 1-18.  http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v1n2/new.html  (Week 2)

 

Nimmo, J. (1998).  The child in community: Constraints from the early childhood lore. In C. Edwards, L. Gandini, & G. Forman (Eds.), the hundred languages of children: The Reggio Emilia approach – Advanced reflections.  Westport, CT: Ablex Publishing, pp.295-312. (Week 5)

 

Oken-Wright, P, & Gravett, M. (2002). Big ideas and the essence of intent.  In V. R. Fu, A. J. Stremmel, & L. T. Hill (Eds.)  Teaching and learning: Collaborative exploration of the Reggio Emilia approach.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall, pp.197-220.  (Week 5)

 

Polakow, V. (1992).  The erosion of childhood. Chicago: University of Chicago. (Week 5)

 

Project Zero/Reggio Children.  Making learning visible: Children as individual and group learners.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard Graduate School of Education. (Week 1)

 

Shafer, A. (2002).  Ordinary moments, extraordinary possibilities. In V. R. Fu, A. J. Stremmel, & L. T. Hill (Eds.)  Teaching and learning: Collaborative exploration of the Reggio Emilia approach.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall, pp.183-195.  (Week 5)

 

Tegano, D. W. (2002).  Passion and the art of teaching: Teaching as an art, art as imagination, imagination as passion. In V. R. Fu, A. J. Stremmel, & L. T. Hill (Eds.)  Teaching and learning: Collaborative exploration of the Reggio Emilia approach.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill

             Prentice Hall, pp. 161-179.  (Week 3)

 

Vecchi, V. (2001).  The curiosity to understand.  In Project Zero/Reggio Children Making learning visible: Children as individual and group learners.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard Graduate School of Education, pp. 158-212.  (Week 4)

 

Supplementary Readings (on reserve in Park University library):

 

Goffin, S. G., & Wilson, C. S. (2001).  Curriculum models and early childhood education : Appraising the relationship.  Second edition.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.

 

Loeffler, M. H. ( 1992).  Montessori in contemporary American culture.   Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

 

 

ACADEMIC HONESTY: “Academic Honesty is required of all members of a learning community.  Hence, Park will not tolerate cheating or plagiarism on tests, examinations, papers or other course assignments.  Students who engage in such dishonesty may be given failing grades or expelled from Park.”

 

PLAGIARISM: “Plagiarism—the appropriation or imitation of the language or ideas of another person and presenting them as one’s original work—sometimes occurs through carelessness or ignorance.  Students who are uncertain about proper documentation of sources should consult their instructors.”

 

ATTENDANCE POLICY: Instructors are required to keep attendance records and report absences.  The instructor may excuse absences for cogent reasons, but missed work must be made up within the term of enrollment.  Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.  In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of “F”.  An Incomplete will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.  Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance (TA) or Veterans Administration (VA) educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.  Reports of F grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for students receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

 

LATE SUBMISSION OF COURSE MATERIALS:  All assignments must be submitted on the date indicated in the syllabus.

 

COURSE ASSESSMENT:

1.  Weekly Reflections on Readings and Discussion.  The readings for this course have been selected with the intent of provoking questions, providing stimulating examples across educational settings (birth-grade 3), and inspiring you to act on your learning.  Please submit a weekly reflection on the readings and discussion from the prior class.  For ease of reading and for sharing with others, your reflections should be typed.  Some weeks you will be asked to share your reflections with another student before class (via e-mail) and provide commentary on one another’s thinking.  The purpose of the reflections is to encourage a synthesis of readings and discussion as the course progresses, and to promote application to your own teaching practices and/or supervision.  Guidelines will be developed in class.  (Objective 1)

 

2.       Teacher Inquiry.  Based upon readings and discussion, you are asked to conduct an in-depth critical analysis of the influences affecting the approach to curriculum and assessment in the program/school in which you currently teach (or work in some other capacity as director, education coordinator, etc.). You should begin by identifying a compelling question from your teaching and relevant to the content of the course.  The inquiry process will include gathering “traces” related to the question, reflecting on the relationship of the material to the question, deliberating with peers about the significance of the material and defining possible next steps, and developing understandings of the complexity of a particular educational setting. Your inquiry should be presented as a documentation of the process of investigation, including anecdotal records or work samples collected from the children, and reflections written during the course of your investigation. (Objective 2)

 

3.       Philosophy of Teaching and Learning.  At the conclusion of this course you will be asked to write an analysis of the evolution of your own personal philosophy of teaching and learning based upon readings, discussion, and your inquiry project.  (Objective 3)

 

Rubrics will be created in class for each of the assignments.  Developing rubrics will be an important element in determining the relevance of a project to professional development. 

 

Computers make writing and revising much easier and more productive, however technology can also cause problems.  Printers run out of ink and hard drive crash.  Be sure to save copies of your work to disk, hard drive, and print out paper copies for backup purposes.

 

DISABILITY GUIDELINES: Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance.  These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal.  It is Park University’s policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities and, to the extent of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply.  Additional information concerning Park University’s policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: www.park.edu/disability

Course Topics   Session 1 What are the purposes of education?

 

 

 

    What is curriculum? Cross-cultural perspectives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teacher research and the curriculum.

 

 

Dates

 

August 24

Assignments:

 

Readings:

Meier, D. (1995).  The power of their ideas: Lessons form American from a small school in Harlem.  Boston, MA: Beacon Press. (pp. 3-38)

 

 

Krechevsky. M., Stork, J. (2000).  Challenging educational assumptions: Lessons from an Italian-American collaboration.  Cambridge Journal of Education, 30, 1-21.

 

Hill, L. T. (2002).  A journal to recast the Reggio Emilia approach for a middle school. In V. R. Fu, A. J. Stremmel, & L. T. Hill (Eds.)  Teaching and learning: Collaborative exploration of the Reggio Emilia approach.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall, pp. 83-107.

 

 

Project Zero/Reggio Children.  Making learning visible: Children as individual and group learners.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard Graduate School of Education.

 

   
Session 2 What is worth knowing?      

 

    Historical tensions in approaches to curriculum and assessment in the U.S.

 

August 31

Readings:

New, R. (1999).  What should children learn?  Making choices and taking chances.  Early Childhood Research and Practice, 1, 1-18.  http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v1n2/new.html

 

Dewey, J. (1938).  Education and experience.

 

 

Assignment: Weekly Reflection
Session 3

Contemporary tensions in approaches to curriculum and assessment in the U.S.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 7

Readings:

DeVries, R.,

 Zan, B., Hildebrandt C., Edmiaston, R., & Sales, C.  (2002).  Developing constructivist early childhood curriculum: Practical principles and activities. (pp. 1-67)

 

 

Tegano, D. W. (2002).  Passion and the art of teaching: Teaching as an art, art as imagination, imagination as passion. In V. R. Fu, A. J. Stremmel, & L. T. Hill (Eds.)  Teaching and learning: Collaborative exploration of the Reggio Emilia approach.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill

Prentice Hall, pp. 161-179.

 

Assignment:

Weekly Reflection

Session 4

Approaches to learning and the roles of the teacher.

 

September 14

Readings:

Vecchi, V. (2001).  The curiosity to understand.  In Project Zero/Reggio Children Making learning visible: Children as individual and group learners.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard Graduate School of Education, pp. 158-212.

 

Edwards, C. (1998).  Partner, nurturer, and guide: The role of the teacher. In C. Edwards, L. Gandini, & G. Forman (Eds.). The hundred languages of children: The Reggio Emilia approach – Advanced reflections.  Westport, CT: Ablex Publishing, pp. 179-198.

Assignment:

Weekly Reflection

Session 5

The child in society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listening to children. 

 

September 21

Readings:

Nimmo, J. (1998).  The child in community: Constraints from the early childhood lore. In C. Edwards, L. Gandini, & G. Forman (Eds.). The hundred languages of children: The Reggio Emilia approach – Advanced reflections.  Westport, CT: Ablex Publishing, pp. 295-312.

 

Polakow, V. (1992)  Erosion of childhood. (pp. 59-78; 107-133)

 

Shafer, A. (2002).  Ordinary moments, extraordinary possibilities. In V. R. Fu, A. J. Stremmel, & L. T. Hill (Eds.)  Teaching and learning: Collaborative exploration of the Reggio Emilia approach.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall, pp.183-195.

 

Oken-Wright, P, & Gravett, M. (2002).   Big ideas and the essence of intent.  In V. R. Fu, A. J. Stremmel, & L. T. Hill (Eds.)  Teaching and learning: Collaborative exploration of the Reggio Emilia approach.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall, pp.197-220.

 

 

Assignment:

Weekly Reflection

Session 6

Subject matters:

Central concepts and tools of inquiry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do we know learning is occuring?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Standards and assessment:

Developmental domains.

Content areas.

Knowledge.

Skills.

Dispositions.

 

 

September 28

Readings:

Horm-Wingerd, D. M. (2002).  The Reggio Emilia approach and accountability assessment in the United States.  In V. R. Fu, A. J. Stremmel, & L. T. Hill (Eds.)  Teaching and learning: Collaborative exploration of the Reggio Emilia approach.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall, pp. 51-65.

 

 

Gandini, L., & Kaminsky, J. A. (2004).  Reflections on the relationship between documentation and assessment in the American context. Innovations in Early Education.  11, 5-17.

 

Head Start.  Child Outcomes.

Project Construct.

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  Curriculum Frameworks

 

Assignment:

Weekly Reflection

Session 7

Reflections on curriculum and assessment.

October 5

Readings:

Delpit, L. D. (1986).  Skills and other dilemmas of a progressive black educator.  Harvard Educational Review, 56, 379-385.

 

Edwards, C. (2004).  Parallels and contrasts: Reggio Emilia and Montessori. Innovations in Early Education, 11, 15-20.

 

 

Katz, L. G. (1998).  What can we learn from Reggio Emilia?  In C. Edwards, L. Gandini, & G. Forman (Eds.), the hundred languages of children: The Reggio Emilia approach – Advanced reflections.  Westport, CT: Ablex Publishing, pp. 27-45.

 

 

New, R. (1998).  Theory and praxis in Reggio Emilia: They know what they are doing, and why. In C. Edwards, L. Gandini, & G. Forman (Eds.) The hundred languages of children: The Reggio Emilia approach – Advanced reflections.  Westport, CT: Ablex Publishing, pp. 261-284.

 

 

Assignment:

Weekly Reflection

Session 8

Reflections on Teacher Inquiry

October 12

Teacher Inquiry.

Philosophy of Teaching and Learning.

 

 

 

GRADING PLAN: 1. Weekly Reflections: (10pts.each week) 60 pts. total.  2. Teacher Inquiry: 120pts.  3.  Philosophy of teaching and learning:  20pts.

A=200-185   B=184-145   C=144-120

 

 


 

School of Education

Philosophical Framework

Components Represented in ED575

  Knowledge

 

The developing teacher:

 

Recognizes the emergent nature of learning (uses this knowledge to assess and to design learning experiences).  (1)

Describes current theories of development and learning and explains how these theories would be reflected in actual, diverse educational settings. (2)

Examines and integrates theoretical knowledge into a coherent individual theory. (3)

Acquires a broad, diverse background of general and professional knowledge, and reflects critically upon that knowledge base and its importance to himself/herself as an educator. (4)

Critically examines ethical principles involved in teaching and learning, and applies those principles in actual educational settings. (5)

Seeks connections within and across disciplines, designing learning experiences that reflect those connections. (6)

Seeks a level of content knowledge that enables her/him to support and extend children’s learning at high levels of thinking. (7)

Understands the range of diversity across educational contexts, recognizing the importance of that understanding, and using that knowledge to create appropriate learning experiences within diverse contexts. (8)

Recognizes the value of multiple stakeholders (families, children, teachers, community, colleagues, etc.) as resources for learning and professional development. (9)

Understands the nature and value of standards (professional, national, state, local) and their role in planning, implementing, and assessing learning experiences and teaching strategies. (10)

Understands the principles that underlie a democratic society and uses those principles to guide the development of children as citizen actors. (11)

Knows the range of assessment options available to educators (formal and informal) and understands when and how to responsibly and ethically apply various assessments to gather information to plan appropriate learning experiences for children. (12)

 

Skills

 

The developing teacher:

 

Assesses the developmental levels of children in order to plan developmentally appropriate learning experiences. (1)

Communicates assessment data to various stakeholders (children, families, colleagues, and the public) in an accurate, ethical, appropriate and productive manner. (2)

Provides and promotes meaningful opportunities for student self-assessment by providing a supportive environment and modeling the process with them. (3)

Nurtures students’ sense of ownership for learning through self-assessment, curriculum that builds upon prior knowledge, and inclusion of students in the decision-making process. (4)

Provides appropriate scaffolding that enables students to continually build upon strengths and perform at their highest potential learning levels. (5)

Develops skills in problem-solving as well as providing learning experiences that promote the development of problem-solving skills in children. (6)

Values and builds positive and appropriate personal relationships with children, families, colleagues, administrators, and the public. (7)

Engages regularly in deliberate, critical reflection that includes self-evaluation, consideration of ethical issues, and the weighing of implications of various educational theories and practices for students, teachers, schools and the community. (8)

Communicates effectively with students, teachers, other school personnel, families, and others within the community. (9)

Demonstrates skill in verbal (both spoken and written), and nonverbal communication as well as in the use of various media to enhance communication. (10)

Develops competence with various types of current and emerging technology, integrating technology into teaching and learning experiences. (11)

Designs varied learning activities and environments in order to meet a variety of needs and strengths, balancing approaches to incorporate the best elements of diverse strategy choices. (12)

Applies a variety of teaching strategies, but also adapts, refines and synthesizes those strategies within the contexts of specific teaching environments. (13)

Applies varied assessment strategies (formal and informal) appropriately and ethically, and uses the information from these assessments to plan appropriate learning experiences. (14)

Collaborates effectively with other educators and professionals. (MoSTEP Standards 1.2.10)

Recognizes and celebrates the uncertainty and risk-taking inherent in the educational process, and develops positive ways of dealing with that uncertainty, including inquiry, collaboration and reflection. (16)

Gathers, analyzes, and evaluates information from many types of sources at many levels, from developing learning materials and experiences in the classroom to professional decision-making in broader contexts. (17)

Creates vibrant and engaging learning environments. (18)

 

Dispositions

 

The developing teacher:

 

Appreciates the complexity of the learning process, and celebrates the uniqueness of each learner. (1)

Approaches the teaching/learning process analytically, thoughtfully, and in a problem-solving manner. (2)

Acknowledges, accepts, and values varied approaches to learning. (3)

Values and nurtures the inquisitive spirit, both in herself/himself and in other learners. (4)

Commits herself/himself to lifelong learning. (5)

Engages fully and wholeheartedly in her/his own learning experiences as well as in the learning of children. (6)

Recognizes the uncertain and problematic nature of teaching and learning and sees herself/himself as a person who can make a difference and effect change. (7)

Values each child’s family, culture, and community, looking for and celebrating each child’s strengths rather than focusing upon weaknesses and deficits. (8)

Entertains, seeks out, and values differing points of view. (9)

Appreciates the need for ownership of learning, both his/her own learning and students’ learning. (10)

Understands and defends the rights of individuals in a democratic society. (11)

Practices the responsibilities of an individual in a democratic society. (12)

Takes responsibility and refrains from placing blame. (13)

      Maintains a positive approach in all situations and contexts. (14)

Is open to experiences in diverse settings, keeping an open mind and heart to individuals in those settings, always seeing them as fellow human beings first. (15)

Is willing to continuously learn new things rather than only seeking the known and familiar, realizing that development only can occur where there is challenge and dissonance. (16)

Is deeply committed to and enthusiastic about teaching, learning, and the teaching profession. (17)

Willingly works with colleagues, openly sharing resources as well as the responsibility for getting things done. (18)

Solicits and is receptive to feedback from others. (19)

Completes tasks and fulfills responsibilities in a prompt and thorough manner rather than trying to “get by.” (20)

Is reliable and dependable both in terms of his/her timely presence at scheduled events as well as in meeting deadlines. (21)

Shows self-reliance and the ability to independently “jump in”, seeing what is needed and following through with action. (22)

Is tactful and sensitive to the feelings of others, always considering those feelings before speaking or acting. (23)

Exhibits patience in all situations, taking time to think about and understand the circumstances before speaking or acting. (24)

Enjoys being with, talking to, and working with other people in large groups, small groups, and one-to-one. (25)