I am a concerned parent writing in regards to the new mandated curriculum which has been proposed for kindergarten schools. The Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum is the best for kindergarten since it mirrors the learning which each child should undertake when they are at each age period. Children who are for instance two years would not learn the same thing as those who are three or four years and therefore having a textbook which is predetermined may not be appropriate. Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum is a curriculum which is prepared after reviewing the needs of a particular child. The reason why DAP is important as compared to the textbook mandated curriculum is that DAP at each developmental age, a child learns new things and their cognition changes. Each stage requires different building blocks, and even though all children might be for instance four years, they may have different learning capabilities. It is, therefore, necessary for some experiences to be taught to a child when they are at a particular development stage because this way they can build on previously learned knowledge and connect the important lessons.
Being a teacher myself, I feel that the textbook-based curriculum does not cater to the needs of each child because the curriculum is a generalized and predetermined idea of what the child should learn. However, the teacher on the ground is the one who knows better what the children need because they interact with these children on a daily basis. A textbook curriculum developer depends only on the research which is there in journals, and it may not reflect the actual developmental advancement of children's' cognition. DAP is based on research by teachers who have been teaching kindergarteners for long periods, and as such they know how each child learns at every stage.
The state-mandated textbook-based curriculum may have some negative effects, and even though I know that you are not the one who is suggesting it, it would be appropriate to inform the state that it may not be beneficial but rather harmful. The textbook-based curriculum form my own teaching experience is inappropriate for kindergarten because they are first of all not able to write well and as such reading a textbook would be difficult for them in the early years. Textbooks do not give children time to make decisions of what they want to do and young children are supposed to be given a chance to do that by having child-centered learning.
The children in kindergarten learn by exploring and arranging and building things in their environment, and the textbook-based curriculum does not allow for that, and as such, this would be boring for the children. When the children are bored by the long hours in the class where they are expected to finish the curriculum under a set time, their cognitive abilities and creativity may then be underutilized, and learning may eventually not take place. In regards to San Diego learning standards, the teacher is expected to know each child and their interests, and this may not be possible with the textbook curriculum which is a one-size fit all ideology.
I would be hopeful that you will take your time to try and address these issues with the curriculum body ad I know most of the parents feel the same as I do.
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