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Preschool curriculum.

While Dr. Pianta makes some excellent points ("Preschool Is School, Sometimes," features, Winter 2007), especially related to teacher training and classroom behaviors, I am concerned by his lack of focus on curriculum development and planning. Many excellent teachers have found it difficult to find appropriate materials to teach four-year-olds. I have used a comprehensive planning template to develop most of the materials I use with my four-year-old students from low socioeconomic backgrounds because there are limited "appropriate and challenging" materials available, especially in math, science, and social studies.

While there are a growing number of "comprehensive" curricula, they are often adapted from kindergarten curricula or are built by pulling together components from various companies. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, "The National Research Council (2001) warns that such a piecemeal approach can result in a disconnected conglomeration of activities and teaching methods, lacking focus, coherence, or comprehensiveness." An appropriate planning template can help ensure that preschool curricula align with and are conceptually consistent with other aspects of the program. The template would ensure that the curricula address the needs of individual students by providing a challenging curriculum that encourages creativity and higher-order thinking skills.

While, as Pianta writes, "the science of early education holds considerable promise for further development and scaling up of effective approaches and training and supporting the teachers of our youngest," curriculum development should not be left out of the discussion. Appropriate planning can enable programs to offer a wide variety of activities that incorporate all the learning domains and take into account appropriate learning theories.


National Board certified teacher and early childhood generalist

Arlington, Virginia
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Title Annotation:correspondence
Author:Weilenmann, Peter
Publication:Education Next
Date:Jun 22, 2007
Previous Article:Regulating software.
Next Article:Teacher preparation.

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