Developmentally appropriate practice (or DAP) refers to the teaching practices that meet the children where they are. The DAP is founded on the belief that if the student's age, cultural and social background is known by the teacher, the teacher can develop an Individual appropriate strategy for teaching the students that enable the child to reach their goals. However, in the contexts of changing the academic environment, the DAP goals are not easy to attain because of the challenges such as:
- Inadequate infrastructures and facilities available in the school
- Negative beliefs and perspectives of the teacher, students, and the parents affect collaboration.
- Why do you think these would be challenging?
These would be challenging in the DAP is resource intensive. The schools and classroom must be equipped with adequate resource, materials, and spacious facilities. For the curriculum to be implemented, as it was envisaged and planned, there should be adequate textbooks, teaching aids as well as stationeries that the students and the teachers will use to play their roles as facilitators. An enabling environment must include material and space of learners to play and interact (Ntumi, 2016). Each child is considered unique, requires developmentally, culturally, and age-appropriate play and teaching strategy. Lack of these resources and materials can affect curriculum implantation and learning goal achievement.
Secondly, the beliefs and perspectives of the teacher, students, and the parents may also affect the implementation of DAP. Lack of collaborative relationship between the teacher, parents, and the students can be another challenge especially if the teachers do not engage the parents in their children's education. The teacher needs to understand the age, and culture of the students to develop age and culturally appropriate curriculum (Ntumi, 2016). Without the collaborative partners, the parents and learners cannot influence the teacher's selection of the student's learning experience based on the student's diverse characteristics.
Reply to Alisha Lamson
Thanks for your incisive and balanced opinion. I found your point about the inexperienced teachers or subordinate teachers being selected to implement the DAP. I would also like to add that teachers should not view their roles as autonomous but should select and decide what the teacher from the syllabus. They should also interact with the learners and parents. The lack of cooperative and collaborative association between the teacher, learners, and parent can also affect the DAP because, without the parent, the teacher will be instructors and not facilitators. The association motivates the parent to be deeply and actively engaged in their children's learning.
Response to Valorie Garcia
I am sorry to learn that you are facing deficits implementing the DAP into your practices. However, I would like to inform you that most parents do not understand anything about the curriculum. Instead of accusing them about their perception and attitude towards the preschool programs, it is important to engage them more in their children is learning. Parents can play a significant role in ensuring that the DAP is a success by providing the relevant and necessary information about their children such as age, character traits, cultural background, and religion. These I information provided by the parent help in developing and implementing an age-appropriate practice. I, therefore, suggest that parents should be encouraged to be more involved in their children's learning when implementing the DAP.
Ntumi, S. (2016). Challenges Pre-School Teachers Face in the Implementation of the Early Childhood Curriculum in the Cape Coast Metropolis. Journal Of Education And Practice, 7(1), ISSN 2222-1735.
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