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InfantsToddlersandCaregiversCaregivingandResponsiveCurriculumDevelopment9thEdition.pdf

InfantsToddlersandCaregiversCaregivingandResponsiveCurriculumDevelopment9thEdition.pdf

01010_FM_rev02.indd 4 9/25/15 3:33 PM

Terri Jo SwimIndiana University–Purdue University

Ninth Edition

Infants and Toddlers

Caregiving and responsive CurriCulum development

Australia • Brazil • Mexico • Singapore • United Kingdom • United States

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Printed in the United States of AmericaPrint Number: 01 Print Year: 2015

Infants and Toddlers: Caregiving and Responsive Curriculum Development, Ninth EditionTerri Jo Swim

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Product Manager: Mark Kerr

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WCN: 02-200-203

Brief Contents

Chapter 1 Taking a Developmental Perspective 1

Chapter 2 Physical and Cognitive/Language Development 22

Chapter 3 Social and Emotional Development 49

Chapter 4 Attachment and the Three As 84

Chapter 5 Effective Preparation and Tools 98

pa r t o n e Understanding the Foundations of Professional Education 1

pa r t t w o Establishing a Positive Learning Environment 124

Chapter 6 Building Relationships and Guiding Behaviors 124

Chapter 7 Supportive Communication with Families and Colleagues 148

Chapter 8 The Indoor and Outdoor Learning Environments 175

Chapter 9 Designing the Curriculum 211

pa r t t h r e e Developing Responsive Curriculum 240

Chapter 10 Early Intervention 240

Chapter 11 Teaching Children Birth to Twelve Months 261

Chapter 12 Teaching Children Twelve to Twenty-Four Months 295

Chapter 13 Teaching Children Twenty-Four to Thirty-Six Months 318

Chapter 14 Developmentally Appropriate Content 343

appENdix a Tools for Observing and Recording 378

appENdix B Standards for Infant/Toddler Caregivers 402

appENdix C Board Books 408

appENdix d Picture Books 413

References 419

Glossary 452

Index 459

iii

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Contents

Chapter 1 Taking a Developmental Perspective 1 1-1 Developmental Areas 3

1-2 Theories of Child Development 5Spotlight on Research: Essential Life Skills for Infants 8

1-2a Unique Patterns of Development 9READING CHECKPOINT 10

1-3 Current Trends in Development and Education 101-3a Microsystem Trends 111-3b Mesosystem Trends 15Family and Community Connection 16

1-3c Exosystem Trends 16Spotlight on Organizations: WestEd’s Program for Infant/Toddler Care 17

1-3d Macrosystem Trends 17

1-4 Valuing Cultural Diversity 19READING CHECKPOINT 20

Summary 20CaSE Study 21additioNaL rESourCES 21

Chapter 2 Physical and Cognitive/Language Development 22 2-1 Differences between Development

and Learning 23

2-2 Patterns of Physical Development 242-2a Brain Development 24Family and Community Connection 27

Spotlight on Shaken Baby Syndrome: Causes and Effects 28

2-2b Physical Growth 282-2c Hearing and Vision Development 29Spotlight on Research: Vision in Infants and Toddlers 30

2-2d Motor Development 30READING CHECKPOINT 32

2-3 Patterns of Cognitive and Language Development 332-3a Cognitive Development: Piaget’s Theory of Reasoning 332-3b Cognitive Development: Vygotsky’s Sociocultural

Theory 392-3c Language Development 42READING CHECKPOINT 46

Summary 46CaSE Study 47proFESSioNaL rESourCE doWNLoad ❯❯ LESSoN pLaN 48additioNaL rESourCES 48

Chapter 3 Social and Emotional Development 49 3-1 Patterns of Emotional Development 50

3-1a Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory 513-1b Separate and Together 533-1c Temperament 553-1d Emotional Intelligence and the Brain 58Spotlight on Effortful Control: What Is It and Why Is Important? 64

READING CHECKPOINT 68

3-2 Patterns of Social Development 683-2a Attachment Theory 68Spotlight on Research: Father-Child Interactions and Developmental Outcomes 73

3-2b Relationships with Peers 743-2c Self-Esteem 763-2d Prosocial Behaviors 78Family and Community Connection 79

READING CHECKPOINT 81

Summary 81CaSE Study 81proFESSioNaL rESourCE doWNLoad ❯❯ LESSoN pLaN 82additioNaL rESourCES 83

pa r t o n e Understanding the Foundations of Professional Education 1

Preface xi

About the Author xvii

Acknowledgments xviii

v

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pa r t t w o Establishing a Positive Learning Environment 124

Chapter 4 Attachment and the Three As 84 4-1 The Attachment Debate and the Roles of

Caregivers 85READING CHECKPOINT 88

4-2 The Three As: Attention, Approval, and Attunement 88Spotlight on Research: Infant Persistence 89

4-2a Attention 89Family and Community Connection 91

4-2b Approval 914-2c Attunement 92READING CHECKPOINT 95

Summary 95CaSE Study 96proFESSioNaL rESourCE doWNLoad ❯❯ LESSoN pLaN 96additioNaL rESourCES 97

Chapter 5 Effective Preparation and Tools 98 5-1 Characteristics of a Competent Early

Childhood Educator 995-1a Physically and Mentally Healthy 995-1b Positive Self-Image 995-1c Caring and Respectful 100

5-2 Acquiring Professional Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions 1005-2a Knowledge about Children and Families 101

5-2b Knowledge about Early Child Care and Education 101

5-2c Knowledge about Partnerships 1035-2d Knowledge about Advocacy 1035-2e Professional Skills 1045-2f Professional Dispositions 104READING CHECKPOINT 105

5-3 Professional Preparation of the Early Childhood Educator 105Spotlight on Organization: World Association for Infant Mental Health 106

5-3a Impact of Teacher Education on Quality of Care and Education 106

Family and Community Connection 109

READING CHECKPOINT 110

5-4 Observing Young Children to Make Educational Decisions 1105-4a Observe and Record 1105-4b Tools for Observing and Recording 1125-4c Analysis 119Spotlight on Research: Culturally Appropriate Assessment 120

5-4d Using the Data 121READING CHECKPOINT 121

Summary 121CaSE Study 122proFESSioNaL rESourCE doWNLoad ❯❯ LESSoN pLaN 122additioNaL rESourCES 123

Chapter 6 Building Relationships and Guiding Behaviors 124 6-1 Reggio Emilia Approach

to Infant-Toddler Education 1256-1a Philosophy 1266-1b Image of the Child 1266-1c Inserimento 128READING CHECKPOINT 129

6-2 A Developmental View of Discipline 1296-2a Mental Models 130Family and Community Connection 131

READING CHECKPOINT 132

6-3 Strategies for Communicating about Emotions 1336-3a Labeling Expressed Emotions 134

6-3b Teaching Emotional Regulation 136Spotlight on Research: Infants and Divorce 137

READING CHECKPOINT 139

6-4 Self-Regulation as a Foundation for Perspective-Taking 1396-4a Setting Limits 1416-4b Establishing Consequences 1426-4c Providing Choices 1426-4d Redirecting Actions 1436-4e Solving Problems 144READING CHECKPOINT 145

Summary 145CaSE Study 146proFESSioNaL rESourCE doWNLoad ❯❯ LESSoN pLaN 146additioNaL rESourCES 147

ContentSvi

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Chapter 7 Supportive Communication with Families and Colleagues 148 7-1 Skills for Effective Communication 150

7-1a Rapport Building 1507-1b I Statements versus You Statements 1517-1c Active Listening: The “How” in Communication 151READING CHECKPOINT 153

7-2 Communications with Families 1537-2a Using Active Listening with Families 153Spotlight on Organization: Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies 155

7-2b Partnering with Families 1597-2c Family Education 1607-2d Supporting Relationships between Families 1607-2e Family-Caregiver Conferences 1617-2f Home Visits 163READING CHECKPOINT 163

7-3 Family Situations Requiring Additional Support 1647-3a Grandparents as Parents 1647-3b At-Risk Families and Children 164Family and Community Connections 165

Spotlight on Research: Prolonged Separations for Young Children: Parental Incarceration and Military Deployment 166

7-3c Teenage Parents 169READING CHECKPOINT 170

7-4 Communicating with Colleagues 1707-4a Collaborating with Colleagues 1717-4b Supporting Colleagues 1727-4c Making Decisions 172READING CHECKPOINT 172

Summary 173CaSE Study 173proFESSioNaL rESourCE doWNLoad ❯❯ LESSoN pLaN 174additioNaL rESourCES 174

Chapter 8 The Indoor and Outdoor Learning Environments 175 8-1 The Teacher’s Perspective 177

8-1a Learning Centers 1778-1b  Real Objects versus Open-Ended Materials 1788-1c  Calm, Safe Learning Environment 180Spotlight on Research: Rough and Tumble Play 182

8-1d  Basic Needs 183READING CHECKPOINT 184

8-2 The Child’s Perspective 1848-2a  Transparency 185

8-2b Flexibility 1868-2c Relationships 1878-2d Identity 1888-2e Movement 1888-2f Documentation 1898-2g Senses 1908-2h Representation 1918-2i Independence 1918-2j Discovery 191READING CHECKPOINT 192

8-3 Society’s Perspective 1938-3a Environmental Changes for the Classroom 193Family and Community Connections 194

8-3b Curricular Changes 1948-3c Partnerships and Advocacy 195READING CHECKPOINT 196

8-4 Selecting Equipment and Materials 1978-4a  Age-Appropriate Materials 1998-4b Homemade Materials 201READING CHECKPOINT 201

8-5 Protecting Children’s Health and Safety 2018-5a Emergency Procedures 2028-5b Immunization Schedule 2028-5c Signs and Symptoms of Possible

Severe Illness 2028-5d First Aid 2038-5e Universal Precautions 2048-5f Playground Safety 206READING CHECKPOINT 207

Summary 207CaSE Study 208proFESSioNaL rESourCE doWNLoad ❯❯ LESSoN pLaN 209additioNaL rESourCES 210

Chapter 9 Designing the Curriculum 211 9-1 Influences on the Curriculum 212

9-1a Influences from Cultural Expectations 2139-1b Influences from the Care Setting 2169-1c Influences from the Child 219READING CHECKPOINT 219

9-2 Routine Care Times 2209-2a Flexible Schedule 220Spotlight on SIDS: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) 221

Spotlight on Dental Health: Access to Dental Care 225

READING CHECKPOINT 229

viiContentS

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9-3 Planned Learning Experiences 2299-3a Daily Plans 230Family and Community Connections 232

9-3b Weekly Plans 232Spotlight on Research: Infant Brain Development 233

READING CHECKPOINT 237

Summary 237CaSE Study 238proFESSioNaL rESourCE doWNLoad ❯❯ LESSoN pLaN 238additioNaL rESourCES 239

pa r t t h r e e Developing Responsive Curriculum 240

Chapter 10 Early Intervention 240CaSE Study 241

10-1 What Is Early Intervention? 241Spotlight on Terminology: Talking about Early Intervention 242

Spotlight on Research: Infant Mental Health 243

10-2 Types and Tiers of Early Intervention 244

10-3 From Special Needs to Special Rights 247

10-4 The Need for Family Capacity-Building 248Spotlight on Research: Early Intervention and Building Collaborative Partnerships 249

Family and Community Connections 250

READING CHECKPOINT 250

10-5 The Evaluation and Assessment Process 25010-5a The Role of Teachers 25010-5b The Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) 25110-5c Natural Environments 252

10-6 Characteristics and Care of Children with Special Rights 25310-6a Physical and Cognitive Development 25310-6b Social and Emotional Development 255READING CHECKPOINT 257

Summary 257CaSE Study 258proFESSioNaL rESourCE doWNLoad ❯❯ LESSoN pLaN 259additioNaL rESourCES 260

Chapter 11 Teaching Children Birth to Twelve Months 261

CaSE Study 262

11-1 Materials 26211-1a Types of Materials 263

11-2 Caregiver Strategies to Enhance Development 263Spotlight on Organizations: Zero to Three 265

11-2a Physical Development 265

Spotlight on Research: Breast-Feeding and Later Development 273

READING CHECKPOINT 275

11-2b Cognitive Development 275Family and Community Connection 277

Spotlight on Practice: Voices from the Field 279

11-2c Language Development 28011-2d Emotional Development 28311-2e Social Development 287Spotlight on Research: Attachment to Objects 289

READING CHECKPOINT 292

Summary 292CaSE Study 293proFESSioNaL rESourCE doWNLoad ❯❯ LESSoN pLaN 293additioNaL rESourCES 294

Chapter 12 Teaching Children Twelve to Twenty-Four Months 295

CaSE Study 296

12-1 Materials 296Spotlight on Practice: Voices from the Field 298

12-1a Types of Materials 298

12-2 Caregiver Strategies to Enhance Development 29812-2a Physical Development 298READING CHECKPOINT 299

12-2b Cognitive Development 299Spotlight on Organizations: National Association for the Education of Young Children 302

12-2c Language Development 303READING CHECKPOINT 306

12-2d Emotional Development 306Family and Community Connections 308

READING CHECKPOINT 311

12-2e Social Development 311Spotlight on Research: Peer Interactions of Young Toddlers 312

READING CHECKPOINT 315

ContentSviii

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Summary 315caSe Study 315PrOFeSSIONaL reSOurce dOWNLOad ❯❯ LeSSON PLaN 316addItIONaL reSOurceS 317

Chapter 13 Teaching Children Twenty-Four to Thirty-Six Months 318

caSe Study 319

13-1 Materials 31913-1a Types of Materials 31913-1b Activity Ideas 321

13-2 Caregiver Strategies to Enhance Development 32213-2a Physical Development 32213-2b Cognitive Development 324Spotlight on Practice: Voices from the Field 325

13-2c Language Development 326Spotlight on Research: Adult Depression and Infant Cognitive Development 328

Family and Community Connections 330

READING CHECKPOINT 331

13-2d Emotional Development 33113-2e Social Development 335Spotlight on Research: Conflicts with Peers 336

READING CHECKPOINT 340

Summary 340caSe Study 341PrOFeSSIONaL reSOurce dOWNLOad ❯❯ LeSSON PLaN 341addItIONaL reSOurceS 342

Chapter 14 Developmentally Appropriate Content 343

caSe Study 344

14-1 Big Ideas That Guide Work 344Family and Community Connections 345

14-2 Central Concepts of the Content Areas 34514-2a Emergent Literacy 346Spotlight on Practice: Voices from the Field 349

READING CHECKPOINT 355

14-2b Mathematics 356Spotlight on Practice: Voices from the Field 360

14-2c Fine Arts 36014-2d Social Studies 36314-2e Science 366Spotlight on Research: Toddlers and Media 367

READING CHECKPOINT 370

14-3 Teaching with Content Learning in Mind 370Spotlight on Curriculum: High-Quality Program Models 373

Closing Note 374READING CHECKPOINT 375

Summary 375caSe Study 376PrOFeSSIONaL reSOurce dOWNLOad ❯❯ LeSSON PLaN 376addItIONaL reSOurceS 377

appendix a Tools for Observing and Recording 378PrOFeSSIONaL reSOurce dOWNLOad ❯❯ Developmental Milestones (Combination of Checklist and Rating Scale) 379

Approximately Birth to Four Months of Age 379Approximately Four to Eight Months of Age 382Approximately Eight to Twelve Months of Age 385Approximately Twelve to Eighteen Months of Age 387Approximately Eighteen to Twenty-Four Months of Age 389Approximately Twenty-Four to Thirty Months of Age 392Approximately Thirty to Thirty-Six Months of Age 394

PrOFeSSIONaL reSOurce dOWNLOad ❯❯ Running Record 396

PrOFeSSIONaL reSOurce dOWNLOad ❯❯ Anecdotal Record 397

PrOFeSSIONaL reSOurce dOWNLOad ❯❯ Indoor Safety Checklist 398

PrOFeSSIONaL reSOurce dOWNLOad ❯❯ Playground Safety Checklist 400

appendix B Standards for Infant/Toddler Caregivers 402

Appendix Overview 402CDA Competency Standards for Infant/Toddler Caregivers in Center-Based Programs 402

NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation 405

NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation Programs 405

Early Childhood Field Experiences 407

appendix C Board Books 408Alphabet 408

Animals/Pets 408

Bedtime 409

Colors and Shapes 409

Family 409

Friendship/Teamwork 410

Language/Vocabulary 410

Numbers/Counting 410

ixContents

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Play/Adventure 411

Self-Awareness/-Emotions 411

Sign Language 412

Miscellaneous 412

appendix d Picture Books 413Alphabet 413

Animals/Pets 413

Bedtime 414

Behavior/Manners 414

Counting/Shapes 415

Family 415

Friendship/Teamwork 416

Language/Vocabulary/Poetry 416

Play/Adventure 417

Self-Awareness/Emotions 418

References 419

Glossary 452

Index 459

ContentSx

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This revised, expanded, and updated edition was developed with the inten-tion of guiding the reader through the acquisition of skills necessary to pro-vide high-quality care for infants and toddlers in any educational setting. Information based on current theories and research, as well as standards for infant-toddler teacher preparation, is reflected throughout the book. The ninth edition’s new subtitle, Caregiving and Responsive Curriculum Development, better reflects the book’s goal of providing appropriate caregiving and edu-cational techniques, along with curriculum ideas, for groups of very young children and for individual children within those groups. Early childhood educators, administrators, advocates, and parents will find practical informa-tion that can be put to immediate use to promote the highest quality care and education possible for all children, birth to age 3.

Major Revisions in the Ninth EditionAs with previous editions, Infants and Toddlers: Caregiving and Respon-sive Curriculum Development, Ninth Edition, strives to bridge the gap between theory and practice. As scholar-practitioners, teachers need to use theory to inform their practice and in turn use their practice to inform theoretical understanding. Building from the strong foundation of previ-ous editions, the text has been updated and thoroughly revised. Although notable differences set this edition apart from the previous edition, points of continuity remain. For example, in this ninth edition, the child con-tinues to be at the center of care and education. Defining infants and tod-dlers as engaging, decision-making forces within their environments sets a tone of excitement and enthusiasm. No longer can we afford to agree with the description of toddlerhood as the “terrible twos.” Rather, we need to embrace the image of the child as capable, competent, and creative. Doing so opens a number of educational options that were unavailable previously.

Results of research on brain structures, functions, and development as well as social and emotional development have been expanded as founda-tions for this edition. For example, links among cortisol levels, parenting behaviors, and memory skills for very young children are investigated. In addition, incorporating key components of the high-quality infant-toddler and preschool programs in Reggio Emilia, Italy, has improved our under-standing of what developmentally appropriate practice looks like in action. Respecting children; designing effective physical, social, and intellectual environments; building partnerships with families; and planning individu-ally appropriate curricula are discussed throughout this edition.

Major content revisions in this edition also include the following:

●● NEW Chapter 10, Early Intervention. This chapter takes an in-depth look at early intervention. It was created based on reviewer feedback

Preface

xi

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that indicated a need for a clearer focus on the care of and interventions for infants and toddlers with special rights. Chapter 10 now highlights the importance of collaboration among family members, caregivers, and intervention specialists.

●● NEW Chapter 14, Developmentally Appropriate Content. Given the national preoccupation with school readiness, a new chapter, Develop-mentally Appropriate Content (Chapter 14), is now available. Older tod-dlers are ready to explore and experience fine arts, science, mathematics, literacy, and social studies. However, much guidance is provided on how to do this in a way that complements and heightens young children’s curiosity. In other words, these content areas must be taught through engaging, integrated projects, rather than in terms of isolated facts.

●● NEW combined chapters. In response to reviewer feedback, the chap-ters that discuss infant and toddler development have been combined to eliminate repetition of content. So Chapters 10, 11, and 12 in the eighth edition, which spanned birth to 12 months, are now covered in Chapter 11, Teaching Children Birth to Twelve Months. The content in Chapters 13 and 14 in the eighth edition, which covered children from 12 to 24 months, now appears in the ninth edition’s Chapter 12, Teach-ing Children Twelve to Twenty-Four Months. Finally, the eighth edition content in Chapters 15 and 16 now appears in Chapter 13, Teaching Children Twenty-Four to Thirty-Six Months, in the ninth edition.

●● NEW research results. Results of new research and scholarly articles have been incorporated into each chapter. For example, new research on social and emotional development can be found in Chapter 3, Social and Emotional Development; current thoughts about how aggression may be normative behavior for toddlers is in Chapter 6, Building Rela-tionships and Guiding Behaviors; and new information on compliance for supporting health and safety guidelines can be found in Chapter 8, The Indoor and Outdoor Learning Environments.

●● NEW concept coverage. Chapter 3 has a new Spotlight on Research box that focuses on Effortful Control, a newer concept being investigated by researchers.

New Instructional Features To help aid the student’s comprehension and understanding of infant-toddler development and learning, several new instructional features have been cre-ated for the ninth edition.

●● A Lesson Plan now appears at the end of each chapter and can be digi-tally downloaded. (They are called Professional Resource Downloads.) The goal of this feature is to provide examples of lesson plans that are grounded in observations of a young child and are respectful and engaging through the use of responsive strategies.

●● Learning Objectives and Standards Addressed are now listed at the beginning of each chapter. The learning objectives correlate directly with major sections in the chapter, as well as with the Summary at the end of each chapter.

PrefACexii

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In each chapter, the list of Standards Addressed includes the related 2010 NAEYC Standards for Initial and Advanced Early Child-hood Professional Preparation Programs, NAEYC’s Developmentally Appropriate Practices, and the NAEYC standards specific to infant and toddler care.

●● Family and Community Connection boxed feature, which is now included in every chapter, is intended to assist the readers in applying strategies for engaging family and community agencies in the care and education of young children. Each box contains a number of questions to spark thinking about important concepts.

Enduring Instructional Features ●● A focus on professional standards with a Standards Correlation Chart

on the book’s inside front cover, which offers an at-a-glance view of where discussions related to NAEYC’s Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation and Developmentally Appropriate Practice guidelines can be found. In addition, the DAP icon focuses read-ers on principles of developmentally appropriate practice throughout the text.

●● Spotlight boxed feature highlights key research topics, professional child care organizations, the personal experiences of child care profes-sionals to enhance the book’s real-world perspective.

●● In Spotlight on Practice “Voices from the Field,” found in Chap ters 11–14, practicing teachers apply and reflect on concepts discussed in the chapter. For example, in Chapter 14, a teacher discusses how she incorporates literacy in her room by using local community resources, and she reflects on how a specific child reacted to her selection of books.

●● Reading Checkpoints included throughout each chapter help to improve comprehension by asking students to pause and consider what they have just read.

●● Revised Case Studies present real-life examples of the concepts and principles discussed. The content of those cases, such as diversity or special rights, is now highlighted in the title of the Case Study.

●● Updated references can be found at the end of the text. ●● A list of developmental milestones for children from birth to 36 months

is provided in Appendix A for the four major areas of development, which assists caregivers in recording observations and assessing each child’s current level of development.

●● Appendices C and D have been updated to provide a current list of board and picture books that are appropriate to use with infants and toddlers.

●● The text is current and comprehensive so that caregivers can acquire the skills necessary to function at nationally accepted standards of quality.

●● The level of the language used is easy to follow and offers practical examples for self-study by caregivers-in-training.

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Text Organizationpart i understanding the Foundations of professional EducationThis section prepares the reader as a professional educator who possesses the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to meet effectively the developmental and learning needs of infants and toddlers. An overview of the theories and research in the fields of child development and early childhood education, including new information on brain development and attachment, helps lay that foundation.

●● Chapter 1 highlights the importance of taking a developmental per-spective when working with infants and toddlers as well as an over-view of trends in education and development that influence learning environments for very young children.

●● Chapter 2 creates a framework for understanding the growth and development of physical and cognitive/language areas from birth to 36 months.

●● Chapter 3 focuses on growth and development in the emotional and social areas from birth to 36 months. In both Chapters 2 and 3, sec-tions are devoted to expanding the readers’ information on brain development.

●● Chapter 4 presents the master tools of caregiving—Attention, Approval, and Attunement—as a model of conscious caregiving, combining prac-tical principles and techniques from current theories and research in the field.

●● Chapter 5 describes specific knowledge bases that professional edu-cators acquire through informal and formal educational opportuni-ties. One such knowledge base involves the appropriate assessment of children. This chapter, then, focuses on various observational tools for tracking development and learning, and how to use the data as the groundwork for other aspects of the caregiver’s work.

part 2 Establishing a positive Learning EnvironmentFour chapters provide the reader with details about how to create appropriate environments for very young children. Learning environments include con-sciously building the physical, social, and intellectual elements of the class-room. No longer can professional educators attend to the physical arrangement and placement of equipment and materials to the exclusion of the socioemo-tional and intellectual climates created among adults and children.

●● Chapter 6 uses key components of educational philosophy found in the schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy, as the foundation for creating a car-ing community of learners. Respectful and effective communication and guidance strategies are outlined.

●● Chapter 7 is devoted to appropriate communication strategies to use when creating reciprocal relationships with family members and col-leagues. Family situations that may require additional support from the caregiver, the program, or community agencies are presented.

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●● Chapter 8 covers components of high-quality and developmentally appropriate indoor and outdoor learning environments from the teach-ers’, children’s, and society’s perspectives and presents common health and safety issues for children.

●● Chapter 9 presents practical techniques for designing the intellectual environment. Curriculum—both routine care times and planned learn-ing experiences—must be specially designed to enhance the develop-ment and learning of each child. Emphasis is placed on engaging in project work with infants and toddlers.

part 3 developing responsive Curriculum This part explores strategies for designing curriculum that reflects current levels of development and learning. Two new chapters have been added to this section, and the other three have been significantly reorganized.

●● Chapter 10, a new chapter, covers early intervention for infants, tod-dlers, and families. It explores not only how we should approach early intervention from a strengths perspective but also common characteris-tics of children with special rights.

●● Chapters 11–13 explore tasks, materials, and specific learning expe-riences to enhance development for children from birth to thirty-six months. Now, each of these chapters focuses on working with children in a one-year age range. This practical section provides specific tech-niques, teaching strategies, and solutions to many of the common prob-lems confronted when addressing the rapid growth and development of infants and toddlers.

●● Chapter 14, which is also new, builds on information provided through -out the text as it investigates strategies for supporting content area learning for infants and toddlers. Central concepts for emergent literacy, mathematics, fine arts, social studies, and science are provided.

Supplements mindtap™: the personal Learning ExperienceMindTap for Swim, Infants and Toddlers: Caregiving and Responsive Curriculum Development, Ninth Edition, represents a new approach to teaching and learning. A highly personalized, fully customizable learning platform with an integrated e-portfolio, MindTap helps students to elevate thinking by guiding them to do the following:

●● Know, remember, and understand concepts critical to becoming a great teacher.

●● Apply concepts, create curriculum and tools, and demonstrate perfor-mance and competency in key areas in the course, including national and state education standards.

●● Prepare artifacts for the portfolio and eventual state licensure to launch a successful teaching career.

●● Develop the habits to become a reflective practitioner.

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Anderson, L. W., & Krathwohl, D A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. New York: Longman.

Create

Evaluate

Analyze

Apply

Understand

Remember & Know

MindTap MovesStudents Up Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy

As students move through each chapter’s Learning Path, they engage in a scaffolded learning experience, designed to move them up Bloom’s Taxonomy, from lower- to higher-order thinking skills. The Learning Path enables preservice students to develop these skills and gain confi-dence by:

●● Engaging them with chapter topics and activating their prior knowl-edge by watching and answering questions about authentic videos of teachers teaching and children learning in real classrooms

●● Checking their comprehension and understanding through Did You Get It? assessments, with varied question types that are autograded for instant feedback

●● Applying concepts through mini-case studies—students analyze typ-ical teaching and learning situations, and then create a reasoned response to the issue(s) presented in the scenario

●● Reflecting about and justifying the choices they made within the teach-ing scenario problem

MindTap helps instructors facilitate better outcomes by evaluating how future teachers

plan and teach lessons in ways that make content clear and help diverse students

learn, assessing the effectiveness of their teaching practice, and adjusting teaching

as needed. MindTap enables instruc-tors to facilitate better outcomes by:

●● Making grades visible in real time through the Student Progress App so students and instructors always have access to current standings in the class

●● Using the Outcome Library to embed national education standards and align them to student learning activities, and also allowing instructors to add their state’s standards or any other desired outcome

●● Allowing instructors to generate reports on students’ performance with the click of a mouse against any standards or outcomes that are in their MindTap course

●● Giving instructors the ability to assess students on state standards or other local outcomes by editing existing or creating their own MindTap activities, and then by aligning those activities to any state or other out-comes that the instructor has added to the MindTap Outcome Library

MindTap for Swim, Infants and Toddlers: Caregiving and Responsive Curriculum Development, Ninth Edition, helps instructors easily set their course because it integrates into the existing Learning Management System and saves instructors time by allowing them to fully customize any aspect of the Learning Path. Instructors can change the order of the student learn-ing activities, hide activities they don’t want for the course, and—most

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importantly—create custom assessments and add any standards, outcomes, or content they do want (e.g., YouTube videos, Google docs). Learn more at www.cengage.com/mindtap.

online instructor’s manual with test BankAn online Instructor’s Manual accompanies this book. It contains infor-mation to assist the instructor in designing the course, including sample syllabi, discussion questions, teaching and learning activities, field experi-ences, learning objectives, and additional online resources. For assessment support, the updated test bank includes true/false, multiple-choice, match-ing, short-answer, and essay questions for each chapter.

powerpoint Lecture SlidesThese vibrant Microsoft PowerPoint lecture slides for each chapter assist you with your lecture by providing concept coverage using images, figures, and tables directly from the textbook.

CogneroCengage Learning Testing Powered by Cognero is a flexible online system that allows you to author, edit, and manage test bank content from multiple Cengage Learning solutions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your Learning Management System (LMS), your class-room, or wherever you want.

About the AuthortErri Jo SWim, ph.d., is a professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Studies at Indiana University–Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She has taught in higher education institutions for almost 20 years. In addition, she has worked in pri-vate child care centers, university-based laboratory programs, and summer camps with children from birth to 13 years of age. Terri was a co-editor of The Hope for Audacity: Recapturing Optimism and Civil-

ity in Education. Her current research interests include infant–toddler and preschool curriculum, Reggio Emilia, documentation, and teacher education.

Questions or discussions on any topics covered in the book can be sent to her at the e-mail address below.

TERRI JO SWIm

swimt@ipfw.edu

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AcknowledgmentsThis Ninth Edition of Infants and Toddlers: Caregiving and Responsive Cur-riculum Development would not have been possible without the influence, loyalty, and positive influence of the following very exceptional people.

Special thanks goes to my husband, Danny—without you, I would starve, both physically and emotionally! To the rest of my immediate and extended family members—each of you have taught me much about the importance of strong attachments. To all of my students, thanks for the feedback on earlier versions of the text—it is improved because of you! Thank you to Gina Wilson for her assistance with updating Appendix C.

To Mark Kerr, product development manager, Kassi Radomski, content developer, and other staff at Cengage Learning and MPS Limited for con-tinued support and guidance during product development and production.

To the following reviewers of the eighth edition, whose feedback was used to help us make decisions about the revisions that were needed in this edition, we thank you for your candid feedback and support:

Laurel Anderson, Palomar College

Teresa Bridger, Prince George Community College

Margaret Dana-Conway, Norwalk Community College

Evia Davis, Langston University

Jennifer DeFrance, Three Rivers Community College

Marissa Happ, Aurora University

Jeannie Morgan-Campola, Rowan Cabarrus Community College

Bridget Murray, Henderson Community College

Sandra Own, Cincinnati State

Boyoung Park, Radford University

Stacey Pistorova, Terra State Community College

Wendy Ruiz, College of the Canyons

Pamela Sebura, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

Jacque Taylor, Greenville Technical College

Linda Taylor, Ball State University

Cheryl Williams-Jackson, Modesto Junior College

Eileen Yantz, Gaston College

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Taking a Developmental Perspective 1

Learning ObjectivesAfter reading this chapter, you should be able to:

1-1 Determine how the four major developmental areas for assessment differ from one another.

1-2 Explain the theories of child development.

1-3 Justify how the use of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory explains current trends in development and education.

1-4 Recognize the impact of each individual child’s culture on classroom interactions and curriculum.

Standards Addressed in This Chapter

NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation

1 Promoting Child Development and Learning

Developmentally Appropriate Practice Guidelines

1 Creating a Caring Community of Learners

In addition, the NAEYC standards for develop-mentally appropriate practice are divided into six areas particularly important to infant/tod-dler care. The following areas are addressed in this chapter: Relationship between Caregiver and Child, and Policies.

C h A P t E r

Pa rt o n e Understanding the Foundations of Professional Education

© 2017 Cengage Learning

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Never before in our history do we know so much about the importance of the infant and toddler years. New brain scan technologies allow us to unob-trusively peak into the developing brain to understand how very young chil-dren’s brains are being wired. The results show us amazing rates and patterns of development in response to the type and amount of caregiving received, the nutrition provided, and the environmental factors such as exposure to trauma, violence, or maternal depression. The role of early childhood educators is more significant than ever. As a result, educators need to learn more theories, principles, and skills to keep pace with the demands of their profession.

Child care settings are powerful contexts for influencing the devel-opment and learning of very young children. High standards require that teachers learn to take good care of both themselves and the children, and to be aware of the interests, abilities, and desires of the child, family, com-munity, and society as a whole. Part 1 provides current trends in caring for infants and toddlers, theories and principles of child development, and a structure for caregiving that helps prepare the caregiver for the challenging and rewarding profession of early childhood education.

This edition continues to emphasize science and new discoveries by researchers (e.g., on brain development and attachment) as well as the influences these findings have on caregiver behavior when working with very young children. By closely observing and recording the behaviors of children, the child care specialist will create a powerful framework to use in caring for and educating infants and toddlers.

When you finish Part 1 of this book, you’ll have the knowledge and prin-ciples necessary to care for children effectively and enhance the development of each child through your direct, intentional interactions. Parts 2 and 3 build on this base of knowledge to give you all the specific skills, techniques, strat-egies, and activities needed to function confidently as a professional.

Even though your work is vital within your classroom and educational program, it can’t stop there. Early childhood educators need to use the information gained from this text to advocate for collective responsibility and commitment to all children from birth to age 3. The next generations deserve nothing less from us.

What do people who work with young children need to know, and what do they need to be able to do? Early childhood educators* have long debated these questions. For almost a century, people from all areas of the field and all corners of the world have worked to answer these two key questions as well. Current research has helped early childhood specialists clearly define a core body of knowledge, as well as standards for quality in both teacher prepara-tion and in programming for young children. Scholarly research has validated what early childhood professionals have always known intuitively: the quality of young children’s experience in early care and education settings is directly related to the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of the adults caring for them.

Today’s theories and philosophies regarding child development and learning have evolved over time and have been influenced by both

*In this book, the terms early childhood educator, teacher, caregiver, and primary caregiver will be used interchangeably to describe adults who care for and educate infants and toddlers. Other terms, such as early childhood specialist, educarer, practitioner, staff, child care teacher, head teacher, assistant teacher, or family child care provider, might also be familiar. The use of these four terms is not intended to narrow the focus of professionals discussed in this book or to mini-mize a particular title, rather the purpose is to provide some consistency in language.

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ancient and modern society and thought. They are the direct result of early childhood professionals and scientists building on previous theories and research to better understand children today.

How teachers use and apply the developmental theories depends not only on their understanding of those theories and associated research but also on their personal beliefs and dispositions. Because we are unable to attend to every aspect of an interaction, our mind filters and categorizes informa-tion at astonishing speeds. Our beliefs impact not only how our brain does this work but also how we make sense of the information after it is available. Matusov, DePalma, and Drye (2007) suggest that adults’ responses constantly and actively impact the trajectory of development of children. Thus, teach-ers participate in “… co-constructing the observed phenomenon of develop-ment” (p. 410) such that “development defines an observer no less than the observed” (p. 419). In other words, what we observe and what we think the observations mean are as much a reflection of us (our beliefs and knowledge bases) as it is a reflection of the child we observed. This is illustrated in conversations between two adults after observing the same event. They each describe the actions, behaviors, and implications of the phenomenon differ-ently. Thus, recognizing how teachers shape the development of children must subsequently result in the opening of dialogue and communication.

These points are made so that you’ll take an active role in reflecting on your own beliefs and how they are changing as you read this book and interact with infants and toddlers. Developing the “habit of mind” for care-ful professional and personal analysis will assist you in thinking about your role as an educator.

1-1 Developmental AreasThe structure of this book allows for the philosophy that the author believes is most helpful in child care settings. The major contributions of early childhood theorists are presented within this structure. This phi-losophy, which follows a Developmental Perspective, states that teachers and other adults must be consciously aware of how a child is progressing in each area to create environments that facilitate her ideal development. Unlike the tabula rasa theory of the past, which claimed that children are molded to parental or societal specifications, current research indicates that each child’s genetic code engages in a complex interaction with envi-ronmental factors to result in the realization (or not) of her full potential.

A child born with a physical disability such as spina bifida may not realize as much potential in certain areas as a child born neurologically intact, and a child whose ancestry dictates adult height less than five feet will most likely not realize the potential to play professional basketball. However, within these limiting genetic and environmental factors, every child has the potential for a fulfilling and productive life, depending on how well his or her abilities are satisfied and challenged, and to what extent the skills necessary to become a happy and successful adult are fostered by family members and caregivers.

As you can see, from the moment of birth, the child and the people around the child affect each other. This dynamic interaction is sometimes deliberate and controlled and sometimes unconscious behavior. Caregivers working with infants and toddlers plan many experiences for children.

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Simultaneous with these planned experiences are the thousands of actions that are spontaneous, that stimulate new actions and reactions, and that challenge both the child and the caregiver. Teachers must learn to be mind-ful in all of their interactions.

Magda Gerber (Gerber & Weaver, 1998) has established an approach and structure for child care that emphasizes mindful interaction between child and caregiver. This approach is illustrated through her “10 principles of caregiving.”

1. Involve children in activities and things that concern them.

2. Invest in quality time with each child.

3. Learn the unique ways each child communicates with you and teach him or her the ways you communicate.

4. Invest the time and energy necessary with each child to build a total person.

5. Respect infants and toddlers as worthy people.

6. Model specific behaviors before you teach them.

7. Always be honest with children about your feelings.

8. View problems as learning opportunities and allow children to solve their own problems where possible.

9. Build security with children by teaching trust.

10. Be concerned about the quality of development each child has at each stage.

Interactions that reflect these principles focus on the development of the whole child; that is, attention to cognitive development is not at the expense of social or physical development. When teachers who are new to the profession are required to think about all of the areas of development at once, they can become overwhelmed. Child development knowledge, in this situation, can be divided into distinct, yet interrelated, areas for easy understanding. It is important to note that no area of development functions in isolation from another. This division is arbitrary and is done for the ease of the learner, you. For children, the areas of development come together and operate as a whole, producing an entirely unique individual. Table 1–1 lists the four developmental domains that will be used in this book. Coming to understand the four individual areas well is necessary for you to promote optimal development for each child in your care.

A major goal of this book is to help caregivers understand normal sequences and patterns of development and to become familiar with learning

TABLE 1–1 ◗ Developmental Domains

ArEA I Physical: height, weight, general motor coordination, brain development, and so on

ArEA II Emotional: feelings, self-perception, confidence, security, and so on

ArEA III Social: interactions with peers, elders, and youngsters, both one-on-one and in a group, social perspective-taking, and so on

ArEA IV Cognitive/Language: reasoning, problem solving, concept formation, verbal communication, and so on

© C

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earn

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tools that enhance development in the four major developmental areas. After you understand the normative patterns or milestones, you can more easily recognize and honor the unique patterns that each child demonstrates. Throughout this book, you’ll learn to evaluate the development of an individ-ual child by comparing milestone behaviors with the larger group that was used to establish normative behavior for that age. Therefore, necessary aspects of preparing to be an infant/toddler teacher are learning to observe children carefully, record those observations, and analyze that data. After individual parts are understood, early childhood educators can apply the knowledge to care for the whole, constantly changing child in a competent manner.

1-2 Theories of Child DevelopmentBefore the Reformation in sixteenth-century Europe, little importance was placed on children; they were considered little adults. With the Reformation and the Puritan belief in original sin came harsh, restrictive child-rearing practices and the belief that it was the “duty of the responsible adult to con-trol the child’s willfulness and stifle acting-out urges with stern, powerful, and consistent discipline” (Lally, 2006, p. 10).

The seventeenth-century Enlightenment brought new theories of human dignity and respect. Young children were viewed much more humanely. For example, John Locke, a British philosopher, advanced the theory that a child is a tabula rasa, or blank slate. According to his theory, children were not basically evil but were completely molded and formed by their early experiences with the adults around them (Locke, 1690/1892).

An important philosopher of the eighteenth century, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, viewed young children as noble savages who are naturally born with a sense of right and wrong and an innate ability for orderly, healthy growth (1762/1955). His theory, the first child-centered approach, advanced an important concept still accepted today: the idea of stages of child development.

During the late 1800s, Charles Darwin’s theories of natural selection and survival of the fittest strongly influenced ideas on child development and care (1859/1936). Darwin’s research on many animal species led him to hypothesize that all animals were descendants of a few common ances-tors. Darwin’s careful observations of child behaviors resulted in the birth of the science of child study.

At the turn of the twentieth century, G. Stanley Hall was inspired by Darwin. Hall worked with one of Darwin’s students, Arnold Gesell, to advance the maturational perspective that child development is geneti-cally determined and unfolds automatically—leading to universal charac-teristics or events during particular time periods (Gesell, 1928). Thus, Hall and Gesell are considered founders of the child study movement because of their normative approach of observing large numbers of chil-dren to establish average or normal expectations (Berk, 2012). At the same time, in France, Alfred Binet was establishing the first operational defini-tion of intelligence by using the normative approach to standardize his intelligence test.

Erik Erikson created the psychosocial theory of child development. Erikson’s (1950) theory, which is still used in child care today, predicted

milestones Specific behaviors common to an entire population that are used to track development and are observed when they are first or consistently manifested.

stages Normal patterns of development that most people go through in maturation, first described by Jean-Jacques rousseau.

normative approach Observing large numbers of children to establish average or normal expectations of when a particular skill or ability is present.

psychosocial theory Erikson’s stage theory of development, including trust, autonomy, identity, and intimacy.

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several stages of development, including the development of trust, autonomy, identity, and intimacy. How these stages are dealt with by family members and teachers determines an individual’s capacity to con-tribute to society and experience a happy, successful life.

While Erikson greatly influenced the fields of child development and care, a parallel approach was being studied, called behaviorism. John Wat-son, the father of behaviorism, in a historic experiment, taught an 11-month-old named Albert to fear a neutral stimulus (a soft white rat) by presenting the rat several times accompanied by loud noises. Watson and his followers used experiments in classical conditioning to promote the idea that the environment is the primary factor determining the growth and development of children. Skinner and Belmont (1993) expanded Watson’s theories of classical conditioning to demonstrate that child behaviors can be increased or decreased by applying positive reinforcers (rewards), such as praise, and negative reinforcers (punishment), such as criticism and withdrawal of attention.

During the 1950s, social learning theories became popular. Proponents of these theories, led by Albert Bandura, accepted the principles of be hav-iorism and enlarged on conditioning to include social influences such as modeling, imitation, and observational learning to explain how children develop (Grusec, 1992).

Jean Piaget is one theorist who has influenced the modern fields of child development and care more than any other. Cognitive developmental theory predicts that children construct knowledge and awareness through manipulation and exploration of the environment, and that cognitive development occurs through observable stages (Beilin, 1992). Piaget’s stages of cognitive development have stimulated a significant body of research on children, and his influences have helped teachers view young children as active participants in their own growth and development. Piaget’s contri-butions have many practical applications for teachers.

Attachment theory was developed on the premise that infants need a strong emotional attachment to their primary caregiver. This theory exam-ines how early care, especially relationships between adults and children, impacts later development. Bowlby (1969/2000), after observing children between the ages of one and four years in post–World War II hospitals and institutions who had been separated from their families, concluded that “the infant and young child should experience a warm and continuous relationship with his mother (or permanent mother substitute) in which both find satisfaction and enjoyment” to grow up mentally healthy (p. 13). Relying heavily on ethological concepts, he proposed that a baby’s attach-ment behaviors (e.g., smiling, crying, clinging) are innate and that they mature at various times during the first two years of life (Bowlby, 1958). The ethological purpose of these behaviors is to keep the infant close to the mother, who keeps the child out of harm’s way (Honig, 2002). How-ever, the quality of attachment is not just determined by the infant’s behav-ior. The caregiver’s responses to the attachment behaviors serve to create a foundation for their relationship to develop (see Oppenheim & Koren-Karie, 2002). Attachment history has been associated with emotional, social, and learning outcomes later in life (see Copple, 2012) and has been very influential on classroom practices.

behaviorism School of psychology that studies stimuli, responses, and rewards that influence behavior.

social learning theories a body of theory that adds social influences to behaviorism to explain development.

cognitive developmental theory Piaget’s theory that children construct knowledge and awareness through manipulation and exploration of their environment.

attachment theory a theory that infants are born needing an emotional attachment to their primary caregiver.

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Over the past one to two decades, technologies, such as innovations in noninvasive neuroscience imaging techniques, have begun to significantly impact our understanding of brain development. It was once believed that nature, or the basic genetic makeup of a child, played a dominant role in determining both short- and long-term cognitive developmental outcomes. Newer technologies allow for close examination of nurture, or environmental impacts, on the same outcomes. Scientists have found that harmful, stress-ful, or neglectful behaviors early in life can affect the development of the brain, potentially leading to lifelong difficulties (Carlson, Hostinar, Mliner, & Gunnar, 2014; Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2011; Nelson, Bos, Gunnar, & Sonuga-Barke, 2011). The quality and consistency of early care will affect how a child develops, learns, copes with, and handles life. The more quality interactions you have with the children in your care, the more opportunities you create for positive development.

Another theory of child development is the ecological systems theory developed by Urie Bronfenbrenner, an American psychologist. Bronfen-brenner (1995) expanded the view of influences on young children by hypothesizing four nested structures that affect development (see Figure 1–1).

ecological systems theory Bronfenbrenner’s theory of nested environmental systems that influence the development and behavior of people.

FIGURE 1–1 ◗ Model of Urie Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory

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At the innermost level is the microsystem, which comprises patterns of interactions within the immediate surroundings of the child. This sys-tem includes families, early childhood educators, direct influences on the child, and the child’s influence on the immediate environment. The mesosystem is the next level of influence and includes interactions among the various microsystems. For example, family and teacher interactions in the child care setting represent connections between

microsystem Bronfenbrenner’s term for the innermost level of influence found in the immediate surroundings of the child, such as parents or an early childhood educator.

ESSENtial liFE SkillS FOr iNFaNtS

Ellen Galinsky outlines in her book, Mind in the Mak-ing: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs (2010), what parents, educators, and community mem-bers must know to help children grow and develop optimally. She expertly weaves together research on brain development, social development, emotional development, and environmental influences on those processes to draw her conclusions. As the title indi-cates, there are seven essential life skills that must be developed for young children:

●● Focus and controlling oneself●● Perspective taking●● Communicating●● Making connections●● Critical thinking●● Taking on challenges●● Self-directed, engaged learning

One overarching theme of this book is recognizing and building on the competencies of very young chil-dren. Research continues to illuminate how children have remarkable skills long before they can articulate what they are thinking. For example, infants and tod-dlers are capable of demonstrating brain functions that manage attention, emotions, and behaviors in pursuit of goals (i.e., executive functions) (p. 39); 18-month-old children can take the perspective of an adult (p. 81); infants can read adults’ emotional cues to differentiate a range of emotions (p. 113); 6-month-old babies have number sense and can distinguish an array of 8 ver-sus 16 dots (p. 169); and 6- and 10-month-old infants demonstrate people sense when they indicate a pref-erence for the character in a play that helped another (rather than the character who hindered another; pp. 212–213).

A significant contribution of this book is Galinsky’s description of the seven essential life skills as being “social-emotional-intellectual (SEI) skills” (p. 71). In other words, current research has elucidated how these

essential life skills reflect the multifaceted interplay between those three areas of development. Parents, teachers, and community members can no longer con-tinue to treat these complex skills in simplistic and isolated ways; we must recognize how each area of development works with other areas to result in com-plex understanding and behaviors.

This book not only blends data generated from rig-orous research with interviews of those researchers but also provides practical suggestions that parents and teachers can use to promote brain development via these seven essential skills. For example, Chapter 1 provides 19 suggestions to promote the development of focus and self-control such as encouraging pretend play because it promotes the development of the work-ing memory and playing sorting games with changing rules because they support cognitive flexibility. Criti-cal thinking (Chapter 5) can be supported by promoting curiosity, learning from “experts,” evaluating informa-tion from others, and being a critical viewer of televi-sion and other media.

The last essential skill (self-directed, engaged learn-ing) is of particular importance for teachers of infants and toddlers. Galinsky makes the case that research supports seven principles that help “children unleash their passionate desire to learn” (p. 300). Following are some of those principles:

●● Establish a trustworthy relationship with each child.●● Help children set and work toward their own goals.●● Involve children socially, emotionally, and intellec-

tually in learning.●● Elaborate and extend their learning.●● Help children become increasingly accountable for

their own learning.When teachers act intentionally to support chil-

dren’s learning about their passions (e.g., cars for one child, cats for another), they open up new worlds of understanding in areas such as mathematics, history, literacy, and science that will serve them for a lifetime.

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home and school that impact the child’s development. The exosystem includes influences with which the child is not directly involved that affect development and care, such as parent education, parent work-place, and the quality and availability of health and social services. The macrosystem consists of the values, laws, resources, and customs of the general culture in which a child is raised. This theory has wide applications in understanding and categorizing the factors that affect child care.

The final developmental theory to be discussed here is sociocultural theory. A Russian psychologist, Lev Semenovich Vygotsky, hypothesized that culture, meaning the values, beliefs, and customs of a social group, is passed on to the next generation through social interactions between children and their elders (1934/1986). Those social interactions must be at the appropriate level for learning to occur. Adults must observe and assess each child’s individual levels of performance as well as her assisted lev-els of performance on a given task to judge what supports (also known as scaffolding) are necessary for promoting learning (Berk & Winsler, 1995; Bodrova & Leong, 2007), social or emotional development (Morcom, 2014), and play (Leong & Bodrova, 2012). Cross-cultural research has supported this theory through findings that young children from various cultures develop unique skills and abilities that are not present in other cultures (Berk, 2012).

1-2a Unique Patterns of DevelopmentThese theories differ in their view of various controversies in development (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2013). For the purposes of this chapter, the focus will be placed on the controversy of universal versus unique patterns of devel-opment. Theories on the universal end of the continuum (see Figure 1–2) state that development stages or accomplishments are common to all chil-dren. As you can tell from the preceding descriptions, some theorists such as Piaget and Gesell describe development as occurring in set patterns for all children. In other words, there are universal trends in cognitive rea-soning and physical development. From these perspectives, if you know a child’s age, you can predict with some degree of confidence how that child might think or act.

On the other end of the controversy, theories espousing a unique view of development suggest that patterns of development cannot be deter-mined or predicted because environmental factors impact each child dif-ferently. Ecological systems and sociocultural theories are both examples on this end of the continuum. These theorists did not believe that teach-ers could predict a child’s behaviors or abilities by knowing a child’s age

FIGURE 1–2 ◗ Continuum for the Controversy of Universal versus Unique Development

Interaction ofboth aspects

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mesosystem Bronfenbrenner’s term for the second level of influence for the child that involves interactions among microsystems, such as a teacher in a child care center and family members.

exosystem Bronfenbrenner’s term for the influences that are not a direct part of a child’s experience but influence development, such as parent education.

macrosystem Bronfenbrenner’s term for influences on develop-ment from the general culture, including laws and customs.

sociocultural theory Vygotsky’s theory on development that predicts how cultural values, beliefs, and concepts are passed from one generation to the next.

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or where stage of development. Each child is unique in his or her progression of skills, knowledge, and behaviors (Photo 1–1).

S o m e t h e o r i e s o f d e v e l o p m e n t are at neither end of the continuum. Rather, they fall somewhere in the middle, suggesting that development is representative of both controver-sies. Attachment theory, for example, is based on the belief that all children experience similar phases; yet, the relationship each child has with her caregivers greatly impacts the type of attachment displayed.

It must be kept in mind that the United States is a world leader in the fields of child development and care, but we cannot assume that research findings on developmental skills and abilities from one group of children

(e.g., Caucasian American) directly apply to other cultures or subcultures (Diaz Soto & Swadener, 2002; Fleer & Hedegaard, 2010; Lee & Johnson, 2007; Matusov et al., 2007). Only through taking a developmental per-spective and paying close attention to universal and unique patterns of development as well as cultural influences will we be able to determine the practices to optimally enhance the growth and development of individ-ual infants and toddlers.

PhOTO 1–1 Toddlers share many characteristics, yet they are all developmentally unique.

1-3 Current Trends in Development and EducationCurrent child care trends considered in this section reflect the research being completed concerning brain development, attachment theory, and sociocultural theory. All of these trends are discussed within the frame-work of the ecological systems theory: microsystem, mesosystem, exosys-tem, and macrosystem. In this theory, human relationships are described as bidirectional and reciprocal. Relating is the act of being with someone

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.

1. Justify why an infant-toddler teacher should employ a developmental perspective in his work.

2. Explain what the four developmental domains are and why it is useful, yet artificial, to divide development in this manner.

3. Select two developmental theories. Compare and contrast them; in other words, explain how they are alike and how they are different.

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and sharing the same space and setting, expressing needs and accepting responsibility for interacting with each other. Interactions are respectful to all parties involved.

The recommendation to respect children is also expressed by the edu-cational leaders of the infant and toddler centers of Reggio Emilia, Italy. These professionals believe that all children have rights, which include, among other things, the right to be held in high regard and treated respect-fully. This book emphasizes that the teacher be mindful of positive inten-tions toward the child and engage in reflective, careful planning, resulting in good outcomes for both.

1-3a Microsystem trendsTrends in the microsystem involve effects that adults and children have on each other. For example, an adult who consciously uses attention, approval, and attunement with children elicits a positive response from them. Any third party who is present may also be affected. How this per-son is affected is determined by whether or not the reciprocal relationship is positive or negative. If the people interacting are supportive, the quality of the relationship is enhanced.

The microsystem is the closest system to the child. It contains the child, the immediate nuclear family, and others directly related to the child. Development of the child is directly impacted by the contexts in which the child is being raised and the child directly impacts those same contexts. In other words, bidirectional influences are at play. Gabbard and Krebs (2012) theorized about the importance of considering physical development from Bronfenbrenner’s perspective. They suggest that family members can constrain development (e.g., placing an infant in a crib for long periods of time), or they can support and enhance development (e.g., providing toys, materials, and space that encourage a variety of motoric activities). Yet, a child that craves movement can resist being placed in a crib for too long, resulting in an adult changing her location and providing new physical experiences.

Until the recent recession, the trend over the past 20 years has been for more and more children to have parents who work outside the home and to live in single-parent households. One direct consequence of these changes is that more children receive nonfamilial care in the United States than ever before. Child care settings, then, have become an important aspect of the microsystem. Approximately 60 percent of the infants, toddlers, and preschool children aged 5 or younger (not enrolled in kindergarten) in the United States are in at least one weekly nonparental child care arrangement (Mamedova & Redford, 2013). The most prevalent type of care children experience is center-based care, followed by relative care, and then nonrelative care. These children have widespread cultural differences in customs, family structure, and parenting styles. For example, children experience living with one parent, two parents, or grandparents. In addition, more and more children grow up experiencing poverty (see Table 1–2). Respectful, mindful teachers are necessary in all child care settings to promote interest, acceptance, and pride among children and families.

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Table 1–2 ◗ Facts and Figures on Families in the United States with Infants and Toddlers

All Infants and Toddlers

More than 11 million infants and toddlers live in the United States. Every 1.5 minutes, a baby is born to a teen mother.a

Every 1.5 minutes, a baby is born at low birth weight. Black babies are about twice as likely as White or Hispanic babies to be born at low birth weight.

Every 22 minutes, a baby dies before his or her first birthday. When compared to other industrialized countries, the United States ranks 31st in infant mortality rates and 25th in low-birthweight rates. When comparing the Black child well-being in the United States to other nations, 72 nations have lower infant mortality rates.

Approximately 20 percent of 2-year-olds are not fully immunized. In 2013, 17 states had MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) coverage below 90.0 percent, and these states are at higher risk for measles outbreaks.

Among all infants and toddlers, 13 percent of infants and toddlers living in low-income or poor families in the United States do not have health insurance.

A child is abused or neglected every 47 seconds; infants are the most likely to suffer from maltreatment.

In 2011 (latest year data reported), the average cost of center-based care for infants was greater than the annual tuition and fees at an in-state college in 35 states and the District of Columbia.

Infants and Toddlers in Poverty

Every 32 seconds, a baby is born into poverty.a Of the infants and toddlers in the United States, 48 percent are in families living below or near the federal poverty line. Children under the age of 3 are more likely to live in poverty than older children. Poverty, however, is related to race and ethnicity, with African American, American Indian, and Hispanic infants and toddlers being more than twice as likely to live in poverty as young White children. In addition, 56 percent of infants and toddlers with immigrant parents live in low-income families.

Eighty-eight percent of infants and toddlers with parents who have less than a high school degree live in low-income families.

Most poor infants and toddlers live in families where at least one adult works. Seventy-six percent of low-income families have at least one parent who works part-time or part-year year-round. Thirty-two percent of low-income families have at least one parent who works full-time, year-round.

Of infants and toddlers living with a single mother, 74 percent are in low-income families.

Nationally, in 2013, 150,000 infants, toddlers, and pregnant women participated in Early Head Start programs. This represented only 4 percent of infants, toddlers, and pregnant women who were eligible to be served.

In 2010, nearly 9 million infants, children, and women participated in the WIC program.

aBased on calculations per school day (180 days of seven hours each).Sources: National Center for Children in Poverty. (2014). Basic facts about low-income children: Children under 3 years, 2012, and Investing in young children: A factsheet on early care and education participation, access, and quality. Retrieved September 23, 2014, from http://www.nccp.org/; Children’s Defense Fund. (2014). The state of America’s children. Retrieved September 23, 2014, from http://childrensdefense.org; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Childhood immunization coverage infographic: Infant vaccination rates high, unvaccinated still vulnerable. Retrieved September 26, 2014, from http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/imz-managers/coverage/nis/child/index.html

In the past, it was thought that the immediate family had the greatest single impact on a child’s life. However, with the increased need for parents of very young children to engage in the workforce, the need for child care is so great that this is no longer true. Attachment research (to be reviewed in the next section) explains that infants can form positive, secure relationships

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with both family members and early childhood educators. Child develop-ment experts now understand that close relationships between a toddler and a teacher are not a substitute for parent-child relationships; rather, they can support and enhance each other (Photo 1–2). Now such experts encourage important practices such as family grouping, continuity of care, primary caregiving, and creating partnerships with families to minimize the effects on children of long hours away from family members.

Family GroupingWhen a small number of children of different ages (e.g., infants and tod-dlers) are cared for in the same room, it is called family grouping. Such arrangements reproduce relationships that children naturally have in a home setting. For example, families often have siblings who are two or fewer years apart in age. Organizing the program so that the six children who share the room vary in age from a very young infant (e.g., 6 weeks) to 3 years of age provides opportunities for interactions that are similar to those that may be found more naturally.

Continuity of CareAttachment theory suggests that infants, toddlers, and adults need time to create positive emotional bonds with one another. Having the same teach-ers work with the same children for a three-year period is one way to pro-mote strong attachments (Bernhardt, 2000; Honig, 2002). This type of arrangement is often referred to as continuity of care and should be viewed as a primary component of high-quality programming for very young chil-dren. As this term suggests, the emphasis is placed on maintaining

family grouping Method for grouping children where children are of different ages.

continuity of care having the same teachers work with the same group of children and families for more than one year, ideally for three years.

PhOTO 1–2 Close relationships between toddlers and teachers support and enhance parent-child relationships.

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relationships for long periods of time. With older children, this is often referred to as looping. Continuity of care can appear in several different forms in practice. For example, a teacher and her group of children could remain in one classroom for the infant and toddler years, changing furni-ture, instructional tools, and supplies as needed to respond to the develop-ing capabilities of the children. In contrast, a teacher and her group of children could move each year into a new classroom, which already is equipped with age-appropriate furniture, supplies, and materials. In either case, emphasis is placed on building strong, stable, and secure attachments between the caregiver and child throughout the first three years of life. Unfortunately, when infants and toddlers experience too many changes in caregivers, they can become reluctant to form new relationships, and their optimal social and emotional development is impeded.

National statistics suggest that many infants and toddlers do not expe-rience continuity of care. According to Mamedova and Redford (2013), the mean length of time that children had been in their primary care arrange-ment was longer for children in a relative care arrangement (18 months) compared to nonrelative care (15 months) or center-based care arrangement (13 months). In other words, children in center-based care had experienced more changes in who cared for them during their first years of life. Some reasons for a lack of continuity in child care centers are explored next.

Implementing continuity of care might seem simple, yet it requires a great deal of organizing and changing policies on the part of a program. For example, practices for hiring often have to change (e.g., hiring teachers of “children from birth to age 3,” rather than an infant teacher), and com-munication with families has to include a rationale for this approach. The program also has to respond to changes in external policies that impact the program. In the state of Indiana, to illustrate, child care licensing regula-tions require that all programs make a “reasonable effort” toward imple-menting continuity of care for children up to 30 months of age. Recent research discovered that while many programs say that they are doing continuity of care, the majority of them did not keep infants or toddlers with their teacher when they moved to the next class (Ruprecht, 2011). The imprecision of the licensing regulations may be influencing how programs define and implement this concept.

Looking more broadly at policy issues can also demonstrate how regu-lations can impact the continuity of care a child receives. When the state of Oregon decided to develop more generous child care subsidy policies for how to use federally funded Child Care and Development Funds, the goal was to increase parent’s child care options by allowing them access to care they believed was best for their child. The impact on the policy was found to be twofold (Weber, Grobe, & Davis, 2014). First, more families selected center-based care for their toddlers. Second, the children had more stable participation in the program selected by their family. Thus, while the state policies were not about continuity of care within any specific classroom, the increase in consistent funding led to more consistent participation in the child care programs. While changes in state licensing regulations and subsidy policies are often welcomed by many professionals, more work needs to be done to assist program directors and teachers in executing con-tinuity of care in practice and to research the impact of such changes on child outcomes.

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Primary CaregivingAnother way to help adults bond with infants is to divide the work using a primary caregiving system (Kovach & De Ros, 1998). In this method, one teacher in the room is primarily responsible for half of the children, and the other teacher is primarily responsible for the rest. While a teacher would never ignore the expressed needs of any infant or toddler, she is able to invest time and energy into coming to understand a smaller group of children and their families. Frequently, the primary caregiver is the person responsible for providing assistance during routine care times such as diapering, feeding, or napping. According to teachers, the primary caregiving system is valuable because it helps them maintain a balance between their routine work and their availability to be responsive to the children (Ebbeck & Yim, 2009). While this research suggests that teachers value the primary caregiving sys-tem, recent research from Indiana suggests they are still working to align behaviors that would support such a system. State licensing regulations require that each infant and toddler classroom use a primary caregiving sys-tem and that the assignments are posted for families. When asked what other behaviors the teachers engage in to support these relationships, teachers reported that they document daily activities, provide information on the child’s development, and sit with the care group during meals (Ruprecht, 2011). They were less likely to report that they were responsible for changing diapers, soothing the child to sleep, interacting with the child, and talking to parents on a daily basis. It appears that teachers need support in defining and carrying out behaviors that would promote their role as a primary caregiver.

An important aspect of implementing a primary caregiving system is strong communication and collaboration between the adults in the class-room. When adults know children well, they can communicate with each other quickly about next steps or how to divide tasks. For example, if three children are still eating snacks, and four children are ready to go outside, the adults can determine who should stay inside to finish the snack and clean the tables for the next learning experience and who should go out-side and support outdoor learning. In addition, the adults can be flexible in helping each other meet the children’s needs. For example, when the primary caregiver is unavailable, the other adult can “fill in” and express his willingness to assist the child instead. Thus, the adults have modeled a sense of working together, communication, and everyone pitching in to finish all that needs to be accomplished.

1-3b Mesosystem trendsThe mesosystem reflects the relationships between the various components of the microsystem. In other words, at the mesosystem level, we have to con-sider bidirectional influences between family, peers, school, and so on. Of particular importance for early childhood educators is the relationship that teachers have with families. The transition between home and school should be smooth and continuous. The only pathway for achieving this is through partnering with families. Families are experts on their children; recognizing and using this can improve your effectiveness as a caregiver. On the other hand, you are an expert on this time period—infancy and toddlerhood—given your experiences with numerous children of this age and your inten-tional study of child development. Help each family member bring her or his

primary caregiving system Method of organizing work in which one teacher is primarily responsible for half of the children, and the other teacher is primarily responsible for the rest.

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strengths to the relationship. Valuing each family’s child-rearing practices while helping them to understand child development is not only respectful but also part of your ethical responsibility (NAEYC, 2005a).

Positive relationships within the mesosystem level have been shown to result in encouraging outcomes for children, families, teachers, and pro-grams (Photo 1–3). Used in combination, the effects of each setting can be particularly strong. The reason for highlighting the relationships between the systems is to help you understand that the purpose of child care is not to replace familial influences on very young children but to enhance them.

1-3c Exosystem trendsThe exosystem refers to social settings that do not contain the child but still directly affect the child’s development, such as parent workplace, community

health services, and other public agen-cies. To illustrate, the impact of being a child in a military family depends on where the child is at developmentally because the timing of separations and reunifications in military families matters (Masten, 2013). Growing evidence sug-gests that stress in a pregnant mother can alter development in the fetus with last-ing effects on health or brain development (Shonkoff et al., 2012). Very young chil-dren are sensitive to the effects of separa-tions during the period when attachment bonds are forming. In addition, when tod-dlers lack the ability to understand infor-mation related to the deployment, it can result in a sense of abandonment, confu-sion, and emotional turmoil or anxiety. Thus, “different developmental stages bring different vulnerabilities and capaci-ties that may affect how a child responds to deployment experiences” (Paley, Lester, & Mogil, 2013, p. 254).

PhOTO 1–3 Infants, toddlers, and adults need time to create positive emotional bonds with one another.

Think back to your experiences as a young child. Go as far back in your memory as possible. Feel free to ask a family member for assistance if necessary or desired. What were your experiences like? Where, for example, did you live, and with whom did you live? What did that person or those persons do to earn money? What type of community agencies did you participate in most often (e.g., public library, food banks, social service agencies)?

How do you think your experiences as a young child have shaped the person you are today? How do those experiences impact, both positively and negatively, your understanding of and interactions with very young children and their families? In addition, how might it impact your knowledge of the resources avail-able in your community?

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The exosystem structure also manifests itself in the work of profes-sional organizations that lobby and advocate for quality child care services. Many local, regional, and national organizations stress child care advocacy that sets higher standards of care, along with education that touches each child in the community. NAEYC, for example, has created standards defin-ing high-quality early educational programs. The accreditation process, revised in 2014, is a way for programs to demonstrate they are providing exceptional care and educational experiences for young children. Hence, this organization, while a part of the exosystem, can directly impact the work of teachers in early education programs. Moreover, NAEYC works with other agencies to advocate for best practices. To illustrate, in April 2014, NAEYC endorsed the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Position Statement on Early Childhood Science Education to support appropriate science experiences from age 3 through preschool, and the NAEYC has an ongoing relationship with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) to recognize teacher-preparation programs that have achieved high standards for preparing future professionals.

Being an advocate yourself might seem like an overwhelming task. However, each time you interact with family members, colleagues, and community members, you are a teacher-leader. Your dedication to apply-ing and sharing professional knowledge and practices makes you an advo-cate for young children, families, and the early childhood profession.

1-3d Macrosystem trendsNext we turn to trends within the macrosystem, the most general level of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory. The child is ultimately affected by decisions made at this level because the macrosystem consists of the laws, customs, and general policies of the social system (government). This is where the availability of resources (money in particular) is determined. The macrosystem structure of the United States has gone through remark-able changes over the past 10 to 20 years.

WEStED’S PrOgraM FOr iNFaNt/ tODDlEr carE

WestEd is a nonprofit agency whose mission is to work with education and other communities to pro-mote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning for children, youth, and adults. As one way to achieve this mission, WestEd has created a training series for infant and toddler teachers called Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC). This program provides ongoing training and professional development opportuni-ties which ensure that America’s infants get a safe, healthy, emotionally secure, and intellectually rich

start in life. The PITC is based on current research that espouses the importance of responsive, respectful, and relationship-based care for infants and toddlers. Currently, this agency is conducting a research study to evaluate the implementation of PITC teachers’ care-giving strategies. In other words, they are seeking to understand whether their intensive training has a positive impact on the way their graduates build rela-tionships with and create meaningful environments for very young children. For more information on this agency, go to the Program for Infant/Toddler Care website.

Spotlight on Organizations

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Early Head Start (EHS), which started in 1994, is a federally funded program for low-income pregnant women and families with infants and toddlers. This program evolved from the Head Start program and the clear need to provide early intervention for children and families. In 2003, the federal budget for EHS was $653.7 million for more than 700 programs serving more than 62,000 children under the age of 3 (Mann, Bogle, & Parlakian, 2004). By 2010, the number of programs expanded to more than 1,000 serving more than 133,000 children under the age of 3 in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands (Early Head Start Program Facts, 2011). However, the funding increase was tem-porary (i.e., two years) as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvest-ment Act (ARRA), which appropriated $1.1 billion for EHS Programs in FY 2009. However, another law was passed in 2011 expanding partial funding for one more year (Early Head Start Programs Facts, 2011). Although those figures may sound impressive, EHS services continue to reach only 4 per-cent of the infants, toddlers, and pregnant women who are eligible for its services (Schmit, Matthews, Smith, & Robbins, 2013). Significantly more federal funding is warranted to address this community need.

Even though far too few children are served by this important program, the children who are enrolled have documented positive outcomes in all areas of development. For example, they have higher immunization rates, larger vocabularies, and better social-emotional development as indicated by lower rates of aggression with peers and were more attuned with objects when playing (National Head Start Association [NHSA], 2014). They had higher early reading and math scores than peers who were not enrolled in EHS (Lee, Zhai, Brooks-Gunn, Han, & Waldfogel, 2014). African American children who were in EHS programs had better cognitive outcomes (e.g., increased receptive vocabulary and sustained attention) and social out-comes (e.g., increased engagement with parents during play, and reduction in aggressive behaviors; Harden, Sandstrom, & Chazan-Cohen, 2012).

In addition, EHS has been found to have positive effects on parents such as decreased rates of depression, increased participation in educa-tional or job training, and higher rates of employment (NHSA, 2014). They have been found to score higher on measures of parenting supportiveness (Harden et al., 2012), especially for mothers with less initial attachment avoidance or attachment anxiety (Berlin, Whiteside-Mansell, Roggman, Green, Robinson, & Spieker, 2011). NHSA (2014) research found that EHS parents were more likely to read to their child on a daily basis.

These positive outcomes fuel current concerns about the quality of non-familial care during the first three years of life for all of the other children in our communities. How can underfunded child care programs provide qual-ity care and education, adequately compensate teachers and directors, and be responsive to family’s changing needs? Professionals have been working diligently to improve the minimal educational requirements for child care teachers by demanding that their state and/or local governments raise train-ing and care standards. NAEYC, for example, has raised standards for teacher qualifications while maintaining their high standards for teacher-child ratios (NAEYC, 2014). Taken together, these requirements demonstrate that good, affordable child care is not a luxury or fringe benefit for some families but essential brain food for each child in the next generation.

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1-4 Valuing Cultural DiversityAs mentioned previously, child care settings are becoming increasingly diverse. We can’t ignore these differences but rather need to respect, embrace, and value them. It is important for the early childhood educator to accept the challenge to develop a multicultural curriculum that involves both parents and children because many young families are beginning to explore their own cultural backgrounds.

Multicultural curriculum development fits into Vygotsky’s theory of the dissemination of culture. He viewed cognitive development as a socially mediated process, dependent on the support and guidance that adults and more mature peers provide as children attempt new tasks (Berk, 2012). A culturally rich curriculum encourages the recognition of cultural differences and helps young families connect with the traditions of their own heritage and culture.

Each person employed in early childhood education draws upon his or her own cultural model for behavior that is both relevant and meaningful within his or her particular social and cultural group. The knowledge and understanding that caregivers use with families is drawn primarily from two sources: their educational knowledge base and their personal experi-ences as family members and educators. Therefore, we need to recognize and continually reexamine the way we put our knowledge into practice. We need to develop scripts that allow us to learn more about the families’ cultural beliefs and values regarding the various aspects of child rearing. In other words, we must create a method or sequence of events for getting to know each family. That way, we can understand the family’s actions, atti-tudes, and behavior, as well as their dreams and hopes for their child.

Consideration of cultural models can help us bring coherence to the various pieces of information that we are gathering about families and orga-nize our interpretation of that informa-tion. Organizing and ongoing reflection on what parents tell us about their strat-egies can help us discover their cultural model for caregiving, and then we can compare it with the cultural models that guide our own practice (Finn, 2003).

We caregivers must recognize the richness and opportunity available to us in our work with families of diverse ethnic, racial, and cultural groups (Photo 1–4). We can learn the differ-ent ways that families provide care for their children when they are all striv-ing toward similar goals—happy and healthy children who can function successfully within the family culture and the greater community. We can use that knowledge to construct a cultural model of culturally responsive practice, designed to support families in their

scripts a method or sequence of events to learn more about each family’s cultural beliefs and values regarding the various aspects of child rearing.

PhOTO 1–4 More children with a wide diversity of backgrounds are in early childhood education programs.

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caregiving and assist them in meeting their goals for their children (Finn, 2003; Rothstein-Fisch, Trumbull, & Garcia, 2009).

Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory assumes the intercon-nectedness of each person to others and examines the ways in which one system affects another. It recognizes the importance of respecting each individual’s uniqueness and considers carefully the decisions made at every level that affect us all. This theory helps us understand that children are not passive recipients of whatever happens in their environment but are very involved in influencing their environment and aiding their own development. It is important for the primary caregiver to understand that even newborns have a part in their own growth and development. Infants’ wants, needs, and desires must be respected.

Take it as your individual responsibility to be aware of the power of your actions and their immediate and future impact on children. When you see that the early childhood educator also influences the family, com-munity, and culture, you can truly understand the old African saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” This often-quoted saying is a simple way to understand that Bronfenbrenner’s term bidirectional describes the relation-ships that influence a child—occurring between child and father, child and teacher, child and school—and explains that the influences go both ways.

1-1 Determine how the four major developmental areas for assessment differ from one another.Educators must come to understand how patterns of development within the four major areas, physical, emotional, social, and cognitive/language, are useful to their work with young children. When teachers working with infants and toddlers adopt a develop-mental perspective, they are more apt to address the capabilities of the children in their care. Teachers and other adults must be consciously aware of how a child is progressing in each area to create environ-ments that facilitate her ideal development.

1-2 Explain the theories of child development.This chapter also provided an overview of major developmental theorists and theories that

impact teacher behaviors and classroom prac-tices. Some theorists and theories were pre-sented to provide a historical understanding of past reasoning about young children. Other theorists and theories were used to outline a more contemporary understanding of young children, their families, and contextual impacts on both.

1-3 Justify how the use of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory explains current trends in development and education.Bronfenbrenner’s theory was used as a frame-work for understanding contextual variables that directly and indirectly impact children’s development.

Summary

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.

1. Explain at least four current trends in early care and development.2. How does the diversity of families in today’s society influence early education

programs and teachers?

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1-4 Recognize the impact of each individual child’s culture on classroom interactions and curriculum. Early childhood education programs serve chil-dren from a wide diversity of backgrounds. As

a result, there is an increased need for teacher education regarding how to create culturally responsive practices and materials in child care curricula.

Additional ResourcesEdwards, S. (2009). Early childhood education and

care: A sociocultural approach. Castle Hill, NSW, Australia: Pademelon.

Hanson, M. J., & Lynch, E. W. (2013). Understanding families: Supportive approaches to diversity, dis-ability, and risk (2nd ed.). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.

Howes, C. (2010). Culture and child development in early childhood programs: Practices for quality edu-cation and care. New York: Teachers College Press.

Lally, J. R. (2013). For our babies: Ending the invisible neglect of America’s infants. New York: Teachers College Press.

Leach, P. (2009). Child care today: Getting it right for everyone. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Lynch, E. W., & Hanson, M. J. (Eds.) (2011). Developing cross-cultural competence: A guide for working with children and their families (4th ed.). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.

Mooney, C. G. (2010). Theories of attachment: An introduc-tion to Bowlby, Ainsworth, Gerber, Brazelton, Kennell, and Klaus. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf.

Raikes, H., & Edwards, C. P. (2009). Extending the dance in infant and toddler caregiving: Enhanc-ing attachment and relationships. Baltimore, MD: Brookes.

Applying Bronfenbrenner’s Theory

Trisha works at the Little Folks Child Care Center as an assistant teacher while she attends classes at a local community college to earn her associate degree in early childhood education. She was surprised to learn that her center was using family grouping with conti-nuity of care. Although she always knew that she had the same children from the time they enrolled until they were around 3 years old, she did not know it was associated with a particular term or of such great edu-cational value. Currently, she assists the head teacher with caring for eight children who range in age from 8 weeks to 17 months. Like those in the rest of the program, this group of children is culturally diverse. Trisha has worked with parents, staff, and the children on multicultural issues; she always attempts to learn more about each culture represented in her room. As part of a course, she organized a tool for gathering information about child-rearing practices and used the results to individualize routine care times.

As she has learned new ideas, such as the pri-mary caregiving system, accreditation standards, and Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory, she has assumed a more active role in the microsystem. She has repeatedly discussed with her director and lead teacher the need to reduce the number of infants and toddlers per classroom to six and to adopt a primary caregiving system. Although they are enthusiastic about learning more about the primary caregiving system, they have not yet seriously considered cutting the class size by two children per room, due to financial concerns.

1. Provide two examples of how Trisha has, in her words, “assumed a more active role in the microsystem.”

2. In what other systems does Trisha work? Provide examples for each system you identify.

3. What might be the added benefits of the center adopting a primary caregiving system even if it is not possible for them to reduce the number of chil-dren in each room?

TrishaC A S E S t U D Y

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© Cengage Learning

C h a p t e r

Physical and Cognitive/Language Development

Learning ObjectivesAfter reading this chapter, you should be able to:

2-1 Discuss the differences between development and learning.

2-2 Investigate typical patterns of physical development between birth and thirty-six months of age.

2-3 Deconstruct typical patterns of cognitive/language development between birth and thirty-six months of age.

Standards Addressed in This Chapter

NaeYC Standards for early Childhood professional preparation

1 Promoting Child Development and Learning

Developmentally appropriate practice Guidelines

2 Teaching to Enhance Development and Learning

In addition, the NAEYC standards for developmen-tally appropriate practice are divided into six areas particularly important to infant/toddler care. The following area is addressed in this chapter: Policies.

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2-1 Differences between Development and LearningAs mentioned in Chapter 1, developmental theories differ on a number of controversies. That chapter discussed universal versus unique patterns of development. In this chapter, we will investigate briefly the nature versus nurture controversy. Some theorists contend that child development is the result of heredity and natural biological processes, largely independent of learning and experience (nature), whereas others argue that development mostly depends on learning (nurture) (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2013). The best conclusion to date is that child development is a complex process occurring through natural sequences and patterns that depend on learning and experience, among other processes (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2013).

Based on the nature-nurture complexity, this book defines development as cumulative sequences and patterns that represent progressive, refined changes that move a child from simple to more complex physical, cogni-tive, language, social, and emotional growth and maturity. It is recognized that although children grow in the developmental areas in the same general sequences and patterns, each child is affected differ-ently by social, cultural, and environmental influ-ences. Children move through these developmental sequences at widely varying rates.

In contrast, learning is operationally defined as the acquisition of knowledge and skills through sys-tematic study, instruction, practice, and/or experi-ence. As such, learning requires action by a learner. According to a blog by Boller (2012), “learning implies ‘I’ am doing something. I am taking part and doing the work.” This definition takes into consid-eration both overt behavioral changes in responses and more internal changes in perceptions result-ing from practice or conscious awareness, or both. In other words, changes in a response to a stimulus either can be observable to another person (overt) or can occur internally without obvious change in observable behavior (internal). Both overt and inter-nal learning occurs during the first three years of life. Therefore, caregivers must consistently observe the child very closely to understand how changes in responses create the perceptions, thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that constitute the young child’s evolving map of the world. The big-gest challenge for early childhood specialists is to understand each child’s individual map for develop-ment and learning because no two individuals can have the same one.

Figure 2–1 represents three different ways to con-ceptualize the relationship between development and learning. Given the definitions provided for each, which representation do you think fits best and why?

development Operationally defined as general sequences and patterns of growth and maturity.

learning The acquisition of new information through experiences, investigation, or interactions with another.

A Separate concepts

B Overlapping concepts

C Nested concepts

FIGURE 2–1 ◗ Possible Conceptualizations of the Relationship between Development and Learning

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2-2 Patterns of Physical DevelopmentPhysical development includes brain development, physical characteris-tics, sensory, and motor. Each of these is discussed next. Other aspects of physical development, such as teething, sleep patterns, and elimination control, will be discussed in future chapters.

2-2a Brain DevelopmentThe nervous system is responsible for communication among all body parts and ultimately with the environment. This section defines and famil-iarizes the reader with the major nervous system functions. Newborns are complex beings whose growth and development are closely related to the health and integrity of the nervous system, which is made up of the brain, the spinal cord, and nerve cells (neurons).

Brain development is particularly intense during the last weeks of gestation and the first years of life. This is evidenced by the nonlinear growth in the cranial perimeter and in the brain’s weight. According to Dubois, Dehaene-Lambertz, Kulikova, Poupon, Huppi, and Hertz-Pannier (2014), the cranial perimeter grows about 14 cm during the two first post-natal years, followed by only 7 cm until adulthood (5.52 and 2.76 inches, respectively). At birth, the brain weighs 25 percent of an adult’s, and by 24 months, it has tripled its weight, being about 80 percent of an adult’s. Both of these changes can be attributed to growth in the brain’s white matter. Specifically, brain cells called glia are coated in a fatty sheathing called myelin. Myelin is a substance that protects, coats, and insulates neurons, helping connect impulses from one neuron to another. These impulses are coded information lines that function like insulated electrical wires, carry-ing vital current to where it is needed in the body and brain. The myelin coating promotes the transfer of information from one neuron to another. This process, however, is not entirely under the control of genetic codes or biologically driven factors because the human brain is not fully formed at birth. This allows environmental stimuli to influence the development of the human brain.

Motor neuron pathways, for example, apparently expect specific stim-uli at birth. These pathways are called experience-expectant. The environ-ment provides expected stimuli; for example, reflex sucking during breastfeeding is experience-expectant. Infant survival obviously depends on experience-expectant pathways. Another set of neuron pathways, called experience-dependent, seems to wait for new experience before activation. Specific experience-dependent cells form synapses for stable motor pat-terns only after environmental stimuli are repeated several times. When stimulation from the environment occurs in a consistent way, a stable path-way is created, and physical changes occur in the nervous system.

As mentioned in Chapter 1, technological advancements have led to a better understanding of how brain development results from complex interactions between nature (i.e., genetic makeup) and nurture (i.e., envi-ronmental factors). Whereas genes are initially responsible for the basic wiring of the human brain, by the end of the eighth week of pregnancy, the foundation for all body structures, including the brain and nervous system,

experience-expectant Type of motor neuron pathway that apparently expects specific stimuli at birth.

experience-dependent Type of motor neuron pathway that waits for environmental experiences before being activated.

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is evident in the growing fetus. The electrical activ-ity of brain cells while still in the womb changes the physical structure of the brain, just as it will facilitate learning after birth.

Using MRI technology, toddlers (18–22 months) who were born at a very low birth weight were com-pared to full-term babies and found to have differences in the volume of their brain structures (Figure 2–2). Some structures were larger, and other structures were smaller (i.e., cerebral and cerebellum white matter, thalamus, and hippocampus) (Lowe, Duvall, MacLean, Caprihan, Ohls, Qualls, et al., 2011). The important conclusion from this research is that both biological and environmental factors interact in complex ways, resulting in different developmental trajectories.

The human brain is organized into regions that are predetermined for specific functions. For example, all individuals have a language center and an emotion center. However, environmental stimuli affect how the language center and emotion center will develop due to which neurological circuits are activated and the number of times they are used (Fox, Levitt, & Nelson, 2010; Meyer, Wood, & Stanley, 2013). At birth, the brain is packed with an estimated 100 billion neurons whose job is to store and transmit information. The newborn’s brain is constantly taking in information available in the environment, utilizing all existing senses. The brain records these pieces of information, whether they are emotional, physical (sensory), social, or cognitive in origin. This information influences the shape and cir-cuitry of the neurons, or brain cells. The more data taken in, the stronger the neuron connections and pathways become. A repeated behavior or the con-sistency of a behavior increases the chance of the pathway becoming strong.

The brain has two specific yet different modes for responding to envi-ronmental inputs. First, the neural pathways that are not consistently used will be eliminated, or pruned. Many more neural pathways exist in the brain than are efficient. When there is not a consistent pattern of stimula-tion for some neural pathways, the brain’s job is to cut off the circuitry to that area. This process streamlines children’s neural processing, making the remaining circuits work more quickly and efficiently (Zero to Three, 2012). The second mode is called brain plasticity. This concept refers to the process of adaptation; when one part of the brain is damaged, another part of the brain takes over the functions of the damaged area. It also means that if a major change occurs in the environment, infants can form new neural pathways to adapt to the change. By gaining a deeper understand-ing of brain plasticity, better therapies can be developed to improve hemiparesis caused by cerebral palsy or childhood strokes (Johnston, 2009). Unfortunately, the human brain doesn’t have infinite capacity to change; not all damage can be compensated for, and not all neural path-ways can be replaced. What this means for us as caregivers is that infants

prune The elimination of neural pathways that are not consistently used.

brain plasticity When one part of the brain is damaged, other parts take over the functions of the damaged parts.

hemiparesis Slight paralysis or weakness affecting one side of the body.

FIGURE 2–2 ◗ Structural MRI Comparing Hippocampal Volume

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and toddlers are in the process of forming nerve pathways, and by provid-ing them with the proper nutrition and experiences, we can influence the quality of their brain development.

The nervous system is the “command center” for all the vital functions of the body. Pathways and networks of neurons must be organized to carry coded information from the brain to all body parts and vice versa. The brain is comprised of complex systems that interact with each other and with other parts of the body to create all thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions (Figure 2–3). For ease of understanding, the brain is discussed here as being divided into three main parts; each part is further divided into specialized regions with specific functions (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2013). The hindbrain is responsible for regulating automatic functions, such as breathing, diges-tion, alertness, and balance. This part of the brain also controls motor move-ment coordination and muscle tone in an area referred to as the cerebellum. This is also the site for storing emotional knowledge. Another part of the brain, called the midbrain, controls visual system reflexes (e.g., eye move-ments, pupil dilation), auditory system functions, and voluntary motor functions. In addition, the midbrain connects the hindbrain to the forebrain. Like an old-time telephone operator’s switchboard, this part of the brain tells the forebrain what messages from the hindbrain to respond to. The forebrain is what distinguishes our species as human; it contains the cere-bral cortex, which produces all of our complex thoughts, emotional responses, decision-making, reasoning, and communicating.

hindbrain The portion of the brain responsible for regulating automatic functions and emotional knowledge; contains the cerebellum, which controls motor movement coordination and muscle tone.

midbrain The portion of the brain that controls visual system reflexes, auditory functions, and voluntary motor functions; connects the hindbrain to the forebrain.

forebrain The portion of the brain that contains the cerebral cortex, which produces all of our complex thoughts, emotional responses, decision-making, reasoning, and communicating.

FIGURE 2–3 ◗ The Human Brain

Forebrain (Cerebrum)

Midbrain

Hindbrain (Cerebellum)

Spinal cord

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Considered the most important part of the brain, the cerebral cortex is the slowest growing and largest part. Around 12 months, the cerebral cortex begins to organize and specify functions for neuron activity. Other parts of the brain continue to grow rapidly only through the second year, whereas the cerebral cortex continues to grow until the fourth decade of life.

The cerebral cortex receives stimuli in the form of sensory informa-tion. Associations are formed between the thought processes and physical actions or experiences. Specific areas of the cerebral cortex control spe-cial functions, such as planning, problem solving, and decision making (frontal lobes), vision and color recognition (occipital lobes), receiving and processing sensory information (parietal lobes), and emotional responses, memory, and production of language (temporal lobes). Neurological devel-opment of these specialized areas follows predictable patterns as the over-all development of the child progresses due to related brain development.

Brain development during infancy is best promoted when caregivers engage in developmentally appropriate practices, especially those associ-ated with creating positive relationships with very young children. Respon-sive adults tend to provide infants proper nutrition; protect them from harm and excessive stress; soothe them when they are distressed; and talk about objects, patterns, or people who have attracted their attention (Prado & Dewey, 2012; Shore, 2003). Infants rely on adults to help them regulate their emotions, toddlers are exploring their new freedoms of mobility, and teachers provide a pivotal role in it all. Watch what they are trying to do, and find ways to support them without being intrusive. When they have mastered a task, challenge them to go to the next level. For example, when infants are able to push up, adults can lay them on their bellies with an interesting toy or mirror at their sight level. During such interactions, adults need to provide support and guidance that is nurturing, responsive, and reassuring. Thus, responsive caregiving by parents, teachers, and others is a major factor in brain devel-opment. Competent caregivers for infants and toddlers recognize the impact they have on the children’s neurological growth; they initiate activities that reinforce the natural sequences of behaviors supporting healthy growth in all areas. The adult role is critical because early experiences significantly affect how each child’s brain is wired (Patterson & Vakili, 2014; see also Fox et al., 2010, and Meyer et al., 2013, for reviews). Positive social, emotional, cogni-tive, language, and physical experiences all work together with the child’s biological and genetic makeup to influence the development of a healthy

As mentioned previously, most family members do not always recognize or understand the importance of brain development in the first three years of life. What could you do with the families you work most closely with to change that situation? Consider what informa-tion you would share and how you would share it.

Now think about how to share this information with your greater community. How would you go about

setting up a brain development event? Who in the community would you expect to target? Do you want to focus, for example, on grandparents or business owners? What information would you share with this audience, and how would you share it? Find at least two local, state, or national organizations that you could partner with to bring this information to your community.

Family and Community Connection

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brain. In addition, as you will explore in more depth later, the prevention of developmental and learning issues through high-quality adult-child interac-tions and healthy environments is always preferred over providing interven-tion services later (Hyson & Biggar Tomlinson, 2014).

2-2b physical GrowthHuman babies are different from those of any other species because they can’t stand immediately after birth and so can’t get themselves out of harm’s way. Physical growth in terms of body weight, however, occurs at an astounding rate during the first 12 months of life when infants are phys-ically nurtured and active. Height usually parallels weight, so children who gain weight slowly in the first three years also tend to grow in height slowly. In general, a baby gains an average of 10 inches in height and triples his birth weight during his first year (KidsHealth, 2014a). Growth slows significantly during the toddler years, as often does the child’s appetite. Caregivers should be aware that large variations occur in the rate of physi-cal growth in children under 3 years of age. Growth spurts and plateaus are normal for development of height, weight, activity levels, and so on; there-fore, the caregiver should keep careful records of observations of physical growth and share them with parents on a regular basis.

caUSeS anD eFFecTS

Approximately 1,300 infants in the United States expe-rience severe or fatal head trauma each year as the result of abuse (National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, nd). Shaken baby syndrome occurs when a baby or child is violently shaken by an adult or older child. Damage can occur if the shaking lasts for only a few sec-onds. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, nd), children under the age of 1 (espe-cially babies ages 2 to 4 months) are at greatest risk of injury from shaking. Shaking them violently can trigger a “whiplash” effect that can lead to internal injuries. An infant’s neck muscles aren’t strong enough to provide sufficient support for the head; violent shaking “pitches the infant’s brain back and forth within the skull, some-times rupturing blood vessels and nerves throughout the brain and tearing the brain tissue. The brain may strike the inside of the skull, causing bruising and bleeding to the brain” (KidsHealth, 2014b, para. 7).

This syndrome can result in death or severe and irreparable damage. Some common outcomes include the following:

●● Blindness●● Mental retardation or developmental delays (any

significant lags in a child’s physical, cognitive,

behavioral, emotional, or social development, in comparison with norms) and learning disabilities

●● Cerebral palsy●● Severe motor dysfunction (muscle weakness or

paralysis)●● Spasticity (a condition in which certain muscles

are continuously contracted—this contraction causes stiffness or tightness of the muscles and may interfere with movement, speech, and manner of walking)

●● Seizures (CDC, nd)Some researchers have begun to investigate hear-

ing losses associated with shaken baby syndrome as some preliminary evidence suggests it could accom-pany these other outcomes (Alzahrani, Ratelle, Cavel, Laberge-Malo, & Saliba, 2014). The overall prevalence of hearing loss as the result of being shaken has not yet been established.

Shaken baby syndrome does not result from nor-mal parent-child play interactions such as tossing a baby in the air or bouncing her on your knee (CDC, nd; Kids Health, 2014) or by accidental falls (Yamazaki, Yoshida, & Mizunuma, 2014). It is the result of at least one abusive event.

shaken baby syndrome Damage that occurs when a baby or child is violently shaken by an adult or older child.

Spotlight on Shaken Baby Syndrome

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Photo 2–1 Talk with infants about what interests them, such as what they are looking at or what they are hearing.

As you have no doubt observed, the newborn’s head is the largest part of the body. Babies often look disproportional when comparing the size of the head to the rest of the body. Even though the head is large, it is not fully developed. At birth, the bones in the baby’s head are not fused, but rather “soft spots” are found in the front and back of the head. The back soft spot closes after a few months, but the front spot stays soft for almost two years. These soft spots allow space for the growth of the brain (especially from the myelinization process) as described previously. Adults must protect the baby’s head from bumps and during falls, and they must never shake a baby for any reason.

Almost all infants are born with well-defined reflexes or automatic responses. These responses are important when the infant is faced with particular environmental stimuli because they are not yet able to think through and coordinate a response. For example, if a bright light is shone in an infant’s eyes, he will automatically close his eyes. Or, if a finger is placed in his mouth, he will begin to suck without thinking.

Several reflexes form the beginnings of more complex behavior. In other words, they change from involuntary reactions to purposeful, inten-tional actions that support the growing child over time. For example, the rooting and sucking reflexes that are initially necessary for feeding can be combined with the ability to bring the hand to mouth so that the older infant can comfort herself.

The purposes of other reflexes are less well understood. The plantar grasp reflex, to illustrate, is evident when the sole of the foot is stroked causing the toes to flex. How this reflex assists the newborn is not well understood. However, an absent or weak reflex can be a sign of neurological problems.

2-2c Hearing and Vision DevelopmentNewborns respond to a range of sounds. They startle easily with sudden loud noises and become agitated at high-pitched noises. They turn their heads to locate sound and show inter-est in their caregivers’ voices (Photo 2–1). Infants explore their own utterings and use their bodies and toys to play with sound. Infants who are later discovered to be deaf or have impaired hearing coo and babble according to expected devel-opmental patterns for the first few months. As hearing chil-dren increase their quantity and variability of babbling, deaf or hard-of-hearing children actually decrease (Marschark, 2007). This is why hearing problems can be difficult to detect until 7 or 8 months of age, even with universal newborn hearing screenings. For children who underwent routine screening (e.g., at the hospital after birth or at well-baby checkups), the diagnosis for severe to profound hearing loss was 6.8 months, while children who did not have such screening were not diag-nosed, on average, until 20.5 months (Canale, Favero, Lacilla, Recchia, Schindler, Roggero, et al., 2006). While it might seem counterintuitive that early screening does not result in a diag-nosis until six months later, it is important to consider that

reflexes Automatic responses that are present at birth.

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ViSiOn in inFanTS anD TODDLerS

Infants use their eyes from birth, although their vision develops relatively slowly. By the fourth month, coor-dination of both eyes can be observed. Four-month-old infants demonstrated looking preferences that were similar to adult preferences when given simple visual, black-and-white displays (Chien, Palmer, & Teller, 2005). They focus well with both eyes at a distance of 12 inches, which is the normal distance for breastfeed-ing. By age 2, vision is around 20/80; full 20/20 acuity is not expected until they reach school age.

In one of the most comprehensive studies to date, Hatton, Ivy, and Boyer (2013) investigated 5,931 children

age 3 and younger with severe, uncorrectable visual impairments in the United States. They discovered that the three most prevalent diagnoses were cortical visual impairment, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), and optic nerve hypoplasia. For those children whose legal blindness status was known, 60 percent were iden-tified as legally blind. In addition, they found that a diagnosis of a vision impairment was made at the mean age of 4.9 months. As you may recall, this is approxi-mately two months sooner than a hearing impairment diagnosis is typically made. However, similar to a hear-ing impairment, referrals did not result in entry into a specialized intervention program until, on average, six months later.

Spotlight on Research

at least one follow-up evaluation must be conducted to determine the type and severity of the hearing impairment (Vos, Lagassea, & Levêquea, 2014). Late diagnosis has implications for the impact of early interven-tion strategies on improving speech, language, and cognitive develop-ment outcomes as well as the quality of parent and infant life (Canale et al., 2006; Lachowska, Surowiec, Morawski, Pierchała, & Niemczyk, 2014; Vos et al., 2014).

2-2d Motor DevelopmentOne theory of motor development, called the dynamic systems theory, pre-dicts that individual behaviors and skills of the growing infant combine and work together to create a more efficient and effective system. Reach-ing, grabbing, and putting an object in the mouth are put together when eating with a spoon. Each new skill is acquired by practicing, revising, and combining earlier accomplishments to fit a new goal. Consequently, infants typically achieve motor milestones around the same time but in unique ways.

Physical development occurs in a predictable order, starting from the head and chest and moving to the trunk and lower extremities. This direc-tional growth is readily observable as the infant gains control of head, chest, trunk, and then legs to turn over. To crawl, the infant gains con-trol of lower back and leg muscles; to walk, the infant gains control of neck, shoulders, back, legs, feet, and toes. Infants develop control of their arm movements from erratic waving to accurate reaching. Hand control develops from accidentally bumping and hitting to purposefully touching. Reaching occurs first, with an open hand grip. Then the fingers develop, from reflexive pinching, grasping, and reflexive releasing to controlled opening and closing.

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Physical development involves both large movements, or gross motor control, and small muscle activity, fine motor control. Gross motor devel-opment involves large movements through milestone achievements, such as crawling, standing, walking, and throwing. Fine motor development milestones involve smaller, more refined movements, such as grasping and pointing. Three areas of movement that develop over the first three years are (1) stability, (2) locomotion, and (3) manipulation. Stability refers to sit-ting and standing upright; locomotion refers to crawling, walking, and run-ning; and manipulation includes reaching, grasping, releasing, and throwing.

Milestones of development are essential for teachers to know because although the progression of motor development is fairly uniform, indi-vidual children vary within and between cultures in the age at which they develop both gross and fine motor skills. Appendix A provides an overview of Developmental Milestones for motor skill for infants through 3 years of age. At around 6 weeks old, infants begin to hold their heads steady and erect. By 2 months, they lift their upper bodies by their arms and can roll from side to back. From 3 to 4 months, babies begin grasping palm-size objects and can roll from back to side. From 6 to 8 months, they can sit alone and begin to crawl. Between 8 and 10 months, babies pull up to stand and perhaps play patty cake. At this time they begin to stand alone, and then begin to walk. From 13 to 16 months, children can build a tower of two cubes, vigorously scribble with a large crayon, and begin to walk up stairs with help. At around 20 to 24 months, toddlers begin to jump in place and kick objects. By 26 to 30 months, children begin to climb, stand on one foot, and have some interest in toilet learning. Usu-ally at around 36 months, the child can jump and independently use the toilet.

As this general outline indicates, motor development does support the dynamic systems theory described earlier. Children progress from one milestone behavior to the next, based on successful integration of the pre-vious behaviors and neurological maturity resulting from environmental experiences. Children who develop within the average range do not nec-essarily proceed through all of the developmental milestones or move in the exact sequence because movement forward in skill development is interspersed with periods of regression (Gershkoff-Stowe & Thelen, 2004). It is hypothesized that those periods of regression occur because children are uniquely combining old and new skills together, which can result in behaviors appearing to be less developed in one context than in another (Gershkoff-Stowe & Thelen, 2004).

Moving away from dynamic systems theory momentarily, we will con-sider the impact of the environment on physical development. Humphrey and Olivier (2014) investigated the impact of having a teenager mentor work with a selected toddler or preschooler for 1.5 hours a week for 18 weeks on seven areas of development. They found that the young children who were paired with a mentor had significantly higher levels of physical develop-ment when compared to the control group. This research suggests that one-on-one mentoring can positively impact the acquisition of physical skills and promote physical development.

gross motor control The control of large muscles.

fine motor control The ability to control small muscles such as those in the hands and fingers.

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PhOTO 2–2 Walking is a milestone of physical development.

In a review of research, Cardon, Craemer, De Bourdeaudhuij, and Verloigne (2014) explored the impact of intervention projects with par-ents, teachers, and schools, espe-cially those programs with a focus on creating environments that support healthy behaviors. When parents par-ticipated in intervention studies that provided information on the impor-tance of physical activity, Belgian preschoolers engaged in more mod-erate to vigorous physical activity during after-school hours. When preschool and elementary schools modified their outdoor learning envi-ronments to increase play space, children’s physical activity levels also increased. Minimal results were found for teachers who participated in research interventions regard-

ing sedentary behavior. The authors hypothesized that teachers’ personal beliefs and perceptions might be creating barriers to adopting new prac-tices. Thus, it is clear from this research that the ecology (e.g., environ-ments) young children experience can either positively or negatively impact their levels of physical development.

No matter whether a physical skill is the result of a system integration or environmental impacts, the challenge for early educators is to observe physical skills and milestones and determine where individual children fall on the general scale of motor development (Photo 2–2). By performing evaluations on a regular basis, caregivers can determine whether an area of motor development requires specific tasks and experiences to enhance development and whether there are areas in which the child shows advanced development in motor skills.

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following prompts about the material discussed so far.

1. You have been asked to debate the relationship between development and learning. What position will you take and why?

2. Explain how the growth of the brain demonstrates the complex interaction between nature (i.e., genetics or biology) and nurture (i.e., environmental factors).

3. Describe how being born with a physical deformity such as cleft lip/palate influences not only physical development but also social and emotional development.

4. Identify the major milestones for motor development from birth to 3 years of age, and choose two examples (not already provided) that illustrate the dynamic systems theory.

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2-3 Patterns of Cognitive and Language DevelopmentAs mentioned in Chapter 1, the most widely applied theories of higher cognition are Piaget’s cognitive developmental theory and Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory. Later chapters detail several applications of these theories in educational settings, but major principles from each theory are discussed here before we move into language development.

2-3a Cognitive Development: piaget’s theory of reasoningNewborns use all their senses—listening, seeing, tasting, touching, and smelling—to learn about their world. This leads young children to think differently from adults. Adults are logical thinkers; they consider facts, analyze relationships, and draw conclusions. Young children are prel-ogical thinkers; their conclusions are based on their interactions with materials and people in their environment and perhaps on an incom-plete or inaccurate understanding of their experiences. For example, 2 1/2-year-old Ivan has made a tilting stack of blocks. When he places a small car on top of the blocks, the stack tumbles down. Ivan tells Mrs. Young that the car broke the blocks. Ivan has constructed his understand-ing based on his interactions with the materials. He does not yet under-stand gravity, the need to stack blocks straight up rather than at a tilt, and the impact of the car’s rolling wheels. The object Ivan put on the stack just before it fell was the car; as far as Ivan is concerned, the car broke the blocks.

Jean Piaget’s research contributed significantly to the knowledge of cognitive development in young children. A brilliant young scientist, Piaget began his studies as a biologist. Later, listening to children respond to questions on an intelligence test, he became intrigued by their incorrect responses and the patterns of their verbal reasoning. Combin-ing his scientific orientation, his knowledge of biology, and his experi-ences with the children’s incorrect response patterns, Piaget began to study children’s cognitive development. Piaget’s clinical observation method included close observations of his own three young children as well as many other children in his extensive subsequent research. He observed what children did and wrote narrative descriptions. Later, ana-lyzing these detailed observations, he developed his theories of cogni-tive development. Piaget’s (1952) approach is central to the school of cognitive theory known as cognitive constructivism because young chil-dren actively construct knowledge about themselves and their world. They interact with materials in their environment and construct their own understanding and meaning of the events. Each of their actions and interpretations is unique to them. Young children’s thinking organizes information about their experiences so they can construct their own understanding.

However, central to Piaget’s theory is that there are stages of cognitive development; that is, 4-month-olds are cognitively different from 24-month-olds. Piaget contended that the sequence of development is the same for all

cognitive constructivism Theory that describes learning as the active construction of knowledge. humans organize information about their experiences and therefore construct understanding based on their interactions with materials and people in their environment. This is also referred to as individual constructivism.

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children. However, the age and rate at which it occurs differ from child to child. Children develop higher cognitive skills in a systematic manner through four stages: (1) sensorimotor, (2) preoperational, (3) con-crete operational, and (4) formal operational. At each of these stages, similar structures of intelligence are used to learn: adaptation, organization, and schemas.

Adaptation involves using schemes that have direct interaction with the environment, for example, grasping and dropping an object over and over. Accommodation involves changing schemes to better fit the requirements of a task or new information. Thus, a child will change or alter his or her strategies to fit the requirements of a task. For example, banging on a hard toy will produce a noise. Yet, when faced with a soft toy, the child finds that banging is insuffi-cient to produce a response. Squeezing might be tried instead. When children are in a familiar situation, they function by means of assimilation, which involves dealing with an object or event in a way that is consistent with their existing schemes (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2013) (Photo 2–3). When children are in such situations, they are considered to be in the inter-nal state called equilibrium. Their current cognitive schemes work to explain their environment. However, when faced with information that is contrary to their current schemes and understanding or placed in an unfamiliar situation, they experience disequilibrium. This internal mental state provides a motivation for learning because the children are uncomfortable and seek to make sense of what they have observed

or experienced. The movement from equilibrium to disequilibrium and back to equilibrium again is known as equilibration. Equilibration and children’s intrinsic desire to achieve equilibrium move development toward greater complexity of thought and knowledge (McDevitt  & Ormrod, 2013).

Another cognitive function through which schemes are changed is called organization, which takes place internally. Organization is a pro-cess of rearranging new patterns of actions and linking them with other patterns to form a cognitive system. For example, a baby will eventually relate the actions for sucking, dropping, and throwing with new, more complex ideas of near and far. As you can imagine, these more complex ideas are actual cognitive concepts or schemas used to organize the child’s understanding of the world.

The schema of ball is constructed as Shane sees, touches, holds, and tastes a ball. When faced with new information, for example, when he sees the ball bounce for the first time, that does not fit into his schema of “ball-ness.” He continues to construct his knowledge of ball-ness by reorganizing his schema so that now bouncing is included in ball-ness. Shane’s schema

adaptation a change in behavior that helps the child survive in his or her environment; described by piaget as a cognitive skill.

accommodation piaget’s process of changing or altering skills to better fit the requirements of a task.

assimilation piaget’s way of explaining how children refine cognitive structures into schemes.

equilibrium a state of homeostasis or balance that reflects how an infant’s or toddler’s current cognitive schemes work to explain his or her environment.

disequilibrium an internal mental state that motivates learning because the child is uncomfortable and seeks to make sense of what he or she has observed or experienced.

equilibration The movement from equilibrium to disequilibrium and back to equilibrium again.

organization a process of rearranging new sets of information (schemes) and linking them to other established schemes, resulting in an expanded cognitive system.

schemas piaget’s concept to explain cognitive patterns of actions used to learn new information.

PhOTO 2–3 Hard rattles are good for chewing on! According to Piaget, this infant learned this through the processes of assimilation and accommodation while exploring the environment.

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of ball today is different from his schema yesterday, when he had not noticed a bouncing ball. Individual experiences and behavior bring about changes in schemas.

Although some of the hypotheses of Piaget’s theory have come into question after the advent of research demonstrating that infants and tod-dlers have been seriously underestimated in their cognitive skills by Piaget (Bergin  & Bergin, 2012; Newcombe, 2013), the interpretation of those results from a Piagetian perspective continues to be a controversy in the field (Bibace, 2012; Kagan, 2008). However, this author believes the princi-ples and stages defined by Piaget have value for the caregiver in supporting very young children in their cognitive development. Thus, our discussion will turn next to his stages of cognitive development.

Piaget’s first two stages of cognitive development involve children between birth and 3 years of age. These stages, the sensorimotor stage and the beginning of the preoperational stage, are the aspects of cognitive devel-opment relevant to an infant and toddler curriculum. The sensorimotor stage starts at birth, when the baby explores self and the environment. Sen-sorimotor development involves the infant understanding his or her body and how it relates to other things in the environment (Piaget & Inhelder, 1969). Yet, how infants explore objects and, therefore, think, changes over time.

A recent longitudinal study videotaped mother-infant interactions four times between 4 months and 12 months of age to investigate object exploration. They found that, at 4 months, infants focused all of their sensory modalities on objects introduced by the mother (de Barbaro, Johnson, & Deák, 2013). Later, between 6 and 12 months, infants began to separate their sensorimotor exploration so that their eyes and hands were doing different things. For example, infants may hold a toy in one hand, explore it with the other, and look at family members at the same time. This outcome is called triadic attention (baby, family member, and object). Triadic attention allows for increased conversation and inter-action around the object. Previous researchers had concluded that tri-adic attention is a novel social-cognitive function that emerges around 12 months (see de Barbaro et al., 2013, for a review). However, this study clearly demonstrated that actions in each session built on those observed in earlier sessions. The authors concluded that triadic attention is based on “continuous changes in the activity of our participants rather than a simple shift in internal structures” (de Barbaro et al., 2013, p. 246). In other words, slowly, over time, increased infant skills elicited new behav-iors from the mother, which provided novel opportunities for triadic attention.

As you can see, the earliest form of thinking occurs during the sen-sorimotor stage. Three key aspects of development occur during this early stage: (1) infants play an assertive role in their own development, (2) their knowledge base is acquired by means of their own actions in the environment, and (3) infants need moderate challenges provided by adults and materials to master the environment. For caregivers, tasks should be provided that challenge babies but are not beyond their ability to succeed.

children. However, the age and rate at which it occurs differ from child to child. Children develop higher cognitive skills in a systematic manner through four stages: (1) sensorimotor, (2) preoperational, (3) con-crete operational, and (4) formal operational. At each of these stages, similar structures of intelligence are used to learn: adaptation, organization, and schemas.

Adaptation involves using schemes that have direct interaction with the environment, for example, grasping and dropping an object over and over. Accommodation involves changing schemes to better fit the requirements of a task or new information. Thus, a child will change or alter his or her strategies to fit the requirements of a task. For example, banging on a hard toy will produce a noise. Yet, when faced with a soft toy, the child finds that banging is insuffi-cient to produce a response. Squeezing might be tried instead. When children are in a familiar situation, they function by means of assimilation, which involves dealing with an object or event in a way that is consistent with their existing schemes (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2013) (Photo 2–3). When children are in such situations, they are considered to be in the inter-nal state called equilibrium. Their current cognitive schemes work to explain their environment. However, when faced with information that is contrary to their current schemes and understanding or placed in an unfamiliar situation, they experience disequilibrium. This internal mental state provides a motivation for learning because the children are uncomfortable and seek to make sense of what they have observed

or experienced. The movement from equilibrium to disequilibrium and back to equilibrium again is known as equilibration. Equilibration and children’s intrinsic desire to achieve equilibrium move development toward greater complexity of thought and knowledge (McDevitt  & Ormrod, 2013).

Another cognitive function through which schemes are changed is called organization, which takes place internally. Organization is a pro-cess of rearranging new patterns of actions and linking them with other patterns to form a cognitive system. For example, a baby will eventually relate the actions for sucking, dropping, and throwing with new, more complex ideas of near and far. As you can imagine, these more complex ideas are actual cognitive concepts or schemas used to organize the child’s understanding of the world.

The schema of ball is constructed as Shane sees, touches, holds, and tastes a ball. When faced with new information, for example, when he sees the ball bounce for the first time, that does not fit into his schema of “ball-ness.” He continues to construct his knowledge of ball-ness by reorganizing his schema so that now bouncing is included in ball-ness. Shane’s schema

adaptation A change in behavior that helps the child survive in his or her environment; described by Piaget as a cognitive skill.

accommodation Piaget’s process of changing or altering skills to better fit the requirements of a task.

assimilation Piaget’s way of explaining how children refine cognitive structures into schemes.

equilibrium A state of homeostasis or balance that reflects how an infant’s or toddler’s current cognitive schemes work to explain his or her environment.

disequilibrium An internal mental state that motivates learning because the child is uncomfortable and seeks to make sense of what he or she has observed or experienced.

equilibration The movement from equilibrium to disequilibrium and back to equilibrium again.

organization A process of rearranging new sets of information (schemes) and linking them to other established schemes, resulting in an expanded cognitive system.

schemas Piaget’s concept to explain cognitive patterns of actions used to learn new information.

sensorimotor stage Piaget’s first stage of cognitive development, which is focused on motor activity and coordination of movements.

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Sensorimotor StageThe sensorimotor stage of cognitive development occurs from birth to about age 2. Piaget identified six substages.

Substage 1 Reflex(birth to approximately 1 month)

Reflex actions become more organized.Directed behavior emerges.

Substage 2 Differentiation(approximately 1–4 months)

Repeats own actions.Begins to coordinate actions, such as hearing and looking.

Substage 3 Reproduction (approximately 4–8 months)

Intentionally repeats interesting actions.

Substage 4 Coordination(approximately 8–12 months)

Intentionally acts as a means to an end.Develops concept of object permanence (an object exists even when the infant cannot see it).

Substage 5 Experimentation (approximately 12–18 months)

Experiments through trial and error. Searches for new experiences.

Substage 6 Representation (approximately 18–24 months)

Carries out mental trial and error.Develops symbols.

Preoperational StageThe early part of the preoperational stage is called the preconceptual sub-stage and occurs from about 2 to 4 years of age. At this time, the child can now mentally sort events and objects. With the development of object permanence, the child is moving toward representing objects and actions in his or her thinking without having to have actual sensorimotor experi-ences. Development and structuring of these mental representations is the task undertaken during the preoperational stage of cognitive development. Cowan (1978) outlined the preoperational stage as follows:

Preconceptual substageMentally sorts objects and actions.Mental symbols are partly detached from experience.

Nonverbal classificationOrganizes objects graphically.Focuses on figurative properties.Forms own interpretations.

Verbal preconceptsMeanings of words fluctuate and are not always the same for the

child.Meanings of words are private, based on own experience.Word names and labels are tied to one class.Words focus on one attribute at a time.

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Verbal reasoningReasons tranductively—from particular to particular.If one action is in some way like another action, both actions are

alike in all ways.Generalizes one situation to all situations.Reasoning is sometimes backward—from effects to causes.Reasoning focuses on one dimension.

QuantityHow much?Some, more, gone, big.

NumberHow many?More, less.

SpaceWhere?Uses guess and visual comparison.Up, down, behind, under, over.

TimeRemembers sequence of life events.Now, soon, before, after.

Piaget identified, beyond his four stages, the importance of three types of knowledge and the positive impact of play on the constructing knowledge.

Types of KnowledgePhysical knowledge is knowledge children discover in the world around them. Twenty-five-month-old Tommy kicks a pine needle as he walks in the play yard. He picks up the pine needle, throws it, and picks it up again. He drops it in the water tray, picks it up, and pulls it through the water. Tommy has discovered something about pine needles from the needle itself. Tommy uses actions and observations of the effects of his actions on the pine needle to construct his physical knowledge of pine needles.

Kamii and DeVries (1978) have identified two kinds of activities involving physical knowledge: movement of objects and changes in objects. Actions to move objects include “pulling, pushing, rolling, kick-ing, jumping, blowing, sucking, throwing, swinging, twirling, balancing, and dropping” (p. 6). The child causes the object to move and observes it rolling, bouncing, cracking, and so on. Kamii and DeVries (1978) suggest four criteria for selecting activities to move objects.

1. The child must be able to produce the movement by his or her own action.

2. The child must be able to vary his or her action.

3. The reaction of the object must be observable.

4. The reaction of the object must be immediate (p. 9).

A second kind of activity involves changes in objects. Compared to a ball, which when kicked, will move but still remain a ball, some objects change. When Kool-Aid is put in water, it changes. Ann sees the dry Kool-Aid and observes that something happens when it is added to water. She can

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no longer see anything that looks like the dry Kool-Aid. She sees the water change color and can taste the difference between water without Kool-Aid and water with Kool-Aid in it. Her observation skills (seeing and tasting) are most important to provide her with feedback on the changes that occur.

Logico-mathematical knowledge is constructed by the child and involves identifying relationships between objects. Andrea is in the sand-box playing with two spoons: a teaspoon and a serving spoon. She notices the spoons are different. Although they fit into her schema of spoon, she notices some difference in size. Thus, in relationship to size, they are dif-ferent. At some time, someone will label these differences for her as differ-ent or bigger or smaller than the other, but these words are not necessary for her to construct her concepts of sizes.

Social-arbitrary knowledge is knowledge a child cannot learn by him-self or herself. It has been constructed and agreed upon by groups of peo-ple (Branscombe, Castle, Dorsey, Surbeck, & Taylor, 2003). This type of knowledge is passed on or transmitted from one person to another through social interaction. “Language, values, rules, morality, and symbol systems are examples of social-arbitrary knowledge” (Wadsworth, 1978, p. 52).

Chad is eating a banana. He bites it, sucks on it, swallows it, looks at the remaining banana, and squeezes it. All of these are concrete actions that help him construct his physical knowledge of this object. Then some-one tells him this object is a banana. The name banana is social-arbitrary knowledge. It could have been called ningina or lalisa, but everyone using the English language uses banana to name that object.

In another example of social-arbitrary knowledge, Kurt follows Mrs. Wesley into the storage room. She sees him and says, “Kurt, go back into our room right now. You are not supposed to be in this room.” Kurt did not make the decision that it is not permissible for him to be in the storage room; someone else decided and told him the rule.

PlayPlay is the child’s laboratory for cognitive trial and error and rehearsal for real-life problem solving. Children begin active pretend play between 18 and 24 months (Photo 2–4). As they rapidly develop symbols and interpretations and start to reason verbally, complex sequences of play are executed. For example, 2-year-olds might play “cooking,” using blocks and sticks for food and utensils. From basic themes, children develop more complex strategies, perhaps using water and sand to explore measurement while learning about textures, temperatures, smells, and liquidity. Table 2–1 presents levels of exploratory and pretend play. Play develops from simple mouth-ing and touching objects to extremely abstract activity, in which materials are

PhOTO 2–4 Children begin enjoying pretend play between 18 and 24 months.

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substituted and transformed to make up a complete story with beginning, middle, and end.

2-3b Cognitive Development: Vygotsky’s Sociocultural theoryVygotsky viewed cognitive development as an interaction between children and their social environment. For Vygotsky, knowledge is co-constructed through social interactions. When an adult engages the child in problems that are just above what his or her independent problem solving indicates, the adult supports properties of the child’s intellectual functions that are emerging but not yet fully matured (Christy, 2013; Gredler, 2012). Cultural tools mediate and facilitate this co-construction of knowledge; the most

TABLE 2–1 ◗ Levels of Exploratory and Pretend Play

1. Mouthing: indiscriminate mouthing of materials

2. Simple manipulation: Visually guided manipulation (excluding indiscriminate banging and shaking) at least 5 seconds in duration that cannot be coded in any other category (e.g., turn over an object, touch and look at an object)

3. Functional: Visually guided manipulation that is particularly appropriate for a certain object and involves the intentional extraction of some unique piece of information (e.g., turn dial on toy phone, squeeze piece of foam rubber, flip antenna of toy, spin wheels on cart, roll cart on wheels)

4. relational: Bringing together and integrating two or more materials in an inappropriate manner, that is, in a manner not initially intended by the manufacturer (e.g., set cradle on phone, touch spoon to stick)

5. Functional-relational: Bringing together and integrating two objects in an appropriate manner, that is, in a manner intended by the manufacturer (e.g., set cup on saucer, place peg in hole of pegboard, mount spool on shaft of cart)

6. enactive naming: approximate pretense activity but without confirming evidence of actual pretense behavior (e.g., touch cup to lip without making talking sounds, touch brush to doll’s hair without making combing motions)

7. pretend self: pretense behavior directed toward self in which pretense is apparent (e.g., raise cup to lip; tip cup, make drinking sounds, or tilt head; stroke own hair with miniature brush; raise phone receiver to ear and vocalize)

8. pretend other: pretense behavior directed away from child toward other (e.g., feed doll with spoon, bottle, or cup; brush doll’s hair; push car on floor and make car noise)

9. Substitution: Using a “meaningless” object in a creative or imaginative manner (e.g., drink from seashell; feed baby with stick as “bottle”) or using an object in a pretense act in a way that differs from how it has previously been used by the child (e.g., use hairbrush to brush teeth after already using it as a hairbrush on self or other)

10. Sequence pretend: repetition of a single pretense act with minor variation (e.g., drink from bottle, give doll drink, pour into cup, pour into plate) or linking together different pretense schemes (e.g., stir in cup, then drink; put doll in cradle, then kiss good night)

11. Sequence pretend substitution: Same as sequence pretend except using an object substitution within sequence (e.g., put doll in cradle, cover with green felt piece as “blanket”; feed self with spoon, then with stick)

12. Double substitution: pretense play in which two materials are transformed, within a single act, into something they are not in reality (e.g., treat peg as doll and a piece of green felt as a blanket and cover peg with felt and say “night-night”; treat stick as person and seashell as cup and give stick a drink)

Source: J. Belsky & R. K. Most. (1981). From exploration to play: A cross-sectional study of infant free play behavior. Developmental psychology, 17, 630–639.

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important tool for humans is language because “Language is thought; language is culture; language is identity. . . . Denying language is denying access to thought” (Wink & Putney, 2002, p. 54). In Vygotsky’s own words:

Thought is not merely expressed in words; it comes into existence through them. Every thought tends to connect something with something else, to establish a relationship between things. Every thought moves, grows and develops, fulfills a function, solves a problem. (1934/1986, p. 218)

Speech is comprised of three distinct, yet interrelated, types: social, pri-vate, and inner. Although the continuum of speech internalization (i.e., from social to private to inner) is not clearly understood, it clearly represents “a chain of structural and functional transformations between the already evolved, the currently evolving, and the-about-to-evolve speech types” (Damianova & Sullivan, 2011, p. 346). Vygotsky believed that, after social language is developed, children develop private speech. The importance of private speech is that children use this talk as a means of self-guidance and direction (Vygotsky, 1934/1986), using words acquired during social speech as symbolic representations of the concepts (Damianova & Sullivan, 2011).

Young children who use more private speech show more improvement on difficult tasks (Berk & Spuhl, 1995; Winsler, Naglieri, & Manfra, 2006) and were more creative (Daugherty & White, 2008) than children who do not use much private speech. In addition, children use more private speech as tasks become more difficult (Berk, 1994; Winsler, Abar, Feder, Schunn, & Rubio, 2007), and when children with learning/behavioral problems use private speech, they are more likely to complete the task successfully (Winsler, Abar, et al., 2007; Winsler, Manfra, & Diaz, 2007). Research with older children suggests that in some group problem-solving situations, private speech may actually serve a social function (e.g., influ-encing the thinking and behaviors of others), not just a cognitive function for the child engaging in the private speech (Zahner & Moschkovich, 2010).

Vygotsky hypothesized that higher cognitive processes develop from verbal and nonverbal social interactions. This is accomplished when more mature individuals instruct less mature individuals within their zone of proximal development (Wink & Putney, 2002). This term refers to a range of tasks that a child is able to learn with the help of more knowledgeable others (e.g., peers or adults). The zone of proximal development is estab-lished by assessing the child’s individual level of performance and the child’s assisted level of performance. The gap between these two levels is considered the “zone” (Wink & Putney, 2002). As a child is able to accom-plish skills at the assisted level independently, the zone shifts upward to the next skill to be addressed. However, the process does not always move in an upward direction. Tzur and Lambert (2011) found that children in their study demonstrated a temporary regression in counting skills when faced with different mathematical problems during one testing session; sometimes they used the more advanced counting strategy, and sometimes they used a less advanced strategy. The phenomenon was explained by the authors when they stated that within the zone of proximal development, one must consider the combined factors of task features, teacher-student interactions, and how the task fits with the student’s present schemas (Tzur & Lambert, 2011). While children adopt the language and actions of

private speech Vygotsky’s term for internal dialogue that children use for self-guidance and understanding.

zone of proximal development Vygotsky’s term for a range of tasks that a child is developmentally ready to learn.

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dialogues and demonstrations of the more knowledgeable other into their private speech and then use those to guide and regulate their own actions, it is not always a straightforward process. We will explore two other aspects of this process in the next section: intersubjectivity and scaffolding.

Intersubjectivity refers to how children and adults come to understand each other by adjusting their views and perspectives to fit the other person. Adults must invest energy in figuring out how the child is approaching or thinking about a particular task to be most effective in helping the child to acquire a new skill or understanding. Scaffolding involves changing the support given a learner in the course of teaching a skill or concept (Berk & Winsler, 1995; Bodrova & Leong, 2007; Wink & Putney, 2002). The more knowledgeable other can use a number of instructional strategies to scaf-fold learning during a new, challenging, or complex task. Verbal encour-agement; physical assistance; coaching; providing hints, clues, or cues; asking questions; and breaking the task into manageable steps (without los-ing the wholeness of the task) are all strategies to assist in accomplishing the given task. As the learner starts mastering the new skills, the more knowledgeable other withdraws instruction and encouragement in direct response to the learner’s ability to perform successfully. Caregivers who effectively learn to use intersubjectivity and scaffolding help promote development because children learn to use positive private speech and succeed more easily (Behrend, Rosengran, & Perlmutter, 1992).

A final aspect of Vygotsky’s theory involves the use of make-believe play in higher cognitive devel-opment. Vygotsky believed that children who engage in make-believe play use imagination to act out internal ideas about how the world operates and to set rules by which play is conducted, which helps them learn to think before they act (Berk & Winsler, 1995) (Photo 2–5). Language, therefore, becomes crit-ical for the development of organized make-believe play because metacognitive self-control and self-monitoring behaviors are largely developed through language (Berk, Mann, & Ogan, 2006). The ability to organize or plan make-believe play at advanced lev-els appears to be dependent on a child’s ability to use language for three distinct, yet interrelated, pur-poses: (1) to reflect on past experiences, (2) to pre-dict future experiences, and (3) to reason about the relationships between past and future events (Westby & Wilson, 2007). Researchers have found that children with greater vocabularies are better able to understand the intentional states (e.g., their beliefs and desires) of other children (Jarrold, Mansergh, & Whiting, 2010), which in turn has been related to engaging in more developed pretend play (Peterson & Wellman, 2009). In contrast, the play of an infant or toddler who is abused would be expected to be at a lower level because of the critical

intersubjectivity Vygotsky’s term to explain how children and adults come to understand each other by adjusting perceptions to fit the other person’s map of the world.

scaffolding A term describing incremental steps in learning and development from simple to complex.

make-believe play Vygotsky’s term for using imagination to act out internal concepts of how the world functions and how rules are formed.

Photo 2–5 Make-believe play can occur in almost any learning area—inside and outside.

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role parents have in influencing play that supports social behaviors. In a longitudinal study (children observed playing with the mother at 12- and 24-months of age) of low-income maltreated and nonmaltreated children, only 51 percent of the children demonstrated complex, pretend play (Valentino, Cicchetti, Toth, & Rogosch, 2011). That is significantly lower than previous research on play behaviors of low-income children (see, e.g., Belsky & Most, 1981). Given the importance of pretend play to other areas of development, this result might indicate that interventions to help abusive mothers learn to scaffold their child’s pretend play are warranted.

2-3c Language DevelopmentAs is evident from the previous discussion, language plays a critical role in cognitive development from a Vygotskian perspective. Language is a tool for thinking (Bodrova & Leong, 2007; McDevitt & Ormrod, 2013). How do chil-dren come to acquire language skills for thinking and communicating? The easiest answer, of course, is through engaging in conversations with others.

When adults and children talk with infants and toddlers, they provide examples of the four basic components of language: phonology, the basic sounds of the language and how they are combined to make words; semantics, what words mean; syntax, how to combine words into under-standable phrases and sentences; and pragmatics, how to engage in com-munication with others that is socially acceptable and effective (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2013). These conversations must be responsive, however, because responsiveness supports a growing understanding that language is a tool that allows interests, ideas, needs, and desires to be shared socially (Tamis-LeMonda, Kuchirko, & Song, 2014).

Yet, the easy answer is not always the best answer. Complex and some-what controversial theories have been developed about language and word acquisition. Booth and Waxman (2008) theorize that “as infants and young children establish word meanings, they draw upon their linguistic, concep-tual, and perceptual capacities and on the relations among these” (p. 189). Language acquisition from this perspective is not merely the adding on of new vocabulary words but involves the cognitive functions of organizing words by grammatical function (e.g., noun) or conceptual dimensions (e.g., shape, size, real, or pretend). In their study, toddlers extended the use of novel nouns systematically based on the conceptual information provided to them in vignettes (Booth & Waxman, 2008). Tamis-LeMonda et al. (2014) extend our understanding of the role responsive adults play in vocabulary development when they theorized that being responsive assists infants in mapping words to their referents.

Newman (2008), in contrast, suggests that language acquisition is about learning what information to store for later retrieval. She suggests that infants must store enough information so that new words can be dis-tinguished from old words and that initially infants store too much infor-mation. Infants may store, for example, information on what words were spoken, who said them, and how they were spoken (e.g., tone).

To fully comprehend language, infants must learn to ignore perceptible but irrelevant information such as tone of voice and to recognize words spo-ken by a variety of talkers. Variability in the input helps infants recognize

phonology Understanding the basic sounds of the language and how they are combined to make words.

semantics The study of meaning in language, including concepts.

syntax how words combine into understandable phrases and sentences.

pragmatics an understanding of how to engage in communication with others that is socially acceptable and effective.

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which acoustic properties are important and which can be ignored. When an infant is familiar with a word spoken by only a particular talker, or in a particular tone of voice, the word’s representation is tied to that talker/tone of voice. However, if the infant hears the same word spoken by multiple talk-ers, in multiple tones of voice, the child learns that these other factors are irrelevant, and the representation becomes less tied to those details. Across a range of language domains, when exposure is more varied, infants focus less attention on the specific details of the input and instead begin to abstract across exemplars, focusing on areas of commonality (Newman, 2008, p. 231).

Thus, from this perspective, providing infants with a language-rich environment involves exposing infants to a number of different speakers so that commonalities can be uncovered. As you can see, learning to commu-nicate is a complex task that involves several different, yet related skills.

Infants must learn strategies for sending verbal and nonverbal messages to others. Newborns initiate interaction by making eye contact, and by 4 months of age, they gaze in the same direction as the caregiver (Tomasello, 1999). Around the same time, they also begin to engage in verbal communi-cation when they coo (or make repetitive vowel sounds). Babies are able to screen out many sounds that are not useful in understanding their native language by the age of 6 months (Polka & Werker, 1994). The way adults speak with infants influences language acquisition. For example, Singh, Nestor, Parikh, and Yull (2009) found that, as early as 7 months, infants demonstrated greater word recognition when a new word was introduced by an adult who spoke using infant-directed speech (sometimes called motherese). The characteristics of infant-directed speech, exaggerated into-nation, reduced speech rate, and shorter utterance duration, seem to match how infants learn language. Furthermore, the use of infant-directed speech in one-on-one parent-child interactions at 11 months and 14 months was positively correlated with both concurrent speech utterances and word pro-duction at 24 months (Ramírez-Esparza, García-Sierra, & Kuhl, 2014). In a series of experiments, infants who heard infant-directed speech that was comprised of higher pitch, greater pitch variation, and longer durations acquired word labels and meanings more readily than when those words were presented using adult-directed speech (Estes & Hurley, 2013). These findings suggest that infants begin to discriminate, associate, and analyze the structure of words and sentences before 9 months of age. These skills are vital to acquiring productive language skills within their native language.

Around 6 or 7 months of age, infants begin to babble (or produce speech-like syllables such as ba, ra) using sounds from their native lan-guage. The first “real” word is typically spoken around the first birthday. For a while, toddlers will blend babble with a real word in what is called jargon. To illustrate, an infant says “tatata car bebe” while playing. The teacher might respond with elaboration by saying “You moved the car. You pushed it. It went bye-bye.” In this case, the adult supplies words that help to explain what the child is experiencing, thus encouraging the acquisition of other new words and facilitating the linking of two or three “real” words into sentences or telegraphic speech. Just as a telegraphic message omits words, telegraphic speech includes only the words vital to the meaning the toddler is trying to convey. By 36 months, most toddlers are able to clearly and effectively communicate their wants, needs, and ideas.

coo a vocalization typically produced by infants from birth to 4 months old that resembles vowel-like sounds.

infant-directed speech exaggerated intonation, reduced speech rate, and shorter utterance duration used when speaking to infants. in the past, other terms used to describe the same speech patterns were child-directed speech, motherese, or parentese.

babble prelanguage speech with which the baby explores the variety of sounds.

jargon Language term that refers to the mixing of one real word with strings of babble.

telegraphic speech When infants and toddlers combine two or three words into a sentence including only key words (e.g., “go daddy”).

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Adults use a combination of gestures and words when communicat-ing with infants. Research suggests that this is important to how children learn language (labels, categories), create meaning (symbolic understand-ing), and understand references. In an experimental study, Graham and Kilbreath (2007) found that infants possess a more generalized symbolic system at 14 months than at 22 months. Early in development, infants use both words and gestures to delineate object categories and guide their inductive inferences. At 22 months, they relied on just words. In another study, infants (13 months) were shown a video of an actress pointing to a location of a hidden object and naming it. When the object was revealed, the infants looked longer when the object was found in a location not indi-cated by the gesture (Gliga & Csibra, 2009). This indicates that very young infants expect that concurrently occurring words and gestures communi-cate the same message in reference to an object.

Just as adults do with them, infants use gestural communication to show what they want. Early on, infants combine behaviors from multiple modalities (language, gesture, and affect) to deliver a communicative mes-sage at levels greater than expected by chance (Parladé & Iverson, 2011). Using parental diaries, Carpendale and Carpendale (2010) concluded that the pointing gesture evolves from private fingertip exploration that parents responded to. Babies touch objects, the caregiver notices and gives atten-tion, and they further direct the caregiver to do something by pointing or gesturing. The pointing behavior was transformed from one of personal exploration to social meaning between the adult and child. Gestures have also been found to change as the child develops and gains more language. For example, when experiencing a language explosion (rapid increase in number of words in vocabulary), the communicative system of language, gesture, and affect was disrupted (Parladé & Iverson, 2011), and the num-

ber of coordinated words decreased. Others have found that as children’s brains develop, they process words and gestures differently. For example, at 18 months, evidence shows that infants attend to both gestures and words when noticing a mismatch in informa-tion, whereas at 26 months, they attend to just the words (Sheehan, Namy,  & Mills, 2007). In addition, as a child’s vocabulary increases and becomes more descriptive, the use of gestures tends to lessen. Taken together, these results suggest that children go through recognizable periods of communicative reorganization during the first three years of life.

While an adult must learn to under-stand the infant’s gestures, the infant must learn to understand the adult’s (Photo 2–6). This task might be more

PhOTO 2–6 Adults need to learn to understand the gestures of infants, just as infants need to understand an adult’s gestures.

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challenging as the infant must understand what object her attention is being directed toward (e.g., referential intention) as well as why her atten-tion is being directed there (e.g., social intention). Liebel, Behne, Carpen-ter, and Tomasello (2009) found that as early as 14 months of age, infants responded more to gestures that reflected a shared experience with the adult. In other words, the infants used the shared experience to identify referents and to infer the social intention, “thus showing a very flexible use of shared experience to interpret others’ communicative acts” (p. 270).

Gestures and signs are not only important for children to communicate their desires, but they also help adults rethink young children’s capabil-ities; by “listening” to their gestures, adults gain insight into individual infants’ capabilities and respect for the capacities of preverbal children (Vallotton, 2011) as well as become more responsive to their nonverbal cues (Kirk, Howlett, Pine, & Fletcher, 2013). When adults take the chil-dren’s preverbal vocalizations, gestures, and words seriously, as important forms of communication, they might be enhancing important aspects of children’s language development.

Engaging in conversations about events as they happen supports and facilitates language development. Yet, that has been found to not be enough. As mentioned previously, infant-directed speech promotes language devel-opment because it captures and sustains the baby’s focal attention when the adult adjusts her tone, volume, and speech patterns. In addition, care-givers should label and describe things to which the baby visually attends. Dominey and Dodane (2004) theorized that when adults use both infant-directed speech and joint attention (i.e., attend to what the child is looking at), infants are better able to use general learning mechanisms to acquire knowledge of grammatical constructions. To illustrate, when a caregiver copies or mimics the baby’s vocalization, the child can attend to the sounds that the caregiver makes as well as engage in turn-taking: the baby vocal-izes, the caregiver vocalizes in return and waits for a response, and the “conversation” continues. Games such as patty cake help babies interact actively and even initiate turn-taking interactions.

These interactions are indicative of the relationships between the care-giver and a specific infant. Infant-directed speech has been found to be dif-ferent depending on whether the adult is speaking with a boy or a girl, yet those differences do not seem to appear in children’s productions before the age of 3 (Foulkes, Docherty, & Watt, 2005). If one person within the relationship is not functioning optimally, the relationship and the develop-mental outcomes for the children can be drastically altered. For example, caregivers who interrupt or restrict the baby’s focal attention and activi-ties impede language development (Carpenter, Nagell, & Tomasello, 1998). In another example, babies who cry for long periods of time or who are frequently distressed may elicit fewer positive vocal interactions from the parent or caregiver, thus impeding the typical pattern of language devel-opment (Locke, 2006). The language relationship does not stay static over time but rather responds to the growing capabilities of the infant. Almost as soon as the baby starts to use “real” words, caregiver speech changes to more information, directions, and questions rather than infant-directed speech (Murray, Johnson, & Peters, 1990).

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Baby signing is a technique that has been studied in relationship to preparing youngsters to conquer the challenges of communication and is considered by many to be a method that enhances learning. A follow-up study of children who learned Baby Sign demonstrated that those children outperformed their nonbaby signing peers by a very impressive margin on the WISC III, a universal test to measure language (Acredolo, Goodwyn, & Abrams, 2009). Yet, a more recent study calls into question the benefit of baby signing on language outcomes. Kirk et al. (2013) did not find any sig-nificant differences in five measures of receptive and productive language when a parent used gestures or gestures in combination with verbal com-munication. Interestingly, although the infants did acquire and use the ges-tures associated with the targeted words before the onset of speech, “this did not promote the acquisition of those target words, nor did it boost the infants’ language abilities” (Kirk et al., 2013, p. 580). Thus, for this sample of very young children, encouraging the use of gestures did not result in higher scores on any of the measures of language.

As you now understand, learning to receive and produce verbal and nonverbal communication is a very complex process on which theorists and researchers do not always agree. It is beyond the scope of this text to fully investigate all aspects of language development. It must suffice to say that young children quickly learn the rules of speech governing their native language, and most are proficient language users by around 6 years of age. Teachers and parents enhance children’s language develop-ment by labeling, describing, mirroring, and actively engaging the child in conversations.

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.

1. Discuss Piaget’s stages of cognitive development in terms of learning experi-ences for 2-year-olds. Include concepts such as assimilation, accommodation, and disequilibrium in your answer.

2. Provide a specific example of each of Piaget’s types of knowledge.3. Use Vygotsky’s theory to explain how you would scaffold a toddler with the

skill of dressing, including the concept of private speech.4. Explain the typical pattern of language development and the role adults play

in the process.

r e a D I N G C h e C K p O I N t

2-1 Discuss the differences between development and learning.Development and learning are not synonymous terms. They have precise definitions that need to be understood and applied to your observations of very young children.

2-2 Investigate typical patterns of physical development between birth and thirty-six months of age.Typical patterns of physical development were investigated for children birth to age 3. Emphasis was placed on understanding brain development,

Summary

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patterns of physical growth, the impact of hearing and vision, and milestones for motor development.

2-3 Deconstruct typical patterns of cognitive/language development between birth and thirty-six months of age.This chapter explored how very young children develop cognitively, using two theorists: Jean

Piaget and Lev Vygotsky. Although these theo-rists have some aspects in common, they do dif-fer on important points. Language development was investigated in terms of milestones for ver-bal and nonverbal communication. Additionally, the value of teaching Baby Signs was considered based on current research.

Family Stress Impacts DevelopmentAmanda Hasha is a 9-month-old girl who has been in child care for the past three months. Lately, Sheila, her primary caregiver, notices that Amanda is not gaining weight, looks tired but does not sleep well, and cries often. Sheila meets with the director and the other caregivers in her classroom to share her con-cerns and listens as they all confirm her observations and suggest a family conference. Sheila then sets up a conference with Mrs. Hasha to discuss Amanda’s problems.

Sheila starts the conference by describing her obser-vations. She informs Mrs. Hasha that the other caregiv-ers have observed the same behaviors and tells her the steps that have been taken to comfort Amanda. Sheila then asks Mrs. Hasha what she sees at home and listens to her.

Mrs. Hasha: “I’ve had a lot of problems lately that I’m sure have affected Amanda. Her father had an accident and is in the hospital, so I go to see him every chance I can.”

Sheila: “My! It sounds like you have been under a lot of stress and worry lately.”

Mrs. Hasha: “I just don’t know what to do. No one else is around to help, so I sometimes have Amanda’s sister watch her even though she’s only eight.”

Sheila: “So, you’ve had no help except for your older daughter. It sounds overwhelming.”

Mrs. Hasha: “Yes, it certainly is! I wish I knew how to get the kids cared for so I could be at the hospital more often.”

Sheila: “It sounds like you really need help with the children so you can help your husband more.”

Mrs. Hasha: “That’s right. Do you have any idea who might help me?”

Sheila: “I know there are many sources for help in the community. Have you thought to ask at the hospital, your church, or here at school?”

Mrs. Hasha: “That’s a very good idea. Our church has a volunteer program, but I don’t want to impose on our minister. She is very busy.”

Sheila: “I’m sure your minister would help, if you just talk with her. Would you like me to ask around at some of the programs the county offers? I’m sure help is available for this kind of situation.”

Mrs. Hasha: “Yes. Thank you so much. I will ask at church also. I know that Amanda will be better if she has an adult to care for her when I can’t be there.”

Within a week, Mrs. Hasha has volunteers from her church helping to care for the children. Amanda has changed from being stressed to calm and happy. She has begun to eat better at school, and minimal weight gain has been noted. Through the use of a family con-ference, Sheila was able to help Mrs. Hasha share her problems and arrive at solutions to improve Amanda’s health and development.

1. Discuss what “warning signs” Sheila noted in Amanda’s behavior. Would you have wanted to act on this information? Why or why not?

2. How did Sheila use her relationships (i.e., col-leagues and child’s family) to support and enhance her work with Amanda?

3. Imagine that Sheila said the following during her conversation with Mrs. Hasha: “You leave Amanda with your 8-year-old daughter. Do you know how dangerous that is?” How might the outcome of the conversation been affected? Why?

Amanda C a S e S t u D Y

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Additional ResourcesGallahue, D. Ozmun, J., & Goodway, J. (2012). Under-

standing motor development: Infants, children, ado-lescents, adults (7th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages.

Justice, L. M., & Redle, E. E. (2014). Communication sciences and disorders: A clinical evidence-based approach (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Pica, R. (2014). Toddlers moving and learning: A physical education curriculum. Minneapolis, MN: Redleaf Press.

Stamm, J. (2008). Bright from the start: The simple, science-backed way to nurture your child’s devel-oping mind from birth to age 3 (reprint). New York: Gotham.

Lesson Plantitle: Who’s Outside?Child Observation:

Ceren (14 months) toddled over to the window and began to hit his hand on it. The 3-year-old child in the outside learning environment turned to look at him. She ran over and put her nose on the window. Ceren leaned back and then began to giggle.

Child’s Developmental Goal:

To develop receptive language skills.

To engage in turn-taking as part of a conversation.

Materials: None

Preparation: None

Learning Environment:

1. When you notice Ceren near the window, join him.2. While looking out the window with him, discuss

what you notice outside by using descriptive lan-guage. To illustrate, you could say:

“The preschool children are enjoying being out-side today. They are running in the grass. I think

they might be playing chase. Sophia is laughing while she runs.”

3. Invite the child to participate in a conversation by asking prompts or open-ended questions such as:a. I wonder why she is smiling so much.b. What do you think she will do next?

4. Accept and elaborate on the toddler’s answers. For example, if the child says “sing,” you might respond:

“She is swinging. That must be making her happy. Do you want to swing when we go outside later?”

Guidance Consideration:

If Ceren becomes excited and hits the window, redi-rect him to tap the window gently. If he becomes too excited or rough, give him a choice of two other learn-ing experiences. For example, you can offer drawing what he saw through the window or dancing with scarves to music (e.g., two of his favorite experiences).

Variations:

Make up a story about what you are watching outside. Invite the child to answer questions that could add details to the story.

Professional Resource Download

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© 2017 Cengage Learning

C H A P T E R

Social and Emotional Development

Learning ObjectivesAfter reading this chapter, you should be able to:

3-1 Determine typical patterns of emotional development between birth and thirty-six months of age.

3-2 Sequence typical patterns of social development between birth and thirty-six months of age.

Standards Addressed in This Chapter

NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation

1 Promoting Child Development and Learning

Developmentally Appropriate Practice Guidelines

2 Teaching to Enhance Development and Learning

In addition, the NAEYC standards for develop-mentally appropriate practice are divided into six areas particularly important to infant/toddler care. The following area is addressed in this chapter: Policies.

3

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3-1 Patterns of Emotional DevelopmentUnlike most other warm-blooded species, human infants are totally depen-dent on the environment to supply their most basic needs. For independent physical survival, children are born nine months too soon because they require assistance for that amount of time before they can crawl and move independently within the environment. Therefore, a caregiver needs to cre-ate a safe and secure space for the physical and emotional survival of the child. A child should be provided with conscious care; be kept warm, fed, and exposed to optimal levels of stress; and should have his needs responded to in a respectful manner. Very young children should be touched, kept close to the chest, talked to, exposed to soft music, and rocked. Babies should be provided with appropriate transportation to move from one place to another safely.

High-quality child care centers create positive learning atmospheres in which children feel secure in initiating responses to their environment based on interest and curiosity. Children should not be judged because they are learning socially acceptable emotional responses; this takes a great deal of time—many, many years to accomplish. When the child’s emo-tional needs are met, he experiences a world that invites his participation.

The most basic feelings on a physical level are pleasure and pain. It was once thought that newborns experience only these two general feeling states. However, anyone who has cared for young infants extensively under-stands that they experience and express the full range of human emotion from ecstasy to deep sorrow. Through active experience with their envi-ronment, babies quickly learn to repeat behaviors that result in pleasurable experiences and avoid, as much as they can, those that result in pain. Yet, this desire to repeat or avoid outcomes goes far beyond a behavior-response pattern; it reflects how the brain is being wired (see Chapter 2). Repeated experiences as well as emotional deprivation early in life rewire the brain.

It is impossible to protect infants and toddlers from experiencing phys-ical and emotional pain, no matter how sensitive and caring we are. Pain is a natural and normal life experience and is extremely valuable for our ability to stay alive and learn from experience. Just as athletes understand the saying “No pain: no gain” because muscles don’t grow stronger unless they are taxed, most changes that produce growth cause some pain along with pleasure. Adults should help children learn to cope during moments of pain. Caregivers who try to protect children from all pain and keep them in a state of pleasure establish unrealistic expectations for themselves and the children in their care.

However, it should be noted that infants and toddlers are especially vulnerable to painful experiences because of their lack of defenses. When young children cannot escape a situation of persistent emotional pain, such as consistent abandonment, rejection, or adult anger, or a situation of chronic physical pain, such as physical or sexual abuse, healthy emotional development is jeopardized. Under these conditions, children learn their own feelings or the feelings of others are not important, leading to a lack of self-awareness and insensitivity to others.

It may seem that infants are selfish because they attend only to their own needs, but that is not possible because infants are limited in their

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ability to understand the impact of their behaviors on others. For example, when a 3-month old baby wakes up hungry in the middle of the night, she does not have the awareness that her hunger is an inconvenience to her sleeping caregiver. However, when the child’s basic needs are filled, she is able to be curious, sensitive, and aware of other people. From this basic level, children progress to balancing their own feelings and needs with the feelings and needs of other people and become capable of intimate rela-tionships with equal give and take.

It sometimes appears that young children move through emotions rapidly. One minute a young toddler may scream, and the next moment jump into your arms and give you a hug. As cognitive and language skills develop with age, the child can use words better to specify and describe many different feeling states. By the age of 5 or 6, children who have expe-rienced quality caregiving are capable of sophisticated, conscious discrimi-nation of self from others in terms of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

During the first three years of life, the combination of traits present at birth, including physical size, health, and temperament, interact with plea-surable and painful experiences in the environment to form the growing child’s identity (e.g., the child’s perceptions of self, others, and the world). The next sections describe theories of identity development as they pertain to infants and toddlers. The theories discussed here show how children create models of the world through a complex process whereby the char-acteristics they bring with them impact and are shaped through interac-tions with adults and other children. These models of the world become the basis for the enduring reactions and patterns people have throughout life—what we call personality.

3-1a Erikson’s Psychosocial TheoryErikson’s lifespan theory (1950) adds to our understanding of how chil-dren develop emotionally by responding to life’s challenges. He labeled his theory psychosocial because the various challenges refer to simulta-neous concerns about oneself (psycho-) and relationships with other peo-ple (-social) (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2013). He believed that children must resolve eight crises or stages as they progress from infancy through old age. Each crisis is seen as a turning point where development can move forward successfully or take a turn in a more negative direction. Although he believed that the resolution of prior stages impacts the outcomes of future stages, he also thought that people could revisit crises that were unresolved (or resolved toward a negative outcome) during later develop-ment. Of the eight stages, the first three are extremely important in the development of infants and toddlers.

1. Basic trust versus mistrust. Children learn to trust or mistrust them-selves and the world during infancy depending on the warmth and sensi-tivity they are given. Trust is developed through consistent, responsive, and appropriate behavior from the caregiver. In those situations, infants learn that their needs are important and that they can trust others will respond to their signals with helpful solutions. When infants are required to wait too long for comfort, when they are handled harshly and insensitively, or when they are responded to in an inconsistent manner, they develop basic

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mistrust of themselves and others. While the responsibility for appropriate response rests solely on the shoulders of the adult, the child also plays an active part in the interaction. When infants are difficult to soothe, it is discouraging, and frustration levels rise. Hence, even if the adult starts out calm and responsive, when the issue is not easily resolved, negative emo-tions may become part of the interaction.

2. Autonomy versus shame and doubt. After infants become mobile, a process of separation and individuation begins, eventually resulting in autonomy. Children need to choose and decide things for themselves. When caregivers permit reasonable free choices and do not force or shame children, autonomy and self-confidence are fostered. If caregivers place too many limits on behavior or constantly restrict choices, children learn dependency and lack confidence in their ability to make decisions. Thus, parents and teachers must balance support and encouragement with pro-tection and guidance (Graves & Larkin, 2006).

3. Initiative versus guilt. When caregivers support a child’s sense of purpose and direction, initiative in the form of ambition and responsibility is developed. When caregivers demand too much self-control or responsi-bilities that are not age appropriate, children respond by feeling overcon-trolled, guilty, or both.

Erikson’s stages reveal how children develop the qualities that result in a happy, meaningful life. As the first stage suggests, developing a sense of trust during the first year of life can result in positive, lasting personal assets that impact the resolutions of future stages. As caregivers, the impact of our day-in and day-out responses to children’s basic needs cannot be overestimated. Moreover, recent research suggests that infants as young as 12 months demonstrate trust for an adult when the adult behaves as an expert (Stenberg, 2013). For example, when the expert adult used appro-priate language to describe the toy (e.g., color, shape) and successfully used the toy, the infant looked more at the expert and played with the toy more (as compared to the nonexpert). The author concluded that “In terms of social referencing, these findings can be interpreted as infants showing more interest in seeking information from a reliable information source and more motivated to use information from a reliable source than from a less reliable source” (pp. 898–899). Thus, when trust is established with an infant (in this case based on expertise), the very young child uses that person as a source of information or as a model for behavior.

Developing Trust Trust and security develop largely from adults’ own trustworthy behav-ior. Consistently responding to the child’s cues or behaviors within an atmosphere of acceptance and appreciation is important to building trust. Some ways to ensure consistent and appropriate caregiver behavior with children include establishing consistent routines and supplying generous amounts of the three As of child care: Attention, Approval, and Attune-ment (see Chapter 4). Consistently responding to the needs of the child with warmth and respect will help her to develop security and trust. Reading the infant’s or toddler’s cues and being able to look at things from her perspective are necessary components in responsive caregiving

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(Oppenheim & Koren-Karie, 2002). Responsive caregivers also provided sensitive guidance when discussing potentially emotionally distressing topics with children (Koren-Karie, Oppenheim, Yuval-Adler, & Mor, 2013). When child care pol-icies that ensure a low infant-caregiver ratio are in place, early childhood educators are available to respond to the many emotional needs of each child (Photo 3–1).

Developing Autonomy As mentioned previously, toddlers struggle with balancing autonomy with shame and doubt. Sak-agami (2010) believes that defiance and compli-ance are both examples of autonomy, albeit in very different forms. When adults impose too much control, toddlers experience anger, resist being controlled, and can be viewed by adults as defiant. Thus, “defiant” behavior is a demonstra-tion of autonomy. Toddlers also express auton-omy when they eagerly commit to and comply with the parents’ or adults’ agenda.

Supporting Initiative Thus, Sakagami (2010) concurs with Erikson’s sug-gestion that children need reasonable freedom and expectations as they journey through toddlerhood to minimize defiance and maximize compliance. To provide such freedoms and expectations, you need to know (1) normal patterns of development, and (2) each child’s individual pattern of development. Because the sequence of development is similar among children, you have some guidelines for your expectations. A caregiver needs to know where each child fits within the range of development. If you expect children to accomplish things that are below or above them developmentally, you produce undue stress. For example, you can expect 30-month-old Mark to want to feed himself lunch because he possesses the skills to hold a spoon in his hand, fill it with food, and usually get it up to his mouth. It is unreasonable to expect 9-month-old Naomi to have that level of muscular coordination or the desire to show such initiative. The Developmental Milestones in Appendix A can assist you in recording observations, evaluating developmental levels, and using that information to make informed decisions when interacting with very young children. Understanding developmental milestones helps to estab-lish security and trust because the children engage in experiences that are met with success, mastery, and the three As rather than stress, frustration, and rejection.

3-1b Separate and Together Two competing theories attempt to explain the process by which infants develop a sense of self. The theories use many of the same ideas but

Photo 3–1 Children need help from adults when learning to regulate their emotions.

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examine the process from opposite directions. A pediatrician from Vienna named Margaret Mahler wrote extensively about the importance of bonding between parent and child and the process is called separation-individuation (Greenberg & Mitchell, 1983). Mahler argued that children begin life believ-ing that they are fused or physically a part of their mother. Over the course of the first few months and years, they must separate to become an individ-ual person. Between birth and 4 months of age, infants slowly come to show increased sensitivity to the external world and develop a beginning awareness that their primary caregiver is an external object. Mahler’s four subphases of separation-individuation begin around 4 months of age and are as follows:

Subphase Age1. differentiation 4 months to 10 months2. practicing 10 months to 15 months3. rapprochement 15 months to 36 months4. libidinal object constancy 36 months throughout childhood

Differentiation From 4 to 10 months of age, the differentiation subphase occurs, in which the baby begins to act in more self-determined ways and explores the caregiver (e.g., pulls hair, clothes). The baby also scans the world and checks back to the caregiver to discriminate “caregiver” from “other.” The baby develops skill in discriminating external from internal sen-sations as well. This discrimination forms the basis for self-awareness (self-concept).

PracticingAfter the baby becomes mobile, the practicing subphase begins. Because the baby can now move away from the caregiver, increased body discrimi-nation and awareness of separateness from others are manifested. The child begins using the caregiver as an emotional and physical “refueling station”—moving short distances away and then returning for emotional nourishment. The child also concentrates on her own abilities separate from the caregiver and becomes omnipotent (not aware of any physical limitations). According to Mahler, Pine, and Bergman (1975), the caregiver must allow physical and psychological separation during this phase if the child is to establish a strong identity.

Rapproachement Between 15 and 18 months, the toddler enters the rapprochement sub-phase, where the sense of omnipotence (having no limits) is broken. What is wanted is not always immediately available, so the child experiences frus-tration, separation anxiety, and the realization that caregivers are separate people who don’t always say “yes.” Often, children will alternate between clinging neediness and intense battling with caregivers because of con-flicting dependence and independence needs. Because of rapid language development during this period, the child struggles with gender identity, accepting “no,” and the development of beliefs, attitudes, and values to add to the already formed self-concept.

separation-individuation the process of defining self as separate from others, which starts in infancy and continues throughout childhood.

omnipotent the sense of being unaware of any physical limitations and feeling above physical laws.

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Libidinal Object Constancy Mahler’s final subphase of libidinal object constancy starts around 36 months and involves developing a stable concept of the self (one that does not change) and a stable concept of other people, places, and things. Self-constancy and object constancy are required so that the toddler devel-ops a coherent sense of self (e.g., identity). During this phase, it is crucial that the caregiver act as a buffer between the child and the world while supporting and respecting the competencies of the growing child to sepa-rate and individuate without anxiety or fear.

Stern’s Theory Daniel Stern, while using the same concepts of bonding and separation, theorized that the process worked in the opposite direction of Mahler. Stern reasoned that infants are born alone and must learn to be with oth-ers (Galinsky, 2010). Using videos of infant-parent interactions, Stern analyzed frame by frame how the adult and child responded to each other. He discovered that infants were in synchrony with their mothers, mirroring her actions (Stern, 1985). For example, when the mother lifted her arm, the infant lifted her arm. The infants’ actions must take place in a temporal space that is minute given the child’s memory capacities (Stern, 2000). In other words, they have limited capabilities to take in the visual information, store it, process it, and create a deliberate reac-tion. These results raise the question: How can infants be responsive in this manner, if they believe they are fused or a part of the mother? Stern (2008) believes that infants must be born with the “capacity for intersub-jectivity in some primary fashion” (p. 181), or the ability “to participate in and, in some way, sense or know about the other person’s experience” (p. 182). Intersubjectivity is present but not fully formed at birth and then develops further over time. Research (reviewed in Stern 2008) suggests that infants quickly learn to read the intentions of others, not just their behavior. The challenge for infants, from this perspective, is not separa-tion from important adults but finding ways to join their intentions with these adults.

The three theoretical perspectives of Piaget, Mahler, and Stern demon-strate, albeit in different ways, the importance of adults in the formation of identity and personality during the first three years of life. Because of the significance of individual child characteristics in all of these theories, the discussion will now turn to three other factors integral to emotional devel-opment: temperament, emotional intelligence, and self-esteem.

3-1c TemperamentTemperament has been defined as “the basic style which characterizes a person’s behavior” (Chess, Thomas, & Birch, 1976). All children are born with particular temperaments. Temperament will influence what they do, what they learn, what they feel about themselves and others, and what kinds of interactions they have with people and objects.

Early research suggested that temperament is stable and not very changeable by environmental influences (Caspi  &  Silva, 1995). More recent research supports the position of continuity in temperament from

temperament Physical, emotional, and social personality traits and characteristics.

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infancy to toddlerhood to 3 (Losonczy-Marchall, 2014) or 4 (Carranza, González-Salinas, & Ato, 2013) years of age. However, a larger body of research provides evidence that child-rearing practices and other environ-mental factors can dramatically influence temperament during the first three years (Gunnar, 1998; Worobey & Islas-Lopez, 2009). More specifically, Jansen and colleagues found that infants in lower-income families were more likely to have been rated as having a difficult temperament and that the association was partially explained by level of family stress and mater-nal psychological well-being (Jansen, Raat, Mackenbach, Jaddoe, Hofman, Verhulst, et al., 2009). This raises the question of whether child tempera-ment is a cause or a consequence of particular contextual impacts because other research discovered that as aspects of infant temperament become more negative, parenting becomes more negative (Bridgett, Gartstein, Putnam, McKay, Iddins, Robertson, et al., 2009; Davis, Schoppe-Sullivan, Mangelsdorf, & Brown, 2009) or mothers reported higher levels of parent-ing stress (Oddi, Murdock, Vadnais, Bridgett, & Gartstein, 2013; Siqveland, Olafsen, & Moe, 2013). These results suggest that infants play a signifi-cant role in shaping their own development and the context in which that development is occurring.

Chess et al. (1976) worked with hundreds of children and their parents to investigate how babies differ in their styles of behavior. The analysis of observations and interviews revealed nine patterns of behavior. Within each pattern, they found a range of behaviors. Table 3–1 lists the nine

TABLE 3–1 ◗ Behavioral Categories of Temperament

Behavioral Category

extremes

more less

(1) activity Level hyperactive—can’t sit still Lethargic—sedate, passive

(2) regularity rigid and inflexible patterns Unpredictable and inconsistent patterns

(3) response to New Situations

Outgoing, aggressive, approaching

Withdrawing, timid, highly cautious

(4) adaptability Likes surprises, fights routine, dislikes structure

Dislikes change, likes routine, needs structure

(5) Sensory threshold Unaware of changes in light, sound, smell

highly sensitive to changes in light, sound, smell

(6) Positive or Negative Mood

Feels optimistic Feels negative; denies positive

(7) response Intensity highly loud and animated, high energy

Very quiet and soft; low energy

(8) Distractibility Insensitive to visual and auditory stimuli outside self

Unable to focus attention, highly sensitive to visual and auditory stimuli

(9) Persistence Persists until task completed Gives up easily, doesn’t try new things

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categories and extremes of behaviors observed in each category. The behav-ior of most infants falls somewhere between these extremes. Chess and her colleagues further collapsed the nine patterns into three basic types of tem-perament: flexible and easy, slow to warm up, and difficult.

More recent research suggests that it is helpful to consider how chil-dren react to new experiences, rather than attempt to classify them into patterns based on a variety of different behaviors. Some children react to novel or unfamiliar situations by expressing delight or excitement, or they easily engage in interactions with the object or person (i.e., exuber-ance); other children react to the same situations by being hypervigilant and using motor reactivity, crying, and other means to express negative affect (i.e., behavioral inhibition) (Fox, Henderson, Rubin, Calkins, & Schmidt, 2001; Hane, Fox, Henderson, & Marshall, 2008). Kagan and his colleagues discovered that crying at 4 months, not motor reactiv-ity, was associated with behavioral inhibition during the second year of life (Moehler, Kagan, Oelkers-Ax, Brunner, Poustka, Haffner, et al., 2008). That result caused the researchers to wonder about the role motor reactivity plays early in development; this is important because behav-ioral inhibition has been associated with both short-term and long-term social adjustment issues. Preschoolers and adolescents who were higher on behavioral inhibition in infancy or toddlerhood were more socially withdrawn (Pérez-Edgar, Bar-Haim, McDermott, Chronis-Tuscano, Pine, & Fox, 2010; Pérez-Edgar, Reeb-Sutherland, McDermott, White, Henderson, Degnan, et  al., 2011; Pérez-Edgar, Schmidt, Henderson, Schulkin, & Fox, 2008).

The following descriptions illustrate how you might notice temper-ament (exuberance or behavioral inhibition) in response to classroom situations.

Jamol hides behind his mother as he enters the room each morning. He hides behind the caregiver whenever someone strange walks in the door. When oth-ers play with a new ball, he stands by the wall and watches. He leaves food he does not recognize on his plate, refusing to take a bite. Jamol needs time to get used to new situations. Jamol becomes distressed when he is pushed into new activities. Telling him that a new ball will not hurt him or that the strange food is good for him does not convince him. When he feels comfortable, he will play with the new ball. He needs time and space for himself while he becomes famil-iar with a situation. It may take several offerings before he eventually tries the new food.

Paulo arrives in the morning with a big smile. She looks around the room and notices a new puzzle set out on the table. She rushes over to it, asking the caregiver about it and giggling at the picture. She takes the puzzle pieces out, puts some of the pieces back in, and then seeks assistance from the caregiver. Paulo is excited about new situations and eager to try new experiences.

Goodness-of-Fit ModelThomas and Chess (1977) suggest that the type of temperament a child has is less important to her overall functioning than the temperamental match she has with her caregiver. The adult-child goodness-of-fit model has been sup-ported by research with families (Karreman, de Haas, van Tuijl, van Aken, &

goodness-of-fit the temperamental match between very young children and their caregivers.

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Deković, 2010; Schoppe-Sullivan, Mangelsdorf, Brown,  & Szewczyk Sokolowski, 2007; Van Aken, Junger, Verhoeven, Van Aken,  & Deković, 2007) and early childhood educators (Churchill, 2003; De Schipper, Tavec-chio, Van IJzendoorn,  & Van Zeijl, 2004; LaBilloisa  & Lagacé-Séguin, 2009; Rudasill, 2011).

Identifying each child’s tempera-ment as well as your own will help you better respond as an effective caregiver (Photo 3–2). Franyo and Hyson (1999) found that tempera-ment workshops designed especially for early childhood teachers resulted in their gaining important knowl-edge about temperament concepts. However, there was no evidence that these workshops effectively in -creased the caregivers’ acceptance

of children’s behaviors and feelings. Carefully reflecting about your own and the children’s temperament can assist you with creating “goodness of fit” by identifying strategies to responsively and respectfully meet the needs of the children who are dif-ferent from yourself.

Consider the following example.

Olaf is playing with blocks. The tall stack he built falls over, one block hitting hard on his hand. He yells loudly. Ray is playing nearby and also is hit by a falling block. He looks up in surprise but does not say anything.

What will you as a caregiver do? What will you say? What is loud to you? What is acceptable to you? Why is a behavior acceptable or not to you? Do you think Ray is better than Olaf because he did not react loudly? What you do and say to Olaf reflects your acceptance or rejection of him as a person, reflects whether you are able to help him adapt to his environ-ment, and reflects your ability to adapt to the child.

3-1d Emotional Intelligence and the BrainEmotional competence is the demonstration of self-efficacy in emo-tion-provoking social interactions. In other words, infants and toddlers must learn to know, for example, not only when they need to regulate their emotions but also how they need to be regulated in a given situation. The application of emotional intelligence through the demonstration of emotional competence is a lifelong task that begins early in life and is influenced significantly by the development of particular regions of the brain.

The limbic system, which cuts across and connects the three parts of the brain discussed in Chapter 2, is responsible for emotional control,

limbic system the system responsible for emotional control, emotional responses, hormonal secretions, mood, motivation, and pain/pleasure sensations.

PhOTO 3–2 This persistent baby may be thinking, “I can do it. I know I can reach that toy!”

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emotional responses, hormonal secretions, mood, motivation, and pain/pleasure sensations (Figure 3–1). This system includes, but is not limited to, the following parts of the brain: amygdala, hippocampus, thalamus, and hypothalamus. These structures help infants generate basic emotions (e.g., fear, joy, anger), produce bodily responses to emotions such as facial expressions (e.g., frown) and physiological changes (e.g., increased heart rate), and with positive environmental input, assist children in learning to appropriately express and control their emotions.

The thalamus and amygdala play particularly important roles in emo-tional regulation. When a threat is perceived, the thalamus sends sensory signals to the cortex, which processes the information and, if necessary, sends a message to the amygdala to respond. The amygdala then signals the rest of the body to get ready for a response by releasing adrenaline and other stress hormones such as cortisol. These hormones increase heart and breathing rates and cause the person experiencing the threat to have more focused attention on “fight or flight.” The release of these hormones results, then, in diverting the body away from functions unnecessary to survival such as growth, reproduction, and defending against germs or dis-ease (e.g., immune system decreases functioning). When a person is “emo-tionally hijacked,” however, this pathway is disrupted, and the message bypasses the cortex (“thinking” brain) and goes immediately to the amyg-dala, which can produce an intense and sometimes irrational or destruc-tive response.

FIGURE 3–1 ◗ Limbic System

Limbic system

From

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Given the potential short- and long-term consequences to overall growth, health, and development of being in a state of distress, research-ers have studied extensively variables associated with cortisol levels. Vari-ables such as maternal prenatal cortisol levels, behaviors of parents and/or teachers, and indicators of quality out-of-home experiences have been investigated.

Impact of Cortisol Levels Higher levels of maternal prenatal cortisol levels were negatively associ-ated with cognitive abilities of their infants during the second year of life (Bergman, Sarkar, Glover, & O’Connor, 2010). In other words, higher levels of maternal prenatal cortisol were associated with lower ratings of infant cognitive abilities. This research further revealed that the relationship was moderated by the type of relationship between the mother and child. Chil-dren who displayed an insecure attachment to their mothers displayed this negative association, while children with a secure attachment did not (Bergman et al., 2010).

Other researchers have explored relationships between parenting behaviors and cortisol levels. In one study, mothers with low levels of cortisol engaged in more disruptive communications with their infant (Crockett, Holmes, Granger, & Lyons-Ruth, 2013). In other words, the moth-ers with low cortisol levels had difficulty interacting with their infants in an empathic and nondisrupted way. In contrast, other researchers found that mothers who were more emotionally available at bedtime had infants who secreted lower levels of cortisol during the night than did mothers who were less emotionally available (Philbrook, Hozella, Kim, Jian, Shimizu, & Teti, 2014). Taken together, these results demonstrate that the quality of the parent-child relationship can be impacted by the adults’ and the infants’ production of cortisol.

Bugental, Schwartz, and Lynch (2010) explored relationships between cortisol levels, parenting behaviors, and memory skills for very young chil-dren. They found that children’s cortisol levels were reduced when their mother participated in an intervention that focused on “constructive rein-terpretation of caregiving challenges, along with their perceived capacity to resolve those challenges” (p. 161). However, when mothers engaged in avoidance/withdraw behaviors in response to conflict with their infant, the infant had elevated cortisol levels. The authors hypothesized that parental failure to respond to infant distress may lead to problems in emotional reg-ulation for the children. Short-term memory functioning at age 3 was asso-ciated with cortisol levels when measured during the 1-year visit (Bugental et al., 2010), providing further evidence of the possible long-term impact of early experiences on later development.

Other research teams have investigated the impact of specific parenting behaviors on cortisol levels. Beijers, Riksen-Walraven, and de Weerth (2013) found that parents who co-sleep with their infant more (i.e., sleep with infant in the same bed or in the same bedroom) had infants who had lower cortisol reactivity in response to a stressful situation. In addition, infants whose mother breastfed them longer had a quicker recovery from increases in cortisol during the stressful situation.

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The impact of other environments, especially out-of-home care, on cortisol levels has been studied extensively. Studies have found that the impact of child care differs for low-risk children and high-risk (including low-income) children. More specifically, for middle-class children, there was no significant change in children’s levels of cortisol from midmorning to midafternoon when at home with their family, but they experienced a significant increase in levels when in a family child care center (Gunnar, Kryzer, Van Ryzin, & Phillips, 2010). In fact, for low-risk children, the more hours spent in child care were predictive of higher cortisol levels (Berry, Blair, Ursache, Willoughby, Garrett-Peters, Vernon-Feagans, et al., 2014). For a sample of children who were living in poverty or had multiple risk factors, their cortisol level decreased over the course of the morning at child care (Rappolt-Schlichtmann, Willette, Ayoub, Lindsley, Hulette, & Fischer, 2009) and with greater number of hours spent in a child care set-ting (Berry et al., 2014).

What variables have been associated with a rise or decrease in corti-sol levels in children when in a child care program? Measures of qual-ity have been found to relate to children’s cortisol levels. For example, Sajaniemi, Suhonen, Kontu, Rantanen, Lindholm, Hyttinen, et al. (2011) found that scoring low on measures of quality indicators for classroom arrangement and team planning was associated with elevated cortisol lev-els as well as an increase in cortisol levels throughout the day. Regard-ing teacher-child relationships, Lisonbee, Mize, Payne, and Granger (2008) found that when teachers reported higher levels of conflict and overdependence in their relationships with the children, the children had higher cortisol levels. On the contrary, when children were in class-rooms with teachers who provided more emotional support (Hatfield, Hestenes, Kintner-Duffy, & O’Brien, 2013) or when children had a more secure attachment relationship with their teacher (Badanes, Dmitrieva, & Watamura, 2012), they had a greater decline in levels of cortisol from morning to afternoon. Relatedly, when Rappolt-Schlichtmann et al. (2009) investigated the impact of teaching in large groups versus smaller groups, they found that children’s cortisol levels decreased when moved from a large group environment to a small group context; children who expe-rienced more conflict with their teachers (based on the teacher’s report) experienced less decrease in cortisol during that change. Observations of teacher behavior have resulted in similar findings. Teachers who were rated as higher on intrusive/overcontrolling care were associated with children experiencing a rise in cortisol levels from midmorning to mid -afternoon (Gunnar et al., 2010).

As this research demonstrates, unresponsive, harmful, stressful, or ne-glectful caregiving behaviors affect the development of the brain negatively. Children who experience unresponsive and stressful conditions, either in a home or in a child care setting, were found to have elevated cortisol lev-els (see Gunnar & Cheatham, 2003, for a review). Monitoring cortisol levels in children may help in creating interventions and preventing negative out-comes associated with high levels of cortisol in adults, such as depression and anxiety (Engert, Efanov, Dedovic, Dagher, & Pruessner, 2011), posttrau-matic stress disorder (Lopez & Seng, 2014), heart disease (Seldenrijk, Hamer,

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Lahiri, Penninx, & Steptoe, 2012), and lower waking (Roisman, Susman, Barnett-Walker, Booth-LaForce, Owen, Belsky, et al., 2009) or higher waking (Nelemans, Hale, Branje, Lier, Jansen, Platje, et al., 2014) cortisol levels in adolescence.

Emotional Intelligence Daniel Goleman has provided a concise and comprehensive view of how brain development links to the skills necessary for healthy social and emo-tional development in his books titled Emotional Intelligence (1996) and Social Intelligence (2006). In these books, Goleman reports that the usual way of looking at intelligence as consisting only of cognitive abilities is incomplete. Eighty percent of the skills necessary for success in life are determined by what he calls emotional intelligence (Goleman, 1996). Healthy emotional development involves helping young children recog-nize their feelings, experience security and trust in others, and establish healthy attachments as well as gaining specific skills and self-efficacy in “emotion-eliciting social transactions” (Saarni, Campos, Camras, & Wither-ington, 2006, p. 250). Goleman defined five domains that are learned early in life and are necessary for high emotional intelligence and healthy iden-tity development (Figure 3–2).

1. Knowing one’s emotions. Recognizing a feeling as it happens, or self-awareness, is the keystone of emotional intelligence. The caregiver

emotional intelligence Skills learned early in life that are necessary for healthy emotional development, good relationships, and fulfillment in life experiences.

self-awareness Sensory- grounded information regarding one’s existence; what a person sees, hears, and feels in the body related to self.

FIGURE 3–2 ◗ Five Domains of Emotional Intelligence

Knowingone’s

emotions

Handlingrelationships

Recognizingemotions in

others

Motivatingoneself

Managingemotions

Domains ofemotional

intelligence

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should start helping children at birth to recognize, experience, label, and express their feelings in healthy ways. Research conducted on maternal emotion-related socialization behaviors (such as reported emotional expressivity, responses to her child’s emotions, and observed emotion talk) found that such behaviors were predictive of children’s emotion self-awareness skill one year later (Warren & Stifter, 2008). Specifically, they found that mothers who engaged in more supportive emotion-related socialization behaviors had preschoolers who had higher self-awareness of happiness, whereas less-supportive maternal emotion-related socializa-tion behaviors were predictive of low self-awareness of sadness (Warren & Stifter, 2008).

Parents and early childhood educator can help young children develop the cognitive skills for understanding their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Caregivers who describe what they are observing (e.g., “Your face is red, you must be angry.”), give feedback about the emotion being experienced (e.g., “It is scary to be alone in the climbing structure.”), and ask questions about children’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors (e.g., “Are you feeling sad or embarrassed?”) help children develop cognition skills in relationship to emotions. From a Vygotskian perspective, these strategies may be particularly valuable during the toddler years when the young chil-dren use their budding language skills as a mental tool to control their own emotions and behaviors. Toddlers with greater breadth of spoken vocab-ulary were found to be better able to use language to self-regulate their behaviors (Vallotton & Ayoub, 2011).

2. Managing emotions. Handling feelings in a way that is appropriate to the situation is a skill that builds on self-awareness. Skills in soothing oneself and maintaining a balance among thoughts, feelings, and behavior are necessary to manage emotions. Caregivers need to help children with this process of self-regulation by providing a model of balance between rational behavior and expression of emotions. Toddlers, while not being expected to control their emotions all of the time, should be assisted in gaining “effortful control.” According to Rueda, Posner, and Rothbart (2005), effortful control refers to a set of self-regulatory skills that includes attention modulation, response inhibition, persistence, and delay of grati-fication. Toddlers who demonstrated high levels of effortful control were lower in externalizing behaviors and higher in social competence (Spinrad, Eisenberg, Gaertner, Popp, Smith, Kupfer, et al., 2007). Thus, it appears that toddlers who can manage their emotions are better able to get along with other age-mates. See the Spotlight on Effortful Control box for more information.

As caregivers help infants regulate their emotions, they contribute to the child’s style of emotional self-regulation. For example, a parent who waits to intervene until an infant has become extremely agitated rein-forces the baby’s rapid rise to intense stress (Thompson, 1988) and makes it harder for the parent to soothe the baby in the future and for the baby to learn self-soothing. Parents who expressed negative emotionality when their toddler was completing a task were associated with toddlers who were less attentive to the task (Gaertner, Spinrad, & Eisenberg, 2008). Thus, adult negativity might actually decrease a child’s ability to attend when

self-regulation the skills necessary to direct and control one’s own behavior in socially and culturally appropriate ways.

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What IS It aND Why IS IMPOrtaNt?

Effortful control is a newer concept in the child development literature, receiving significant atten-tion during the past five years. Because it is a newer concept, understanding effortful control and factors impacting its development have been of great inter-est to researchers. Researchers have investigated the stability of effortful control over the first three years of life and have found it to be stable. For example, measures of effortful control showed continuity from infancy (12 months) to toddlerhood (24 months; Li, Pawan, & Stansbury, 2014). Eisenberg, Edwards, Spinrad, Sallquist, Eggum, and Reiser (2013) took a different approach and wanted to know if effortful con-trol, reactive undercontrol (impulsivity), and reactive overcontrol (inhibition to novelty) were three distinct constructs between 30 and 54 months of age. They found that at 30 months, effortful control was separate from reactive control (combination of impulsivity and inhibition) while at 42 and 54 months, all three were separate constructs. The authors concluded that this pattern demonstrates how effortful control and reac-tive control are two different aspects of temperament that “become increasingly differentiated with age as a function of brain development” (p. 2092).

Influences, such as parent and toddler characteris-tics, on the development of effortful control have been investigated. In one study, mothers who were higher on measures of extraversion had toddlers who demon-strated more effortful control, whereas mothers who reported higher levels of parenting stress were associ-ated with toddlers with less effortful control (Gartstein, Bridgett, Young, Panksepp, & Power, 2013). For tod-dlers with an “exuberant” (e.g., active) temperament, a combination of parental behaviors and emotional tone was associated with effortful control. Specifically, mothers who used commands and prohibitive state-ments with a positive emotional tone in interactions with their toddlers predicted higher levels of effort-ful control when their children were preschoolers (Cipriano & Stifter, 2010).

Parental behaviors (e.g., support, sensitivity, and warmth) have also been found to impact the develop-ment of effortful control. In one study, the research-ers wanted to know if skills in effortful control were associated with maternal sensitivity and recovery from a challenging task. They found that, as hypoth-esized, maternal sensitivity during infancy predicted

better effortful control and, in turn, shorter periods of time to generate positive emotions following a chal-lenging task at 33 months (Conway, McDonough, Mackenzie, Miller, Dayton, Rosenblum, et al., 2014). Relatedly, infants’ effortful control at 12 months pre-dicted mothers’ comforting and cognitive assistance at 24 months (Li, Pawan, & Stansbury, 2014). In other words, mothers who were more sensitive took into account their prior knowledge of the children’s reg-ulatory capacities; demonstrating how the infants’ characteristics impact mothers’ emotion coaching behaviors. Eiden, Edwards, and Leonard (2007) inves-tigated the role of parental warmth in alcoholic fam-ilies. Mothers scoring lower on measures of warmth when their toddler was 24 months was associated with their children exhibiting less effortful control a year later (i.e., 36 months).

Why have researchers put some much time and energy into studying effortful control? As mentioned previously, higher levels of effortful control have been associated with exhibiting fewer externalizing behav-iors and higher levels of social competence (Spinrad et al., 2007). Thus, children who are higher in effortful control are better able to engage in positive interactions with peers. In addition, there is a strong emphasis on school readiness skills in our society, and effortful con-trol may play an important role. Specifically, the role of particular cognitive and social-emotional skills, includ-ing effortful control, to influence how young children acquire preacademic skills is a newer line of inquiry. Merz, Landry, Williams, Barnes, Eisenberg, Spinrad, et al. (2014) investigated whether effortful control is a developmental skill that could explain the association between contextual factors and preacademic knowl-edge for toddlers and preschoolers (e.g., 2- and 4-year-old children). They found that levels of effortful control did mediate the relationships among parental educa-tion, home environment, and early academic skills (e.g., early literacy and emergent math). For example, children who experienced a higher quality home envi-ronment had higher effortful control, and the level of effortful control mediated the relationship between home quality and early literacy skills (Merz et  al., 2014). Because effortful control is a primary develop-mental task of early childhood, and these skills develop as a result of cumulative parent-child interactions in the home, these results may be particularly important to understand.

Spotlight on Effortful Control

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negative emotions are expressed. On the other hand, when caregivers vali-date children’s wants and needs by supporting and helping the child fulfill the need expressed by a feeling, children internalize a positive approach to managing emotions, regulating negative behaviors, and interacting with others (Gaertner et al., 2008; Spinrad et al., 2007). In contrast, when fathers were high on both frightening (e.g., threatening physical and/or verbal behavior) and insensitive parenting behaviors, their children were rated higher in emotional underregulation at 24 months, compared to chil-dren whose fathers were frightening and sensitive (Hazen, McFarland, Jacobvitz, & Boyd-Soisson, 2010). These researchers concluded that fright-ening behaviors by themselves might not be problematic because “fathers who stay sensitive while keeping babies highly stimulated, on the fence between fear and fun, may actually be scaffolding their children’s later development of the ability to regulate intense emotions [and] cope with overstimulation” (p. 64).

3. Motivating oneself. Channeling emotions in the service of a goal is essential for paying attention, mastery, and creativity. A basic attitude of optimism (the belief that success is possible) and self-responsibility under-lie the skill of getting into the flow (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). Caregivers of young children and infants can observe flow in infants and toddlers. For example, when an infant becomes totally engrossed in exploring her hand or the caregiver’s face, you can see that her cognition, perceptions, emo-tions, and behaviors are all intensely focused and coordinated in her joyful exploration.

Many researchers of motivation consider curiosity the primary human motivator. Infants and toddlers are naturally brimming with curiosity and the desire to explore. When caregivers help fulfill basic needs at appropri-ate physical and safety levels and respect the children as separate individ-uals with the ability to take some responsibility for their own experiences, children feel secure and are able to get into the wonderful flow of explor-ing both internal and external worlds.

4. Recognizing emotions in others. A fundamental relationship skill is empathy (sensitivity to what others need or want). Research in infant development has demonstrated that newborns exhibit empathy within the first months of life. Recent research provides evidence that infants respond empathically to the distress of both their mother and a peer and that they become more empathic over the first two years of life (Geangu, Benga, Stahl, & Striano, 2011; Roth-Hanania, Davidov, & Zahn-Waxler, 2011). If it is true that empathy is present at birth, then insensitivity is learned from the environment. Styles of caregiving have a profound impact on emo-tional self-regulation and empathy as children grow; children who see adults’ model empathy and frustration tolerance are more likely to develop those qualities themselves (Eisenberg, Fabes, & Spinrad, 2006). Similarly, when parents respond appropriately and sensitively to the toddler’s emo-tional expressions, the toddler displayed more empathic behaviors (Emery, McElwain, Groh, Haydon, & Roisman, 2014; Tong, Shinohara, Sugisawa, Tanaka, Yato, Yamakawa, et al., 2012). On the other hand, when infants and toddlers receive care that is abusive, they have significantly lower scores on emotional regulation and exhibit more externalizing behaviors

empathy Sensitivity to what others feel, need, or want; the fundamental relationship skill present at birth.

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(e.g., aggression) with peers (Kim & Cicchetti, 2010). In addition, it appears that a lack of appropriate care (i.e., neglect) during the early years nega-tively impacts emotional intelligence. Sullivan and colleagues found that 4-year-old children who were neglected were rated more poorly on mea-sures of emotional knowledge than age-mates who were not neglected (Sullivan, Bennett, Carpenter, & Lewis, 2008). Teachers must take great care to create a positive learning environment that promotes stability and fosters compassion for children who have not had such experiences.

Implications of this research for caregivers of young children should be obvious: insensitivity, negativity, or aggression directed at infants and toddlers results in children exhibiting those qualities toward themselves and others. Child care that is sensitive, positive, and nurturing results in children who exhibit those qualities as they grow up. Although many skills need to be encouraged and modeled, teachers should intentionally implement an “emotion-centered curriculum” that facilitates the children’s development of appropriate emotional responses, regulation, and styles of expression (Hyson, 2004).

5. Handling relationships. The last domain of emotional intelligence involves interacting smoothly and demonstrating skills necessary to get along well with others. It may seem odd at first to suggest that infants and toddlers manage their relationships with others, but research indicates that infants as young as 4 weeks old detect others’ emotions through crying contagion; research provides strong evidence for a valenced response to crying (Saarni et al., 2006). When testing infants who were 1-, 3-, 6-, and 9-months-old, between 59 percent and 79 percent of the infants responded to a pain cry with increased vocal and facial expressions of distress (Geangu, Benga, Stahl, &  Striano, 2010). Infants clearly respond to the crying of other new-borns by crying. Goleman (2006) explains that through a process called emotional contagion, infants and other humans “catch” emotions from those they are around (c.f. Yong & Ruffman’s [2014] study of the emotional conta-gion of dogs). “We ‘catch’ strong emotions much as we do a rhinovirus—and so can come down the emotional equivalent of a cold” (p. 22). This process of catching emotions is unconscious, occurring in the amygdala, an almond-shaped area in the midbrain that triggers responses to signs of danger.

Infants also imitate others’ behaviors and expressions within the first three months. There is no question that the behavior of a baby elic-its responses from caregivers. Many families even mark their child’s first smile, step, word, and so forth with great celebration. Therefore, children learn very early in life that their behavior affects others, even though the conscious awareness that “When I do A, Mommy does B” doesn’t come about until the end of the first year. Specific skills in working with others are spelled out later in this textbook, but it is important to understand here that development of these people skills occurs during the first years of life as a part of the relationships with primary caregivers.

Interactional Synchrony Very little research has been reported on how young children develop skills to manage emotions in others. Studies of the baby’s contributions to

emotional contagion the process through which infants and other humans “catch” emotions from those they are around.

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their primary relationships involve the temperament research discussed previously and studies on interactional synchrony (Isabella & Belsky, 1991). This term is best described as a sensi-tively tuned “emotional dance” in which interactions are mutu-ally rewarding to the caregiver and the infant (Photo 3–3). The two share a positive emotional state, with the caregiver and infant switching the roles of “following” and “leading” as neces-sary during different points in the dance (Goldsmith, 2010). According to Feldman (2007), interactional synchrony “pro-vides the foundation for the child’s later capacity for intimacy, symbol use, empathy, and the ability to read the intentions of others” (p. 330). However, engaging in interactional synchrony is not only emotionally rewarding for infants but also is related to lower levels of physiological distress for them (Moore  & Calkins, 2004). Although there are cultural-specific behaviors related to how adults interact with infants, research suggests that there are more commonalities than differences. For exam-ple, mother-infant dyads who had recently immigrated to the United States from France and India displayed similar types of interactional synchrony, yet at a lower frequency than did the nonimmigrant group (Gratier, 2003). Similarly, mothers and fathers do not differ in their ability to be in synch with their tod-dlers during play interactions (de Mendonça, Cossette, Strayer, & Gravel, 2011; Feldman, 2007). However, mothers of infants with profound hearing loss overlapped their utterances with their infant’s vocalization more than mothers of hearing infants, demonstrating less interactional synchrony (Fagan, Bergeson, & Morris, 2014). Yet, within seven months after the infants received cochlear implants, interactional synchrony improved.

Taken together, this research demonstrates that caregivers need to learn how to establish rapport and develop interactional synchrony with infants and toddlers to enhance their emotional development and help them learn to manage their relationships. However, do not pressure your-self to always be in sync, which is an unrealistic expectation (Tronick & Cohn, 1989).

To summarize, healthy emotional development involves recog-nizing their feelings and those of other people, establishing trust and autonomy in relationship with caregivers, having temperament traits supported, and having a healthy balance between bonding and separation-individuation. In addition, caregivers should understand how brain development impacts emotional development, the five domains of emotional intelligence, and how to use strategies that enhance both of them. McLaughlin (2008) argues in her critical reflection of emotional intelligence that while skills reside within a particular individual, they must be taught through emphasizing specific relationships and commu-nity building. In other words, while emotional intelligence can be boiled down to a set of skills to be learned, to be meaningful and useful, these skills must be intentionally used and taught during authentic, face-to-face interactions.

interactional synchrony A sensitively tuned “emotional dance,” in which interactions are mutually rewarding to caregiver and infant.

Photo 3–3 Interactional synchrony is the basis for healthy relationships.

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Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.1. How do parent-child interactions impact healthy identity development

according to Erikson, Mahler, and Stern?2. What factors influence how teachers use the concept of goodness-of-fit

with children in their care? Why is it important to realize this concept with each child?

3. How does a child’s brain development and emotional IQ skills influence his or her relationships with others?

4. Explain why caregivers should establish interactional synchrony with children.

R E A D I N G C H E C K P O I N T

3-2 Patterns of Social DevelopmentNormal patterns for social development are the result of our all-important relationships with our primary caregivers. The word relationship implies two entities: one person relates with another. During infancy and toddler-hood, respect for the child’s physical and psychological boundaries is cru-cial to healthy social development. Because infants begin life unable to care for their physical being, it is necessary for caregivers to intrude on their physical boundaries to provide care. The term intrude was intention-ally selected because the baby has no choice in how the caregiver handles his or her body. When the caregiver respects the baby’s body, the baby feels secure and loved. However, when the caregiver doesn’t respect the baby’s body and is rough or insensitive, he or she causes feelings of insecurity and physical pain. Children who have their physical and psychological bound-aries respected learn to respect other people’s feelings as well. As a result of being able to value their own wants and needs while being sensitive to other people, these children are able to establish, manage, and maintain healthy relationships with other people.

3-2a Attachment TheoryThe infant’s first years of life are dedicated to the development of strong emotional ties to the caregiver (Bowlby, 1969/2000). While research on mother-child attachment preceded research on father-child attachment, the importance of developing strong, secure relationships with both parents cannot be denied (Bretherton, 2010). According to Bowlby’s ethological theory of attachment, the infant’s relationship to the parent starts as a set of innate signals that keep the caregiver close to the baby and proceeds through four phases, as follows:

1. The preattachment phase (birth to 6 weeks old) occurs when the baby grasps, cries, smiles, and gazes to keep the caregiver engaged.

2. The “attachment-in-the-making” phase (6 weeks to 8 months old) consists of the baby responding differently to familiar caregivers than to strangers. Face-to-face interactions relieve distress, and the baby expects that the caregiver will respond when signaled.

3. The clear-cut attachment phase (8 months to 2 years old) is when the baby exhibits separation anxiety, protests caregiver departure, and acts deliberately to maintain caregiver attention.

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4. Formation of a reciprocal relationship phase (18 months old and onward) occurs when children negotiate with the caregiver and are willing to give and take in relationships.

Researchers measure attachment history for young toddlers using an experimental design called the Strange Situation. This experiment involves a series of separations and reunions. Four categories have been used to clas-sify attachment patterns: secure, ambivalent/insecure, avoidant/insecure (Ainsworth, 1967, 1973), and disoriented/insecure (Hesse & Main, 2000; Main & Solomon, 1990) (see Chapter 4 for more information on each of these). These attachment patterns have been found to be influenced by the caregivers’ behavior and beliefs and to result in different social outcomes for toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged children (see next section).

Securely Attached InfantsInfants’ attachment styles have been found to correlate to sets of caregiv-ers’ behaviors (Figure 3–3). Regarding secure attachments, infants and caregivers engage in finely tuned, synchronous dances where the adults carefully read the infants’ cues, see events from the infants’ perspectives, and respond accordingly (Isabella & Belsky, 1991; NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, 1997; Oppenheim & Koren-Karie, 2002) (Photo 3–4). More specifically, infants classified as securely attached tend to have care-givers who do the following:

●● Consistently respond to infants’ needs●● Interpret infants’ emotional signals sensitively●● Regularly express affection●● Permit babies to influence the pace and direction of their mutual inter-

actions (for reviews, see Honig, 2002; McDevitt & Ormrod, 2013)

Insecurely Attached Infants In contrast, caregivers of insecurely attached infants tend to have diffi-culty caring for the infants (e.g., dislike physical contact, are inconsistent,

FIGURE 3–3 ◗ Attachment Classifications

Attachmentclassi�cations

Secure Insecure

Avoidant

Ambivalent

Disorganized

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PhOTO 3–4 Healthy relationships develop from positive attention, approval, and attunement.

unpredictable, insensitive, and intrusive) or are unwilling to invest energy in the relationship (Belsky, Rovine, & Taylor, 1984; Isabella, 1993; Thomp-son, 1998). They might also struggle with interactive misattunement (i.e., a lack of the synchronous dance described earlier), especially with an adopted child (Honig, 2014). George, Cummings, and Davies (2010) found that father-child and mother-child attachments were predicted by paternal and maternal responsiveness to children’s emotional distress, respectively. For both mothers and fathers, being less emotionally responsive was related to their child exhibiting more attachment insecurity. Similarly, mothers who were less supportive with their children reported greater personal levels of attachment avoidance behaviors (Berlin, Whiteside-Mansell, Roggman, Green, Robinson, & Spieker, 2011). When foster parents reported more stress and less of a supportive presence, the children had more insecure attach-ments (Gabler, Bovenschen, Lang, Zimmermann, Nowacki, Kliewer, et al., 2014). For children in the severest category of insecurity—disoriented—the caregivers can be addicted to drugs or alcohol or be severely depressed or mentally ill; they are unable to care for their own needs, let alone their child’s. In several studies, these caregivers were found to have experienced their own attachment-related traumas when they were children (Behrens, Hesse, & Main, 2007; Hesse & Main, 2000; Madigan, Moran, Schuengel, Pederson, & Otten, 2007). This body of research provides evidence that parental beliefs, behaviors, and attachment histories are related to how care-givers interact with and care for their infants.

Infant Behaviors and Characteristics It is vital to realize, however, that the attachment security is not just a function of the adult behaviors. Because it is a relationship, infant behav-iors and characteristics must also be considered. Researchers have been

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interested in the impact of adoption on attachment security. In a study of adopted toddlers who experienced institutionalization as infants, toddlers with greater preadoption adversity took longer to form an attachment to their adoptive parents (Carlson, Hostinar, Mliner, & Gunnar, 2014). While it took longer, eventually 90 percent of the children achieved a high level on the attachment scale utilized, which was no different from the nonadopted children in the study. Yet, the toddlers who were rated as more insecure had a higher likelihood to be disorganized in their attachment patterns than the nonadopted children.

Teacher Relationships Teachers of infants and toddlers also form ongoing relationships with young children. The primary caregiving system (discussed in Chapter 1) has been found to support secure teacher-child attachments (Ebbeck, Phoon, Tan-Chong, Tan, & Goh, 2014). Relatedly, when interviewing teachers, Ebbeck and Yim (2009) found that teachers felt “being responsive and emo-tionally available was the most important and direct approach to foster their relationship with infants/toddlers” (p. 902). To illustrate, 14-month-old Louise is walking in the yard carrying a small truck in her hand. She sees Randy, the caregiver, and squeals and giggles. She walks rapidly to Randy with arms up and a big smile on her face. Randy picks her up, snuggles, and greets her verbally.

The relationships families and caregivers form with very young chil-dren help to determine what relationships children will develop later in life. Strong, sensitive attachment can have a positive influence on a child’s confidence, self-concept, and patterns of social interactions for the remain-der of his or her life. While most research on caregiver-child relationships has examined infants with their parents, the findings from this research apply equally well to infant-caregiver relationships.

Being a responsive caregiver, however, goes beyond just examining your own behaviors and interactions with children. Teachers must also come to understand attachment relationships from the child’s and the family mem-bers’ perspectives. In both cases, experiences with others set the foundation for later relationships. Children use their relationships with their family members to guide how they interact with peers, whereas adults (teachers and parents) use their past relationships (with their own parents and/or romantic relationships) to influence how they interact with children. Berlin et al.’s (2011) findings suggest that some parents, given their attachment his-tory, might be resistant to building a collaborative relationship with caregiv-ers. Thus, early childhood educators might need to find additional avenues for building strong relationships with some family members. The following list explores avenues for affecting healthy development for young children.

1. Infants need to establish emotional attachment with their caregivers. This attachment develops through regular activities that address the infants’ basic needs such as feeding and changing diapers. Yet caregivers should use sensitive physical contact such as cuddling and touching to comfort and stimulate interactions. When caregivers learn the child’s needs, schedules, likes, dislikes, and temperament, and then respond to the child’s prefer-ences, they teach the infant that he or she is an important person.

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As discussed in Chapter 1, when more than one caregiver is responsible for a group of children, a primary caregiving system can be used to divide the work and best meet the needs of the children. The primary caregiver works closely with family members to establish consistent routines and strategies for meeting the infant’s needs. She can share her knowledge about the child’s needs and preferences so that other caregivers can match their care to the child. Alternate caregivers should report observations about the child’s behaviors to the primary caregiver. Thus, the primary caregiver has two main responsibilities: to establish a special attachment with the child, and to gather, coordinate, and share information about the child with other caregivers and the family.

Each child needs to have a caregiver respond sensitively and con-sistently to cries and cues of distress. The child then learns to trust the caregiver. When crying infants are left alone for several minutes before a caregiver responds, or when the caregiver responds quickly sometimes and leaves them alone sometimes, children are confused and have difficulty establishing a strong attachment because they cannot develop a strong sense of trust in the caregiver. Responding quickly to infant and toddler needs does not spoil children. It conveys that you hear their communi-cation and that they are important enough for you to respond to it. Your response should be quick but not hurried.

Consider the following example. Nancy is rocking Alvero when Karola wakes from her nap. Nancy greets Karola by saying, “Look who is awake. I am rocking Alvero. He is almost asleep. I’ll put him in his crib and then get you up.” As this example shows, Nancy talked to Karola, the crying infant, in a soothing voice before she was able to physically address her need to get out of her crib. Although some readers may question the amount of language provided to Karola, they should recall that receptive language develops before productive language and that language serves not only as a communication function but also as a tool for regulating strong emotions. Remember, the most important task for an infant or toddler is to develop trust and a secure attachment to the caregiver. For this to occur, the care-giver must respond consistently and sensitively to the child’s needs.

2. Each child and his or her primary caregiver need special time together. This “getting to know you” and “let’s enjoy each other” time should be a calm, playful time to relax, look, touch, smile, giggle, cuddle, stroke, talk, whisper, sing, make faces, and establish the wonderful dance of interactional synchrony. Sometimes this can be active time, including holding an infant up in the air at arm’s length while you talk and giggle and then bringing the infant up close for a hug. Other times, this can mean very quiet activities, such as rocking, cuddling, and softly stroking in a loving way.

3. The caregiver must treat each child as a special, important person. Infants and toddlers are not objects to be controlled but individuals of worth with whom you establish a respectful, positive emotional relation-ship while providing for their physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and learning needs. More information will be provided in Chapter 9 regarding how to build curriculum that is respectful, is responsive, and facilitates development.

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FathEr-chILD INtEractIONS aND DEVELOPMENtaL OUtcOMES

Much research has been conducted on the impact of mother-child interactions on developmental outcomes for young children. The amount and type of engage-ment fathers have with their children has long been assumed to be important to the development of young children. Yet, much was not understood about this topic until recently.

Drawing from a national sample of more than 5,000 fathers, Cabrera, Hofferth, and Chae (2011) investigated whether father involvement in three tasks (i.e., verbal stimulation, caregiving, and physical play) varied by race/ethnicity. When controlling for variables such as fathers’ education, depression symptoms, and quality of family relationships, African American and Latino fathers engaged in more caregiving and physical play activities than did White fathers, whereas no differ-ences were found between the three groups of fathers on verbal stimulation activities. Fathers who reported higher levels of conflict with their partner engaged in less caregiving and physical play activities with their infant.

While understanding the amount and type of father engagement is important, researchers have also focused on how fathers play an important and differential role in their child’s developmental outcomes. A meta-analysis of 24 publications discovered that 22 of the publica-tions showed father engagement (i.e., direct interaction with the child) to be associated with a range of positive outcomes, although no specific form of engagement was shown to yield better outcomes than another (Sarkadi, Kristiansson, Oberklaid, & Bremberg, 2008). For example, there was “evidence to indicate that father engagement positively affects the social, behavioral, psychological and cognitive outcomes of children” (Sarkadi et al., 2008, p. 155, emphasis in original).

Fathers seem to provide an important context as children are learning to regulate their emotions. The data suggest that fathers in low-income families are particularly important for helping very young chil-dren gain control over intense emotions. Children who live with their biological fathers or children who have involved nonresidential biological fathers had more optimal emotion-regulatory competencies (Bocknek, Brophy-Herb, Fitzgerald, Schiffman, & Vogel, 2014), fewer behavioral problems (Choi, Palmer, & Pyunas, 2014), as well as higher levels of self-regulation and

lower levels of aggression when compared to chil-dren with unstable father connections (Vogel, Bradley, Raikes, Boller, & Shears, 2006). The researchers con-cluded that “to some degree, children living with their biological fathers seem developmentally better off, pri-marily in the self-regulatory and behavioral domains” (Vogel et al., 2006, p. 204) as such relationships provide more stability and predictability in father-child interac-tions (Bocknek et al., 2014). When children are better able to manage their emotions, they should engage in aggressive or harmful behaviors less frequently. The meta-analysis described earlier also found that father involvement was associated with decreased aggressive behaviors for boys (Sarkadi et al., 2008). While these positive behaviors are most important developmental outcomes, the origin of the pathway is still unclear. It is possible that the outcome of reduced aggression is linked to the increase in emotional regulation skills. More research is needed to discern the complex rela-tionships between father involvement and child devel-opmental trajectories.

Other research has shown the positive impact of father-child interactions on cognitive development. Feldman (2007) discovered that father-child synchrony at 5 months of age was related to complex symbol use and the sequences of symbolic play at 3 years of age. In addition, Bronte-Tinkew, Carano, Horowitz, and Kinukawa (2008) found that various aspects of father involvement (cognitively stimulating activities, phys-ical care, paternal warmth, and caregiving activities) were associated with greater babbling and exploring objects with a purpose as well as a lower likelihood of infant cognitive delay. Fathers who read with their tod-dler more frequently had preschoolers who were better on assessments of reading, math, and social-emotional outcomes (Baker, 2013).

Another research study compared father- toddler social toy play for families involved in an Early Head Start (EHS) program to dads not involved in that pro-gram. These researchers found that fathers who had been in an EHS program showed more complexity in their play with their children (Roggman, Boyce, Cook, Christiansen, & Jones, 2004). For children, this com-plex play was associated with better cognitive and social outcomes; specifically, the children scored better on tests of cognitive competence, language acquisition, and emotional regulation.

This body of research makes it clear that edu-cators need to create policies and engage in practices

Spotlight on Research

(continued)

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In conclusion, caregivers should be very aware of factors that affect attachment security in young children. Sensitive caregiving that responds appropriately to the child’s signals and needs is the most important fac-tor in supporting children’s development. The findings from many studies clearly reveal that securely attached infants have primary caregivers who respond quickly to signals, express positive feelings, and handle babies with tenderness and sensitivity. The best principle for infant and toddler social development is probably that adults cannot be too “in tune” or give too much approval and affection; young children can’t be spoiled. Your sensitive caring sets the basis for future relationships that they will have throughout their lives.

3-2b Relationships with PeersWhile relationships are being established with adults, the children gen-eralize the knowledge gained in their relationships with peers (Bowlby, 1969/2000). Infants demonstrate an increased desire to interact socially with peers over the first year of life. Research reveals “that during the second year of life, toddlers do display social skills of modest complex-ity” as they develop friendships and begin to negotiate conflicts (Rubin, Bukowski, & Parker, 2006, p. 587). The complexity can be shown in the quality and depth of their relationships with peers as toddlers. For exam-ple, toddlers have been found to have reciprocal relationships based “not only on their mutual exchange of positive overtures, but also by agonistic interactions” (Rubin et al., 2006, p. 588). In other words, their relation-ships can be characterized by great warmth, aggression, and argumenta-tive interactions as they learn to work closely with peers. Toddlers tend to respond to cries by a familiar peer more than an unfamiliar peer (Kato, Onishi, Kanazawa, Hmobayashi, & Minami, 2012) suggesting that even toddlers use relationship knowledge to guide social responses. As this research shows, there is rapid development in the acquisition of social skills during the first two years of life as infants move from initiating basic interactions to developing reciprocal relationships with others. Other developmental milestones facilitate peer interactions and relationships as

that actively involve fathers in the care and education of their infants and toddlers because doing so is related to better developmental outcomes (i.e., cognitive, social, and emotional) for the children. We need to (1) help families understand the “the potential value of active father involvement in children’s lives during these critical early years” (Roggman et al., 2004, p. 103); and (2) involve fathers in the daily care and educational decisions as much as we do mothers. Many educa-tors, like the population in general, continue to view

mothers as the primary caregiver. This means that we tend to direct more communication toward them rather than the fathers. As the expectations of fathers change, many are often unsure of how to carry out these new responsibilities. Educators can provide information to families about the important role fathers play in pro-moting child development and coach fathers as they acquire the skills necessary for positive engagement and/or complex play with toys.

Spotlight on Research (continued)

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well. For example, between 24 and 36 months of age, the rapid language development of the toddler provides the basis for understanding the feel-ings of other people, using more words to express feelings, and actively participating in managing relationships. As language increases, so does the toddler’s more complete model of the social world. Pointing gestures, talkativeness, and vocabulary are “tools for both communication in and representation of the social-emotional world . . . [and] may actually help these young children build their concepts of the social-emotional world” (Vallotton & Ayoub, 2010, p. 620). In addition, active self-talk dialogues; make-believe play; and beliefs about the self, the world (including other people), and the self in relation to others are exhibited during this period. By the time children reach school age, they have established a model of the world that includes self-concept, beliefs about the world (including other people), and a style of communication that influences how they will man-age relationships with others.

This model of the world, based on the child’s attachment history with parents, has been shown to relate to the quality of relationships with peers. Securely attached children tend to be more independent, empathic, and socially competent preschoolers, especially in comparison to insecurely attached children (DeMulder, Denham, Schmidt, & Mitchell, 2000; Kim, 2010; Rydell, Bohlin, & Thorell, 2005). When toddlers had a secure attachment to their father, they were more likely to have a greater number of reciprocal friendships during preschool (Verissimo, Santos, Vaughn, Torres, Monteiro, & Santos, 2011). The impact of infant secure attachment classification has also been associated with various aspects of social competence for preschoolers (Veríssimo, Santos, Fernandes, Shin, & Vaughn, 2014) as well as school-aged children and adolescents (Abraham & Kerns, 2013; Booth-LaForce & Oxford, 2008; Chen, Liu, & Liu, 2013; Eceiza, Ortiz, & Apodaca, 2011; Feeney, Cassidy, & Ramos-Marcuse, 2008; Yoon, Ang, Fung, Wong, & Yiming, 2006), while an insecure attach-ment has been related to maladaptive behaviors such as bullying (Eliot & Cornell, 2009).

Social Learning Theories Contributions by numerous social learning theorists help us understand how infants and toddlers develop relationships. The first relationships we have in the world with our parent(s) and caregivers result in the for-mation of the self, which forms the basis for future relationships. Through these relationships, very young children come to understand how they are separate from others (e.g., self-recognition) as well as how they pro-duce reactions and react to other’s behavior (e.g., sense of agency). Infants as young as 9 months old demonstrate the emergence of self-recognition; the majority of 18- to 24-month-olds have it (Nielsen, Suddendorf,  & Slaughter, 2006).

Self-recognition is measured by putting a mark on an infant’s face (typically the nose, but Nielsen et al., 2006, studied both legs and faces) and having him look in the mirror. If he demonstrates self-recognition, he wipes his nose to remove the mark; if he laughs at the reflection or touches the mirror to wipe away the mark, he has not yet demonstrated self-recognition. While it may seem like a simple concept to grasp, self-recognition is a

self-recognition conscious awareness of self as different from others and the environment; occurs first usually between 9 and 15 months of age.

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complex developmental task that represents not only social development but also the brain’s ability to represent the concept symbolically and men-tally (Bard, Todd, Bernier, Love, & Leavens, 2006; Sugiura, Sassa, Jeong, Horie, Sato, & Kawashima, 2008). In fact, visual self-recognition in a mir-ror emerged prior to the use of personal pronouns and photo identifica-tion, two other indices of self-recognition (Courage, Edison, & Howe, 2004). When 18-month-old children demonstrated self-recognition, they also imi-tated a behavior more completely (Zmyj, Prinz, & Daum, 2013). In other words, these toddlers were able to imitate both the action and the appropri-ate location for displaying the action. The authors concluded that precisely reproducing the observed behavior of others is related to the increased competence in relating one’s own behavior to the corresponding visual feedback.

3-2c Self-EsteemSelf-esteem can be defined as follows: the evaluation the individual makes and customarily maintains with regard to himself; it expresses an attitude of approval or disapproval, and indicates the extent to which the individual believes himself to be capable, significant, successful, and worthy. In short, self-esteem is a personal judgment of worthiness that is expressed in the attitudes the individual holds toward himself (Coopersmith, 1967, pp. 4–5). Information regarding one’s self-esteem is acquired through relationships with others and interactions with materials.

Summarizing his data on childhood experiences that contribute to the development of self-esteem, Coopersmith wrote, “The most general statement about the antecedent of self-esteem can be given in terms of three conditions: total or near total acceptance of the children by their parents; clearly defined and enforced limits; and the respect and latitude for individual actions that exist within the defined limits” (1967, p. 236). Research with socially anxious preadolescents (10–13 years of age) who reported high levels of fear of negative evaluations found that positive peer feedback resulted in greater gains in self-esteem while negative peer feedback resulted in greater decreases in self-esteem (Reijntjes, Thomaes, Boelen, van der Schoot, de Castro, & Telch, 2011). Thus, socially anx-ious children seem to be highly reactive to feedback from others. Unfor-tunately, many adults believe that providing frequent praise will raise a child’s self-esteem, regardless of other child characteristics (e.g., presence of social anxiety). Although it is important that children think they are worthy people, they must develop this from their experiences of mas-tery and competence that are often born out of struggle and discomfort (Pawl, 2012). The conditions for fostering self-esteem—acceptance, lim-its, respect—provide guidelines for caregivers and will be discussed in more depth in Chapter 6.

In general, research in the area of self-esteem has found that people who develop good self-esteem have learned and exhibit three specific skills: self-responsibility, enlightened self-interest, and a positive attitude.

1. People with good self-esteem assume ownership of their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Self-responsibility is the keystone to

self-esteem Personal judgment of worthiness based on an evaluation of having, or not, particular valued characteristics or abilities.

self-responsibility taking over responsibility for fulfilling some of one’s own needs.

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independence. It is accurate to state that the most important task of child care is to prepare children to function as healthy, autonomous individuals capable of providing for their needs in ways acceptable to society. Caregiv-ers should help children take responsibility for their own wants and needs as is appropriate for their developmental level, while allowing dependency in areas in which they are not yet capable of providing for themselves. For example, learning to manage one’s emotions and respond using nonaggres-sive strategies when a want cannot be immediately fulfilled is a develop-mental challenge that children face early in life (Fuller, 2001). Helping a child take as much responsibility as is age appropriate provides the child with a sense of mastery and overall successful emotional development (see Chapter 6).

2. People with good self-esteem are sensitive and kind toward other people while addressing their own desires. In a research study, toddlers were observed interacting with familiar peers in their own homes. The focus children in the study were found to respond more positively to dis-tress they had caused in their playmate than to distress they merely wit-nessed (Demetriou & Hay, 2004). Hence, the toddlers were more sensitive and responsive when they were responsible for the source of their play-mate’s distress.

Learning to balance one’s own needs with the needs of others is not a trivial task. It is interesting that a review of the English language reveals no single word that describes a healthy self-interest in having one’s needs and desires fulfilled. On the other hand, many words are available to describe a lack of self-interest (e.g., selfless), too much self-interest (e.g., selfish), and a lack of interest in other people (e.g., insensitive, egocentric, narcissistic, aloof). Because the skills necessary for positive self-esteem and emotional intelligence require balance between awareness of one’s own needs and sensitivity to the feelings of other people, a term is required that accurately denotes a healthy amount of self-interest. The term enlightened self-interest will be used to describe the skill of balancing awareness of one’s own needs and feelings with the needs and feelings of other people.

Although there are individual differences at birth, the sensitivity that children exhibit toward others later in life is clearly related to the quality of sensitivity, kindness, and respect they are shown by caregivers in the first few years of life (Lawrence, 2006; Farrant, Devine, Maybery, & Fletcher, 2012). Yet, accounting for the impact of contextual variables is not always straightforward. Demetrious and Hay (2004) found that toddlers who had older siblings were more likely than other target children to respond negatively to their playmate’s distress. Thus, adults and siblings might provide conflicting models of how to respond sensitively to another person’s distress and, therefore, impact the development of self-esteem in different ways.

3. People with good self-esteem have a positive attitude about them-selves. In other words, they make conscious positive statements to them-selves about their own value and self-worth (Kocovski & Endler, 2000). Infants and toddlers internalize the moral values, beliefs, and attitudes of the people in their environment. This becomes part of their personality.

enlightened self-interest the skill of balancing awareness of one’s own needs and feelings with the needs and feelings of other people.

positive attitude an aspect of self-esteem whereby children make conscious positive statements to themselves about their own value and self-worth.

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The infants and young toddlers adopt the attitudes, state-ments, and feelings that their caregivers direct toward them. When caregivers consistently direct affection, posi-tive attention, approval, and respect toward young chil-dren, they feel valuable, worthy, and proud. However, when caregivers are critical, angry, demanding, or judg-mental toward children, they learn guilt, anxiety, shame, and self-doubt.

3-2d Prosocial BehaviorsChildren’s displays of prosocial behaviors increase sig-nificantly during the second year of life (Brownell, 2013). Children who possess a healthy internal locus of con-trol know that their actions impact those around them (Photo 3–5). Yet, that is not a sufficient condition for ensuring that young children use their personal power to benefit others. It has been found that when parents adopt particular guidance strategies (e.g., induction, which is a type of verbal discipline in which the adult gives explanations or reasons for why the child should change her behavior), they tend to have children who are more socially competent (Kwon, Jeon, & Elicker, 2013) and exhibit more prosocial behaviors (see Eisenberg

et al., 2006, for a review). Likewise, when parents were taught to avoid more permissive parenting behaviors, their toddlers displayed more social competence with peers (i.e., less verbal aggression; Christopher, Saun-ders, Jacobvitz, Burton, & Hazen, 2013). Thus, adults who provide feed-back about appropriate, helpful behaviors, emphasizing the impact of the child’s actions on another person, tend to be associated with children who engage in more prosocial behavior.

Emotional Talk To elaborate even more, Brownell, Svetlova, Anderson, Nichols, and Drummond (2013) investigated the impact of reading books that prompted emotional talk about others’ feelings on toddlers’ prosocial behavior. They discovered that parents who elicited more emotional talk by asking their toddler to label and explain emotions were associated with toddlers who helped and shared more quickly and more frequently. What is particu-larly important about this study is that it was the parent’s elicitation of children’s emotional talk, rather than their own emotional talk, that was most impactful on prosocial behaviors. Similarly, when parents engaged in practices that encouraged their preschooler to take another person’s perspective, the children demonstrated more prosocial behaviors (Farrant et al., 2012). These authors concluded that although parent-child interac-tions in infancy play critical roles in the development of prosocial behav-iors, parents must continue to facilitate the development of prosocial behaviors during the latter part of the early childhood period (3–8 years of age).

PhOTO 3–5 Providing choices of what to clean up helps to develop responsibility and an internal locus of control.

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Intrinsic Motivation According to Hepach, Vaish, and Tomasello (2013), very young children engage in prosocial behavior because they are intrinsically motivated rather than motivated by extrinsic rewards, and they are more inclined to help those for whom they feel sympathy. For example, when toddlers were given rewards (physical object) for engaging in a prosocial behavior, they were less likely to help an adult in need than children who were given a verbal reward (praise) or no reward at all (Hepach et al., 2013). The find-ing about the impact of praise differs from previous research. Others have found that the application of verbal praise for prosocial behaviors actually undermines children’s development (Grusec, 1991). It appears that exter-nal rewards (verbal or concrete) decrease the internal drive to do a good deed because the adult places emphasis on getting something. In other words, such adult behaviors undo the child’s natural tendencies toward prosocial behaviors by teaching him that he should engage in a prosocial behavior only if it benefits himself (Warneken & Tomasello, 2008).

Sympathy As mentioned previously, toddlers engage in prosocial behaviors when they feel sympathy for the person in need. Two recent studies have found that toddlers accurately respond to displays of distress by demonstrating helpful or prosocial behaviors (Hepach et al., 2013; Williamson, Donohue, & Tully, 2013). One of those studies will be discussed in more depth to illustrate the importance of feeling sympathy for a victim. In an experimental situa-tion, toddlers participated in one of two conditions. In the harm condition, the toddler was present when one adult took or destroyed the belongings of another adult (recipient), whereas in the control condition, the toddler was present when one adult took or destroyed the belongings that did not belong to the recipient present. Next, the recipient was given one balloon, and the toddler was given two balloons. The adult “accidently” lost her bal-loon, could not retrieve it, and displayed overt sadness. Toddlers showed significantly more prosocial behaviors in the harm condition than in the control condition (Hepach et al., 2013). In addition, the level of concern displayed by toddlers when viewing the harm condition was positively correlated to their exhibiting prosocial behaviors. In other words, toddlers who displayed more concern engaged in more prosocial behaviors. Thus, it appears that child characteristics (e.g., attention to another’s needs) impact the development and demonstration of prosocial behaviors.

Imagine that you are working in a continuity of care classroom, caring for eight infants and toddlers. Because they are of different ages, family members tend to notice that some children engage in different social behaviors than do others. A family member has asked you how to assist her child with being more “helpful”

(i.e., prosocial) at home. What questions would you want to ask him before answering his question? Make a list of five resources in your community that could be of benefit to this family. Then, determine how you would share this information with him.

Family and Community Connection

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Temperament Some children may be more inclined to engage in prosocial behaviors based on their temperament. As discussed previously, temperament reflects how a person typically behaves. One research team investigated the relationship between temperament and engaging in prosocial behaviors. They found that preschoolers who were rated as high to moderate on self-regulation and low to moderate on negative emotionality engaged in more prosocial behav-iors during preschool, first grade, and third grade (Laible, Carlo, Murphy, Augustine, & Roesch, 2014). The opposite relationship was also true. Spe-cifically, preschoolers who were low on self-regulation and high on negative emotionality, especially displays of anger, engaged in fewer prosocial behav-iors during the same time period. The authors concluded that “temperamen-tal dimensions work in complex ways to predict social behaviors” (p. 749).

In conclusion, it appears that healthy social development is related to secure attachment and trust in our primary caregivers, healthy identity development, and caregiver respect and sensitivity to children’s physical and psychological boundaries. Healthy social development involves chil-dren being aware of their own needs and desires and those of other people, as well as communicating verbally and nonverbally in ways that establish interactional synchrony with others. Table 3–2 presents some of the major milestones for social development from birth through 36 months of age. However, when a child does not meet developmental milestones or oth-erwise displays unhealthy social development, issues regarding mental health can be raised. The issue of infant and early childhood mental health will be explored further in Chapter 10.

TABLE 3–2 ◗ Milestones for Social Development: Birth to 36 Months

age aCtivities

Birth to 6 months Fusing with mother evolves into basic self-discriminationsMatches feelings and tones of caregiverDemonstrates empathyExhibits interactional synchronyExhibits social smileShows happiness at familiar facesGains caregiver attention intentionally

7–12 months Exhibits self-recognition and discrimination from othersSeeks independence in actionsKeeps family members or caregiver in sightStarts imitative play

12–24 months Exhibits possessivenessacts differently toward different peoplecommonly shows stranger anxietyEngages in parallel playShows strong ownership

24–36 months Shares, but not consistentlyrecognizes differences between mine and yoursUnderstands perspective of other peoplehelps othersBegins to play cooperatively

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Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.

1. What does it mean for a child to be securely attached? Insecurely attached? Why is it important for caregivers to establish secure relationships with the infants and toddlers in their care?

2. What role does having and enforcing limits have on the development of healthy self-esteem? Why?

3. Provide and explain an example of a teacher facilitating the development of prosocial behavior in a toddler.

R E A D I N G C H E C K P O I N T

3-1 Determine typical patterns of emotional development between birth and thirty-six months of age.Four different concepts related to emotional development were discussed in this chapter: Erikson’s psychosocial theory, separation and together, temperament, and emotional intelli-gence. Recent research, including studies of brain development, provides evidence that biological and environmental influences work in complex ways to result in children being emotionally com-petent (or not).

3-2 sequence typical patterns of social development between birth and thirty-six months of age.Adults must assume responsibility for sup-porting and facilitating very young children’s social development. One of the primary vehicles through which such competencies develop is the adult-child relationship. Responsive, attuned care that is delivered in synchrony with the child pro-vides a strong foundation for secure attachments, relationships with peers, self-esteem, and proso-cial behaviors.

Summary

Evaluating Development

You should now have a working knowledge of nor-mal patterns of development in each of the four areas for children under the age of 36 months. To test your understanding of information in Chapters 2 and 3, decide if Marcus is advanced, behind, or at age level in the following evaluation summary.

Marcus, who is 24 months old, is in child care from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., five days a week. He lives with his mother and grandfather in a three-bedroom duplex. An evaluation of his development in each of the four major areas revealed the following observations:

Physical Factors. Marcus is 34 inches tall, weighs 35 pounds, has 20/20 vision, and can focus and track across a line of letters fluidly. He has all 20 baby teeth, can stand on one foot and hop, and is interested in toi-let learning. He can throw a ball with each hand and use a fork to eat.

Emotional Factors. Marcus clings to his caregiver during drop-off and shows anxiety at the presence of strangers. He is compliant and follows directions when he feels secure, but he can whine when he needs more individual attention. He has difficulty understanding his feelings or soothing himself. When not involved

Marcus C A S E S T u D Y

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with his caregiver or other children, Marcus tends to wander around the room.

Social Factors. Marcus has some difficulty deter-mining what things are his, and he cooperates with other children when he has the full attention of his caregiver. He is easily emotionally hurt by other chil-dren and does not defend himself when they take a toy he was playing with. He frequently focuses on his own needs and has difficulty reading the feelings of other children. Although his language skills are sufficient, Marcus often screams rather than uses words when his peers bother him.

Cognitive Factors. When he feels secure, Marcus is curious, explores his environment, and gains a lot of physical knowledge. Although he has some diffi-culty interacting with peers, he participates in active,

creative pretend play and exhibits a logical sequence in the stories he makes up. He uses double substitu-tion in play and understands four- and five-direction sequences.

1. Use the Developmental Milestones provided in Appendix A to determine if you think Marcus is advanced for his age level, at age level, or below age level for each area of development. Explain how you drew each conclusion.

2. What contextual factors should be considered when evaluating his development and why?

3. In which of the four areas is it most difficult for you to make an assessment of Marcus? What addi-tional information do you need? Why?

Lesson PlanTitle: It’s a MessChild observation:

Jozie (22 months) toddled over to the art shelf. She grabbed a chunk of paper and carried it to the table. Then, she returned to the shelf and retrieved the mark-ers. She made marks on the paper for 5 minutes. Dur-ing the process, I noticed her looking at her hands; the pinky-edge of her left palm was turning colors due to the markers. She looked at me with concern, and I said “It’s okay. You can wash it off when you are all done with your picture.”

Child’s Developmental goal:

To respond to the emotional expression of others (espe-cially distress).

To help clean up after a messy experience.

materials: 2 colors of finger paint, shallow trays, a spoon for each tray, finger paint paper, paint smock, 2 wet sponges

Preparation: Clear a table for this experience. Create an individual work space for two or three children by putting a piece of finger paint paper in front of each chair. Then, transfer the finger paint to shallow trays, and place them on the table so that it is easily accessible for each child. Lay a smock on the back of

each chair to cue children that they need to wear one. Wet the sponges and place them near you to help with cleaning up.

learning environment:

1. When you notice a child near the finger paint table, join her or him.

2. Encourage the child to invite a friend to paint with her or him or do it yourself.

3. While helping the children get their smocks on, discuss how this experience involves a new type of paint and that you don’t use a paintbrush like at the easel. To illustrate, you could say:

“This is called finger paint. You scoop it into the spoon and put it on your paper. Then, you use your fingers to move the paint around on the paper.”

4. Observe and record the children’s actions with the finger paint. Take pictures of them working as well.

5. If Jozie or another child becomes overly excited and paints on the table, use redirection to focus on “painting on the paper.” If paint is dropped on the floor at any time, encourage the child to use the sponge to clean it up. Remind them that “the paint is slippery, and we don’t want anyone to fall and get hurt.”

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6. Invite the children to participate in a conversa-tion by asking prompts or open-ended questions such as:a. I hear lots of squeals of delight. What is so great

about the finger paint?b. Anthony has a scared look on his face. I wonder

what is wrong. How can we help him? 7. Accept and elaborate on the toddler’s answers. For

example, if the child says “Need hug,” you might respond: “You think a hug would help Anthony feel better? That might work because a hug helps you feel better. Do you want to give Anthony a hug?”

8. When the child is done painting, encourage her or him to clean up the work area. Give one or two directions at a time to help with compliance. To illustrate, you can tell the child:

“You have to clean up your work area. I’ll help you put your painting on the rack. Then, we will use the sponges to wipe up the table.” After that is completed, go to the sink with the child to assist with washing hands/arms/smock.

9. Thank the child for helping to clean up her or his work area. You could say:

“Thank you for cleaning up your area. It is important to help keep the room clean.”

guidance Consideration:

Some children do not like to wear smocks. Offer them a choice of a smock or a recycled, button-down shirt worn backwards. If they refuse, discuss with their family members how to handle this situation so that the child does not miss out on this learning experience. Some families are okay with having their child change into another set of clothes after painting and washing the paint-covered clothes at the end of the day.

variations:

Invite the children to stand up while finger painting at the table. This will provide a different perspective for their work. It will also challenge them to stay in the painting area, so be prepared with good guidance strat-egies such as limit setting and choices.

Professional Resource Download

Additional ResourcesCenter on the Developing Child at Harvard University.

(2011). Building the brain’s “air traffic control” sys-tem: How early experiences shape the development of executive function: Working Paper No. 11, http://www.developingchild.harvard.edu.

Nelson, K. (2010). Young minds in social worlds: Experience, meaning, and memory. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Odom, S. L., Pungello, E. P., & Gardner-Neblett, N. (Eds.) (2012). Infants, toddlers, and families

in poverty: Research implications for early child care. New York: Guilford Press.

Schutt, R. K., Seidman, L. J., & Keshavan, M. S. (2015). Social neuroscience: Brain, mind, and society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Underwood, M. K., & Rosen, L. H. (Eds.) (2013). Social development: relationships in infancy, childhood, and adolescence. New York: Guilford Press.

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C H A P T E R

Attachment and the Three As

Learning ObjectivesAfter reading this chapter, you should be able to:

4-1 Explain the changing roles concerning attachment for early childhood educators.

4-2 Understand the three As and how to use them in interactions with very young children.

Standards Addressed in This Chapter

NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation

1 Promoting Child Development and Learning

4 Using Developmentally Effective Approaches to Connect with Children and Families

Developmentally Appropriate Practice Guidelines

2 Teaching to Enhance Development and Learning

In addition, the NAEYC standards for develop-mentally appropriate practice are divided into six areas particularly important to infant/toddler care. The following area is addressed in this chapter: relationship between caregiver and child.

4

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The lifelong effects of positive, consistent, and conscious infant and tod-dler care have been understood by child development and early childhood experts for a long time. A working premise of this book is that what you do with children matters. Positive intention coupled with responsiveness to developmental characteristics makes a profound difference in the lives of children. As previously discussed, the quality of your caring, including actions, verbal messages, voice tone and tempo, and secure handling, helps create the neural pathways that determine each child’s perceptions and models of the world. Your interactions with young children help deter-mine how each child will eventually perceive himself or herself—as wor-thy or unworthy, capable or incapable, hopeful or hopeless.

Caregivers have a mission that is monumental in nature. Your daily movements, efforts, and attitudes affect each and every child; no position in society is more important. The abilities to understand and fulfill academic requirements and to master specific skills, such as feeding babies and build-ing appropriate curricula for toddlers, are necessary to your professional work with young children and may even extend into your personal life. These immensely important aspects of child care, however, are not enough.

Students studying child care must also integrate their selves into their work because in no other field is the professional in need of self-integration more than in this most humanistic endeavor. Taking charge of tomorrow’s leaders on a daily basis demands human investment because it supports future human relationships. Just how valuable are these first relationships to future development? Look at what just a few experts have to say about the importance of human connections:

“Every experience lives on in further experiences” (Dewey, 1938, p. 28).“It is in that context of loving, paying attention, and turn-taking that infants begin

to feel more or less competent, good about themselves, and begin to make the most miraculous mutual adaptations with those caring for them” (Pawl, 2012, p. 22).

As we acknowledge our responsibility as caregivers, we must also readily accept that involving “the child as an active, thinking participant” is the best way to sup-port the developing brain (Thompson, 2006, p. 50). “More than any toy, CD, or video, a sensitive social partner can respond appropriately to what has captured the child’s interest . . . [and] provoke new interests and exploration” (p. 49).

The importance of warm, loving, verbal interactions between parent or caregiver and child, particularly in the first two years, should not be under-estimated. The three As are the master tools that ensure that your effect on children is positive and productive. There is no better way to provide quality care than a wonderfully soothing dose of consciously administered attention, approval, and attunement. Before the details of the three As are addressed, we will first return to the importance of attachment theory for teachers.

4-1 The Attachment Debate and the Roles of CaregiversDiscussion of the three As begins with the scientific fact that infants and toddlers require secure attachments or enduring emotional ties to their caregivers for normal, healthy development. An ongoing debate in the

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research literature concerns whether infants exhibit less secure attachment when they experience child care as opposed to being raised exclusive by family members. This debate cannot be discussed without considering the changing roles of mothers and fathers in the care of infants. One historical view was that only the mother could bond with the infant sufficiently to ensure healthy development. In contrast, current perspectives suggest that nonfamilial persons can meet the needs of infant equally well. Because a great number of infants and toddlers are spending the majority of their day in child care, the question of what quality of attachment to one consistent person the infant may require to develop security and trust is being studied more intensely.

As is discussed in Chapter 3, researchers have identified a pattern of secure attachment and three patterns of insecure attachment (Ainsworth, 1967, 1973; Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall, 1978; Hesse & Main, 2000; Main & Solomon, 1990):

1. Secure attachment. The infant uses a parent or other family member as a secure base, strongly prefers the parent over a stranger, actively seeks contact with the parent, and is easily comforted by the parent after being absent. This type of attachment describes the majority of infant-parent rela-tionships worldwide (Bergin & Bergin, 2012).

2. Avoidant attachment. The infant is usually not distressed by paren-tal separation and may avoid the parent or prefer a stranger when the parent returns.

3. Resistant attachment. The infant seeks closeness to the parent and resists exploring the environment, usually displays angry behavior after the parent returns, and is difficult to comfort.

4. Disoriented attachment. The infant shows inconsistent attachment and reacts to the parent returning with confused or contradictory behavior (looking away when held or showing a dazed facial expression).

A phenomenon related to attachment is separation anxiety, which appears to be a normal developmental experience because children from every culture exhibit it. Infants from various cultures all over the world have been found to exhibit separation anxiety starting at around 9 months old and increasing in intensity until approximately 15 months old (Bergin & Bergin, 2012). Separation anxiety is exhibited by securely attached infants, as well as each type of insecurely attached infants.

A summary of the research on infant attachment suggests that infants are actively involved in the attachment relationship. Babies are normally capable of attaching securely to more than one adult or parent. Contem-porary researchers have examined how children create attachments with caregivers, including fathers (Condon, Corkindale, Boyce, & Gamble, 2013; Feinberg & Kan, 2008; Figueiredo, Costa, Pacheco, & Pais, 2007), grand-parents (Farmer, Selwyn, & Meakings, 2013; Poehlmann, 2003), broth-ers and sisters (Kennedy, Betts, & Underwood, 2014; Volling, Herrera, & Poris, 2004), adoptive and foster families (Dyer, 2004; Gabler et al., 2014; Oosterman & Schuengel, 2008; Stovall-McClough & Dozier, 2004), and pro-fessional early childhood educators (Buyse, Verschueren, & Doumen, 2011; Caldera & Hart, 2004; Commodari, 2013; O’Connor & McCartney, 2006).

secure attachment a connection between infant and primary caregiver in which the infant feels safe and responds warmly to the caregiver.

avoidant attachment One of the types of attachment between infants and primary caregiver that is related to inconsistent and insensitive caregiver attention.

resistant attachment a form of connection between infant and primary caregiver in which the infant simultaneously seeks and resists emotionally and physically connecting with the caregiver. the term ambivalent can be used to describe the same types of attachment behaviors.

disoriented attachment a form of attachment between infant and primary caregiver in which the infant has usually been traumatized by severe or prolonged abandonment.

separation anxiety Fear exhibited at the loss of physical or emotional connection with the primary caregiver.

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While infants can form multiple attachments, the quality of those attachments is not static; they can change over time in response to changing environmental conditions. Booth-LaForce et al. (2014) report that changes in family structure (e.g., divorce or remarriage) or job status (e.g., job gain or loss) can result in either continuity or discontinuity of attachment. Some changes, such as entrance to foster care for an infant or toddler, have been assumed to be negative. However, Jacobsen, Ivarsson, Wentzel-Larsen, Smith, and Moe (2014) found that when tod-dlers entered foster care with a secure attachment, they were more likely to be rated as securely attached a year later. In addi-tion, when children with disorganized attachments were placed in foster care, they were less likely to be rated as disorganized a year later. Taking these results together leads the author to con-clude that stable, well-functioning foster homes can have a posi-tive impact on children’s attachment (Jacobsen et al., 2014).

Caregiving that is supportive and sensitive to the child’s needs promotes secure attachment (Photo 4–1). For example, mothers who responded to their child’s cues with insightfulness (e.g., seeing the problem from the child’s perspective) had chil-dren who were significantly more likely to have secure attach-ment (Koren-Karie, Oppenheim, Dolev, & Sher, 2002). Secure infant attachment and continuity of caregiving are related to later cognitive, emotional, and social competence. The research on adoptive families, for example, illustrates two of these patterns. Infants adopted at younger ages showed higher levels of secure behavior and more coherent attachment strategies than those adopted when they were older (Stovall-McClough & Dozier, 2004), and these positive attach-ment relationships predicted later socioemotional and cognitive develop-ment (Stams, Juffer, & van IJzendoorn, 2002).

From these findings, we can draw several important implications for caregiving and changes in early childhood educators’ roles. Research on attachment security of infants with full-time working mothers suggests that most infants of employed mothers are securely attached, and that this relationship is more influential on early social and emotional growth than the relationships a child has with other caregivers, both inside and outside the home (NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, 1997, 1998a, 1998b, 1999, 2005). However, when a child has an insecure relationship with her mother, early childhood educators can establish a secure relationship with the child, providing a buffer against some of the negative developmen-tal outcomes (Buyse et al., 2011). Hence, with more mothers of infants in the workplace, the responsibility for forming secure attachments must be shared with fathers, other family members, and teachers. Everyone must work together to provide secure and consistent attachment and bonding with infants.

Forming reciprocal relationships or partnerships with families will assist in this process. Our responsibilities as teachers are twofold: we must not only help children develop trust and secure attachments with us but also assist family members to form strong, secure relationships with the infant. As discussed previously, employing particular strategies such as

Photo 4–1 The type of attachments a child forms with her caregivers impacts how she relates to other adults and children.

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a primary caregiving system, family grouping, and continuity of care can ensure that each infant and toddler has as few caregivers as possible, each providing consistency and predictability over time. Pawl (2006) suggests that caregivers need to help the parent exist for the child and help the child know that she also exists for the parents when they are separated during the day. For example, reminding the child that his foster parent is “leaving work to come and get him because she misses him” is important both to providing quality care and supporting the development of strong relation-ships. The second prong of our approach must be to provide family support and education to help family members form and maintain secure attach-ments with their children. Family education should include the impor-tance of mothers, fathers, and other family members providing direct care of the children so that they can experience consistent, loving, and healthy relationships. Working together, parents, family members, and teachers can create consistent, secure attachment with infants and toddlers.

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.

1. Why are early relationships important to later development?2. How does knowing about and understanding the attachment relationships

that the children in your care have with their family members help you as an early childhood educator?

R E A D I N G C H E C K P O I N T

4-2 The Three As: Attention, Approval, and Attunement The three As of child care—attention, approval, and attunement—are the master tools for promoting a positive environment and maintaining a posi-tive emotional connection between the young child and the caregiver. The three As are extremely powerful tools available to any person in just about any situation, yet they are essential in the care and education of very young children. The three As are called master tools because they apply to every-thing we do all day long. Attention, approval, and attunement are neces-sary for positive interactions, good self-esteem, and remaining at ease.

The concepts of attention, approval, and attunement are meant to empower you and help facilitate an attitude change toward yourself, which emphasizes that early childhood educators’ feelings have a profound effect on children. The three As are derived directly from current perspectives on development and care (discussed in Chapter 1): brain research and eco-logical systems, sociocultural, and attachment theories. In addition, they are supported by our understanding of the guidelines for developmentally appropriate curriculum, which are addressed in more detail in Chapters 11, 12, and 13 (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009; Copple, Bredekamp, Koralek, & Charner, 2013). This theoretical knowledge helps a teacher appropriately care for and educate children; when that same caregiver uses this knowl-edge for personal development, he or she can enjoy benefits as well.

attention One of the three As of child care; focusing sensory modalities (e.g., visual, auditory) on a specific child.

approval One of the three As of child care; feedback that a person is accepted as he or she is.

attunement One of the three As of child care; feedback that is in tune with or responsive to the behaviors or moods being currently displayed by the child.

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4-2a AttentionYou have likely heard the saying, “Smile and the whole world smiles with you.” Can you remember a time when you were put at ease when greeted by a stranger’s smile or felt instant rapport when someone returned your smile? So much is communicated without words; often the unspoken message conveys exactly how a person is feeling. When we realize that

InFant persIstence

Infants are born curious about the world and their place in it. This curiosity results in a great deal of internal motivation. It should be no surprise then that infants spend a great deal of time exploring the people and objects in their environments. Is being persistent a sta-ble, individual quality that varies among individuals, and, if so, how does more or less persistence impact later development?

Banerjee and Tamis-LeMonda (2007) set out to explore these questions with their sample of 65 low- income mother-infant dyads. These researchers video-taped infant-mother interactions in their home during a teaching task when the infants were 6 months and 14 months of age. The measure of infant persistence was coded from a three-minute interaction with a toy at 6 months of age. Infant cognition was measured after each session using the Mental Scale of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development.

The results showed that as early as 6 months of age, infants differ in their degree of persistence and that there was a significant correlation in persistence scores over the eight-month period. In other words, infants who were more persistent at 6 months old tended to be more persistent at 14 months old. Additionally, “infants who persisted early on also . . . had higher scores on the Bayley Mental Development Index” (Banerjee & Tamis-LeMonda, 2007, p. 487). Thus, per-sistence was associated with greater levels of cognitive development.

Next, the researchers investigated the impact of moth-ers’ teaching on cognitive development. They found that “mothers’ teaching at six but not fourteen months was associated with persistence at both ages and predicted cognitive development at fourteen months” (Banerjee & Tamis-LeMonda, 2007, p. 487). The researchers con-cluded from this result that mothers’ early teaching had a dual function of helping infants to be persistent at a chal-lenging task as well as promoting cognitive development.

Similarly, other researchers have found short- and long-term impacts of mother behaviors and character-istics on young children’s persistent behaviors. Moth-ers’ positive affective responses to their 18-month-old child during a semi-structured play session were asso-ciated with more persistence and competence during preschool, whereas dismissed affect exchanges had negative relationships with children’s persistence and independent mastery (Wang, Morgan, & Biringen, 2014). Mothers who reported more stress when their infant was 6 months old tended to have children who showed lower mastery motivation at 18 months (i.e., less persistence during interactions with people and toys; Sparks, Hunter, Backman, Morgan, & Ross, 2012).

These research studies have implications for early intervention specialists as well as early childhood educators. If teachers and intervention specialists work with infants and their families to support the development of persistence, they would also be sup-porting important cognitive skills. Wheeler and Stultz (2008) suggest that music therapy can be used to assist young infants with regulating their attention to environmental stimuli, especially people. For exam-ple, therapists can use their voice, face, and hands as tools for gaining the attention of an infant. Then, they attempt to gain eye contact, even if infrequent, and to be attuned to the infant’s cues while working to extend periods of interactions. It would seem reasonable to conclude that “extending periods of interactions” (Wheeler & Stultz, 2008) is another way to describe the infant’s ability to persist in an interaction with another person. Gaining and maintaining this balance is not easy as infants frequently change states of arousal and often have difficulty regulating their reactions to new stimuli. Wheeler and Stultz (2008) conclude that therapists support moderate arousal by soothing and containing the agitated child, enticing the withdrawn child, and inviting the child’s attention to the social environment.

Spotlight on Research

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70 percent of our total communication is nonverbal, it is easy to under-stand why a smile says so much.

In the simplest way, a smile is a way to attend to yourself and to some-one else. When you bring attention to a behavior in another person, you are sending a message about the importance of that behavior. Using the words of Vygotsky, you are helping children construct an understanding of the meaning behind a smile. For example, the child may construct the notion that people smile when they are happy or see a behavior that they like. In this way, young children begin to associate a smile response with engaging in an appropriate behavior. Our responses can be overt and filled with emo-tion (e.g., “You did it!”) or more neutral (e.g., sitting nearby and observing a child play; Copple et al., 2013). In either case, a neural pathway is then built to remember this association; in this way, what we attend to helps the brain to grow. The opposite is also true. If we attend to negative behaviors displayed by children, then children may construct an understanding that these behaviors are appropriate ways to interact with others.

Of course, attending is much more complicated than just producing a smile or reacting to a negative behavior. Attention, for early childhood educators, also involves higher mental functions (Bodrova & Leong, 2007) or “cognitive processes acquired through learning and teaching . . . [that] . . . are deliberate, mediated, internalized behaviors” (pp. 19, 20, emphasis in original). Teachers must learn to engage in focused attention to observe the behavior, skills, and needs of the children in their care. Observing closely, or attending, facilitates your analysis of the child’s behaviors and appropri-ate responses to those behaviors. In other words, attending makes it possi-ble to identify each child’s zone of proximal development (ZPD), which is “the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collabora-tion with more capable peers” (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 86).

Classifying the ZPD is vital for teachers because it determines where to place educational emphasis. Scaffolding, or assistance from a more skilled other, facilitates learning at the “higher” end of the zone. In other words, behaviors by the more skilled partner contribute to acquiring skills that were outside of the child’s independent level of functioning.

Another component of attending entails recognizing ecological fac-tors from other systems that impact children’s development and learn-ing (Bronfenbrenner, 1979, 1989). As discussed previously, these factors both affect the child and are influenced by the child. Such bidirectional influences must continually be considered by early childhood educa-tors to recognize the active role children play in their own development. For example, teachers must be culturally sensitive and responsive to the way families want to raise their children. Families hold particular beliefs that may or may not be shared by the caregiver; this should affect how you do your work. Altering your routines and behaviors to support fam-ily practices assists with more continuous care for very young children (Gonzalez-Mena, 2001).

In general, what we attend to matters. As early as 3 months of age, infants follow the head turn of an adult, disengaging from what they had been attending to and shifting their attention to what the adult is attending

zone of proximal development (ZPD) Vygotsky’s term for a range of tasks that a child is developmentally ready to learn.

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to (Perra & Gattis, 2010). Thus, adults can influence what an infant attends to in very subtle ways. What we attend to also communicates to us and others ideas regarding the meaning or value of particular behaviors while influencing the very behavior we are examining. Matusov, DePalma, and Drye (2007) suggest that, from a sociocultural perspective, the observer directly and indirectly influences the development of the observed by how the behavior is thought and talked about.

To illustrate, Kemit takes a while each morning to join the group. He likes to watch the fish before selecting an independent activity. After he has played alone for 10–12 minutes, he usually selects to work with one of his friends. When the caregiver, Trace, speaks with Kemit’s grandmother at pick-up time, he often expresses concern about Kemit being “shy.” Kemit’s grandmother, who initially felt this behavior was acceptable and reflective of Kemit’s way of doing things, becomes worried. So she works with Trace to create a plan for helping Kemit transition to school “more smoothly.” In this example, Trace has altered Kemit’s grandmother’s view of Kemit and her expectations for his behavior. By setting up this tran-sition plan, they are directly changing Kemit’s development. They are communicating to Kemit that working alone is not acceptable and that he should be more interactive with peers. Although these are not detrimental outcomes by any means, it does seem to be disrespectful of who Kemit is as a person.

Thus, we must continually remember that what we attend to matters because it alters the course of development for children—positively or negatively.

4-2b ApprovalApproval from others teaches us to approve of ourselves. The best type of attention is approval. Approval of another person is a clear message that you have respect and positive regard for that person. According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (2000), respect is all of the following:

●● To feel or show differential regard for●● To avoid violation or interference with

respect a feeling of high regard for someone and a willingness to treat him or her accordingly.

You have begun to notice that you leave your toddler classroom each day feeling stressed and tense. Upon reflection, you realize that you and your co-teacher spend a great deal of your day correcting and other-wise attending to the children’s negative behaviors. You have also noticed that some parents consistently focus on their child’s positive behaviors during the often-stressful drop-off and pick-up times. You really

want to talk with the family members about how they decide what they choose to focus on at these times, but you are worried that you might send the message that you are not a “knowledgeable” professional. What questions could you ask that would help you learn from the families, build positive relationships with them, and maintain your sense of professionalism?

Family and Community Connection

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●● The state of being regarded with honor or esteem●● Willingness to show consideration or appreciation

How do early childhood educators translate this multifaceted defi-nition into their daily practice? Swim (2003) suggests that both allowing children time to try or complete tasks and helping them to make choices reflect respect for the children because these behaviors demonstrate refraining from interfering with them. In addition, valuing individual chil-dren’s ways of doing and being shows that they are held in high esteem by the caregiver.

Educational leaders in the municipal infant/toddler and preschool pro-grams of Reggio Emilia, Italy, take the understanding of respect to another level. They have declared respect an educational value (Rinaldi, 2001a) and devised the concept of the rights of children. This concept reflects their image of the child as “rich in resources, strong, and competent. The emphasis is placed on seeing the children as unique individuals with rights rather than simply needs. They have potential, plasticity, openness, the desire to grow, curiosity, a sense of wonder, and the desire to relate to other people and to communicate” (Rinaldi, 1998, p. 114). Teachers use their image of the child to guide their instructional decisions, curricular planning, and interactions with children (see, e.g., Edwards, Gandini, & Forman, 2012).

To children, approval says they have done something right, and it helps them feel worthwhile. Approval builds trust and self-confidence, which in turn encourage children to try new things without fear. The most impor-tant concept a caregiver must learn is always to approve of the child as a person, even when you disapprove of his or her behavior. For example, it must be made clear to the child that you like who he is, but not what he is doing right now.

Appropriate and consistent approval develops trust in the child. Trust depends not only on the quantity (e.g., number of interactions) but also on the quality of the caregiver’s interactions and relationships with children. Positive approval creates a sense of trust as a result of the sensitive way in which the caregiver takes time to care for the child’s individual needs. Adults must convey to each child an honest concern for that child’s wel-fare and a deep conviction that there is meaning in what he or she is doing. Trust based on consistent, positive caring allows children to grow up with a sense of meaningful belonging and trust.

Some caution should be exercised regarding when to give approval. Caregivers who approve of every little behavior and shower children with unconditional approval lose respect with them. Genuine approval for meaningful accomplishments serves to encourage children to try harder and helps them value their own efforts. Make sure the children have made a genuine effort or have accomplished something of value, and your approval will help them become the best that they can be.

4-2c AttunementAttunement involves being aware of someone, along with her moods, needs, and interests, and responding to all of these. In other words, when

rights of children the belief that children do not just have needs for adults to deal with but rather rights to appropriate care and education.

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you are “in tune,” you are providing high-quality care and education that meet the individual needs, interests, and abilities of each child.

Attuned caregivers often look natural in their interactions with infants and toddlers. However, being attuned is not instinctual for all persons. Often, our beliefs about child rearing or parenting interfere with provid-ing such care. For example, a strongly held belief by many parents, teach-ers, and physicians is that responding to the cries of infants too quickly will spoil them. Of course, as was stated previously, you cannot spoil a young child. All of the research on attachment reviewed in this chapter and in Chapters 1 and 3 discounts this belief. Responding sensitively to a child’s communication strategies helps the child develop trust in his or her caregiver; form strong, secure attachments; and grow socially and emotionally.

Attuned caregivers devote a great deal of time to carefully observing and recording the infants’ behaviors. In fact, the guidelines for develop-mentally appropriate practice state that the early educator should know each child well and learn each child’s cues (Copple et al., 2013). Then, the adult should respond to the child’s individual characteristics so that interactional, instructional, and caregiving strategies “. . . are caring and specific to each child . . .” (Copple et al., 2013, p. 67, emphasis in original). For example, Nicole knows that Tiffany, 27 months old, has a very regular routine for eating and sleeping. Today, however, she was not hungry right after playing outdoors and had difficulty relaxing for a nap. Upon closer observation and questioning, Nicole came to under-stand that Tiffany’s throat hurt. Nicole was able to use her knowledge of Tiffany to “tune into” this change of routine and uncover the beginning of an illness.

When caregivers engage in respectful and responsive interpersonal interactions with infants and toddlers, they are attuned in the way researchers use the word. They are in synchrony with the child (Isabella & Belsky, 1991). Reading and responding to the child’s cues is crucial to engaging in this “interactional dance.”

For example, picture caregiver Carlos feeding Judd his lunch. Judd is hungry and eating quickly. Carlos talks about how good the food must be for an empty stomach. He is smiling and laughing between bites. All of a sudden, Judd begins to slow the pace. Carlos reads this behavior and slows down his offering of food and pattern of speech. Judd smiles and turns his head away from Carlos. Carlos pauses and waits for Judd to turn back around. He does turn back and opens his mouth. Carlos provides another bite of vegetables.

Perceptions, however, can get in the way of a person’s ability to be attuned. Ghera, Hane, Malesa, and Fox (2006) found that maternal percep-tions of infant soothability influenced the degree of maternal sensitivity. When mothers viewed their infants as more soothable, they were able to provide sensitive care even when the baby was displaying negative reac-tivity. On the other hand, when mothers viewed their infants as less sooth-able, they provided less sensitive care when their infants were displaying negative reactivity. Similarly, foster mothers who perceived typically developing children as requiring easier care were more sensitive to them

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as compared with children who had develop-mental delays (Ponciano, 2012). Adopting moth-ers, however, were found to be more sensitive to children requiring complex care (Ponciano, 2012). As you can see from this research, per-ceptions of the adult can influence the quality of interactions. Therefore, early educators must reflect on their own views of children to ensure that they identify and remedy beliefs that could interfere with the ability to be attuned.

When early childhood educators combine attention, approval, and attunement, children cannot help but respond positively (Photo 4–2). That is why the three As are the master tools for child development and care. You might already use the three As without much thought about them. Consider how you approach an unknown infant. You get down to her level (floor, blanket, or chair). You act calmly, move slowly, make eye contact, enter her space, get even closer to her physically, smile, and gently begin soft speech to engage her. If you believe you have permission from her to stay close, you keep eye contact and slowly begin to inquire what she is doing, such as playing or eating. When she gestures, you follow the gesture with a similar response, this time making a sound that seems to identify her movement and keep pace. This usually elicits a smile or giggle. Once again, you smile and make noise. You may try gently touching a shoulder or finger, and before long, you are accepted into the child’s space. This slow progression of building

rapport is also the slow progression of the use of the three As. First you give attention, then approval, and then attunement. When this is done consciously, all involved feel worthy.

While many of these behaviors may come naturally to you, you should spend a great deal of time thinking about them, reflecting on how you use them, and analyzing their impact on children. How, for example, can you use them more intentionally and effectively? Only through conscious decision-making can you use these tools to help children develop to their fullest extent.

The three As are powerful and rejuvenating for you as well. They elicit responses in children that will sustain you in your vocation. One of the most positive assurances of worthiness a caregiver can receive is the full-body hug given unconditionally as a gift from a gleeful toddler who sweeps down upon you when you are playing on the floor. This hug, which is often accompanied by a loud and joyful sound, enters your space with such focused positive energy that each of you feels the impact. The result of this positive energy is felt by the two of you, and brings smiles to the faces of all who observe it.

PhOTO 4–2 Children respond positively to caregivers who use attention, approval, and attunement in their interactions with them.

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Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.

1. List, define, describe, and provide a specific example for each of the three As of child care.

2. How are the three As grounded in the theoretical perspectives described in Chapters 1, 2, and 3?

3. Why are the three As powerful tools to use when working with children?

R E A D I N G C H E C K P O I N T

4-1 Explain the changing roles concerning attachment for early childhood educators.Infants can form strong, positive attachments with a number of different people. All of these rela-tionships evolve over time and form the founda-tion for how the infant thinks about and engages in relationships with others.

4-2 Understand the three As and how to use them in interactions with very young children.When the three As are focused on children, they promote appropriate behaviors and enhance a

positive learning environment for children. The caregiver structures an emotionally safe context in which the young child explores and masters all of his or her growing abilities by solving prob-lems that naturally occur within the environment. A stable, positive environment promotes trust and confidence and allows the growing infant to express all of his or her needs.

Summary

PhOTO 4–3 Infants and toddlers who feel safe can relax and rest peacefully.

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Rangina has been in Abebi’s class for seven months now. Rangina’s family immigrated from Afghanistan right before she was born. She started coming to the child care center when she was 1 year old. The tran-sition was difficult at first, but Rangina quickly settled into a routine. Nap time was a particular challenge as Rangina cried herself to sleep nearly every afternoon. After many conversations between Abebi and Rangina’s father, they decided that his wife would tape record her nightly singing and playing of the Waj instrument. When Abebi played this during nap time, the music and singing were so soothing that they helped not only Rangina to fall asleep but also some of the other children.

This particular morning, Rangina came dressed in a new embroidered kuchi-style dress with a matching chador (head scarf). Her mother explained that they were observing Eid al-Fitr, which celebrates the first day after the Ramadan fast. Rangina was clearly excited about her new clothing. Abebi commented, “Your new dress must be soft. Can I feel it?” Rangina exclaimed,

“Yes!” and hugged her. Then, Rangina danced to another area of the classroom. Abebi noticed that she danced from one area to another during the first half of free choice time, and she seemed to have trouble finding experiences to engage her. For example, she declined to paint at the easel or draw with markers, some of her favorite things to do. When Abebi asked about these decisions, she would only say “No dirty.” Abebi moved to her eye level and asked if she was afraid to get her new clothes messy. When Rangina replied yes, Abebi found other attractive, nonmessy art materials for her to use. When it was story time, Rangina began to run around the room. Abebi decided that a game of follow the leader might be best, and she invited Rangina to be the first leader.

1. From the case study, what do you think is the most important tool Abebi used with Rangina? Why?

2. How did Abebi’s relationship with Rangina’s par-ents help her to be more responsive to Rangina?

3. How does interactional synchrony apply to this case study?

Responding to Rangina’s Diverse NeedsC A S E S T u D Y

Lesson PlanTitle: What do you need?Child Observation:

Noor is 4 months old and just started in your class-room. She and her family finished the inserimento period (see Chapter 6), and she started full-time last week. Her father told you that she typically takes a 2-hour morning nap. So far, she hasn’t slept more than 20 minutes at a time.

Child’s Developmental Goal:

To develop positive attachment to the caregiver

To be soothed by another

Materials: Child’s favorite “lovie” (e.g., blanket, stuffed animal)

Preparation: None.

Learning Environment:

1. When you notice Noor getting tired, gather her favorite animal blanket and pacifier. Talk with her about what you are doing and why. For example, you could say:

“You are getting tired. I think you would like your bear blanket. Isn’t that soft?”

2. Take her to a comfortable spot in the classroom where you can still supervise and interact with the other children, if necessary.

3. While getting situated, respond to her behaviors. To illustrate, if she yawns, you could say:

“You are really tired. It is nap time. Do you want your pacifier?” Judge her response to the question and respond accordingly.

4. Using information her parents provided, sing her favorite song while holding her in her preferred way (i.e., with her head on your shoulder).

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Additional ResourcesGray, D. D. (2014). Attaching through love, hugs and

play: Simple strategies to help build connections with your child. London, England: Jessica Kingsley Publishing.

Hughes, D. A. (2009). Attachment-focused parenting: Effective strategies to care for children. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Krechevsky, M., Mardell, B., Rivard, M., & Wilson, D. (2013). Visible learners: Promoting Reggio-inspired approaches in all schools. Hoboken, NJ: Jossey-Bass.

Newton, R. P. (2008). The attachment connection: Par-enting a secure & confident child using the science of attachment theory. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.

Raikes, H. H., & Edwards, C. P. (2009). Extending the dance in infant and toddler caregiving. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

5. Because she is having trouble staying asleep, hold

her as long as possible before putting her in her crib.

Guidance Consideration:

If Noor does not respond to your caregiving by relax-ing and falling asleep, you might need to consider other aspects of the environment that need to be

altered. For example, could the comfortable spot be located to a part of the room that can be darkened? Or, would soothing music be more comforting than your singing?

Variations:

Be responsive to Noor’s needs when she is hungry or wants to play.

Professional Resource Download

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C h a p t e r

Effective Preparation and Tools

Learning ObjectivesAfter reading this chapter, you should be able to:

5-1 Describe the characteristics necessary to become a competent caregiver.

5-2 Specify the various types of knowledge, skills, and dispositions professional educators should possess.

5-3 Defend the importance of formal educational experiences for teachers on child outcomes.

5-4 Justify how to match observational tools with your data needs.

Standards Addressed in This Chapter

NaeYC Standards for early Childhood professional preparation

3 Observing, Documenting, and Assessing to Support Young Children and Families

6 Becoming a Professional

Developmentally appropriate practice Guidelines

4 Assessing Children’s Development and Learning

In addition, the NAEYC standards for develop-mentally appropriate practice are divided into six areas particularly important to infant/toddler care. The following area is addressed in this chapter: policies.

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The heart and soul of excellent care and education are people and the tools they use in supporting the development of young children. This chapter provides specific, effective tools that enhance development. The early childhood educator should practice using each of the tools in this chapter from the developmental perspective that was described previously. Careful assessment of infants and toddlers is an essential starting point for profes-sional child care. Recording specific, descriptive observations on an ongo-ing basis and then using that information to inform educational decisions ensures optimal growth and development for the infants and toddlers in your care.

5-1 Characteristics of a Competent Early Childhood EducatorAs you learned in Chapter 4, it is essential for caregivers to take good care of young children’s physical and mental health. They also need to take care of their own needs. Therefore, the first tools we will examine are those related to your professional preparation as a caregiver.

5-1a physically and Mentally healthyPhysical health is necessary to provide the high energy level needed in caregiving. Good health is also necessary to resist the variety of illnesses to which you are exposed. The importance of a healthy staff is reflected in state child care regulations. From Alabama to Indiana to Delaware to Wyoming, prospective teachers must provide evidence of being in good physical health and free from active tuberculosis to gain and remain employed in a child care setting. These policies were created to protect adults as well as the children.

In your daily relationships, you must provide physical closeness and nurturing for an extended time, give emotionally more than you receive, be patient and resolve conflicts caused by someone else, and calm one child right after you have been frustrated with another. Emotionally stable teach-ers have learned how to handle a variety of emotional demands in their daily experiences and how to encourage greater mental health in others.

5-1b positive Self-ImageYour feelings of self-confidence and positive self-worth show that you believe in yourself. This gives you the strength to take risks, solve prob-lems, consider alternatives, and make decisions in situations where there may be no obvious correct answer. Your observations, perceptions, and knowledge base are all sources of information you can use in evaluating situations and making decisions. Awareness of your expectations and those of children help you remain open minded. Your decisions may not always be accurate or appropriate because they are based on incomplete informa-tion. Admit this, reevaluate the data or gather more information, and make a new decision. Doing so helps you continue to grow professionally and enhances your self-image as a competent caregiver.

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5-1c Caring and respectfulThere is pleasure, enjoyment, and satisfaction in providing effective, high-quality care (Photo 5–1). Although some tasks may be difficult, unpleas-ant, or repetitious, your accepting behavior and considerate treatment shows that you value meet-ing the children’s needs. They are worthy of your time and effort because they are important peo-ple. When early childhood educators reflect car-ing feelings to the children, families, and other staff members, they can build better partnerships, but it is more than that. According to Noddings (2002, 2005), human-to-human caring relation-ships for self, others, and community are the core that can bring social justice and caring together for world survival.

ProfessionalsCaregiving is an essential profession that should receive more respect. You provide a very impor-tant service to children, families, and the com-munity. The care you provide directly affects children at critical times in their lives. You have great influence and importance in the child’s life and must be rational and objective in your deci-sions and actions.

Striving to do your best is essential for high- quality caregiving. Read, study, visit, observe,

and talk with other early childhood educators. Hargreaves and Fullen (2012) suggest that professional capital is built when teachers work together to analyze episodes of teaching and learning. In turn, teachers’ increased professional capital maximizes program effectiveness. Ongoing learning is vital because professional knowledge is not static; you will never finish learning everything you need to know to be an effective care-giver. New information and experiences lead to new insights, understand-ing, and skills. Openness to learning helps you seek new ideas and take advantage of new opportunities to expand your knowledge and skills. Pro-fessional educators value and therefore set aside time for frequent and sys-tematic reflection on their work. What plans do you have to learn more about yourself, children, teaching, and your program?

5-2 Acquiring Professional Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions Before you start learning about children, families, and the field of early childhood education, you need to understand more about yourself. Why do you want to be an early childhood educator? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What are your interests? What are your

professional capital assets that add to the long-term worth of each professional and the education profession; comprised of human, social, and decisional capital.

PhOTO 5–1 The caregiver develops skill in working with children and gains satisfaction from interacting with them.

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values? What are your expectations of yourself and others? Are you will-ing to put forth effort to satisfy yourself and others? How much time and effort do you think is appropriate to put into caregiving? Consider the results of research by Izumi-Taylor, Lee, and Franceschini (2011) which found that early childhood teachers in the United States believed more strongly that infants should be cared for by a parent than did similar edu-cators in Japan. How might those beliefs impact interactions with chil-dren and families?

Research has been conducted on the link between beliefs and classroom behaviors. Teachers who self-identified as “tone-deaf” were equally likely to engage in singing with young children in their classroom. However, they reported greater feelings of being self-conscious when singing and more often altered their singing behavior (Swain & Bodkin-Allen, 2014). Relatedly, when early childhood teachers were asked to rate their perceived competence in each of the content areas, they reported significantly less competence in various art strands (e.g., drama, dance; Garvis & Pendergast, 2011). These researchers then discovered that those who reported less competence were less likely to regularly engage with the various art strands in their classrooms.

What are your beliefs about these topics, and how do you think they impact your interactions with children and families?

5-2a Knowledge about Children and FamiliesChild development research continuously provides new information about children. The information helps identify each child’s individual characteristics and levels of development. Your knowledge of physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development patterns influences how you plan for and interact with children. Yet, because children do not live in isolation, teachers must also learn about each individual family they’re working with.

Each family situation is unique and affects your caregiving. As a care-giver, you can expect families to represent a great deal of diversity: single parent, grandparent as head of household, gay/lesbian parents, homeless families, and adoptive families with Caucasian parents and Asian chil-dren. Preservice teachers were found to hold deficit perspectives about homeless children and families (Kim, 2013). Fortunately, sustained inter-actions with children and families in homeless shelters caused the pre-service teachers to reexamine their views about young homeless children and their families and positively develop their professional perspectives on the children.

You will work with families that reflect your own culture and those that are different from it. You should continually seek information from and maintain communication with family members. Families have special needs, desires, and expectations of themselves, their children, and you.

5-2b Knowledge about early Child Care and educationDevelopmentally appropriate practice (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009; Copple et al., 2013) encompasses emotional interaction, instructional planning, and

developmentally appropriate practice process of making educational decisions about the well-being and education of young children based on information or knowledge about child development and learning; the needs, interests, and strengths of each individual child in the group; and the social and cultural contexts in which the individual children live.

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various types of teaching and learning techniques involving children, fami-lies, colleagues, and the community. How do we create experiences that are responsive to the needs of toddlers? How do we identify which materials are appropriate for the various development levels of infants? Answers to these questions, while not always straightforward, can be found in a number of sources, including licensing laws and accreditation standards. State or county agencies design licensing regulations to standardize the care and education of young children in group settings in both home- and center-based programs. These regulations govern such things as teacher-child ratios, space, safety and health requirements, fire codes, and zoning ordinances. Licensing identifies a set of minimum standards that the program meets; it does not guarantee quality of care. However, many states, such as Indiana, are working to include important characteristics of quality programming in their licensing regulations. In addition, many states have created early learn-ing standards as a way to help teachers appropriately focus their attention on development and learning.

The National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), respectively, have well-established accreditation programs for family child care programs and center-based care. Accreditation standards are signifi-cantly more stringent than licensing regulations and serve to recognize high-quality programs that meet the physical, social, emotional, and cogni-tive development of children as well as the needs of the families being served.

Becoming familiar with licensing regulations, early learning guide-lines, and accreditation standards is a necessary but insufficient condition for being a professional early childhood educator. Teachers should have time set aside each day to reflect on and analyze the events of the day. This slow, contemplative time away from children and other responsibilities can significantly increase knowledge of the profession. This time can be used individually, in small groups of teaching teams, in small groups by teaching levels (e.g., all infant teachers), and in a large group of all teachers in the program. According to Whitington, Thompson, and Shore (2014), this time should be:

… regarded as a way of further engaging with the challenges they face on a daily basis, rather than another work requirement. Teachers need to accept the uncer-tainty that professional learning brings, and allow themselves slow time to think and learn about professional practice. (p. 71)

Time should be devoted to clarifying the various roles that teachers of infants and toddlers play on a daily basis. You will need to balance these many roles to provide high-quality care and education. Understanding the responsibilities of the various hats you wear will help determine your strengths and how to increase knowledge and personal growth. Learn more about the various responsibilities by reading and discussing NAEYC’s Code of Ethical Conduct (NAEYC, 2011b) with colleagues. This document, cre-ated with significant input from teachers working directly with young chil-dren, provides guidance on balancing and resolving any conflicts among your professional responsibilities.

licensing regulations Official rules on teacher-child ratios, safety, health, and zoning that an individual or organization must follow to be granted a license to provide care for children.

NaFCC an association offering professional recognition and distinction to family child care providers whose services represent high-quality child care.

NaeYC a professional organization that offers professional resources and development for early childhood educators, as well as recognition for programs that represent high-quality care.

accreditation process of demonstrating and validating the presence of indicators of quality as set out by national standards.

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5-2c Knowledge about partnershipsEarly childhood educators cannot work in isolation and provide high- quality care (Bove, 2001; Colombo, 2006; Copple & Bredekamp, 2009). Partnerships with families, col-leagues, and community agencies are a must. Family members possess knowledge about the child that you often do not have access to, unless you ask. Do not expect the process of building relationships to be smooth and unidirectional—it is more often bumpy and met with fre-quent starts and stops (Hadley, 2014). However, everyone benefits when teachers consistently pursue reciprocal or bidirectional relation-ships with families because infor-mation flows freely, and better decisions can be made (Sewell, 2012). Colleagues are also invaluable resources whether you have worked in the early childhood profession five minutes, five months, or five years. Chapter 7 devotes significant space to building professional relationships with family members and colleagues.

Partnerships with community agencies and organizations will add value and resources to your program (see, e.g., Friedman, 2007) (Photo 5–2). The number and type of agencies you form partnerships with will be determined by the characteristics of your families and community. When children or families have specific needs, such as speech, mental health, or nutritional, help them locate services in the community. Another great community resource is your local public library. Introduce yourself to both the chil-dren’s librarian and the adults’ librarians. They can offer assistance with books, websites, magazines, and journals to help you stay on top of the dynamic field of early childhood education. Some librarians will bring their resources directly to you and the children, providing story hour in the class-room. They can also apprise you of state and federal funding sources. Many communities have city- or county-wide consortiums that can offer educators services such as mentoring or educational opportunities. Moreover, do not forget to participate in your local and state Association for the Education of Young Children. Networking through those organizations can provide addi-tional avenues for partnerships.

5-2d Knowledge about advocacyProfessionals employ informal advocacy strategies in their daily work with children and families. As mentioned previously, every time you interact with family members, colleagues, and community members, you are a

partnerships alliances with family and community members to support and enhance the well-being and learning of young children.

PhOTO 5–2 Seek partnerships with other agencies when a child is suspected of needing specialized educational services.

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teacher-leader. Careful consideration must be given to your practices, as others look to you for examples of how to treat infants and toddlers. Engag-ing in developmentally appropriate practice, for example, demonstrates your beliefs about the capabilities of children and your positive influence on their development and learning. Your dedication to engaging in and sharing professional knowledge and practices makes you an advocate for young children, families, and the early childhood profession as a whole.

Formal advocacy involves working with parents, community members, other professional organizations, and even policy makers to improve the lives of children and families and the early childhood profession. Learning to be an effective advocate takes time, dedication, and the acquisition of skills (NAEYC, 2005; Robinson & Stark, 2005). But don’t worry because many organizations provide resources to assist you in acquiring or honing advocacy skills. Table 5–1 provides a sample of such resources. Children continue to benefit when teachers help parents learn to be advocates, espe-cially for children identified with special rights (Wright & Taylor, 2014).

5-2e professional SkillsEarly childhood educators must possess a variety of skills related to car-ing and educating infants and toddlers. Teachers should employ proper strategies for routine activities such as diapering and feeding. They need to learn and implement each child’s preferred strategies for being soothed and put to sleep. Regarding instructional strategies, infant-toddler teachers should possess the skills to gather data, analyze it, and plan responsive curriculum. In addition, they should be able to facilitate development in all domains and learning in each content area. Information on these skills will be discussed in Chapters 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 14.

5-2f professional DispositionsDispositions are not merely positive beliefs and actions (such as curiosity or generosity) or negative beliefs and actions (such as arguing or devaluing children). Rather, they are frequent and voluntary habits of thinking and doing. Murrell, Diez, Feiman-Nemser, and Schussler (2010) expand this definition by adding that dispositions represent a particular orientation to the work and responsibilities of teaching. In other words, dispositions result in the motivation to put beliefs into action so that commitments and

disposition Frequent and voluntary habits of thinking and doing that represent a particular orientation to the work and responsibilities of teaching.

TABLE 5–1 ◗ Brief List of Organizations That Provide Advocacy Resources and Support

National association for the education of Young children

the National children’s advocacy center

First candle child Welfare League of america

the child advocate children’s Defense Fund

National association of child care resource and referral agencies

the Immigrant child advocacy center

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habits of thought are visible in decisions, practices, leadership, and advo-cacy (Swim & Isik-Ercan, 2013).

Positive professional dispositions develop over time as teachers ana-lyze their knowledge and experiences and intentionally bump into an event or belief that provokes a need to resolve one’s own disequilibrium about a learning event (Swim & Merz, in press). For example, Terrance (continuity of care teacher) was attending to DeVonta’s (21 months) desire to paint by refilling the green paint container when Sarina (13 months) started to cry. He immediately began to talk to Sarina from across the room in a soothing voice, could see that she was upset (not hurt), and invited her to join him. She moved by his side, and he continued to sooth her verbally. Terrance thought his response to both children was effective. Later, his co-teacher questioned why he didn’t stop filling the paint container when Sarina “demonstrated a clear communication.” This caused Terrance to question his decision, which made him feel uncomfortable. After reflecting and analyzing the situation from a number of different perspectives, Terrance decided his course of action was acceptable and met both children’s needs. He decided to have additional conversations with his co-teacher to better understand her analysis of the situation. Engaging in this reflective process over time leads to the development of professional dispositions in which the educator is responsive and intentional, as well as an advocate for each and every child (Swim & Merz, in press). Using a critical lens during this reflective process can transform not only dispositions but also understand-ing of young children, theories, and practices in early childhood education (Anderson, 2014).

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.

1. What important knowledge bases, skills, and dispositions should professional educators have? Why?

2. How do partnerships with families and community agencies help to promote the development and well-being of very young children?

3. Discuss with someone your understanding of the concept “developmentally appropriate practice.” How can you learn more about this construct?

r e a D I N G C h e C K p O I N t

5-3 Professional Preparation of the Early Childhood EducatorBoth informal and formal educational opportunities are available to teach-ers of infants and toddlers. Informal experiences may be spontaneous or planned. A magazine article may stimulate your thinking by providing new information and raising questions. You may take time to do further thinking and discuss your ideas with colleagues, or you may think of the ideas periodically and begin changing your caregiving practices to incor-porate what you have learned.

Formal educational opportunities are those that are planned to meet specific goals. You choose experiences to gain important knowledge and

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skills. The following learning opportunities can contribute to your profes-sional preparation:

●● Work with a mentor or more-experienced caregiver. This person assists you with observing, reflecting on, and discussing effective techniques.

●● Attend workshops, seminars, speakers, or continuing education courses. These may be sponsored by many different agencies, but they usually focus on a single topic or skill.

●● Complete vocational school courses and programs in child care.●● Finish community college and university courses in early childhood

education and/or child development.●● Acquire a Child Development Associate Certificate. The Child

Development Associate (CDA) is an entry-level certification which communicates that the person holding it meets the specific needs of children and works with parents and other adults to nurture children’s physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth in a child develop-ment framework. “Becoming a CDA is a process that you work at, learn, and nurture until it grows from within. It is a process by which you grow as an individual and as a professional” (Council for Professional Recognition, 2010).

●● Complete early childhood education degrees. Associate, bachelor’s, mas-ter’s, and doctorate degrees can be completed at colleges or universities. NAEYC (2011a) created guidelines for the educational preparation of teachers based on seven core standards and a common set of professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Table 5–2 demonstrates the overlap of the CDA and NAEYC core standards. While the table signifies a great deal of shared vision for professional preparation, the expectations of teachers increase with each level of education attained (NAEYC, 2009).

5-3a Impact of teacher education on Quality of Care and educationDoes teacher preparation make a difference in the quality of care and education provided and child outcomes? Evidence is mounting that it does; after conducting a review of the literature, Hall-Kenyon, Bullough, MacKay, and Marshall (2014) concluded that “… higher levels of education

Child Development associate (CDa) a credential provided by the council for early childhood professional recognition when a person has provided evidence of meeting the national standards for caregiver performance.

WOrLD assOcIatION FOr INFaNt MeNtaL heaLth

The World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH) is a professional organization whose mis-sion is to promote education, research, and study of the effects of mental, emotional, and social devel-opment during infancy and on later development.

They support their mission through international and interdisciplinary cooperation, professional pub-lications, and professional meetings (which they call congresses). They also have affiliates throughout the world and within several states in the United States. For a listing of affiliates and to learn more about this organization, visit its website.

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lead to higher quality classrooms” (p. 156). However, differences in vari-ables studied and research methodologies make the answer to this ques-tion far from definitive (Hyson, Horm,  & Winton, 2012; Washington, 2008). Head Start Teachers with higher educational levels were found to significantly impact the development of early math skills for immigrant preschool children (Kim, Chang, & Kim, 2011). Teachers who participate in learning experiences that reflect developmentally appropriate prac-tices during their teacher-preparation program expressed more confidence in transforming curriculum from inappropriate to appropriate (Cunning-ham, 2014). Research on elementary teacher-preparation programs have found that those with a stronger practice focus (e.g., stronger supervision of student teaching and a practice-focused capstone project) had better outcomes, at least during their first year of teaching (Boyd, Grossman, Lankford, Loeb, & Wyckoff, 2009). In other samples, teachers with the greatest knowledge of developmentally appropriate practice had academic training in early childhood education and/or child development as well as supervised practical experience with young children (Buchanan, Burts, Bidner, White, & Charlesworth, 1998; McMullen, 1999; Snider & Fu, 1990). Taken together, these results suggest that higher levels of specialized (i.e., early childhood) education and specifically designed learning experiences during teacher-preparation programs influence practices employed with young children.

Do particular practices have a positive effect on child outcomes? Again, investigations have shown the positive impact of teachers’ engaging in developmentally appropriate practices. For example, cross-cultural comparisons found that children in classrooms with more child-initiated activities and small group activities (e.g., two important components of developmentally appropriate practices) had improved language and cognitive performance (Montie, Xiang, & Schweinhart, 2006). Similarly, low-income children in classrooms that balanced both child-initiated activities and small group activities engaged in more language, literacy, and math activities and had higher language scores (Fuligni, Howes, Huang, Hong, & Lara-Cinisomo, 2012). Children whose teachers used approaches that fit their level of development had significantly higher letter-word identification and applied problem solving (Huffman  & Speer, 2000) than those children whose teachers used developmentally inappropriate practices. Moreover, children who experienced preschool programs that were characterized by more active, child-initiated learning experiences (i.e., developmentally appropriate) had more success in their sixth year of school (Marcon, 2002). While the research reviewed in this section shows positive effects on child development when teachers engage in child-centered practices, these findings are not without controversy (see, e.g., Van Horn, Karlin, & Ramey, 2012; Van Horn, Karlin, Ramey, Aldridge, & Snyder, 2005).

The results discussed were for older children; how does research on Early Head Start help inform teachers’ practices? Early Head Start pro-grams have great variability in program quality (Love, Raikes, Paulsell, & Kisker, 2004) and child outcomes (Cline & Edwards, 2013; Raikes, Love, Kisker, Chazan-Cohen, & Brooks-Gunn, 2004; Raikes et al., 2014). This

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variation could be due to the complex influence of teacher characteris-tics, participant characteristics (e.g., race, mental health), and program characteristics (e.g., home- or center-based) (see, e.g., Elicker, Wen, Kwon,  & Sprague, 2013; Harden, Sandstrom,  & Chazan-Cohen, 2012; Jung & Stone, 2008). All in all, this research indicates that higher levels of education and experience for the caregiver are associated with more appropriate practices with young children, and those are related to better child outcomes.

Because teachers of infants and toddlers are more likely to have lower levels of education than teachers of older children (Berthelsen, Brownlee, & Boulton-Lewis, 2002), and the early years are critical to brain development (see Chapters 1 and 2), we can no longer ignore the links among education, developmentally appropriate practice, and child out-comes. While this may seem obvious, learning to be a teacher of infants and toddlers poses particular challenges not found with teaching other ages. Infants and toddlers have special developmental needs. Here are four reasons to support that claim.

1. As discussed in Chapters 2 and 3, this period of growth and devel-opment is rapid—noticeable changes occur monthly, weekly, and, in some cases, daily.

2. Physical, social, emotional, and cognitive developments are more inter-related for infants than for older children.

3. Infants are more dependent upon a consistent relationship with a care-giver to meet all of their needs.

4. Infants have no effective skills for coping with discomfort and stress, so they are more open to harm (Gunnar, 2006; Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000) or abuse (Casanueva et al., 2014; Simonnet et al., 2014).

Many of these issues were highlighted by beginning teachers as chal-lenges. Recchia and Loizou (2002) found that for teachers in their sample, adjusting to the physical and emotional intensity of nurturing very young children, setting limits and guiding the behavior of toddlers, and collabo-rating with others to ensure continuity of care were particular issues. This line of research, then, highlights the need for infant and toddler caregivers to receive specialized education, mentoring, and ongoing support during the early years of teaching.

As a family child care provider, you value growing as a professional. You recently graduated with an associate of science degree in Early Childhood Education from a local community college. You plan to take a year off before pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the same field. Your accreditation mentor mentions that the local Association for the Education of Young Children’s

conference is coming up soon. Specifically, they need providers to present on issues related to family child care. You are interested but apprehensive—“What could I talk about?” you wonder. What can you do to learn more about what is expected of presenters? How could you involve other family child care providers you know in delivering sessions at the conference?

Family and Community Connection

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5-4 Observing young Children to Make Educational DecisionsThe previous chapters have laid the groundwork for taking a scholarly approach to your work with infants and toddlers. You cannot, for exam-ple, plan appropriate curriculum or be attuned to a toddler if you have not observed what the child is trying to accomplish. Yet, early childhood educators are not in the business of testing children (NAEYC, 2003). Care should be taken to act prudently in this age of testing and judging children. You should pay close attention to why you are gathering the data, how you gathered it, and how to analyze it. Then, careful attention must be placed on how you use the data. This approach can be referred to as scholarly.

Scholars or researchers—like young children—are curious and inquis-itive; they think, wonder, and ask lots of questions. They also gather data to answer their questions. What do you wonder about infants and tod-dlers? Use your curiosity to drive, inspire, and sustain your work because, according to Maguire-Fong (2006), “Curious infants do best when matched with curious adults who are just as intent in their desire to learn about the infants in their care as the infants are to learn about the world before them” (p. 118). This section will provide you with knowledge, skills, and tools for gathering data about infants and toddlers.

5-4a Observe and recordWhy Observe? Observations provide important information needed for decision-making and communicating with others. Planning a responsive, developmentally appropriate curriculum requires specific, detailed knowledge about each child in your care. Observation occurs before, during, and after your expe-riences with young children. This creates a continuous loop of observing, planning, implementing, observing, and so on (see Chapter 9 for more details).

Observations that include details of your own behavior, the curricu-lum, the materials, and the physical environment can provide particularly important information that is often overlooked. You may have observed that on Tuesday Jessica cried for ten minutes after being separated from her father. Including the fact that her father and primary caregiver were unable to locate her transitional object (a stuffed elephant) that day would help to explain her sudden, intense reaction to being separated.

In addition, effective communication with families, colleagues, and other professionals requires that you provide thorough reports (written and verbal)

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.

1. Name at least five different experiences that early childhood professionals can have that result in the growth of their professional knowledge and skills.

2. How does formal and informal education help early childhood teachers to be more effective in their various roles?

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of what you observed. Making global or general statements without specific examples can break down communication rather than support it.

Who to Observe? Each child in your care needs to be observed. All program plans and imple-mentations start with what the teacher knows about each child and family. Setting aside time each day to observe each child provides you with a wealth of information. Observing how families interact with children and adults helps teachers plan responsive curriculum. However, because fam-ily members participate to varying degrees in a child care program, you might have more information on one or two members rather than all who have a significant impact on the child.

What to Observe?Children’s behavior helps us learn about them. Infants and toddlers often cannot use words to tell about themselves. Each child is unique. Early childhood educators must identify the characteristics and needs of each child because the child is the focal point of decisions and plans regard-ing time, space, and curriculum. Each child is continuously changing. This growth and development produces expected and sometimes unexpected changes. Living with someone every day, you may not notice some impor-tant, emerging developments. Therefore, it is important to make periodic informal and formal observations and to record them so that the changes in the child can be noted and shared. This information will affect your plans for, and interactions with, the child.

A caregiver’s behavior provides needed information to analyze the child’s behavior as well as her own behavior. You should record how you assisted the children with accomplishing a new skill or task. Vygotsky’s theory (discussed in Chapter 1) necessitates that data be gathered on both the independent level of performance and the assisted level of perfor-mance. Teachers also need to gather data to improve their own practices and effectiveness as caregivers. For example, Ms. Josephine wanted to involve Monroe more when she shared a book with him. She selected a book she thought he would like and wrote down three questions to ask Monroe that would focus his thinking and questioning on objects from the book. She set up a digital audio recorder where she and Monroe would be sitting and invited Monroe over to share the book. Later, when Ms. Josephine listened to the audio, she discovered that she had talked all the time and told everything to Monroe rather than allowing him to talk, share, and question. Observations like these provide information about the kind of responses one person has to another person, showing if the desired interaction was stimulated or inhibited.

The entire child care setting, including equipment, materials, and arrangement of space, should be examined to determine their impact on children. Look at who is using what space and how it is being used to deter-mine whether the space is being used effectively. Ask yourself questions such as, is the addition of musical instruments near the art area having a positive influence on the work being accomplished by the older infants? Additionally, children can impact their own outcomes or the outcomes of other children. Do toddlers, for example, cause disruptions to others who

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are reading because they have to walk through the area to get to the bath-room? After you gather data to answer your question, respond to what you find by making necessary adjustments.

Every early childhood professional is learning and continually devel-oping skills. One caregiver may observe another one to learn new strat-egies or to reinforce those she already uses. Other people’s observations can let caregivers know whether their actual practice matches the behav-ior intended. Ongoing evaluation and reflection, along with feedback, can help caregivers increase their effectiveness.

Why Record?Making observations without having a method for recording your data is inviting trouble. You may work with between 6 and 12 different chil-dren throughout the course of a day and make hundreds of observations. If you don’t write down the important ones, you run the risk of incor-rectly remembering what you saw or attributing skills or development to the wrong child. In addition, infants and toddlers change quickly. They add skills on a daily basis, so failing to record them might mean missing this accomplishment altogether. Moreover, teachers, like young children, elaborate—add additional information based on previous knowledge and assumptions—to fill in any gaps (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2013). Thus, you

may “see” something that really didn’t happen but fits with what you already know about the child. These examples should help you under-stand the importance of recording what you observed as quickly as you can. The following section provides guidance on methods of observ-ing and recording.

5-4b tools for Observing and recording Observations may be spontaneous or planned, but they must be ongoing and regular. You may glance across the room and see Sammy roll over. This the first time you have seen that happen. You record this example in his portfolio and/or home-school journal. Other times, a staff member will arrange to spend a few minutes specifically observing a child, materials, or space (Photo 5–3). These observations can provide valuable informa-tion. Because infants and many toddlers cannot tell us in words what they have learned, we must attend carefully to their behaviors for clues. Writ-ing what you observe gives you and other people access to that information later on.

Descriptions may be brief or very detailed and extensive. In either case, the focus is on reporting the exact behavior or situation in narrative form. You must learn to distinguish descriptive and

PhOTO 5–3 Recording your observations are important caregiver behaviors.

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interpretative phrasing. Descriptive phrasing, the preferred type for report-ing observations, involves using words or phrases to describe observable behaviors, that is, behaviors that another observer (or reader) could easily verify. On the other hand, interpretative phrasing makes a judgment or eval-uation but gives little or no observable data to justify the conclusions (Marion, 2004). An example of interpretative phrasing is, “Eva refused to eat her cereal at breakfast.” The reader has no way to verify the word refused in this description of this meal. Compare that to the following: “Eva sat in her chair with her eyes squinted, mouth pursed, and her arms crossed. She stated, ‘No, oatmeal’ and pushed her bowl away from her. I offered her a banana, and she smiled and nodded ‘yes.’ She ate the entire banana and drank her milk.” The difference in language is important because evaluative or interpretative phrasing is “emotionally loaded” and often leads to misunderstandings, whereas factual, descriptive statements can rarely be disputed.

Early childhood teachers can use three main categories of tools to observe and record the behaviors of young children: narratives (i.e., run-ning and anecdotal records), checklists and rating scales, and authentic documentation. The first two methods are narrative because you observe an interesting incident and record essential details to tell a story.

NarrativeRunning records are long narratives. They tell a story as it unfolds over a significant period of time for a child, a group, or an activity (Marion, 2004). This tool is useful for learning about child development. When you focus your attention on a child for a specific time period, say an hour, you can gather valuable information that might otherwise go unnoticed. Due to time considerations, running records are rarely used spontaneously. Teach-ers create schedules to routinely observe the development and behavior of every infant and toddler. Running records are closely related to an ethno-graphic report because they describe a total situation. An ethnographic report describes a total situation: the time, place, people, and how the peo-ple behave. A description of the total situation lets the reader know about things that may not be evident in just one part of a specific incident.

Adults unfamiliar with infants and toddlers may think that a young child does not do anything. An early education student observed the behaviors described in Table 5–3 during outdoor play in a family child care home one summer afternoon. She was to focus on one child and write down everything she saw and heard that child do and say. The purpose of this assignment was to identify and categorize the various experiences ini-tiated by a 13-month-old child. The observer was not to interject her own interpretations into the narrative.

An anecdotal record is a brief narrative of one event. As the definition implies, you look for or notice one event and then write a short story about it. Anecdotal records are great for understanding individual child charac-teristics and how contextual variables impact the learning, development, and behavior of a child. With spontaneous anecdotal records, something happens that you did not anticipate, but that you want to record for possi-ble use later. For example, you have planned to watch Julio’s interactions with peers today, but he is sick. You then notice how Thomas John and

descriptive phrasing A technique for reporting observations that involves using words or phrases to describe observable behaviors.

interpretative phrasing A form of reporting that makes judgments without providing observable data to justify the conclusions.

running record A long narrative account of a significant period of time for a child, a group, or an activity written using descriptive language.

anecdotal record A brief narrative account of one event written using descriptive language.

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Erika were sharing the space and materials while in the block area. You record the anecdotal record shown in Table 5–4.

Checklists and Rating ScalesChecklists and rating scales are quick, efficient tools for gathering data. They bypass details and merely check or rate development and progress (Marion, 2004). They can be used to gather data on specific behaviors that

TABLE 5–3 ◗ Running Record with Observational Data

coNtextoBservatioNs (Behavioral descriptioNs of what you see aNd hear)

aNalysis/iNterpretatioNs/questioNs

the play yard contained the caregiver Lynn, the observer, and six children ranging from 7 months to 6 years of age.

2:20

●● Lynn puts mat out and stands Leslie up in yard.

●● Leslie looks around (slowly rocking to keep balance).

●● reaches hand to Lynn and baby talks.

●● Looks at me and reaches for me.

●● takes two steps, trips, and falls on mat, remains sitting on it.

●● turns around to face me.

●● cries a little.

●● reaches for Lynn, then to me.

●● Looks around and watches Jason (4-year-old who is riding trike).

●● reaches hand toward Lynn.

●● Watches Jason and sucks middle two fingers on right hand.

●● Looks around.

●● swings right arm.

2:45

●● takes Lynn’s fingers and stands.

●● Walks two steps onto grass.

●● swings right arm and brushes lips with hand to make sound—baby talk.

●● turns toward Lynn and babbles.

●● Lane arrives. Leslie watches and rubs left eye with left hand.

●● “Do you remember Leslie?” Lynn asks Lane.

●● Leslie reaches out arms to Lynn and walks to her. hugs her.

●● Listens and watches Lynn. holds onto her for support.

●● turns around and steps on mulch and lifts foot to see what it is.

●● Watches Lynn tie Jason’s shoe.

●● Lynn lifts her in air, and then sets her on her knee.

●● she lies back in Lynn’s lap and laughs.

Leslie initiates a variety of interactions with people and materials. she is physically, emotionally, socially, and cognitively involving herself in her world. teacher planning and facilitating can stimulate and build on Leslie’s self-initiated behaviors.

Wants to be picked up?

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you value (e.g., self-help skills) or might be concerned about (e.g., aggres-sive behaviors). In addition, many commercially designed tools for ana-lyzing a child’s progress on developmental milestones are checklists or rating scales. In fact, the Developmental Milestones tool in Appendix A was designed to help you gather data in all developmental domains for children 36 months old and younger. This is a combination of a checklist and a rating scale, so learning more about each will help you understand how to use this important tool.

A checklist is a record of behaviors that a child can perform at a given point in time. When you observe a child or group of children, you note whether each child does or does not show that characteristic or behavior. Placing a checkmark beside an item indicates that you observed the child perform that behavior during the observation. Leaving the item blank tells others either that the child cannot execute the behavior or that you did not observe the execution of it at that particular time. Suppose you are particu-larly interested in the children acquiring self-help skills. Thus, you create a checklist to monitor progress in this area. Table 5–5 shows just part of your checklist for infants.

Rating scales share many characteristics with checklists, but they are a listing of qualities of characteristics or activities (Marion, 2004). For exam-ple, instead of just knowing that Raji can lift the spoon to his mouth, you can rate the frequency (i.e., never, seldom, sometimes, often, always) of

checklist A method for recording observational data that notes the presence of specific predetermined skills or behaviors.

rating scale Method of recording observational data similar to checklists, but that lists frequencies (e.g., never, seldom, always) or qualities of characteristics or activities (e.g., eats using fingers, eats using spoon, eats using fork).

Table 5–4 ◗ Anecdotal Record

Child’s Name: Thomas John

Observer’s Name: Rachel

Setting: Block area

Age: 22 months

Date: October 1

What actually happened/What I saw: Thomas John is building a block tower using the square blocks. Erika toddled into the area and picked up a rectangle block. She held it out to Thomas John. He took it from her hand and placed it on top of the tower. They both smiled as if to say, “It didn’t fall.” Thomas John then picked up another rectangle block and placed it on top. The structure wobbled but did not fall. He looked at Erika, smiled, and knocked over the structure. They each began to build their own tower. They worked in the same area for 12 more minutes. Occasionally, they would hand blocks to one another and, like before, they did not verbalize.

Reflection/Interpretation/Questions: Thomas John is new to the class, and he has not yet spoken. His parents have reported that he tells them all about his day on the ride home. Erika tends to verbalize frequently. She seemed to respect the fact that he was working in silence. I wonder if they will continue to work together and form a friendship.

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Table 5–5 ◗ Sample Checklist with Data

DAKOTA TRAVIS COLBY RAJI SARAH LAKINTA JOSE

Holds bottle X X X X

Holds spoon X X X

Lifts bottle to mouth X X

Lifts spoon to mouth X X

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this behavior or its quality (i.e., all food on spoon placed in mouth, some of food on spoon placed in mouth, none of food on spoon placed in mouth). Table 5–6 is an example of a rating scale.

Returning to the Developmental Milestones in Appendix A, you should now recognize which part of the tool is a checklist and which part is a rat-ing scale. When you note the date of the first observation, the tool serves as a checklist. When you evaluate the performance level at a later time (i.e., practicing or proficient), you are using the tool as a rating scale.

Authentic Documentation “Documentation refers to any activity that renders a performance record with sufficient detail to help others understand the behavior recorded. . . . The intent of documentation is to explain, not merely display” (Forman & Fife, 2012, pp. 247–271). Documentation is a research story, built upon questions about the development and learning of children (Wien, Guyevskey, & Berdoussis, 2011). As such, it reflects a professional dispo-sition of not presuming to know, of asking how the learning occurs, and of wondering. This form of assessment involves gathering work samples, taking photographs or video recordings of the children, and organizing the data to ask and answer using methods such as documentation panels. Edu-cational portfolios will also be discussed in this section because of their clear connection to using authentic documentation.

A documentation panel includes visual images and, whenever possi-ble, narratives of dialogue that occurred during the experiences that were documented. The goal of creating documentation panels is to make visible to you, the children, and family members the development and learning that has been occurring in the classroom. As such, documentation panels include not only the objective record of your observations but also your reflections and interpretations of those events (Rinaldi, 2001b). As you make visible your reflections and interpretations through the panels, they, too, become part of the data that can be read, reread, and analyzed (Rinaldi, 2001b). The sharing of documentation panels with children, families, col-leagues, and community members “moves learning from the private to the public realm” (Turner & Krechevsky, 2003, p. 42), which is something that traditional forms of observing and recording did not accomplish.

documentation panel a visual and written explanation of children’s learning displayed to others (family members, children, colleagues, and/or community members).

TABLE 5–6 ◗ Example of a Rating Scale for Brushing Teeth

Name of child:  age: 

Date of Observation:

Never sometimes frequeNtly always

squeezes toothpaste on brush

Brushes teeth independently

rinses mouth after brushing

rinses toothbrush

returns toothbrush to proper location

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Documentation has been shown to increase memories regarding learning and on-topic speech for preschool and kindergarten children—demonstrating potential benefits to learning for young children (Fleck, Leichtman, Pillemer, & Shanteler, 2013). Fur-thermore, documentation advocates seeing children as rich, capa-ble learners who actively participate in their own development and learning (Swim, 2012; Swim & Merz, 2011). Documentation, like portfolios, can be used for children of all ages and ability lev-els (Cooney & Buchanan, 2001; Stockall, Dennis, & Rueter, 2014).

A portfolio is a tool for collecting, storing, and documenting what you know about a child and her development and learning (Marion, 2004). All of the information gathered using the meth-ods described previously can be added to the photographs and work samples to create a more complete picture of the child’s capabilities (Photo 5–4). However, not all portfolios need be in paper form; arranging photos and videos on DVDs for families can provide a more complete picture of the child’s development in the con-text of everyday interactions (Appl, Leavitt, & Ryan, 2014). Storing all of the data in one location allows for easy access and reflection. While origi-nally designed for use with older children, portfolios can and should be used with very young children because they serve a number of purposes, including but not limited to the following:

●● Show the quality of the children’s thinking and work.●● Document children’s development over time (one year or more).●● Assist when communicating with families and other professionals

(Appl et al., 2014).●● Support developmentally appropriate practice by giving teachers “a

strong child development foundation on which to build age- and indi-vidually appropriate programs” (Marion, 2004, p. 112).

●● Provide a tool for teacher reflection (e.g., expectations, quality of planned experiences).

●● Make available information for evaluating program quality and effec-tiveness (Helm, Beneke, & Steinheimer, 2007; Marion, 2004).

Other Observation Tools

Time and event sampling techniques can be used to record events or behav-iors quickly that you are interested in tracking. Use time sampling, for exam-ple, if you want to know what a group of toddlers does after waking from their naps. Create a chart of the areas of your classroom, and, then, for two weeks, record the first area selected by each child after waking. Doing this over a number of days would provide insight into the children’s interests. Event sampling is very similar to time sampling in that you are recording specific behaviors that occur. With event sampling, however, you typically watch one child and record every time a particular behavior occurs. To illus-trate, Lela is interested in understanding how Savannah responds when angry. Lela made a chart of the behaviors that Savannah typically engages in when angry. Then, whenever Lela sees that she is getting angry, she charts the behaviors she observes. To better understand the possible causes of

portfolio Tool for collecting, storing, and documenting what you know about a child and her development and learning.

time and event sampling techniques Strategies for quickly recording events or behaviors that you are interested in tracking.

Photo 5–4 Labeling this artwork provides evidence of the child’s language and representation skills. This artifact can be used as an entry in the child’s portfolio.

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Savannah’s anger, Lela also notes what she sees as triggers to Savannah’s anger (Marion, 2004). Together, this information can provide Lela with insights into how to assist Savannah with gaining anger-management skills.

Home-school journals can also be used to record useful information for both families and teachers. The journals are used to record daily or weekly information about key happenings, such as developmental milestones, that might be of interest to family members and teachers. Teachers write in the journal, and then the family members take the journal home to read it. They are strongly encouraged to write back responses or questions, or to explain behaviors or events happening at home. These journals can be a fabulous tool for creating partnerships between teachers and families. Of course, teachers must pay close attention to how they describe events and behaviors; descriptive language is a must.

Other records kept on a daily basis serve particular purposes, such as communication with families, but they often yield little data for use in evaluating development or learning. The daily message center of your class-room, for example, contains a clipboard for each child. The clipboard con-tains a daily communication log that covers routine care events such as eating, sleeping, toileting, and other. For consistency of care between fam-ily life and school, families and teachers have designated locations for recording information (see Table 5–7). Use the chart by writing down each

home-school journal a notebook or journal in which teachers and family members write notes about key happenings and which they send back and forth on a daily or weekly basis.

daily communication log a log for communicating with family members that covers routine care events such as eating, sleeping, toileting, and other.

TABLE 5–7 ◗ Sample Daily Communication Log

routine care for ____________________________________________________________ on _________________________________________.

home eveNts school eveNts

eating

sleeping

toileting

Other routine care

Important information to know

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time you perform a routine care event (e.g., change a diaper) and details about that event (e.g., record whether the dia-per was wet or soiled). This can often be a useful place for noting supplies that are needed at school (e.g., diapers, dry formula).

5-4c analysisAfter you gather your data, the next com-ponent of a scholarly approach is review-ing, reflecting on, and analyzing the data. Set aside time on a regular basis, prefer-ably each day, to analyze and evaluate the data (Photo 5–5). When analyzing, in general, your attention should be placed on coming to understand what the child can currently do. You can approach this aspect of your work by asking, “What is she capable of doing alone and with assistance?”

Analysis also means comparing the data gathered with what we know about child development and learning, as well as what you currently know about the child’s context, especially family characteristics and cir-cumstances. You may focus your analysis on one area of development, such as cognition and language, or the whole child, for example, phys-ical, emotional, social, and cognitive/language. Although you can com-pare the child’s level of development and behaviors to developmental milestones or expected patterns of development based on chronological age, be cautious with this approach. The age when children accomplish developmental norms varies greatly due to the influence of variables ranging from genetic predispositions to access to resources to family beliefs and practices. Nevertheless, knowing the expected age range for a milestone will help you determine how to use the data gathered. For example, infants typically produce their first word at 12 months of age; however, this can occur as early as 9 months or as late as 16 months and still be considered normal development. Typically, there is a three- to six-month range on either side of the developmental milestone, but this will vary depending on the particular behavior. Knowing this information is vital because it provides you with a context for distinguishing warning signs from red flags. Warning signs are those behaviors that, although you and family members should monitor, are not of great concern yet. Red flags are those behaviors that deviate from both the developmental milestone and the expected range. When a number of behaviors within a particular area of development are found to be red flags, it is time to invite other professionals with specialized knowledge in observation, assessment, and early intervention, to join the conversations.

Few caregivers have received the specialized training required to use standardized assessment techniques. If your program wants to carry out spe-cialized assessment, obtain the necessary training first. However, remember

PhOTO 5–5 Set aside time on a regular basis to share information with colleagues who work with the same children.

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cULtUraLLY apprOprIate assessMeNt

As a teacher, you are not trained to screen and diag-nose developmental delays or other special needs. You will need to understand, however, the ethical use of observational and screening tools. The NAEYC’s posi-tion statement on ethical conduct (2011b) includes the use of assessment data to make decisions regarding the care and education of young children. This statement included the following ideals regarding the assessment of children:

I- 1.6—To use assessment instruments and strategies that are appropriate for the children to be assessed, that are used only for the purposes for which they were designed, and that have the potential to benefit children.

I- 1.7—To use assessment information to understand and support children’s development and learning, to support instruction, and to identify children who may need additional services.

The statement also sets out the ideal that each child’s culture, language, ethnicity, and family struc-ture are recognized and valued in the program (I-1.10). Taking these three ideals together suggests that teachers should intentionally advocate for culturally appropri-ate screening of infants and toddlers. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.

Most screening tools have been validated with White, middle-class populations with little investigation of the cultural aspects of screening (Lyman, Njoroge, & Willis, 2007). For example, Sturner, Albus, Thomas, and Howard (2007) argue for the revision of the Diag-nostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmen-tal Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood (which is currently under way with the new edition expected in 2016; see the Zero to Three website for more informa-tion). They want the assessment to be graduated more finely to classify a range of symptomatology. In addition, they would like the tool refined to assess the families’ strengths more accurately, not just their weaknesses. Although these are excellent modifications for this assessment instrument, none of the changes addresses the cultural bias that it most certainly contains.

Autism is a rising concern for early intervention specialists, teachers, and families in the United States. Much research has been conducted to create reliable and valid assessment tools that accurately diagnose autism during infancy and toddlerhood. For exam-ple, the Quantitative Checklist for Autism in Toddlers

(Q-CHAT) was validated on a large sample of toddlers with and without a history of autism (Allison et al., 2008). The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) compared older and younger toddlers of low- and high-risk for autism (Pandey et al., 2008).

Kara and colleagues (2014) understood the challenges of using a tool that was not culturally appropriate and adapted the M-CHAT to Turkish culture. They tested the adapted tool by having parents provide answers in two ways. First, parents were asked to complete it while wait-ing at a clinic for their child to have a well-child exami-nation. The second parents in the second group were interviewed by health-care personnel who recorded the answers. Given the rates of false-positives of both meth-ods of administrating the tool, the authors concluded that the tool was useful in Turkey for screening of per-vasive developmental disorders in primary care, but that it was completed more accurately when health-care per-sonnel ask the parents the questions (Kara et al., 2014). This study shows that screening tools can and should be adapted based on specific cultures and settings.

While researchers warn that “it is difficult to main-tain an efficient level of sensitivity and specificity based on observational data from a single screening” (Honda et al., 2009, p. 980), as a member of the inter-disciplinary assessment team, teachers must share their understanding of the profession’s ethics for assessing children. Specifically, Ideals 1.6, 1.7, and 1.10 (described previously) would lead a teacher to advocate for additional observations of a child when a screening tool indicates areas of concern as well as work to ensure the assessment data accurately reflect what is known about the families’ cultural background and practices. Other team members may be unaware of potential stereotyping that may come as a result of their using assessments designed for a particular population with culturally diverse individuals/families (Lyman et al., 2007). These authors go on to say that “screening for risks to development involves a complex interac-tion of the dynamics of the parent-child relationship, the effects of culture on those dynamics and growth, and cultural definitions of normalcy and risk” (p. 48). Each individual culture may have different expecta-tions and definitions of what is considered develop-mentally on target. Cross-culture research must be done carefully to avoid a multitude of potential biases and to maximize the ecocultural context (Matafwali & Serpell, 2014). Researchers who design assessment tools must work with community members to identify

Spotlight on Research

(continued)

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that these tools are often not as valuable as your careful, ongoing observations, records, and analysis of observational data from your specific classroom.

5-4d Using the Data As mentioned previously, the data gathered on very young children should be used to benefit them (NAEYC, 2011b). Teachers use this information to organize care and educational plans on a daily and weekly basis, develop an individual (and flexible) schedule that meets each child’s needs, and create responsive learning environments—indoors and outdoors—to support and challenge the growth and development of each child. Each use of data just mentioned will be addressed more completely in future chapters of this book.

shared concerns, understand how they view partic-ular behaviors, and modify assessments accordingly (Haack & Gerdes, 2011). When a tool is used in a class-room setting, teachers can help others to remember that the results of each assessment are interpreted through

a particular cultural lens. By openly acknowledging the ethnocentricity of our assessment tools and taking steps to be more culturally competent in our screening, we can better help children from all ethnic groups to have a chance to grow up healthy.

Spotlight on Research (continued)

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.1. Why must teachers observe and record the behavior of infants and toddlers?

What observation tools will (or do) you use most often? Why? What are the benefits to you, the children, and families when using these tools?

2. How will you ensure that all assessment tools you use in your work as an early childhood educator are culturally appropriate?

r e a D I N G C h e C K p O I N t

5-1 describe the characteristics necessary to become a competent caregiver.Competent caregivers take care of themselves as much as they do others (e.g., young children, family members) and strive to develop a positive self-image regarding the work they do.

5-2 specify the various types of knowledge, skills, and dispositions professional educators should possess.Being an early childhood educator requires a strong grounding in professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Not only should you know what

to do in a given situation and have the skills to act in a particular way, but you should value acting in that manner.

5-3 defend the importance of formal educational experiences for teachers on child outcomes.Working independently and effectively with young children comes after receiving extensive instruction, investigating theories, writing papers, and getting mentoring. It comes after your positive intentions and caring have been transformed into a firm educational base of understanding. Learn-ing should be ongoing as you seek the answers to

Summary

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Eric, 4-and-a-half months old, is lying on the floor when he starts to cry. His teacher, Audrey, looks at the clock and picks him up. She “eats” his tummy, and he laughs. She holds him up in the air, and he smiles. She says, “Are you getting hungry?” Eric swings his arms as if to say, “Not right now, I want to play.” Audrey “eats” his tummy again. Ria toddles over and looks at Eric. Audrey tells Eric what Ria is doing to provide a language-rich environment. Ria toddles away, and Eric begins to fuss. Audrey asks again if he is hungry. This time he contin-ues to fuss, so she gets his bottle, sits in a chair, and feeds him. Eric gazes at Audrey and smiles between sips.

Grasping her finger, Eric looks around the room. Audrey notices he is looking toward Ria. She comments,

“Ria is painting. She is making large circles.” Audrey stands him in her lap facing Ria. “Can you see better now?” He laughs. She holds him while he dances and laughs. Audrey turns him around so that he is facing her. She holds his hands to pull him to and fro, and kisses him. He watches Audrey’s mouth and responds as she talks to him. He leans on her shoulder and burps as he fingers the afghan on the back of the chair. 1. What observation tool(s) would you use to gather

information on Eric’s interest in Ria? Why? 2. What suggestions would you give to Audrey for

organizing the environment to support Eric’s social and emotional development? Why?

EricC a S e S t U D Y

more questions, and you see the impact of your behavior, curriculum, and relationships on the children’s development and learning.

5-4 Justify how to match observational tools with your data needs.Teachers gather data to make educational deci-sions that benefit each and every child. Many

tools exist for gathering data about very young children. Each tool should be evaluated to ensure that it is appropriate for the child being observed; if it is not, modify the tool or select another one.

Lesson Plantitle: Reading with My Friend

child observation:

Leslie is outside with her caregiver Lynn. She “watches Jason (4 years old) and sucks middle two fingers on right hand.” Then, Leslie “walks two steps onto the grass.” See Table 5–3 for more details.

child’s developmental goal:

To develop (and practice) walking skills

To interact with another child

Materials: Blanket, basket of books

preparation: Place blanket in grassy area with the basket where it cannot be reached while sitting on it.

learning environment:

1. When you take the children outside, sit Leslie on the blanket.

2. Draw her attention to the basket of books by using descriptive language. To illustrate, you could say:

“Your favorite book is in the basket. I brought it out just for you.”

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3. Invite the child to get the book, if she hasn’t already moved toward the basket, by asking prompts or open-ended questions such as these:a. I wonder where the book is.b. Why don’t you walk over to the basket and look

for it?4. When she returns to the blanket, comment on her

walking abilities and begin to read the book. 5. When Jason comes near the area, invite him to join

Leslie. Engage them in looking at the same book. Invite conversation by asking questions of both of them. You might say, for example:a. Do you both have a dog at home?b. The girl in the story likes to be outside like us.

What is your favorite thing to do outside?

guidance consideration:

If Leslie loses interest in Jason’s story, build Jason’s understanding by explaining that she cannot (yet) listen to a story as long as he can. If Leslie becomes excited and tears a page in the book, remind her to be gentle. If Jason is interested, enlist his assistance with repairing the book.

variations:

Take pictures of Leslie and Jason interacting through-out the day/week. Make a book of their friendship.

Professional Resource Download

Additional ResourcesBenner, S., & Grim, J. C. (2013). Assessment of young

children with special needs: A context-based approach (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.

Boylan, J., & Dalrymple, J. (2009). Advocacy for chil-dren and young adults. Philadelphia, PA: Open University Press.

Isham, S. R. (2014). Child and family advocacy: The complete guide to child advocacy and education for parents, teachers, advocates, and social workers [electronic book]. Retrieved from amazon.com.

Nilsen, B. A. (2014). Week by week: Plans for docu-menting children’s development (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage.

Voress, J. K., & Maddox, T. (2013). Dayc-2: Develop-mental Assessment of Young Children (2nd ed.). Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.

Zaslow, M., Martinez-Beck, I., Tout, K., & Halle, T. (2011). (Eds.). Quality measurement in early childhood settings. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brooks Publishing Company, Inc.

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© 2017 Cengage Learning

C h a p t e r

Building Relationships and Guiding Behaviors

Learning ObjectivesAfter reading this chapter, you should be able to:

6-1 Explain the philosophy and principles of the Reggio Emilia approach.

6-2 Summarize a developmental perspective on child guidance.

6-3 Apply strategies for communicating with very young children about emotions.

6-4 Match methods for helping children gain self-regulation skills to a situation.

Standards Addressed in This Chapter

NaeYC Standards for early Childhood professional preparation

1 Promoting Child Development and Learning

4 Using Developmentally Effective Approaches

Developmentally appropriate practice Guidelines

1 Creating a Caring Community of Learners

In addition, the NAEYC standards for develop-mentally appropriate practice are divided into six areas particularly important to infant/toddler care. The following area is addressed in this chapter: relationship between caregiver and child.

6

Pa rt t WO Establishing a Positive Learning Environment

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As this book emphasizes, children need strong, positive relationships with adults in order to thrive in all areas of development. Although these rela-tionships are supported through family grouping, continuity of care, and primary caregiving, those are not enough. The ways in which you interact with very young children need to become a focus of your attention. The first guideline for developmentally appropriate practice, creating a caring community of learners, speaks directly to the type of relationships adults need to establish with and among children (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009). In a caring community, each learner is valued, and teachers help children learn to respect and acknowledge differences in abilities and to value each other as individuals (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009). Teachers need to select a variety of strategies for helping children acquire the skills for interacting with others, such as emotional management and perspective-taking. How a teacher guides the behavior of the children sends a clear message about what actions are socially acceptable; we demonstrate through our interac-tions how to treat one another.

Another aspect of creating a positive environment involves what psy-chologists have labeled mastery climate. This term is used to describe how adults create a context that focuses on self-improvement, effort, persis-tence, and task mastery by providing challenging tasks (see, e.g., Smith, Smoll, & Cumming, 2007). In this context, mistakes are seen as opportuni-ties for learning because of the valuable feedback they provide to the learner. In other words, an intentional emphasis is placed on internal moti-vation rather than external motivation. When investigating the impact of coaching behaviors within a mastery climate, Smith et al. (2007) found that athletes in such an atmosphere reported lower levels of anxiety. Applying the mastery climate concept to an educational setting should result in teachers focusing more on performance and movement toward achieving goals (rather than just the product or end point reached). Another logical assumption is that reduced levels of anxiety might result in more focused, risk-taking behaviors and thus greater levels of learning. Research, in fact, confirms that a mastery climate is an effective instructional approach that fosters a child-centered achievement environment, provides freedom of choice, and supports positive attitudes and self-perception toward move-ment, social interaction, and problem-solving skills (Robinson, Webster, Logan, Lucas, & Barber, 2012).

Creating positive learning environments and providing conscious, pur-poseful caregiving to individual children has been a leading premise of this book since its inception. One of the finest child care programs in the world operates in Reggio Emilia, Italy. That program and this text clearly share a common focus on promoting the highest-quality care for our young-est citizens.

6-1 Reggio Emilia Approach to Infant-Toddler EducationAfter World War II, the women of a village in Europe decided to build and run a school for young children. They funded the project with salvaged, washed bricks from destroyed buildings and money from the sale of a tank,

caring community of learners One of the five guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice which focuses on creating a classroom context that supports the development of caring, inclusive relationships for everyone involved.

mastery climate Adults create a context that focuses on self-improvement, effort, persistence, and task mastery by providing challenging tasks.

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trucks, and horses left behind by the retreating Germans (Gandini, 2012b). They desired “to bring change and create a new, more just world, free from oppression . . .” (Gandini, 2004). This school formed the foundation for the later development of the municipal infant/toddler and preschool programs in Reggio Emilia, Italy. A series of national laws related to women’s rights, workers’ rights, and children’s rights created a context that supported the establishment of nationally funded infant-toddler and preschool programs (see, e.g., Gandini, 2004; Ghedini, 2001). While creating nationally funded programs for preschoolers was a challenge, it was less of a battle than they faced with infant-toddler care. The Italian public feared potential damage to children or to the mother-child relationship (Mantovani, 2001). How-ever, these attitudes changed with time, and now infant-toddler centers are viewed as “daily-life contexts with the potential to facilitate the growth and development of all children” (Mantovani, 2001, p. 25). As recently as 1997, laws were passed to establish local projects and services that address the needs of all children and youth (0–18 years old; Ghedini, 2001). These advancements continued the view that care and education of very young children is the responsibility of the broader community (New, 1998).

6-1a philosophyThe programs of Reggio Emilia are built on educational experiences con-sisting of reflection, practice, and further careful reflection leading to continual renewal and readjustments (Gandini, 2004). Similar to the the-oretical grounding of this book, several theorists influenced their philos-ophy, including but not limited to Dewey, Ferriere, Vygotsky, Erikson, Bronfenbrenner, Brunner, Piaget, Hawkins, and more contemporary people such as Shaffer, Kagan, Morris, Gardner, and Heinz (Gandini, 2012b). Read-ing and discussing the writings of these educational leaders assisted them in forming their views about the route they wanted to take when working with young children.

The educators in Reggio Emilia strive to reflect on and recognize in their practices the 14 principles shown in Table 6–1. Some of these princi-ples have been discussed in previous chapters (e.g., Chapter 5), some will be addressed later (e.g., Chapters 8 and 9), and some are covered in this chapter because they relate to how we build relationships with very young children.

6-1b Image of the ChildThe educators in Reggio Emilia first and foremost speak about the image they hold of the child and how this affects their interactions, manage-ment of the environment, and selection of teaching strategies (Edwards, Gandini, & Forman, 2012; Gandini, 2004; Wien, 2008; Wurm, 2005). Take a moment and think about three words or phrases that you would use to describe the characteristics, abilities, or expectations you hold of infants and toddlers. While looking over the list, ask yourself, “What do these words say regarding my beliefs about young children?” Does your list include words such as active, possessing potential, independent, curious, competent, capable, or problem solvers? The teachers in Reggio believe that all children are unique in their own ways, and their job as teachers is

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to recognize and support these differences (Photo 6–1). More specifically, according to Rinaldi (2001c), their image is of “a child who is competent, active, and critical; therefore, a child who may be seen as a challenge and, sometimes, as troublesome” (p. 51). Children need adults who assist

TABLE 6–1 ◗ Fourteen Principles for Educators in Reggio Emilia, Italy

1. the image of the child

2. children’s relationships and interactions within a system

3. the three subjects of education: children, parents, and teachers

4. the role of parents

5. the role of space: an amiable school

6. the value of relationships and interaction of children in small groups

7. the role of time and the importance of continuity

8. cooperation and collaboration as the backbone of the system

9. the interdependence of cooperation and organization

10. teachers and children as partners in learning

11. Flexible planning vs. curriculum (progettazione)

12. the power of documentation

13. the many languages of children

14. projects

Source: Adapted from Gandini, 2004.

PhOTO 6–1 How do you respect and support the developing capabilities of very young children?

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in the acquisition of skills that support an active construction of their own worlds (White, Swim, Freeman, & Norton-Smith, 2007). Young chil-dren must come to understand how they receive as well as produce change in all systems with which they interact (Rinaldi, 2001c). This image of the child, then, is a social, ethical, and political statement about active participation in a democratic society, not just an educational one (Gandini, 2012b; Swim & Merz, 2011).

According to Rinaldi (2001c), their creation of the image of the child “. . . was developed by the pedagogy that inspires the infant-toddler cen-ters . . .” (p. 50). For educators in Reggio Emilia, there is a constant back and forth between theory (i.e., the image) and practice. Knowledge and mean-ing are never static but rather generate other meanings (Gandini, 2012b). Hence, you should not despair if your image of the child is not quite fully developed. By reading, reflecting, reading some more, interacting with children, analyzing interactions, and so on, you will facilitate this development.

6-1c InserimentoEducators in these programs have deeply respectful ways in which they relate to children and parents. Inserimento, which can be roughly trans-lated as “settling in” or “period of transition and adjustment,” is used to describe the strategy for building relationships and community among adults and children when the child is first entering an infant-toddler cen-ter (Bove, 2001). While this period is individualized for each family, a gen-eral model is available to support educators’ decision-making: parent interviews and home visits before the child starts at the center; parent-teacher meetings before, during, and after the initial transition process; documentation; large or small group discussions with families; and daily communication between families and teachers (Bove, 2001). The model is an attempt “to meet each family’s needs, to sustain parental involvement, and to respond to the parents’ requests for emotional support in caring for their young children” (Bove, 2001, p. 112). This process is flexible in order to respond to individual family needs as well as cultural variations found in families (Goldsmith & Theilheimer, 2015). Some families transition to school quickly as the need to return to work becomes pressing, while other families may make several visits to the school over a number of weeks before actually leaving the child with the teachers. In any case, teachers need to engage in open communication to encourage the family members to share their hopes and concerns about their child and group care (Goldsmith & Theilheimer, 2015). When communication is paired with careful observation of family members and the child, the adults can collaborate to determine the best way to proceed with each family (Bove, 2001; Kaminsky, 2005).

As the inserimento model demonstrates, parents are viewed as integral partners in caring for and educating the youngest citizens. It is part of our responsibility as professional educators to devise routines that help infants and toddlers simultaneously separate from and form strong bonds with family members; understanding that each goodbye will be followed with a hello (Balaban, 2006; Duffy, 2004). In other words, we must do all we can

image of the child Beliefs about children that teachers hold; these beliefs are examined for how they impact teacher-child interactions, management of the environment, and selection of teaching strategies.

inserimento A period of gradual “settling in” or “transition and adjustment” that includes strategies for building relationships and community among adults and children when the child is first entering a reggio emilia–inspired child care program.

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to assist in building and maintaining strong, healthy attachments at home and school. Helping parents, other relatives, siblings, and children become full participants of the program community is viewed as vital because this supports the well-being and development of not just the infant or toddler but the entire family.

Research on toddlers’ transition to child care in Korea suggests that teachers and family members play an important role in helping the child adapt to the new environment. Teacher beliefs about the process and their perceptions of the toddler’s adaptation strongly influenced their practices during the adaptation process (Bang, 2014). Specifically, when teachers believed that the adaptation program itself was enough for toddlers to adjust to the new environment, they focused only on providing the pro-gram. On the other hand, teachers who perceived soothing crying toddlers as a main concern and a significant part of their role used several strategies to stop the crying (Bang, 2014). As with the inserimento process described earlier, toddlers’ successful adaptations to the new setting were supported by strong teacher-parent collaborations. Without such relationships, care-givers could not respond sensitively to toddlers’ needs during this critical transition period (Bang, 2014).

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.

1. Why should infant-toddler teachers focus their attention on creating a caring community of learners?

2. Review the principles of the Reggio Emilia approach to early education in Table 6–1. Which of the principles support the practices of inserimento?

r e a D I N G C h e C K p O I N t

6-2 A Developmental View of DisciplineNewborns do not arrive in this world knowing how to behave. Yet, they immediately begin to investigate the world around them and their role in it. Infants and toddlers work minute by minute to construct their under-standing of socially acceptable behaviors. The development of behavior from birth to 2 years old is characterized by stops-and-starts and periods of increased aggression, yet there are within-child and between-child vari-ations that are influenced by family characteristics (e.g., sibling within 5 years of age of toddler, mental distress of parents) (Nærde, Ogden, Janson, & Zachrisson, 2014). While aggression is normative to some extent, it is your responsibility to help each child learn to be socially competent with peers and other adults. You may recall from Chapter 3 that toddlers who demonstrated high levels of effortful control were lower in externalizing behaviors and higher in social competence (Spinrad et al., 2007). Thus, the skills underlying effortful control such as response inhibition and delay of gratification are important for teachers to support. The primary avenue adults have to assist very young children with gaining effortful control and, in turn, social competence is to carefully plan their indoor and out-door learning environments (see Chapter 8) and use positive strategies for guiding their behavior.

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Many experts in infant and toddler development avoid discussing dis-cipline out of fear that their comments will be used inappropriately with children. Although a valid reasoning, it is essential that teachers use devel-opmentally appropriate guidance strategies to help children learn to follow rules that keep themselves, other people, and property secure and safe (Marion, 2014). Therefore, discipline is an indispensable aspect of helping children develop. The term discipline is used here to mean teaching appro-priate behavior and setting limits on inappropriate behavior. It does not mean punishing children or controlling their behavior. The purpose of guidance or discipline is to help young children learn about themselves (e.g., emotions, feelings) and to teach them ways to interact successfully with others (Keyser, 2006).

Everyone holds implicit, unexamined theories and beliefs regarding discipline (Marion & Swim, 2007). These have developed over time as the result of how we were treated as members of our own families and how we have treated others in our care. Some teachers were punished harshly as a child and remember the negative emotions that accompanied such treat-ment. As a result, they do not treat children in the same manner. How-ever, some teachers have not acknowledged their emotional response to inappropriate care and continue to use those strategies (or aspects of them, such as sarcastic remarks) in their interactions with children. As a profes-sional, it is time to take stock of your personal experiences and how they have shaped your beliefs.

Do so by remembering a time when you were “in trouble” as a child. Write down all that you can remember about this event: the setting, who was involved, how people acted and reacted, what the outcomes were for you and others. Then, answer the following questions as a strategy for reflecting on and evaluating the impact of the experience. What discipline or punishment strategies did the adults use? Did you think the outcome was fair or appropriate? Why or why not? How do you think that event impacted you as a child? As an adult? What did you learn from this event? How does that learning impact your behaviors with children today? Pro-vide at least one example.

Sometimes reflecting on past experiences can be painful. However, the exercise is intended to assist you in acknowledging and uncovering your hidden, implicit theories about how to guide the behavior of young chil-dren. Doing so should highlight aspects of your theories that are useful to you as a professional educator and aspects that you should consciously address to improve. In any case, without reflecting to bring hidden theories to light, new information is often openly discarded because it doesn’t fit with an existing worldview (Pintrich, Marx, & Boyle, 1993). Instead, use the information in this chapter to help change your beliefs and practices as you strive to adopt a developmental perspective on child guidance.

6-2a Mental ModelsDifferent mental models help teachers understand their role when guid-ing the behavior of young children. Resources and Instruction for Staff Excellence (RISE; 2000) created a videoconference series about guiding the behavior of young children. This series promoted the mental model of

discipline (1) Approach to teaching appropriate behavior and setting limits on inappropriate behavior; (2) the ability to focus on an activity in the face of obstacles to reach a desired outcome.

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self, environment, and child. When a situation arises, a teacher must first evaluate her responses and determine who owns the problem. If the adult owns the problem, she must determine how to solve it by examining the situation more carefully. The adult can ask, for example, do I just want to control the child? It is essential to accept the fact that even young children largely control their own behavior. If control is an issue, then this is your problem, and you need to find other ways to view and respond to the way the child behaves. If you do not own the problem, then you should move to the next level of the mental model: an evaluation of the environment. Can the issue be resolved by changing an aspect of the environment? For example, is the block area too small for the number of children who want to use it at one time? If so, then alter the physical arrangement of the room to accommodate the children’s interest in building. If you can’t resolve the situation by changing your behavior or the environment, then it is time to consider specific strategies to assist the child in acquiring a missing skill. To illustrate, if an infant is biting others, then your intervention might be talking for the infant, describing her wants and needs to others. Doing so would provide a language-rich context and promote the acquisition of vocabulary and communication skills.

The second mental model is offered by Powell, Dunlap, and Fox (2006). The first level of this model (see Figure 6–1) focuses on building positive relationships among children, families, and caregivers. This builds on the importance of fostering relationships with young children discussed in previous chapters and forms the foundation for the prevention of challeng-ing behaviors. Recall also how those chapters linked the building of qual-ity, secure relationships with the acquisition of positive social skills. The second level of this mental model is the building of high-quality environ-ments. “Classroom schedules, routines, and activities also provide valuable tools for preventing the development and occurrence of problem behav-iors” (Powell et al., 2006, p. 29). Every day should be carefully planned to minimize transitions as “[c]hallenging behavior is more likely to occur when there are too many transitions, when all the children transition at the same time in the same way, when transitions are too long and children spend too much time waiting with nothing to do, and when there are not clear instructions” (Hemmeter, Ostrosky, Artman, & Kinder, 2008, p. 1). In other words, when teachers carefully plan transitions and the rest of their day, they decrease opportunities for disruptive behavior.

As an Early Head Start provider, you provide services to family members and very young children in their homes and at your center. You have worked with Xolo’s family for 14 months now. On your most recent visit, his mother, Mia, mentioned that she is struggling with his behavior. She mentioned that he says “no” to every-thing and runs away when she wants him to do some-thing. You empathize with her regarding how stressful

it can be to have a toddler in the home! You invite her to stay in the classroom the next time Xolo comes to school to observe him and you. You promise to talk about her observations at the next home visit. What questions would you ask Mia to find out her observa-tions? Then, what questions would guide the conver-sation to thinking about and discussing RISE’s mental model (i.e., self, environment, and child)?

Family and Community Connection

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You may have noticed that levels one and two of this model are intended to address behaviors that may be considered challenging when displayed by any child. The next two levels address behaviors that are unresolved by positive, stable relationships and a carefully planned learn-ing environment. These remaining behaviors need specific interventions to assist children in acquiring more positive social interaction or emotional regulation skills.

Teachers can learn to implement promotion, prevention, and interven-tion practices related to the pyramid model successfully and with posi-tive impacts on children’s behavior (Fox, Hemmeter, Snyder, Binder, & Clarke, 2011). The difficulty with this model was learning to implement it with fidelity. Reaching a level of consistency with the complex and com-prehensive array of evidence-based practices required ongoing education and coaching (Fox et al., 2011). However, the importance of such levels of engagement should not lead to discouragement; rather, it should heighten your desire to support social, emotional, and behavioral development for young children who are learning to be members of a group. The next sec-tion describes some specific strategies teachers can use when faced with challenging behaviors.

From: Diane Powell, Glen Dunlap, & Lisa Fox (2006). “Prevention and Intervention for the Challenging Behaviors of Toddlers and Preschoolers,” Infants and Young Children, 19(1), 25–35 (page 27). Used with permission from Wolters Kluwer Health.

FIGURE 6–1 ◗ A Model for Promoting Young Children’s Special Competence and Addressing Challenging Behavior

Intensiveindividualizedinterventions

Social-emotionallearning strategies

Prevention practices in home andclassroom settings

Building positive relationshipswith children and families

Children with delaysand/or persistent

challenges

Children at risk

All children

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.

1. Why is taking a developmental approach to guidance beneficial for children and teachers?

2. Compare and contrast the two mental models for guiding children’s behaviors.

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6-3 Strategies for Communicating about EmotionsCreating a caring community involves attending to the social, emotional, and behavioral environments of a classroom or home setting. Infants and toddlers communicate their needs using a combination of verbal and non-verbal strategies. We do the same as we communicate with them. The strat-egies discussed in this section are an outgrowth of the theories presented earlier as well as the three As. The purpose of your acquiring these strate-gies is to make strong relationships between you and the children possible and to promote optimal development and learning.

One important aspect of optional development and learning for infants and toddlers is coming to self-regulate their own behavior (Photo 6–2). Our culture expects individuals to behave in ways that are not harmful to themselves, other people, or the environment. These expectations are taught to infants and toddlers by their families, caregivers, and society. To live successfully with other people, children must learn to control their desires and impulses (self-control), and to take responsibility for them-selves appropriately for their age and developmental abilities. The extent to which people perceive their lives as within their own control deter-mines what is called locus of control. The word locus in this context means perceived location, so children who learn to take responsibility for themselves have an internal locus of control. Conversely, people who per-ceive their lives to be controlled by others have an external locus of control.

For infants and toddlers to internalize for themselves that certain behaviors are acceptable and others are not, they must feel that they have the power to choose their own actions. Unfor-tunately, many adults believe that they must control children’s behavior to care for children and keep them safe. The consistent emotional message communicated to children by adults who feel responsible for the child’s behavior is, “You have no choice but to do what I tell you.” This belief is problematic for the develop-ment of self-regulation.

Child psychologists and counselors observe external locus of control in many children referred for behavior problems. In two studies conducted with older children, researchers found that the more parents espoused an external locus of control (i.e., attempted to control their children’s behavior), the higher the likelihood their children had externalizing behavior problems (e.g., increased aggression with peers, lack of frustration toler-ance) as they got older (McCabe, Goehring, Yeh, & Lau, 2008; McElroy & Rodriguez, 2008). Similarly, mothers who reported lower levels of efficacy when dealing with their child’s aggres-sive behavior resorted to high-control techniques such as cor-poral punishment or punitive strategies such as removing privileges without explaining why (Evans, Nelson, Porter, Nel-son, & Hart, 2012). Research on the effects of high-control tech-niques reveals that children of parents who use spanking and

self-regulate the skills necessary to direct and control one’s own behavior in socially and culturally appropriate ways.

locus of control the extent to which a person perceives his or her life as within his or her own control.

PhOTO 6–2 Infants and toddlers have to learn to self-regulate their own behavior.

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other types of corporal punishment are especially likely to endorse aggres-sive problem-solving strategies with peers (Simons & Wurtele, 2010), engage in more aggression with peers, and engage in other deviant behav-iors (Straus, 2001). Data from the Early Head Start Research and Evalu-ation Study revealed that aggressive behaviors were stable from infancy through toddlerhood, and that, for Caucasian families, maternal spank-ing was associated with parental reports of aggressive behaviors (Stacks, Oshio, Gerard, & Roe, 2009). In contrast, parents who actively supported their toddler’s autonomy had children with greater executive function-ing, including impulse control (Bernier, Carlson, & Whipple, 2010). What other parenting behaviors might help young children develop an internal locus of control? In a research study, mothers were asked to hold con-versations with their preschool child about peer conflicts involving rela-tional aggression. Those conversations were coded for coaching skills such as maternal elaboration, emotion references, and discussion of norm violations. They found that mothers with average to high levels of coach-ing skills about peer conflicts were associated with children’s decreasing displays of relational aggression over a one-year period (Werner, Eaton, Lyle, Tseng, & Holst, 2014). What early childhood educators should take away from this research is that (1) all children, regardless of their ages, need to feel a sense of power over their lives; (2) the characteristics of the adult-child relationship relates to the child’s self-regulation capabili-ties; and (3) building an internal locus of control during the infant-toddler period is easier than attempting to replace an external locus of control in the future.

Development of an internal locus of control requires that caregivers respect the right of young children to make many choices within their environment, including choosing their behavior. Many effective strategies are available for developing an internal locus of control. The next section provides an explanation of two guidance strategies that can be used to assist young children in communicating about their emotions—skills that will help build a strong foundation for more competent and self-regulated interactions with others.

6-3a Labeling expressed emotionsCaregivers should label feeling states from the time children are born. A good way to teach states is to verbalize your own feelings and your impres-sions of others’ feelings. “I’m feeling rushed today,” “Jaime seems sad,” and “You really look excited!” are examples of labeling feeling states or emotional talk (Marion, 2014). Teachers should also model and mirror feeling states. Giving children feedback by repeating their words or mim-icking their facial expressions helps to develop self-awareness and sensi-tivity to other people’s feelings.

Feelings are inborn, but emotional reactions are learned. It is impor-tant to teach young children to identify their feeling states accurately and express those feelings in healthy ways. It is often easy to determine the emotions of even young infants. For example, young babies often “beam” when happy, have a “tantrum” when frustrated or angry, and “coo and

emotional talk Labeling feeling states to help young children understand their emotions and how they are expressing them.

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smile” when happy and at ease. Caregivers should label feeling states for nonverbal infants, and as young children develop language, they should be taught to label and express their emotions accurately. One effective tool for helping young children pay attention to and identify feelings is to use a chart such as the one shown in Figure 6–2. This chart illustrates five primary emotions—Happy, At Ease, Sad, Angry, and Afraid—and can be used to help children accurately label their internal feelings. All human emotions are normal and are therefore healthy; a feeling state is neither bad nor good. The main goal is to help children be consciously aware of their feelings and to express them in ways that are helpful to them and not harmful to others.

The ultimate goal of affective education is for children to identify their own body responses and discuss when they started to experience a feeling. This gradual process starts with bringing attention to the child’s internal state and labeling the child’s feelings. Often the physical meter for chil-dren’s feeling states are their whole bodies as they respond to different situations. A skilled observer can easily identify children who are experi-encing different emotions by their body language. Share your observations with the children. Ask children how their bodies feel. State the feeling you sense with nonverbal children and infants and connect it to the nonverbal cues they are displaying. To illustrate, you can say, “I think you are at ease because you are concentrating hard on putting the puzzle together. Your body is relaxed.”

At other times, you want them to learn to connect their feelings with symbols of those feelings. When you see a child expressing an emotion, show him or her the five faces (Happy, At Ease, Sad, Angry, and Afraid). Identify afraid, and point to it, saying, “You’re afraid.” If the child indicates

FIGURE 6–2 ◗ Feelings Chart

Happy

At Ease

Sad

Angry Afraid

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agreement, say “Yes, that’s right; you feel afraid because of that loud noise.” Showing the children a picture of the face and saying, “You look like this picture,” assists them with associating their internal state with the face symbol over time. Children will eventually be able to point to the picture and identify this state for themselves.

As the previous paragraphs indicate, good caregiving is emotion- centered, meaning that children’s emotions are viewed as natural, valid, and important (Hyson, 2004). Children need adult assistance to express their feelings in positive ways. To facilitate expression of emotions in a pos-itive way, accept all emotions and the need to express them as normal. Tod-dlers are filled with energy, extremely curious, and very busy exploring their world. This often leads to frustration and all the unbridled emotions that go with learning how to handle new experiences. Conflicts arise from not getting what they want immediately.

A primary caregiver must use strategies that address not only the short-term situation but also long-term goals, such as finding appropriate ways to express and manage strong emotions. Distracting the child, involving him or her in a special project, or giving the child special attention may be effective strategies to alleviate emotions in the short run, but they do not assist with acquiring important skills associated with emotional intel-ligence (see Chapter 3). Therefore, you need to consider carefully which strategies to employ in a given situation to balance immediate needs with more long-term learning and development.

An excellent example of needing to be careful when selecting instruc-tional strategies occurs when a toddler has a temper tantrum. Toddlers are known for expressing strong emotions such as frustration and anger through tantrums. These episodes are very scary for a young child. Using emotional talk at the first sign of the emotion can often alleviate the child’s feeling of being emotionally overwhelmed and prevent a tantrum in the first place. However, when a child does have a temper tantrum, make sure all furniture and harmful objects are out of the way. Remove undue attention from her until she is through, ask her privately to tell you what she felt if she can verbalize, and then welcome her into the group again. Articulate your observations of the child’s emotional state and how it changed over the episode. For example, you could say, “You were very angry with me. I wouldn’t let you paint. You like to paint. It must’ve been frightening when you were so out of control. Now you are calm.” This is the most appropriate way to deal with tantrum behavior after it has started because it doesn’t cause further emotional harm to the child. This calm approach communicates that the child is still impor-tant to the teacher and the group. It is important that adults never hold a grudge against a child. This only demonstrates their lack of emotional skills. If they become overwhelmed by the intensity of the situation, then they should find a way to regain their emotional balance and return to a state of at ease.

6-3b teaching emotional regulationTeaching infants and toddlers to soothe themselves and manage their emo-tions, known as emotional regulation, may be the single most challenging

emotion-centered children’s emotions are viewed as natural, valid, and an important part of the curriculum.

emotional regulation Learning to control and manage strong emotions in a socially and culturally acceptable manner.

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InFAnts And dIvOrce

Divorce is difficult and can have long-term outcomes for a child of any age. However, given the importance of infants and caregivers establishing a healthy attach-ment, the impact of divorce on very young children should not be overlooked. This Spotlight on Research box will examine possible correlates of divorce as well as some consequences of divorce for infants.

As modern technologies assist with infertility issues and increase the survival rate of very low birth weight (VLBW) babies, families can experience increased financial and psychological stress. Of course, families respond differently when facing the birth of a VLBW child. For some, it brings the family members closer together. For others, it causes a change in the roles of the family members. Mothers, for example, may not con-tinue or seek employment as they assume more respon-sibility for caring for the infant. Still, for other families, the stress becomes too great, and they seek a divorce. Swaminathan, Alexander, and Boulet (2006) found that the occurrence of divorce or separation following the birth of a VLBW infant was twofold greater compared to parents whose infants were born at greater than 1,500 grams. At “two years after the birth of a VLBW infant, approximately 90 percent of the marriages were still intact, while 95 percent of the marriages remained sta-ble for families with a non-VLBW infant” (Swaminathan et al., 2006, p. 476). In addition, whether or not the preg-nancy was wanted significantly impacted the occurrence of divorce. Specifically, those parents who reported that the pregnancy was unwanted had an 84 percent chance of their marriage being intact at two years post-delivery. Given the consequences of divorce for children and adults, “family-oriented policies and programs are [needed] to assure that families with VLBW infants have more reasonable prospects of staying intact and being self-sufficient” (Swaminathan et al., 2006, p. 478).

Family situations leading up to and following a divorce are complex. The difficulty of the situation is felt by everyone involved. Infants and toddlers clearly do not understand what is happening around them on a cognitive level, but they do experience it on an emo-tional level. Solchany (2007) used three case studies to discover that infants also experience divorce on a physical level. Growth, as measured by height, weight, and head circumference, was monitored at each well-baby checkup. Each of the three infants in the study experienced growth faltering or a failure to grow at

the expected rate of development. Although each fam-ily had different custodial arrangements, all of them experienced high conflict and a deterioration of com-munication. At some point, each of the three babies refused to eat and experienced difficulties with breast-feeding as well as sleep disruptions (Solchany, 2007). When these families were referred to infant mental health services, and visitation schedules were altered to reflect the needs of the child more, two of the three infants showed some recovery growth. The author concluded that

Divorce impacts all children, but infants are especially vul-nerable to emotional and physical effects. Professionals—medical, mental health, and legal—as well as parents need to be aware of these possible effects and take proper steps to protect the well-being of infants in the midst of their parents’ divorces. (p. 40)

Research has substantiated the positive impact of both mothers and fathers on developmental outcomes for infants and toddlers. When adults dissolve a marriage, it is necessary for them to devise ways for both par-ents to remain active in the child’s life. Sano, Smith, and Lanigan (2011) found that the ability to main-tain a positive adult-adult relationship in the midst of a divorce predicted greater father involvement in infants’ lives. Unfortunately, even for adults who can maintain such positive relationships, the court system is the entity that more often than not determines how involved a parent can be in the postdivorce life of very young children. As the adults are the ones participat-ing in the court proceedings, it is not inconceivable that rulings are made in their interests and not the child’s. Lee, Kaufman, and George (2009) theorized that conflicted divorce might lead to more instances of disorganized attachment, especially if caregiving capa-bilities of parents aren’t considered by the courts when making custody decisions. Investigating the situation of overnight visitation by nonresident parents, Strous (2011) concluded, from the perspective of attachment theory, that

. . . the necessity for overnight contact may be more a case of parental or legal demands than in the best interests of the child. In instances where a very young child’s relationship with a secondary attachment figure can be adequately safeguarded through regular, non-prolonged contact, insisting on overnight access that is more pro-tracted than daytime contact may be a case of overkill. (p. 203)

Spotlight on Research

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This debate is far from over, as a recent research pro-vided a mixed view of outcomes for infants. For exam-ple, McIntosh, Smyth, and Kelaher’s (2013) finding supported an association between a greater number of shared overnight and lower levels of emotional regula-tion for children aged 0–1 and 2–3, when controlling for

parenting style, parental conflict, and socioeconomic factors. In contrast, a meta-analysis of 11 research arti-cles concluded that overnight stays with the father were not associated with negative outcomes for infants and toddlers and was actually associated with positive outcomes for preschoolers (Nielsen, 2014).

Spotlight on Research (continued)

task a caregiver faces. Infants and toddlers, like all other humans, are unique in the ways in which they express their emotions. As discussed previously, this can be related to their temperament (see Chapter 3), family, community, and culture. Professional early childhood educators honor this individuality when they modify their curriculum to build on each child’s preferences and strengths (Hyson, 2004).

Infants rely almost exclusively on other people for their need fulfill-ment, so they are not developmentally prepared at birth to soothe them-selves. They must gradually learn that they can calm and soothe themselves through the feedback provided by their caregivers. Recall the three As from Chapter 4. Professional early childhood educators who sensitively admin-ister the three As and systematically teach children to use the three As for themselves promote and develop self-soothing.

You should encourage children’s actions and help them manage emo-tions as they progress toward set goals. For example, when a child indi-cates the desire to hold an object and finally succeeds after trying several times with your help, the work is validated in a sense of achievement by your attention, approval, and attunement. This builds a feeling of confi-dence and a willingness to try the next time when the child reaches for the same object. The child may attempt the task on his own, or he may look for your encouragement or help, but eventually he will feel confident enough to succeed without your help.

Appropriate words of encouragement help children of all ages. Timing of when to give approval depends on the needs of the child. The child may start out wanting something but becomes too tired to finish. If the child is too tired, the primary need must be cared for first (holding the child until he or she goes to sleep). After the primary needs have been met, children will once again bring their attention to other activities.

Early childhood educators can help build strong self-images for the toddlers in their care. By being good role models and using reinforcing, positive self-talk, they can build language for the child to adopt. Positive self-talk is the internalization of messages we hear about ourselves from others. These messages represent how children feel about themselves and what they are capable of over time. If the messages are positive and encour-aging, the child will become confident, but if they are negative, the child feels limited in the ability to succeed. These messages become the belief system of the child and the foundation for self-concept and future success or failure.

self-soothing comforting and making oneself at ease.

positive self-talk the internalization of positive messages we hear about ourselves from others.

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TABLE 6–2 ◗ Approval Validates Mastery

CHILD BEHAVIOR CAREGIVER RESPONSE OUTCOME

1. eyes an object observes child caregiver attention

2. reaches for object encourages with words such as “You can do it.”

approval for mastery attempt; increased child motivation

3. l ooks at caregiver; tries to grasp objects again

continues to encourage, softly saying “Try again; you can do it!” models success

approval for mastery attempt; increased child motivation

4. successfully grasps object compliments effort, makes eye contact, makes gentle hug

approval and affection for mastery of task

5. smiles and shows excitement—brings object to mouth

says “Nice job! I knew you could do it!” give three As

validation of mastery; observable self-approval

Scaffolding, or building sets of ideas and demonstrating how to use them, can be used to promote positive self-talk. Table 6–2 illustrates how scaf-folding works when approval sustains the infant’s attention. This approval validates children’s mastery of their environment. Children internalize the validation they hear and make it their own as you reduce feedback.

6-4 Self-Regulation as a Foundation for Perspective-Taking Successful relationships and social acceptance depend on controlling impulses for actions and words that could harm another as well as devel-oping an awareness of other people’s perspectives. Children must learn to act without harming themselves, others, or the environment because internal controls are not innate. Children need to be taught the foundations of perspective-taking skills to have successful, positive relationships (Photo 6–3).

One way of helping children is to explain how their behavior may make others feel. By announcing out loud how others are reacting to a given behavior, you help all of the children involved begin to understand the others’ perspectives. For instance, Ms. Barbara works in a licensed fam-ily child care center. She waits for 3-year-old Eroj to come home from the Head Start center at the bus stop with his 2-year-old sister Inara. She greets Eroj with a smile and hug. His sister is happy to see him too. He has his art projects in both hands, but drops them when he hugs Ms. Barbara. Inara grabs the papers and, in the excitement of the moment, she crumples one of them. Eroj becomes angry and yells at his sister, who starts to cry. As Ms. Barbara helps him gather up his work, she places Inara on her hip and places her hand firmly on Eroj’s shoulder. She says to him, “I’m so sorry

perspective-taking Acquiring the skills for recognizing and responding to the perspectives of others; not a skill to be expected of infants and toddlers, but the foundations for skills should be set.

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following question about the material discussed so far.

1. What strategies can be used to support communication about emotions?

R E A D I N G C H E C K P O I N T

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you dropped your papers. I can tell that you worked so hard on them (look-ing at papers he is showing her while walking). You should be proud of them. When we get back, you can show everyone your work and then put them on the wall if you like.”

To show Inara’s perspective, Ms. Barbara continues by saying, “You know, Eroj, Inara did not mean to crumple your papers. I know she misses you when you go to school because several times during the day she stands by the door and says your name. She loves you and wants to be with you. I don’t think that she meant to crumple your paper. She just got so excited to see you.”

This example has a very specific theme. The teacher provided Eroj and Inara information they would not have had and dealt with them in a very careful way. She greeted Eroj warmly, validated his feelings of anger and self-worth, soothed his sister by picking her up, and discussed the situation openly and honestly with both children. She expressed positive observations about their relationship. In addition, the teacher was acting as Inara’s advocate.

Caregivers can offer similar comfort to very young children by using statements like, “Oh, I know Michael didn’t mean to knock down your block pile, Dori; he just lost his balance.” The key to successful use of this strategy is to know the child, know the facts of the situation, and communi-cate, as best as possible, the intentions and actions of the people involved.

While very young children may be able to consider another child’s perspective with assistance, it is inappropriate to expect them to do so independently. The goal of your behaviors is not to teach them how to take someone’s perspective but rather to lay a foundation for it because acquiring perspective-taking skills is a long, arduous task that lasts through adulthood.

PhOTO 6–3 Animals help toddlers learn perspective-taking skills and responsibility.

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6-4a Setting LimitsAfter children become mobile, they must learn to accept “no” about cer-tain behaviors. Adults must help them learn that some behaviors are not acceptable, while recognizing ourselves that many of their behaviors are the result of acting on their natural instinct to explore their world (Walsh, 2007). For example, a mobile infant should be firmly—but kindly—told, “No. Leave the trash in the can,” if she were reaching for an item that had been disposed of. However, the number of behaviors they must accept “no” to is much smaller than many adults demand. The main principle to use in selecting which behaviors children must accept “no” to is to start with only those behaviors that are directly harmful to themselves, other people, or property.

Limits and rules, while they help children to accept “no” about certain behaviors, are best followed if stated positively. Let the children know what to do in as specific language as possible (Marion, 2014). When you see an infant pulling on the lamp to stand, say, “Couches are for pulling up on” and move the child to the couch. Your behavior will help the child construct an understanding of safe furniture for pulling on. Limits, then, are for stopping inappropriate behaviors and replacing them with more appropriate ones.

Not enough can be said about the importance of stating limits posi-tively. Many children spend time in classrooms where all limits start with the word no. This not only cre-ates a negative environment (who wants to be told no all of the time?) but also does not teach the children the behaviors that will help them be successful. They are told not to run, so they hop. They are told not to hop, so they crawl. It seems as if they are playing a guessing game with the adult. When adults want children to do something, it is best to state, positively and directly, expectations for a desired behav-ior. For example, if you want tod-dlers to park their tricycles on the cement slab beside the toy shed, then tell them: “It is time to put the tricycles up. Park them at the sign beside the toy shed.”

While each classroom and early childhood program needs rules or limits, these should be few in number (Photo 6–4). Infants and toddlers typically lack the cog-nitive skills to recall more than a few limits (Marion, 2014). Even with a few rules, however, teachers

limits positively worded statements about desired or acceptable behavior that help children acquire appropriate behaviors for a particular setting.

PhOTO 6–4 There should be classroom rules and limits, but there shouldn’t be too many. Teachers should remind children of the rules to support memory and understanding.

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should not expect the toddlers to remember them. Pure recall is the most challenging type of memory skill to develop, taking several years. There-fore, educators should make the effort to remind the children of the rules gently as preventative measures. For example, if you notice that Kennedy is looking out the window and getting excited because she sees her grand-mother coming to pick her up, you could say, “Let’s walk to the door to greet her.” This gentle reminder assists Kennedy both in walking and in expressing her love toward her grandmother.

6-4b establishing ConsequencesAfter limits have been defined, discussed, and modeled, consequences for each limit need to be established. The most effective consequences for learning appropriate behaviors are natural and logical (Marion, 2014). Natural consequences are those outcomes that occur without teacher inter-vention. Elisabetta runs through the block area of the classroom, trips over a wooden truck, and falls on the carpet. She is surprised but unhurt. Elisa-betta has experienced a natural consequence of running in the classroom. Early childhood educators cannot allow all natural consequences to occur because they are too dangerous. Permitting a toddler to fall (i.e., experienc-ing a natural consequence) because he climbed over the top railing of the climbing structure is obviously not acceptable.

Logical consequences are outcomes that are related to the limit but would not occur on their own. For example, your rule is for the children to put their toys back on the shelf when they are done. If a child does not put her puzzle back on the shelf after being reminded, she will not be able to choose another activity until the first one is cleaned up.

Establishing consequences helps young children become autonomous, self-regulated individuals. Toddlers should be allowed and even encour-aged to voice their own opinions and have a say in what happens to them. Unfortunately, this developmental phase is often referred to as the “terri-ble twos.” This important period of personality and self-development is mislabeled as “terrible” by controlling adults who have difficulty accept-ing children saying “no” to them. It is vital that children be allowed to say “no” to teachers and other adults to develop a healthy sense of self. Caregivers who do not accept “no” from a child when he is not harm-ing himself, others, or property do great harm to the child’s sense of self- responsibility. Young children must learn to make decisions and establish boundaries with other people. Two additional guidance strategies to use with children who say “no” to practically everything are giving choices and redirection.

6-4c providing ChoicesPeople learn to make wise choices by being able to choose. Caregivers who give children choices that they can handle for their age avoid many confrontations and teach children to choose wisely (Marion, 2014). Yes/no questions are often problematic, as is a statement that commands the child. For example, “Do you want lunch?” is likely to result in “no,” as is the statement “You’re going to eat your lunch now.” A much more effective

consequences the natural and/or logical outcomes of actions.

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approach is to give a choice, such as “Do you want a banana or apple slices with your grilled cheese sandwich? You choose.” Much research has been conducted investigating the impact of choice on internal control and motivation.

In a meta-analysis of 41 research studies, Patall, Cooper, and Rob-inson (2008) found that choice does have a positive impact on internal motivation as well as effort, performance, and perceived competence. In addition, choices that allowed for the expression of individuality (e.g., what color of paper or pens to use) were particularly powerful motivators. Moreover, “the largest positive effect of choice on intrinsic motivation was found when participants made two to four choices in a single experi-mental manipulation” (Patall et al., 2008, p. 295). Thus, it seems that hav-ing too few choices does not allow children to feel a sense of control over their environment, while having too many may result in cognitive over-load. Although none of the research studies included in the meta-analyses specifically studied infants and toddlers, the results are nonetheless instructional for teachers of very young children. Early childhood educa-tors need to consider when they are providing choices throughout their day and how many choices are being provided at any one given time. In addition, the choices need to teach the children a sense of self-control and self-responsibility while encouraging self-expression. In general, providing choices increases people’s internal motivation to complete a task because they feel they are more in control of their destiny (Patall et al., 2008). This is the exact outcome we seek for young children: they will learn that they are powerful people with opinions to share. In other words, providing choices fosters the development of young children’s self-efficacy.

6-4d redirecting actionsThere are two different types of redirection strategies (Marion, 2014). First, you can divert and distract a young child’s attention to safe and acceptable activities to prevent confrontations. This strategy is useful for very young children with underdeveloped object permanence because for them out-of-sight is equivalent to out-of-mind. Older toddlers are not always so easy to distract because they can continue to think about the desired object even if they cannot see it. For example, if you take a young child into a setting with many breakable objects, diverting the child’s attention to objects and activities in the setting that are not break-able can avoid problems. Your attention and interest most often evokes interest on the child’s part, so rather than attending to all the breakable things, pay attention and draw the child into activities that are safe and appropriate.

The second type of redirection involves finding a substitute activ-ity based on the child’s underlying desire. If a toddler is chewing on a wooden block, find her a teething ring to chew on. If a child wants to climb and jump from the shelf, take him outside to jump. Redirecting attention to the appropriate location recognizes children’s underlying needs and can help them learn to monitor and regulate their expression of emotions (Hyson, 2004).

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6-4e Solving problemsInfants and toddlers encounter problems frequently throughout their day. These can originate from physical objects, their abilities or lack thereof, and interactions with others. Although some adults may not recognize all of these situations as problems to be solved, it can be helpful to reframe their issues in this way. Doing so often makes adults and young children feel more powerful and directly in control of outcomes.

Consider this example. Susanna, 7 months old, awakes from her morn-ing nap. Her teacher, Yu-Wen, picks her up while saying soothing words. Susanna begins to cry in earnest. Yu-Wen shifts positions and decides to check her diaper even though it was a short nap, but she is dry. Yu-Wen offers Susanna a bottle, but she refuses it. Then she holds her while gently swaying back and forth, a motion that Susanna typically likes, but not right now. Her crying intensifies. After 20 minutes of trying to solve the problem and strained emotions, Yu-Wen asks her co-teacher if she will take Susanna for a few minutes while she goes to get a drink of cold water. Yu-Wen uses that time to regain her composure and decides to try a strategy that she recently read about in a teacher journal. She prepares a soft blanket on the floor with two soft toys on it. She takes Susanna from her co-teacher and places her tummy up on the blanket. Susanna continues to cry, but the intensity lessens. Within a few moments she is staring at her feet; a small smile plays on the corner of her lips. Yu-Wen is pleased that the strategy of giving children the freedom to move to solve their own problem worked (Gonzalez-Mena, 2007).

Toddlers are moving from being dependent to being independent; from wanting to play alone to playing parallel or even cooperatively with oth-ers; and from thinking simplistically to thinking in more complex ways. All of these developmental advances provide them many opportunities to problem solve. Because toddlers are more skilled than infants, they should be more involved in the problem-solving process. The following are guide-lines for how to solve a problem (Epstein, 2007; Marion, 2014; Swim & Marion, 2006):

1. Describe what you saw; have children verify if you are accurate.

2. Ask yes/no questions to engage children in the process of identifying and labeling the problem to be solved.

3. Volunteer an idea, choice, or solution to the problem.

4. Help the children select one solution.

5. Help the children implement the solution.

6. Ask yes/no questions to reflect on whether or not the solution worked for everyone.

As with the other guidance strategies described in this chapter, teach-ers are always the “more knowledgeable others,” to use Vygotsky’s term, and thus must assume the responsibility for providing children with nec-essary language and processes for solving problems.

Not all problems can be solved quickly. Change takes time for every-one. You should not try to solve all problems independently; seek guidance from colleagues or your director. As part of creating positive,

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reciprocal relationships with families, you should also seek their input and guidance. For example, if an infant or toddler shows signs of discom-fort for more than two hours, family members should be consulted. The goal of this conversation is to obtain more information and to seek advice on additional strategies that work for them. As demonstrated earlier, pro-fessional teacher journals are another source of information on ways to solve problems.

As you are guiding the behavior of young children, remember that achieving social and emotional competence is a long journey. Do not expect perfection from yourself, the families, or the children. Observe what the children can do on their own and what they can do with assistance (i.e., identify their zones of proximal development). Then, use teaching strat-egies to scaffold them to the next level of development. Persistent, small gains add up to big changes over time.

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following question about the material discussed so far.

1. List and explain three strategies for positively guiding and supporting the development of very young children’s self-regulation skills.

r e a D I N G C h e C K p O I N t

Creating a caring community of learners is an important aspect of the work that teachers of infants and toddlers do. This involves building positive relationships with each child and using positive guidance strategies to facilitate the development of self-regulation and socially acceptable behaviors.

6-1 Explain the philosophy and principles of the Reggio Emilia approach.The philosophy of the schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy, challenges teachers to reflect on and recog-nize in their practice concepts such as the image of the child. Inserimento is a collaborative process used in Italy for transitioning infants and toddlers to an educational program.

6-2 Summarize a developmental perspective on child guidance.Two mental models were presented as ways to take a developmental view of discipline.

6-3 Apply strategies for communicating with very young children about emotions.Teachers should help each and every child come to understand their emotions and the emotions of others. Infant and toddler teachers help to set a strong foundation for self-regulation by label-ing emotions and teaching emotional regulation skills.

6-4 Match methods for helping children gain self-regulation skills to a situation.Self-regulation skills serve as a foundation for perspective-taking skills. While infants and tod-dlers can demonstrate perspective-taking skills with assistance, they should not be expected to do so independently. Strategies such as setting limits, providing choices, and redirecting inap-propriate behaviors help children learn to regu-late their own behavior.

Summary

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“Should I call her mother again?” Enrique, a toddler teacher, asks his co-teacher as Regina struggles to free herself from his gentle hold. Regina has just bit the same peer for the second time today.

“Yes, I think you should. We could use some infor-mation.” Although Regina is 27 months old, this is her first time attending child care.

Enrique calls to share how happy he is to have Regina in his classroom. He asks Ms. Gonzalez what strategies they use when she is upset. She provides him several things to try.

Ms. Gonzalez arrives about 30 minutes earlier than normal for pickup looking frazzled and upset. Enrique greets her and tells her that her suggestion to sing qui-etly worked wonders. He also asks if she came early because of the phone call. They discuss how the call was not intended to upset her but rather was to gather more information to help Regina.

They move closer to Regina who is working by herself at a table lining up clowns. Enrique and Ms. Gonzalez take a few moments to watch her work. Regina method-ically lines the clowns around the perimeter of a piece of construction paper. She seems not to notice the other activities around her. The other children have divided themselves into two groups, working with blocks and pouring water through waterwheels.

Enrique asks Ms. Gonzalez what she is noticing. She replies by asking, “Does she usually play alone?”

“No. She typically works in the same area as other children. This is expected because as children get older,

they usually begin to play in small groups. Regina’s interactions with the other children sometimes result in her biting them, like today. I am wondering if you can tell me how she interacts with you and your husband at home.”

“We usually interact with her. If we ask her a ques-tion, she will nod yes or no. She is very quiet and does not seem to have many wants. But, if she does want something, she will point at the object.”

“I’m wondering if she is biting because she does not have the language to tell her classmates what she wants. I’m also wondering what I can do to best help her. Can we both take some time to think about Regina and meet early next week to talk further?”

“That would be nice. Is it okay if my husband comes also?” inquires Ms. Gonzalez.

“Of course. Let me know what times work best for your schedules. And, thank you so much for making the extra time in your schedule to speak with me today. The more we work together, the better we can support Regina’s needs.”

1. How did Enrique’s approach serve to value the relationships among Mr. and Ms. Gonzalez, Regina, and himself?

2. Describe what you believe is Enrique’s image of the child. What information from the case did you use when drawing this conclusion?

3. What strategies would you suggest Enrique use to support Regina’s acquisition of socially accepted behaviors? Why?

Regina’s Biting BehaviorsC a S e S t u D Y

Lesson Plantitle: Where can I ride my trike?Child Observation:

Forrest (32 months old) is outside riding a tricycle on the cement path. He veers off the path and rides the trike through the sand area. When asked to get back on the cement path, Forrest screams “no” and tightly grabs the handlebar.

Child’s Developmental Goal:

To develop an internal locus of control

To follow a limit

Materials: Tricycle, “Tricycles Stay on the Path” sign on a stand or otherwise able to be displayed in sand area.

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Preparation: Place “Tricycles Stay on the Path” sign on the edge of the sand area.

Learning Environment:

1. When you take the children outside, invite Forrest to look at the sign by saying, for example:a. I put this sign out just for you. It says “Tricy-

cles Stay on the Path.” That means the tricycle should stay on the cement path (point to path). The sand is for walking and playing.

2. If Forrest wants to ride the tricycle, assist him with putting on his helmet, if necessary.

3. Stand near the sign so that you can talk with For-rest when he drives by the area. To illustrate, you could say:a. You are riding fast on the trike path.b. The trike rides better on the concrete, doesn’t it?

4. If Forrest begins to ride in the sand, remind him of the limit, by saying, for example:a. Ride the tricycle on the cement path.

5. When first possible, talk with Forrest about how he followed the limit. Engage him to think about when he stayed on the path and when he wanted to ride in the sand. Discuss how he showed impulse control—define that in a simple way such as, “You wanted to ride in the sand but stopped because it was not the right thing to do at the time.”

Guidance Consideration:

If Forrest begins to violate the rule and tries to drive the tricycle in the sand, get on his level and stop the trike. Start the problem-solving process by saying, “We have a problem that we need to solve. I want the tricycle rid-den on the cement path, and you want to ride in the sand. What can we do to solve this?” Engage in the next steps of the problem solving process with Forrest.

Variations:

Introduce a new area for riding the tricycle and state the rules for that location.

Additional ResourcesBrodey, D. (2007). The elephant in the playroom: Ordi-

nary parents write intimately and honestly about the extraordinary highs and heartbreaking lows of raising kids with special needs. New York: Hudson Street Press.

Feeney, S. (2012). Professionalism in early childhood education: Doing our best for young children. Boston: Pearson Education.

Medina, J. (2014). Brain rules for baby: How to raise a smart and happy child from zero to five (updated and expanded). Seattle, WA: Pear Press.

Pfieffer, J. (2013). Dude, you’re a dad!: How to get (all of you) through your baby’s first year. Fort Collins, CO: Adams Media.

Weissbourd, R. (2009). The parents we mean to be: How well-intentioned adults undermine children’s moral and emotional development. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Professional Resource Download

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© 2017 Cengage Learning

C h a p t e r

Supportive Communication with Families and Colleagues

Learning ObjectivesAfter reading this chapter, you should be able to:

7-1 Understand the active listening process and other skills for effective communication.

7-2 Develop procedures for informal and formal communication with families.

7-3 Describe specific family situations that might require additional support.

7-4 Analyze your own skills when communicating with colleagues.

Standards Addressed in This Chapter

NaeYC Standards for early Childhood professional preparation

2 Building Family and Community Relationships

6 Becoming a Professional

Developmentally appropriate practice Guidelines

5 Establishing reciprocal relationships with families

In addition, the NAEYC standards for develop-mentally appropriate practice are divided into six areas particularly important to infant/toddler care. The following area is addressed in this chapter: reciprocal relationship with families.

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Caregivers and family members* have a common goal: to provide high- quality experiences for children. When children are being cared for by some-one other than an immediate family member, all persons involved must join in partnership to achieve this goal. The fifth guideline for developmentally appropriate practice as outlined by NAEYC is “establishing reciprocal rela-tionships with families” (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009). Recognizing the com-plexity of this guideline is necessary for beginning teachers. Oversimplifying and regarding the objective as just parent education on the one hand, or total parent control on the other, minimizes the role of the teacher in joining with parents to provide the best care and education for their very young children. The primary components of this guideline are highlighted here.

●● Reciprocal relationships require mutual respect, cooperation, shared responsibility, and negotiation of conflicts to achieve shared goals.

●● Frequent two-way communication must be established and maintained between early childhood teachers and families.

●● Families are welcomed into the program and invited to participate in decisions about their children’s care and education as well as program decisions.

●● Family members’ choices and goals are responded to with sensitivity and respect, without abdicating professional responsibility.

●● Teachers and families share their knowledge of the child, including assess-ment information, to maximize everyone’s decision-making abilities.

●● Professionals having educational responsibility for a child should, with family participation, share information (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009).

My experiences with preservice teachers and beginning educators demonstrate that building relationships with families can provoke fear. “I’m comfortable with children, not adults” is a common statement. Thus, this chapter is devoted to assisting you in considering this topic more in depth and developing the skills to be successful.

Effective communication between caregivers and families and among the early childhood program staff is a must. Communication is a two-way process. It requires listening, empathy, and effective expression of thoughts and feelings. The nonverbal, emotional messages that are sent in the questions asked and the statements made will either help or hinder successful communication. We must listen to uncover cultural diversity because families differ in how they communicate (Christian, 2006). The attitudes, beliefs, and biases caregivers and families have toward each other are reflected through the communication process. The goal of coming to understand our own and the families’ cultures is to communicate effec-tively about children’s strengths and needs, not to change the children or the families (Im, Parlakian, & Sánchez, 2007).

To be an effective caregiver, it is necessary to communicate well with chil-dren, families, colleagues, professionals, and other adults. “Communication

*In this chapter, the terms family, families, family member, and family members will be used interchangeably to refer to people who interact with and impact the learning and development of infants and toddlers in their home settings. These terms should be understood to include mother(s), father(s), legal guardian(s), grandparent(s), sibling(s), aunt(s), uncle(s), and so on. The term parent or parents is used to refer specifically to a mother and/or a father.

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between parents and child care center staff is clearly integral to trust, yet it is complicated by differing communication styles and expectations, as well as by emotions” (Reedy & McGrath, 2010, p. 353). This chapter teaches you important communication skills such as rapport building, “I statements,” and active listening. These skills will assist you in communicating success-fully with other people in a sensitive and accepting style. Practicing these skills will help you listen to and understand others and be able to express yourself so that other people will understand and accept what you say.

7-1 Skills for Effective CommunicationFigure 7–1 shows the general communication process. A sender (A) sends a message verbally and nonverbally to a receiver (B), who interprets the message and gives the sender feedback as to what the message means to the receiver.

7-1a rapport BuildingRapport is an agreement between two people that establishes a sense of har-mony. This harmonious agreement with infants and toddlers has been dis-cussed in previous chapters as interactional synchrony. When you learn to build rapport with an adult, just as you’ve done with an infant or toddler, you must follow the person’s lead while you carefully observe his or her move-ments. Think of this as learning to dance well with another person. Rapport building involves two components: calibrating and pacing. Calibrating means carefully observing the specific steps, and pacing means carefully moving in harmonious synchrony. Three specific sets of behaviors must be calibrated and paced for you to build rapport and dance well with another person.

1. Posture. Align yourself in a complementary physical posture with the adult. If he is sitting, sit also. Change your posture to “dance” with the person face to face.

2. Nonverbal communication. Listen carefully to the tone of voice, tempo of speech, and intensity of the physical and emotional undertones of the gestures. What is the adult trying to tell you? Do the nonverbal communication strategies match the verbal ones?

3. Representational systems. This set of behaviors is hardest to learn to calibrate and pace because it includes all ways that the adult represents his or her beliefs, perceptions, and understanding of the world. These systems are culturally based, so it is imperative that you spend con-siderable time learning how culture influences communication for the families with whom you are working.

rapport an agreement between two people that establishes a sense of harmony.

calibrating carefully observing the specific behaviors demonstrated by another during an interaction to build rapport.

pacing Matching complementary behavior to that of another person to build rapport.

FIGURE 7–1 ◗ The Communication Process

Sender

A.

Receiver

B.

Interpretation

Feedback

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7-1b I Statements versus You StatementsWe also communicate to other people from the perspective of expressing our own thoughts and feelings through I statements, or giving advice or judgments about the other person by making you statements.

I statements usually start with the word I and express responsibility for our own perceptions without judging the other person. For example, “I am angry” is an I statement because it expresses a feeling without blam-ing another person. You statements are often disrespectful and tell the other person how he or she is thinking, feeling, or behaving. You state-ments often start with the word You and offer advice or an opinion about the other person. For example, “You make me angry” is a you statement because it offers an opinion about the other person (he or she is doing or saying something wrong), and it makes the other person responsible for the speaker’s feeling (anger).

When you want the other person to feel accepted and understood, make I statements. I statements are respectful and take responsibility for the speaker’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. You statements, on the other hand, offer opinions, advice, and judgments about the other person and often close off further communication.

We can also make disguised I and you statements. Disguised you state-ments sometimes sound like I statements and may even start with the word I, but they always end up judging or giving advice to the sender. For example, “I’m angry because you did that” is a disguised you statement because it blames and judges the other person.

Listen carefully so that you can provide feedback in response to the other sender’s words. These responses can be disguised I statements when our feedback clearly takes responsibility for our own perceptions and map of the world. For example, if a person sends the message, “I can’t stand Mary, she is always complaining,” a good active listening response might be, “It sounds like Mary’s complaining is making you feel angry.” Notice that, although neither I nor you were used, the feedback takes responsibility for the receiver’s perception by using the words “It sounds (to me) like . . .” without blaming or criticizing the sender. I statements keep communication open by giving nonjudgmental feedback, which allows the sender to confirm that the message was understood (“That’s right, I really get angry with her”) or correct the message (“Well, I don’t really get angry, just a little annoyed”). While this form of communication might seem easy to use, it is not often a component of college students’ active speech competence (Borodachyova, 2011). Therefore, you will need to practice this skill so that it becomes a natural component in your communication patterns.

7-1c active Listening: the “how” in CommunicationMost common communication errors can be avoided by applying a tech-nique called active listening, which is “feeding back” the deeper feeling message (not the words) of the sender in the words of the receiver. This simple definition of active listening requires further explanation because, although it may sound simple, it takes practice to learn to give deeper feedback effectively.

I statements expressions about one’s own thoughts and feelings without judging the other person.

you statements Sentences that give advice to or judgment about another person, often closing off further communication.

active listening the skill required to simply “feed back” the deeper felt message (not words) of the sender in the words of the receiver.

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Active listening differs from most common types of communication in the kind of feedback given to the sender. The two most common types of feedback are a reaction to the words in the message or a defense of your position. With either of these types of feedback, the communication pro-cess is closed off because we become emotionally involved in the words of the message. Common reactionary feedback messages include “How can you say that?” “You’re wrong!” and “I don’t think you meant what I heard.” Defensive feedback might sounds like, “In my classroom, we all nap at the same time” or “Children should not need a pacifier when they are 3.”

Active listening, on the other hand, involves objectively listening, in a nondefensive way, for the deeper message of the sender and then giving reiterating feedback. Rather than reacting to the words of the sender, the active listener interprets the entire message of the sender and gives it back to the sender. Because the active listener looks for the deeper message, most feedback starts with words such as “It sounds like . . . ,” “You seem to feel . . . ,” “I hear you saying . . . ,” and other phrases that reflect the sender’s feelings. Beginning feedback in this manner allows the sender to affirm, reject, or clarify his message. By continuing to feed back the total message of the sender, the receiver can help the sender clarify the problem and, in most cases, arrive at his or her own solution.

An active listener also looks at body language. The look on a person’s face, the position of the body, and what the person does with his or her hands and arms can help you understand the full message on the deepest level. Nonverbal behavior, as well as words, feelings, and attitudes, com-bine to transmit the complete, deep message.

Although active listening may sound simple enough to learn, it requires practice because most of us have learned to respond with reactionary and defensive feedback. Whiteman (2013) suggests that using positive commu-nication strategies such as active listening, being empathetic, and choos-ing nonconfrontational language is especially important when discussing difficult topics with family members. These communication strategies can be learned well by teachers if practiced in classroom settings with fam-ily members and if given the opportunity to reflect on their effectiveness (Symeou, Roussounidou, & Michaelides, 2012). Therefore, with continued practice and analysis, you will find the rewards of active listening worth the effort it takes to master the technique. The following are some ways to analyze your communication with others:

1. Listen to the way you now respond to people. Did you react to the words of messages, or did you listen for the deeper meaning? Did you listen for the whole, deep message, including the words, feelings, atti-tudes, and behaviors?

2. Listen to the words you used in your response. Did you judge, criticize, or blame another?

3. Listen to the message you sent. Did you respond to the message with advice or personal feelings, or did you seek to understand completely what the other person thinks and feels?

4. Listen for when you have received the entire message. Did you add information to a message when you were ready, when the other per-son directly asked for it, or after that person had completely expressed

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the entire message? You will know you have received the entire mes-sage when you hear real feelings and concern about what to do. At this point, questions such as “Have you thought about what you can do?” or “How would you solve this?” will give the person a chance to ask for advice or begin problem solving on his or her own.

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.

1. What are the benefits of using effective communication skills and why?2. Compare and contrast two of the communication skills discussed.

r e a D I N G C h e C K p O I N t

7-2 Communications with FamiliesTeachers hold different beliefs about the responsibilities of those involved in the educational process. Korkmaz (2007) surveyed 148 teachers concern-ing their beliefs about the responsibilities teachers, parents, and schools have in facilitating learning. A theme running through the responses was the importance of communication for all involved parties. More specifi-cally, she discovered that two-thirds of the teachers believed that parents should have good communication with teachers. They also thought that parents should be willing to participate in meetings held at school. When asked about the responsibilities of the school, 56 percent of the teachers expressed the importance of the school keeping parents informed about the progress of their child as well as the curriculum being implemented. Inter-estingly enough, only 44 percent of the teachers reported their responsi-bilities to “communicate clearly with students and have positive dialogue and interactions with them inside and outside the classroom . . . [listening] attentively to students’ questions, comments, and views” (Korkmaz, 2007, p. 397). There were no examples provided of teachers saying that they held responsibility for communicating well with family members.

As you can see, this text deviates from those research results as it places particular emphasis on the decisive role teachers play in creating a positive context that supports open and ongoing communication with fam-ily members and children. Yet, our text does not differ from other research on “instructional communication competence” (Worley, Titsworth, Worley, & Cornett-DeVito, 2007) with award-winning teachers who explained and demonstrated that the use of active listening with students was extremely important to develop productive relationships. Our text also agrees with more recent research that found when parents and teachers shared positive perceptions of their relationship, parents participated in more communi-cation with the school, and teachers held a more positive view of the child (Minke, Sheridan, Kim, Ryoo, & Koziol, 2014). Good teaching, at any level, relies on the skilled use of active listening to build positive relationships.

7-2a Using active Listening with FamiliesFamilies tell you much information about their children and themselves when you have created a welcoming, supportive environment (Photo 7–1).

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Details about what the child does at home are needed by the caregiver each day. Ask open-ended questions, listen carefully to their responses, and record the information as soon as possible. In addition, using active listening helps caregivers understand families as they express their concerns and raise questions about parenting. Family members are often isolated from other support systems and need the care-giver to listen to them and help them come up with solutions. The next sec-tions outline five situations in which active listening can be especially ben-eficial for families and caregivers.

Gathering InformationFamilies have a wealth of informa-tion about their children. For con-tinuity between home and school,

teachers need to know how the family typically responds to the child’s needs. Many states require that licensed infant/toddler programs have fam-ilies complete and regularly update questionnaires that ask about child characteristics, habits, and preferences, as well as family routines, goals, and expectations for the child. For example, knowing that Oliver has dif-ficulty relaxing for a nap if he does not have his favorite blankie with him and his back patted will help the early childhood educator meet his body’s needs for sleep.

While questionnaires are effective means for gathering information, going beyond the minimal requirements will help you form effective partnerships, meeting the guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice. Teachers should inquire regularly to gather observations of devel-opment that family members have noticed at home or other contexts. Use this information to provide a more complete picture of the child and her capabilities. Add those observations to yours, and then modify your understanding as necessary. Such conversations can occur informally during drop-off and pick-up and include other information about the child’s experiences at home and school. This feedback helps caregivers maintain updated information that will shape their reactions to the child’s behavior. When face-to-face interactions are not possible, home-school journals, mentioned in Chapter 5, are valuable tools for sharing and gath-ering information. This two-way communication strategy involves family members writing a few notes about the child’s day(s) when at home, and then the caregiver responds with information about the child’s experience while at the early childhood program. Of course, it is overly optimistic to think that caregivers and families will write in the journal every day. Yet those who do this on a regular basis develop a strong sense of partnership (Gandini, 2001).

PhOTO 7–1 Families will be more willing to share information about their children and themselves when caregivers create a welcoming environment.

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Sharing InformationFamilies need information about the daily experiences their child has in your care. Many tools are available (see Chapter 5) to help organize and record important things the child has done and share them with family members. Special experiences, such as the child’s excitement about a visit-ing rabbit, may go into the written record, or the caregiver may tell a family member.

The child’s rate and pattern of development should be shared with family members. Refer to the child’s Developmental Milestones (see Appendix A) to focus on recent developments and identify developmental tasks the child may soon be mastering. When communicating effectively with family mem-bers, deliver this information without using professional jargon, slang, or fad expressions; any of these can lead to misunderstanding rather than a common understanding (Clements & Kuperberg, 2008). Moreover, learning key words in the family’s native language can help reduce misunderstand-ings, build rapport, and minimize some barriers (Risko & Walker-Dalhouse, 2009). When we share common knowledge about the child and set goals together, then everyone can do things in her environment that support or enhance the child’s development. However, when working with families, you should be clear in emphasizing the difference between facilitating and pushing the child. Families are often very interested in ideas for appropriate experiences and homemade toys (see Chapters 11–13; Herr & Swim, 2002).

When you communicate your observations with the family members, ask questions and use active listening when they share their observations as well. Mabel may have noticed that her 2-month-old child isn’t distressed at all by being left at child care, and she wants more information relat-ing to the effect of child care on young infants. Phyllis may be ready for information about separation anxiety because Branson is starting to show distress. Arlene may be interested in information to help her understand that Pearl’s sharing Mommy with the new baby involves much more than practice in getting used to babies. Changing sleeping and eating patterns and toilet learning are other areas families frequently raise questions about. Of course, if your assessments reveal that a child is ahead of or behind

chiLd care reSource and reFerraL agencieS

The National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) is a professional organi-zation that works with more than 700 state and local child care resource and referral agencies throughout the United States. These agencies help ensure that fam-ilies have access to high-quality, affordable child care by providing information on what high-quality care looks like and how to locate such programs in their

community, as well as by advocating for child care pol-icies that positively impact the lives of children and families. The organization also supports professional educators by providing access to professional develop-ment opportunities to increase the quality of care.

A current focus for the organization is working with US military services to help personnel (e.g., service women and men) find high-quality, affordable child care that suits their unique needs.

For more information on this important organization, visit the NACCRRA website.

Spotlight on Organization

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age-expected levels, special emphasis should be placed on communicating with families. As discussed in previous chapters, deciding together when and how to proceed with involving other professionals is vital.

Families need information about the child care program. Before the child is admitted, the program director shares with families program goals, policies, descriptions of the daily program, and the practical use of Developmental Milestones. Many programs will include a developmental screening as part of the initial evaluation of the incoming child. This will help guide caregivers as they make their decisions about program imple-mentation. Many situations occur that family members need to clarify and discuss with caregivers. For example, Sal wants his 23-month-old daugh-ter Gabriele to stop using her fingers when she eats. The caregivers can help Sal by listening actively and, when it is appropriate, assuring him that eating with fingers is perfectly normal at this age but that you will continue to offer her utensils at every meal to support her development of fine motor control.

Expressing FeelingsFamily members may want the caregiver to agree with them or reassure them, to confirm or reject ideas, and to respond to pressures from family and friends. For example, Lisha rushed in one morning with her son and said, “I called my mother last night and told her I went back to work this week. She had a fit. She said it was too soon and that right now my place was at home.” Listen to Lisha’s words and her tone of voice; read her non-verbal cues, her facial expressions, and degree of tenseness. She may be telling you that she is feeling frustrated and guilty, or she may be stating her mother’s view while feeling fairly comfortable with her own choice of going back to work. You must listen to the whole message to interpret accurately what Lisha is telling you.

Caregiving undoubtedly involves feelings and emotions. Family mem-bers want to know that you are knowledgeable and concerned about their child and about them (Huber, 2003). In a variety of ways, let families know that you like and respect their child. Families look for caregivers who accept and like their child and who provide emotional security.

Determine how to share the child’s new developments with family members. The first time you see children pulling themselves up on the table leg, teetering on two steps, holding utensils, riding a tricycle, turn-ing book pages, hugging a friend, asking to go to the toilet, or catching a ball, you should be excited and pleased with their accomplishments. How might family members feel about missing the “big event”? Use your knowledge of each family to determine whether you report these expe-riences with elation or with caution. If the family wants to know all of the “firsts” exactly when they happen, then report your observations with enthusiasm. But, remember Lisha from earlier? Does she feel secure in returning to work, or does she feel uncomfortable? Many family members, especially mothers, feel guilty about needing or even wanting to return to work. They may feel that they are missing the most important moments of their children’s lives. Sharing “firsts” with them would only serve to rein-force these feelings. When this situation arises, an alternative approach would be to alert families for behaviors to look for at home without

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explicitly stating that you saw the accomplishment first. Although some readers might interpret this as lying by omission, the news should be reframed so that you help family members see and share an important event for their child.

Uncovering Families’ Expectations and Setting GoalsActively listen to family members so that you will fully understand what care they expect you to provide. All families have expectations for their children; some will be explicitly stated, while others may not be fully articulated (Christian, 2006; Cheatham & Ostrosky, 2013).

Engage families in ongoing conversations to uncover these expectations and support them in achieving their goals. Listen to what a father is saying about the child and about his own needs. Some family members have very definite ideas and will tell you about them. One parent might say, “I want Velma to be happy. It bothers me to see her cry when I leave.” Others do not say anything until they disagree with something, and then they may express frustration or be angry with you. Another mother may tell you, “I told you I want Pearl to get used to babies because my baby is due next month. Please do not start transitioning her to the preschool room yet.” If this happens, use active listening to account for the family members’ emotions as well as the words they say to you.

Not all families will have realistic or developmentally appropriate expectations for their child. Some families, especially first-time parents, set goals that are too high, while other families set their expectations too low. Either case can lead to poor child outcomes. It is your responsibility as a professional early childhood educator to work with them to realign their expectations. The communication skills discussed earlier are very impor-tant in these situations. You want to establish rapport as well as use active listening and I statements. When asked your opinion, you can be ready to guide them toward more developmentally appropriate expectations. This approach reflects the guidelines for establishing reciprocal relationships with families, especially that parents’ choices and goals are responded to with sensitivity and respect without abdicating professional responsibility (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009).

Work together with family members to create goals that are acceptable to both of you. Sometimes that means taking baby steps toward meeting your personal goals for the child. In an educational context, that is far more acceptable than ignoring the family members’ goals. Expect to devote con-siderable time in negotiating the goals that you will work toward together. Partnering means working until a common ground is found. This should be a win-win situation, not a hostile takeover of the families’ goals in favor of your own or vice versa (see, e.g., Gonzalez-Mena, 2001).

Unfortunately, recent research found that for one sample of Head Start teachers’ goal-setting practices during parent-teacher conferences did not reflect either a partnership or a negotiation. Rather, Cheatham and Ostrosky (2013) discovered that the teachers’ practices tended to disallow parents’ priorities and expertise regarding their children’s educational planning. Native Spanish-speaking parents were particularly silenced. However, it is possible that cultural differences in understanding the role of teach-ers in setting educational goals or the lack of understanding of the need

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for educational goals might play a role for some families (Cheatham & Ostrosky, 2013). In any case, early childhood educators must adopt strat-egies that accommodate for parent-educator cultural and linguistic dif-ferences and result in each family member being involved in goal setting. This is particularly important during the infant-toddler period given that children grow and change rapidly; caregivers should expect to engage in goal setting and other such negotiations two to three times a year.

Sharing ExpectationsAfter working to uncover the families’ expectations and create goals together, explain what those goals might look like in practice. Your casual statements may take on more meaning than formal, written goal state-ments. When explaining how to encourage a toddler’s independence, you might say: “We want to help children become as independent as they can, so when Louella resists my helping her take off her bib, I will let her try to take it off by herself. If she gets stuck, I will help her lift one arm out, and then encourage her to do the rest by herself.”

Families are interested in what you expect of yourself as a caregiver. What kinds of things do you do? How committed are you? How friendly are you? Do you think you are more important than they are? Do you extend and supplement the roles of families, or do you expect to supplant them? You communicate these expectations through your words, attitudes, man-nerisms, and interactions with children and family members.

What do you expect of the children in your care? A child care pro-gram using a developmental perspective emphasizes the development of the whole child and of individuality among children. Assure families that development does not follow a rigid schedule and is not identical among children. Adults often compare their child’s development with another child’s and gloat or fret at what they see. Caregivers who show that they believe children behave differently within a broad range of normal activity communicate to families that adults can challenge children without put-ting harmful pressure on them.

Caregivers expect many things of family members. Some expectations you may express; others you should keep to yourself. You might expect them to do the following:

●● Love and like their child●● Want to hear about special occurrences in their child’s day●● Want to learn more about their developing child●● Be observant of the child’s health or illness●● Be willing to share information about the child with you●● Use respect as a basis for forming relationships

Some families will not meet your expectations. Because caregiving occurs in the family as well as in the child care program, you will need to resolve your differences with important people in the child’s life. In some cases, you may need to change your expectations of family members. We speak of accepting children as they are, so we need to take the same atti-tude toward family members. They come to the child care program because they need love and care for their child outside the home. While they

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often need and want additional information about parenting and a sense of community, they usually are not looking for situations that place addi-tional demands and expectations on them as parents (Mantovani, 2001). Creating systems to serve families and build a stronger community is an important advocacy function that early childhood programs can easily provide (Galardini & Giovannini, 2001). Information to help family mem-bers grow can be given when requested but not offered indiscriminately or forced upon them. You may increase your awareness of the unique situa-tion each family faces simply by actively listening to them without making judgments.

7-2b partnering with FamiliesTeachers should be intentionally inviting so that strong, positive relation-ships are created with and among families. These partnerships exist to facilitate the well-being of children and families.

In Decision-MakingSome programs involve family members in decision-making. Many not-for-profit child care centers have policy boards that include family repre-sentatives. These boards may make recommendations and decisions about center policy. Sometimes family members even serve on boards that make administrative decisions about hiring and firing staff and selecting curric-ula. However, few family child care homes and for-profit child care centers involve families in decision-making about policy, staff, or curricula.

Families of infants and toddlers must be involved in some decisions relating to their child’s care. The family or pediatrician selects the infant’s milk or formula; the caregiver does not make that decision. Families and caregivers must share information about the child’s eating and sleeping schedules. The length of time from afternoon pick-up to mealtime and to bedtime varies among families. Because late afternoon naps or snacks may improve or disrupt evening family time, early childhood educators should set aside time to discuss what schedule is best for the child and family. Toilet learning must be coordinated between families and caregivers. Both parties share information about the appropriateness of timing, the failures and successes of the child, and the decision to discontinue or continue toilet learning.

About ChildrenMost adult family members of infants and toddlers in child care are employed. Therefore, family involvement during the child care day is often limited to arrival and pick-up time. They can help the child take off a coat or unpack supplies when leaving the child in the morning, and they can share with the caregiver information about the child’s night, health, or special experiences. At pick-up time, the caregiver initiates conversations about the child’s experiences and projects during the day, while the family member helps the infant or toddler make the transition back to home life by hugging the child or helping to put on outdoor clothes. Sharing writ-ten notes and photographs taken of work that occurred during the day is always a good way to start conversations.

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7-2c Family educationSome programs intentionally have a parent education component as part of their mission. Including parent education often reflects the goal of building strong partnerships between families and caregivers so that optimal child growth and learning results. These programs set aside time on a regular basis to provide information directly to groups of families. The focus of such meetings should be based on parental recommendations so that it is personalized. To ascertain that information, programs can conduct a survey that asks parents about parenting topics they would like more information on. The survey can also ask them how they might like that content deliv-ered (e.g., guest speakers, videos, facilitated discussions). You may dis-cover, for example, that half of the families in the infant and toddler rooms want more information on choosing and creating safe, developmentally appropriate, and growth-producing environments for their children, while the preschool families want to learn more about appropriately supporting emergent literacy skills. The director, advisory board, or teams of teachers should decide how to disseminate the information to the families, given stated preferences. Keep in mind that information should be delivered by someone the families trust and whose competence and experience will meaningfully affect the decisions they make. The decision about how to communicate this information should also reflect how adults learn. Mak-ing resources available that they can read, listen to, view, and/or discuss will help them further construct their ideas about the care and education of very young children. As part of this education, they may also want a desig-nated time and place to discuss ongoing concerns, such as balancing work and family commitments, with other families with similarly aged children. Having a monthly coffee klatch might be just the thing for the parents in your program.

It is not unreasonable to expect that such parental educational efforts might raise the family members’ awareness of related state and national concerns. How might their problem solving on the local level help others solve the related larger-scale problem? Informing families of whom to com-municate with at local, regional, and national levels to share their solutions or lobby for other solutions will empower them and can benefit everyone involved in early childhood education.

If the program does not have parent education as part of the stated mis-sion, then it should be offered individually to parents who express interest in wanting specific information. Avoid providing parenting advice if not asked. That can be seen as intrusive and disrespectful. However, including brief articles on child development in your newsletter is a nonintrusive way to inform parents about issues that might relate to their child’s care and education.

7-2d Supporting relationships between FamiliesAs will be discussed later in this chapter, many families face stressful sit-uations. One way to help alleviate stress is to create ways for families to get to know one another and build relationships among themselves. For example, you can plan events for families at the end of the day or on the weekends. These events need not be elaborate; in fact, meeting at a nearby

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park for a play date and picnic can be enjoyable for children and families. Similar to building relationships between teachers and families, families should be encouraged to engage with each other in formal and informal situations.

Programs can also help families provide support for each other by redefining individual “problems” as opportunities for community prob-lem solving. For example, when a family has unreliable transportation, how can other families help them get to a well-baby doctor appointment? Or, how can families share babysitting assistance so that each family gets a mental and physical break from the stresses of caring for very young children?

7-2e Family-Caregiver ConferencesWhen a primary caregiving system is used in conjunction with regular con-ferences, the teacher is able to be a well-informed advocate for each child in her care. Having specific knowledge about a child that can be shared with family members strengthens relationships between teachers and fam-ilies (Huber, 2003).

It is important that family-caregiver conferences have structure and occur at least twice per year. Preparing and sharing in advance an agenda and checklist, being a good listener, and keeping confidences are some of the important factors to consider when planning a conference. As you would treat children differently based on their individual characteristics, the same approach is vital when conducting a family-caregiver conference. Varying communication strategies for your audience, assisting intercul-tural communication by having translators available, avoiding specialized terminology, and following agendas in a flexible manner can prevent miscommunications and build rapport with families (Garcia-Sanchez, Orellana, & Hopkins, 2011; Howard & Lipinoga, 2010).

Busy families often have difficulty scheduling formal conferences. To make the most efficient use of time, plan what will be discussed. Identify the major purpose of the conference. Gather background information to dis-cuss the topic. Caregiver records of observations, both formal and informal, should be consulted. Outside sources such as articles, books, pamphlets, tapes, and videos may provide information for the caregiver and can be shared with the family members. You may also need information on com-munity agencies or organizations in your region.

Providing an agenda, checklist, and feedback sheet at least three days in advance helps to prepare everyone involved in the meeting. This will give them time to look over what you want to accomplish and to understand their active role in the conference. A sample agenda for a teacher-initiated conference might resemble the following:

1. Welcome

2. How do you see (Rodney) developing at home?

3. Do you have any questions or concerns about his development?

4. Review checklist sent home to discuss what behaviors and skills have been noticed at school.

family-caregiver conferences periodic meetings between family members and caregiver to review documentation and interpretation of each child’s developmental progress as well as to create plans for supporting development in the future.

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5. What developmental and learning goals should we set for (Rodney) ?

a. Discuss: family’s goals.

b. Discuss: teachers’ goals.

c. Create list of our goals together.

6. Brainstorm: How can we work on these goals together?

7. Do you have any feedback to share about the program or our (family- teacher and teacher-child) relationships?

The format of this agenda highlights many important aspects of good conferences. First, a conference starts with engaging the family mem-bers in reporting their observations and evaluations of the child. Then, the teacher shares some of her observations. In this way, two-way com-munication is used as an essential tool for developing a positive family-caregiver relationship as everyone should feel free to bring up concerns, problems, or issues, as well as joys, accomplishments, and strengths of the child (Markström, 2011). Step 4 serves the purpose of interpreting with family members each child’s progress from a developmental approach to help them understand and appreciate developmentally appropriate early childhood programs (Markström, 2011; NAEYC, 2011a). The most impor-tant part of the conference is the negotiation of developmental and learn-ing goals. Allow plenty of time to engage in this aspect of the conference because it typically has a large influence on whether or not the family members feel that the teacher has listened to them.

Sometimes situations warrant a conference outside of the “normal, twice-a-year” conferences. If the teacher requests the conference, tell the family members why and provide some observations to give them time to think about the concern beforehand. If a family member requests a meet-ing, ask what concerns need to be discussed so you can prepare ahead of time. Provide them with a sample agenda and ask them to modify it for their needs. In any case, the goal is the same as a regularly scheduled con-ference: to support listening of family members and work together to find solutions to the issues being raised. A sample agenda might include the following:

1. Welcome and thank you for calling this meeting.

2. What are your concerns? (Then, be sure to listen actively.)

3. Respond with information or observations if it is appropriate and help-ful to the discussion.

4. How can we deal with these concerns?

5. Create a plan of action together.

6. Set up a follow-up meeting to monitor progress.

While conducting any conference, it is vital that you minimize power differences between you and family members. One way to do so is to arrange the physical environment so that all adults are sitting next to one another with no barriers. Placing chairs in a circle with no desk or table between you accomplishes this. Physical comfort should also be consid-ered. Early childhood educators are accustomed to sitting in child-size

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chairs on a regular basis. However, family members rarely are. Providing adult-size chairs can help everyone feel more at ease and be physically comfortable. Having water, coffee, or juice, and a box of tissues nearby may also add to everyone’s comfort.

7-2f home VisitsHome visits are a regular part of Early Head Start and Head Start programs as well as many different early intervention programs, but other child care programs seldom make them. Home visits can be valuable opportunities for the family and the caregiver to learn more about each other; family members have reported that home visits are valuable because they afford personal time for asking questions and sharing concerns (Quintanar & Warren, 2008). Research on a Head Start program found that collaborative goal setting was associated with greater participation in the home visiting portion of the program (Manz, Lehtinen, & Bracaliello, 2013). This means that well-planned family-caregiver conferences impact the family mem-bers’ engagement with other program aspects. Teachers also use home vis-its to learn more about how the family members and child relate to each other in their own home. To maximize the benefits of each home visit, teachers must plan them carefully to respect the family’s time and space.

1. Identify and discuss with the family members the purpose for the visit: To get acquainted? To gather information? To work with the parents, child, or both?

2. Negotiate a time that is convenient for all family members and your-self. It can often be helpful to have a couple of dates in mind when you call to schedule the home visit.

3. Gather background information the visit requires. Do you need to take along any forms to be filled out? Will you be sharing your program goals? If so, do you have a flyer or pamphlet, or will you just tell them? Are there specific problems or concerns you want to discuss? Do you have written documentation of the child’s behavior to share, such as daily reports or notes, or resource and referral information?

4. Conduct the home visit as you would a family-teacher conference. For example, ask questions to elicit information from family members, work together to create solutions for any issues of concern, and ask for feedback.

When you make a home visit, you are a guest in the family’s home. You are there to listen and learn. While you want to be friendly, this is not a social call; families have busy lives, and you do too. Therefore, when you have finished talking about the issues, thank them for their interest, time, and hospitality, and then leave.

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.

1. Why is effective communication with families important?2. Write an agenda for a family-teacher conference initiated by you to discuss a

child’s toilet learning.

r e a D I N G C h e C K p O I N t

home visits a meeting in the child’s home providing an opportunity for the caregiver to see how the family members and child relate to each other in the home setting.

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7-3 Family Situations Requiring Additional SupportThis section discusses four types of families that may need additional sup-port from early childhood educators: grandparents as parents, families who have children who are at risk for later difficulties, families where abuse or neglect is present, and teenage parents. For all of these families, it is imper-ative that you use the positive communication skills discussed earlier.

7-3a Grandparents as parentsStatistics indicate that grandparents are taking care of children more than ever before. According to the Children’s Defense Fund, more than 2.9 million grandparents are responsible for raising their own grand-children; almost 1 million of those grandparents do it without the child’s parent present in the home (Children’s Defense Fund, 2014). Of these grandparent-headed homes, 67 percent of the head-of-households were under the age of 60, and one in five of the families (20 percent) live in pov-erty (AARP, 2015).

You should extend a special invitation to grandparents who are now facing the challenge of raising grandchildren as primary caregivers because outcomes associated with this family situation are not always obvious. According to a study by Harnett, Dawe, and Russell (2014), grandparents reported higher levels of personal distress in the caring role and signifi-cantly less emotional and practical support than they would like. They are often balancing the demands of working full time and the pressures of being impoverished with being in the role of primary caregiver. All of these factors increase the grandparents’ stress. They need encouragement, sup-port, and someone to confide in. AARP has created fact sheets that provide important data regarding the prevalence of grandparent-headed house-holds in each state as well as lists of useful resources. These fact sheets are free and easy to download, print, and share with families as they might need them.

7-3b at-risk Families and ChildrenChildren can be at risk for a number of reasons, including genetic or chro-mosomal disorders and environmentally produced problems (see Chap-ter 10 for more information). Significant contributors to being at risk are living in poverty, having one or more caregivers who have low levels of education, having parents with mental health issues (Beeber, Schwartz, Martinez, Holditch-Davis, Bledsoe, Canuso, et al., 2014; Simeonova, Attalla, Nguyen, Stagnaro, Knight, Craighead, et al., 2014), experiencing malnutrition or being undernourished, and lacking positive environmen-tal stimulation (for reviews, see Duncan & Brooks-Gunn, 1997; Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000). Many families, especially single-parent households, struggle financially to meet the basic needs of their infants and toddlers, so they, rightfully, focus their attention on survival rather than on strate-gies for promoting optimal development and learning. Families who are poverty-stricken care deeply for their children. They may work two or

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three jobs to provide shelter, food, and clothing, and, even then, those may not be completely adequate.

Supporting families in these situations involve not only listening actively but also having contact information for community resources readily available (Photo 7–2). Including these resources regularly as part of your communication with families (e.g., in a section of your newsletter) is relatively simple for you but can have a significant impact on them. Know-ing when and where to receive free immunizations, for example, can be key to promoting the physical well-being of infants and toddlers. In addi-tion, providing strategies for interacting with the child during the car or bus ride home can facilitate the development of language and cognition skills and has the advantage of being free (Herr & Swim, 2002).

Families Experiencing Child Abuse or NeglectChild abuse and neglect, while often closely linked in discussions, are two distinct constructs. Abuse is an action that causes harm to another and comes in three forms: physical, sexual, and emotional/psychological.

When conducting a home visit with Valerie’s family, you learned that she lives in a home with her mother, father, sister, paternal grandmother, and maternal aunt. You learned that Valerie’s grandmother will be dropping her off and picking her up two days a week.

Other days will be shared between her mother, father, and aunt, depending on work schedules. How would you help Valerie’s family members create a consistent routine for pick-up and drop-off to minimize stress for Valerie?

Family and Community Connections

PhOTO 7–2 Early childhood educators can provide support and information to families in at-risk situations.

© 2

017

Ceng

age

Lear

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proLonged SeparationS For Young chiLdren: parentaL incarceration and MiLitarY depLoYMent

In 2009, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that more than 800,000 prisoners or 53 percent of those being held in US prisons were parents of children under the age of 18, a rate which represents a 113 percent increase for mothers since 1991 (Glaze & Maruschak, 2009). Mothers in state prisons reported that 18 percent of the children were 4 years old or younger, while that percentage was 14 percent for those in federal prisons (Glaze & Maruschak, 2009).

Hundreds of thousands of US troops and reservists have been deployed around the world in the “Global War on Terrorism.” Approximately 1.2 million children live in US military families (Kelly, 2003), and at least 700,000 of them have had at least one parent deployed (Johnson et al., 2007, both cited in Lincoln, Swift, & Shorteno-Fraser, 2008). In addition, approximately 6 percent of active duty and 8 percent of Reserve and National Guard military personnel are single parents (Yeary, 2007). Thus, young children whose parents are incarcerated or in the military often experience serious, prolonged separations and disruptions in their lives.

Recent research reveals that increased rates of men-tal health, behavioral, and stress problems were found in children during parental deployment (Gorman, Eide, & Hisle-Gorman, 2010). The most frequently reported manifestation of distress among young children is night waking (Lieberman & Van Horn, 2013). In addition, separation anxiety is heightened for some children by the fear of losing their other parent (Lieberman & Van Horn, 2013). In general, however, the literature reveals mediated results when measuring the impact of having a prolonged separation due to incarceration or military deployment on child outcomes such as social, emotional, and intellectual development. For example, children who already had a secure attachment to their incarcerated mother and received more stable contin-uous care in her absence were able to create secure emotional attachments with another adult (Poehlmann, 2005a). This strong, new relationship seemed to pro-vide a protective factor against negative developmental outcomes.

Similarly, infants and toddlers who experienced separation due to military deployment tended to respond to the remaining parent’s or caregiver’s reac-tion (Lincoln et al., 2008). In other words, when the caregiver expressed high levels of sadness or anxiety,

infants were more likely to be irritable or unrespon-sive, and toddlers were more likely to experience sleep disruption or increased periods of crying. In contrast, when the child had a positive relationship with the parent at home, higher levels of psychologi-cal well-being were noted (Lincoln et al., 2008). When military families with children younger than 6 years of age created a plan for maintaining the father–child relationship during the deployment, they experi-enced less parenting stress after the deployment than did those families who did not create a plan (Louie & Cromer, 2014).

Another study also underscored the impact of the current family environment on mediating intellec-tual outcomes for children of incarcerated mothers. Poehlmann (2005b) discovered that the children’s intellectual outcomes were compromised by their high-risk status at multiple contextual levels and that their intellectual outcomes were also mediated by the qual-ity of their current family environment. In other words, even if a child experienced several risk factors, if she was being currently cared for in a positive, supportive environment, she was more likely to have better intel-lectual outcomes.

Some children appear to be more vulnerable before the separation and demonstrate this continued vulner-ability during it. For example, children with disorga-nized attachments (see Chapter 3) were more likely to continue the pattern of disorganization during their mothers’ incarceration, which placed them at further risk for social and emotional difficulties (Dallaire, 2007). Likewise, children who had a history of need-ing psychological counseling were more likely to need it again during the deployment of a parent (Lincoln et al., 2008).

As just discussed, separation from family members can be very stressful because the loss is felt deeply. However, research found that reuniting with family members after a deployment can be equally stressful as new roles and responsibilities have been negotiated and assumed in the parent’s absence (Faber, Willer-ton, Clymer, MacDermid, & Weiss, 2008; Willerton, Schwarz, MacDermid, Wadsworth, & Oglesby, 2011; Williams & Rose, 2007). Similarly, parents who were once incarcerated have to rebuild a relationship with their child and assume their parental responsibilities. As this can be an overwhelming task, researchers have become interested in determining whether programs can be developed to assist incarcerated mothers with

Spotlight on Research

(continued )

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Neglect is failing to provide for the basic needs or affection of a child or not adequately supervising children’s activities (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2013). According to the Children’s Defense Fund (2014), 1,825 children are con-firmed abused or neglected each day. Abuse and neglect can and do occur in families of any racial and ethnic background, socioeconomic status, and community. Several factors are significantly asso-ciated with increased risk of child abuse for children under 5: race (White), inadequate housing, receiving public assistance (Palusci, 2011), maternal depression and substance abuse, as well as domestic violence (Azzi-Lessing, 2013). As mentioned in Chapter 2, infants under the age of 1 are at greatest risk of injury from shaking, a severe type of abuse. Early childhood educators are often the child’s first line of defense for preventing and iden-tifying abuse and neglect (Photo 7–3).

Continually communicating about and modeling strategies for implementing the three As can foster family members’ think-ing about capabilities and appropriate expectations for children from birth to age 3. Oftentimes, children are abused because fam-ily members do not know what is reasonable to expect of chil-dren at a certain age (McElroy & Rodriguez, 2008). For example, not knowing that it is unreasonable to expect a toddler to sit quietly in a restaurant and not interrupt the after-dinner con-versation can result in stress and anger for the adult and abuse for the child. In addition, understanding that infants cry to com-municate needs and that crying can oftentimes be frequent or of long duration can help parents to cope in those situations. Participation in Early Head Start has been found to be effective in reducing incidents of physical and sexual abuse when the

being better parents after they are released. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Mothers (27 per-cent) were about two and a half times more likely than fathers (11 percent) to attend parenting or childrearing classes” (Glaze & Maruschak, 2009, p. 9). Participation in postsecondary education programs while in prison was correlated with participation in parenting classes and child visits (Rose & Rose, 2014). A recent review of literature on parent education and child-visitation pro-grams for incarcerated parents demonstrated positive changes for mothers who participated (Bruns, 2006). It appears that family bonds may be particularly impor-tant for mothers as they work to better themselves as parents and employees.

As educators, we must assume a supportive role for family members and children when they experience a prolonged separation. In this situation, using the

positive communication techniques described previ-ously is vital to determining how to talk with young children. The children will experience a period of sadness (Poehlmann, 2005a) that should be discussed openly, honestly, and sensitively. Yet, you must collab-orate with the family members to know what words to use during the conversations. Specific activities can be planned at school and home to encourage open com-munication such as drawing or reading picture books on the topic. Activities that engage children and family members together can help ease the burden for every-one (Guzman, 2014). Moreover, technology can greatly improve parent-child relationships during this time by having parents record their reading of children’s books for the child to enjoy later, or the use of various social platforms can help maintain the parent-child connec-tion (Yeary, Zoll, & Reschke, 2012).

Spotlight on Research (continued)

Photo 7–3 Early childhood educators are often the first line of defense for preventing and identifying abuse and neglect.

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children were 5–9 years of age (Green, Ayoub, Bartlett, Von Ende, Furrer, Chazan-Cohen, et al., 2014). It is possible that Early Head Start provides such powerful protections for young children because of the strong par-ent education component; parents are provided information to help them understand patterns of typical development.

Identifying children who are being abused or neglected is part of your professional and ethical responsibilities. Use your observation skills to inspect the child’s body during routine care times to notice physical or sexual abuse. For example, while diapering, look at the child’s arms, body, and legs. Any suspicious marking should cause you to inquire politely and discreetly of family members as to how the marks occurred. Immediately after your conversation, write down in the child’s file exactly what you asked and what you were told. The use of descriptive language (see Chapter 5) cannot be overemphasized in this situation. Interpretative language will make the record of little use to other professionals who may need to investigate the case. Reread your entry and reflect on the con-versation. Ask yourself: Does this seem like a reasonable event to have happened to a child of this age and mobility? If your answer is yes, then do nothing. However, if your answer is no, you need to involve the appro-priate authorities.

Each early childhood program should have a written policy on how to handle suspected cases of child abuse that follows all state laws. In some states, it is proper procedure for a teacher to inform the program director or staff social worker of the situation and then that person is the one to report the incident to the appropriate community agency. This policy is often set in place to protect the teacher-family relationship. However, it is not the program director’s or staff social worker’s job to decide whether or not the incident needs reporting. If it is reported to them, they must report it. In other states, the person suspecting the abuse must be the one to report the incident. Thus, if you believe that an incident should be reported, then you must report it to protect you from being accused of neglect (i.e., failure to report a crime).

Deciding whether or not to report an incident can be emotionally dif-ficult. The ethical dilemma stems from the fact that you are responsible for safeguarding the health and well-being of the children and maintaining relationships with families (NAEYC, 2011b). To ease your mind, the deter-mination of whether intentional abuse has occurred has nothing to do with your obligation under the law to report it. Your responsibility is to report your suspicions. Therefore, you are not to launch a full investigation to verify or disprove your suspicions; this is the responsibility of the com-munity agency. If you report an incident in good faith, you are not legally liable if it is not substantiated by other professionals.

Supporting families who are experiencing abuse or neglect is essential for them to acquire more positive ways of interacting and meeting each other’s needs. Reporting child abuse to the appropriate community agency can be the first step in intervention. Contrary to popular belief, these agen-cies do all they can to assist parents in making good parenting choices. Linking families to other community resources, such as support groups or agencies that can provide education, is a way to facilitate the acquisition of positive parenting strategies.

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7-3c teenage parentsAccording to the Annie E. Casey Foundation (2014), the teenage birth rate in 2012 was 29 births per 1,000 women aged 15–19. This figure rep-resents a 40 percent decrease from the 2005 rate. While the occurrence of US teenage pregnancy is still the highest among economically advantaged nations, this figure continues to represent a record low birth rate for US teens (Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2014). See Table 7–1 for information on the states with the highest and lowest rates of teenage pregnancies.

The consequences of teenage pregnancy can be severe for both the teens and the infants. Teenage mothers are more likely to drop out of school and live in poverty, as evidenced by the fact that nearly 80 percent of teen mothers receive public assistance, while teen fathers are more likely to engage in delinquent behaviors such as alcohol abuse or drug dealing (Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 2014). Both teen mothers and teen fathers complete fewer years of schooling than their childless peers (Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 2014). Thus, the results of teenage pregnancy should be seen for what they are: a consequence for society through the perpetuation of the increasing inequalities in health and social opportunities (Paranjothy, 2009).

Researchers have long been interested in public norms about nonmari-tal pregnancy. When surveyed, teenagers reported levels of embarrassment that were stronger than those of adults (Mollborn, 2009). In addition, for teens, perceived levels of embarrassment predicted their reports of possi-ble sanctions in their family through the withholding of needed material resources (Mollborn, 2009). Although this research study used hypothet-ical situations to assess embarrassment and sanctions, it is reasonable to assume that such outcomes are realistic for many teens.

The stress of limited financial resources coupled with a lack of life experiences can impact a teen parent’s ability to interact with his or her

TAbLE 7–1 ◗ Teen Pregnancy Rates (Number) in 2012*

HigHest Number of teeNage PregNaNcies

Number Number

15–17 year olds 18–19 year oldstexas 12,938 texas 27,513california 10,345 california 24,545Florida 4,221 Florida 11,731illinois 3,562 new York 9,081ohio 3,006 ohio 8,431

Lowest Number of teeNage PregNaNcies

Vermont 85 Vermont 276Wyoming 141 north dakota 454north dakota 149 new hampshire 469Maine 172 Wyoming 481alaska 182 district of columbia 552

*Most recent year available.Source: The Annie E. Casey Foundation, KIDS COUNT Data Center, http://datacenter.kidscount.org. Reprinted with permission.

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infant or toddler. As any family member knows, raising children can be trying and very difficult even under the best of circumstances. Possessing sound coping mechanisms and the ability to make informed decisions is vital. These skills develop over time with life experiences and emotional maturity. Thus, parenting can be very challenging for teen parents, espe-cially those who do not have family support. Add to this the necessity to set aside dreams and aspirations and place a baby’s needs before their own, and it is no wonder that a large majority of teenage parents have emotional conflicts that decrease their ability to provide good parenting.

The role of the early childhood educator cannot be underestimated in these situations. Teenage parents (both mothers and fathers) need you to encourage their positive parenting abilities and acknowledge their efforts, successes, and challenges. This requires you to set aside additional time to empathize with and actively listen to the teen parent. In addition, pro-viding contact information for community services (e.g., parenting courses, financial management, and social service agencies) as part of your regular communication with families can be invaluable for both the teen parents and their offspring.

Teenage parents need vital information, support, and role models that teach, through example, the daily competent care of infants and toddlers. This modeling should include the conscious application of attention, approval, and attunement in addition to the mechanics of care. A compe-tent child care professional will help the teenage parents develop by appro-priately extending positive attention, approval, and attunement to them. Teenage parents are not yet adults and need to be accepted, not judged or labeled, for who they are as individuals.

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.

1. List two family situations that would require extra support from you. What can you do to minimize stress for a family in those situations?

2. Regarding your answer to question 1, explain why many of these situations raise ethical dilemmas for educators.

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7-4 Communicating with ColleaguesWhen a child care program has more than one staff member, effective communication among staff is essential. Arranging to meet with staff members regularly enhances communication. Although family child care providers often work alone in their own homes, they can contact licens-ing staff and other family child care providers for support. Group fam-ily child care arrangements employ at least two people who work with a larger group of children in the home. Child care centers usually have a staff that includes a director and one or more caregivers. The size of enrollment determines the number and kind of additional staff; these may be caregivers, cooks, custodians, bus drivers, early childhood educators, social workers, and health personnel. No matter if the staff is 2 or 22,

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regular, uninterrupted time to communicate, solve problems, and make de ­cisions is necessary.

Similar to your relationship with children and family members, each caregiver needs to be a listener to fellow staff members. Staff can exchange information and discuss program issues in a reasonable way only if all are active listeners. How you listen to one another reflects how you respect one another.

7-4a Collaborating with ColleaguesShare Information and Areas of ExpertiseYour educational and professional experiences give you information, insights, and perspectives that will help others understand issues and deal with problems. Each person has special talents and unique insights to share with colleagues, children, and families. Nobody appreciates know­ it­alls, but we all benefit from people who are willing to share ideas that can be discussed, accepted, modified, or rejected.

Share Feelings and Solve Problems As a part of a team, everyone benefits from sharing pleasurable experi­ences and tactfully expressing frustrations, disappointments, and anger (Photo 7–4). Keeping negative feelings bottled up can harm the entire pro­gram because it impacts the ability to meet program goals. Determine what is distressing you and discuss the issue. Using I statements and active lis­tening strategies can help you focus on how to solve the problem at hand. You will be more likely to clear up misunderstandings and misperceptions if you focus your discussion on issues rather than on personalities.

Share FeedbackBoth informal and formal observations provide you with feedback to share with your colleagues. Noting how other caregivers behave with people and materials in various settings, schedules, and routines can help the entire staff evaluate the current program and make necessary adjustments. Feed­back can highlight caregiver actions that are helpful and effective, but you should use tact when commenting on a situation in which you believe your colleagues might act differently. Focus on what is best for the children and what changes can improve the situa­tion, not on what a caregiver did wrong. Actions are more often inappropriate than wrong. Because all caregivers are developing their skills, comments that make colleagues feel incompetent are not helpful; however, focusing on appropriate alternative actions is productive.

Share ResponsibilitiesYour colleagues will notice whether you are willing to carry your load. Not all of your responsibilities are explicit in your job description. Martha is responsible for getting snacks ready, but today she is rocking Natalie, who after crying and fussing has finally settled down but does not seem quite ready to be put

Photo 7–4 Early childhood educators benefit from sharing both pleasant and challenging experiences with each other.

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down to play. If another caregiver volunteers to set up snacks, Natalie will not become distressed again and so will not disturb the other children.

7-4b Supporting ColleaguesCaregiving is physically and emotionally draining. Remember to put into practice the three As of caregiving presented in Chapter 4 to help yourself and your colleagues cope with stress. For example, assisting a colleague when extra help is needed reduces stress. You can provide positive emo-tional support by listening, using honest compliments, giving credit, and reassuring colleagues about ideas or actions of theirs that you think are appropriate. Knowing that you are working together rather than against each other is in itself powerful emotional support (Photo 7–5).

7-4c Making DecisionsEarly childhood educators need information to make intelligent program and curriculum decisions. Meet with other staff members regularly. Study issues and learn to identify relevant factors so that you will be able to dis-cuss subjects intelligently and make wise decisions. Raise questions with colleagues; listen, think, and take an active part in making decisions related to delivering professional care and education for very young children.

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.

1. Why is effective communication with colleagues important?2. How can you contribute to effective, positive staff relationships?

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PhOTO 7–5 Sharing ideas and assisting a colleague when help is needed helps to reduce stress.

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7-1 understand the active listening process and other skills for effective communication.Early childhood educators are responsible for interacting positively with family members and colleagues. I statements and active listening are just two strategies to master to help maximize understanding and build strong relationships.

7-2 Develop procedures for informal and formal communication with families.Developing reciprocal relationships with fam-ilies is one of the five aspects of developmen-tally appropriate practices. Teachers build such relationships by actively engaging family mem-bers in sharing information, setting goals, and involving them in decisions that impact their child. Communication should occur during informal meetings (e.g., drop-off time) and formal

meetings (e.g., family-caregiver conferences or home visits).

7-3 Describe specific family situations that might require additional support.Many factors such as grandparents raising grand-children, prolonged separations, child abuse, and teenage pregnancy provide challenges to families. Learn how each family is responding to the situa-tion and, if invited, provide information on com-munity resources.

7-4 analyze your own skills when communicating with colleagues.Learning to work with colleagues as a member of a team can alleviate some negative outcomes and stress for teachers, families, and, most impor-tantly, the children.

Summary

Angelica, just over 2 years of age, is relatively new to Sasha’s class of mixed-age infants and toddlers. She joined the class for part-time care (three days a week) about three months ago after she was formally adopted by her aunt (her biological mother’s sister) and uncle. Angelica is now the youngest of three children. She is obviously adored by her parents and siblings. Sasha is concerned because she is having difficulty forming a close attachment with Angelica in the child care setting.

Angelica has missed more than two-thirds of the days that she was scheduled to be at child care due to her illness, sickle cell anemia (SCA). This is an inher-ited disorder that profoundly affects the structure and functioning of red blood cells for African Americans (Hardman, Drew, & Egan, 2006). Angelica’s disorder was identified at birth, yet is progressing at a rapid rate; she seems to be experiencing frequent and serious complications. Angelica misses school when she has to get partial-exchange blood transfusions. These treat-ments tend to cause her to throw up. In the past three months, she has needed eight such transfusions. After the last treatment, she had to be admitted to the hos-pital overnight because of dehydration. Angelica had

experienced only three partial-exchange transfusions before being adopted.

When Angelica enrolled in her class, Sasha began to find out more about SCA and how she could best meet the toddler’s needs. Her first source of information was Angelica’s parents, of course, but they are just learn-ing about this disorder as well. Next, she searched the web, but found conflicting information and not much about partial-exchange blood transfusions and their side effects. She did discover that minimizing stress, fatigue, and exposure to cold temperatures can assist those with a history of SCA crises. So, while she has gained some information, Sasha is still nervous about working with Angelica.

1. Given Angelica’s family history, should Sasha be concerned about forming a close attachment with her? Why or why not?

2. Plan a family-caregiver conference to set plans for Angelica’s care as well as shared goals for her development when she returns.

3. What strategies would you suggest Sasha use to help develop a strong relationship with Angelica’s parents?

Angelica’s Medical NeedsC a S e S t U D Y

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Lesson Plantitle: Waiting Patientlychild observation:

Miles toddled over to his cubbie, took out his coat, and toddled to the classroom door. He stood by the door with his coat in hand for two full minutes. He then began to cry.

child’s Developmental goal:

To develop a coping strategy for missing a loved one

To demonstrate attachment to another person

materials: Pictures of granddad alone or with Miles, construction or typing paper, tape, clear plastic sleeves (like for a three-ring binder).

Preparation: Invite Miles’s grandfather to provide pic-tures of himself along and/or with Miles. If that is not available, obtain permission to take a few photos dur-ing drop-off or pick-up. Tape the photos to the paper. Then, place the photos in the plastic sleeve to protect them. Tape the photos to the back of the classroom door at Miles’s eye level.

Learning environment:

1. When you notice Miles missing his granddad, invite him to look at the pictures you posted on the door.

2. Draw his attention to pictures by using descriptive language. To illustrate, you could say:

“This is a picture of your granddad and you reading a book.”

3. Invite the child to look at and gently touch the pic-tures by asking prompts or open-ended questions such as the following:a. I wonder what you are doing in this photograph.b. You are eating a snack in this picture. What is

your favorite thing to do with your granddad?4. Talk about how important his grandfather is to

him. Discuss why missing him is hard. Remind him that granddad misses him too and will come to get him right after work.

5. Describe how Miles can use the pictures when he misses his granddad. You might say, for example:a. Looking at these pictures help you when you

are sad. You can visit them whenever you want. b. When I get sad, I like to look at pictures of my

family. You can too. These will be here on the door. You can look at them whenever you want.

guidance consideration:

If Miles becomes distressed and hits a person or the property, calmly yet firmly tell him it is okay to be upset, but it is not okay to hit. Then, redirect him to the window to watch for his granddad.

Variations:

Make a book of favorite things Miles and his granddad like to do together or of their daily routines. Read the book when Miles misses his granddad.

Professional Resource Download

Additional ResourcesBirney, J. M. (2011). Parenting from prison: A hands-

on guide for incarcerated parents. Charleston: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Dunlap, G., Wilson, K., Strain, P. S., & Lee, J. (2013). Prevent-Teach-Reinforce for young children: The early childhood model of individualized positive behavior support. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

Lindsay, J. W. (2008). Teen dads: Rights, responsibil-ities, and joys (3rd ed.). Buena Park, CA: Morning Glory Press.

McCoy, M. L., & Keen, S. M. (2013). Child abuse and neglect (2nd ed.). New York: Psychology Press.

Newton, S., & Gerrits, J. (2011). Straight talk about . . . child abuse. St. Catharines, Ont.: Crabtree Publish-ing Company.

Zehr, H., & Amstutz, L. S. (2011). What will happen to me?: Every night, approximately three million chil-dren go to bed with a parent in jail or prison: Here are their thoughts and stories. Intercourse, PA: Good Books.

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C h a p t e r

The Indoor and Outdoor Learning Environments

Learning ObjectivesAfter reading this chapter, you should be able to:

8-1 Create high-quality and developmentally appropriate indoor and outdoor learning environments from the teacher’s perspective.

8-2 Improve a learning environment based on the child’s perspective.

8-3 Describe why teachers should consider society’s perspective when creating high-quality indoor and outdoor learning environments.

8-4 Select materials for use in a classroom based upon criteria.

8-5 Evaluate policies and procedures for protecting the health and safety of very young children.

Standards Addressed in This Chapter

NaeYC Standards for early Childhood professional preparation

1 Promoting Child Development and Learning

4 Using Developmentally Effective Approaches

Developmentally appropriate practice Guidelines

1 Creating a Caring Community of Learners

2 Teaching to Enhance Development and Learning

8

In addition, the NAEYC standards for developmentally appropriate practice are divided into six areas particularly important to infant/toddler care. The following areas are addressed in this chapter: exploration and play, and environment.

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“. . . the issue is not simply having space but how it is used.”V. Vecchi, quoted in Gandini, 2012a, p. 320

Reflecting on the role of space is imperative, as has been demonstrated as a principle of the schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy (see Chapter 6). The class-room environment is considered the “third teacher” (e.g., Gandini, 2012a), a concept that acknowledges the role of adults in carefully preparing and selecting materials for indoor and outdoor learning environments. Teachers should consider three aspects—physical, social, and intellectual—of learn-ing environments when making decisions. All three must be considered in unison because together they provide guidance to the children and adults about appropriate behavior.

Consider for a moment how your actions are influenced differently by being in a place of worship, a library, a shopping mall, or a family restau-rant. All of these environments reflect messages of appropriate behavior. For example, a library may have special sections designated for individual quiet reading, small group gatherings for enjoying stories, and larger group gatherings for acting out stories with puppets. The way space and materi-als are arranged provides clues for appropriate behavior regarding physical movement, social interactions, and experiences with materials (Photo 8–1). The adults responsible for managing the space seldom have to remind oth-ers of their expectations; the environment does it for them. Similar to the designer of the library, a teacher’s careful classroom environment planning will help children meet expectations for the use of the space and promote optimal development and learning.

We must design learning environments so that they facilitate the best care and education of young children. As discussed in previous chapters, the importance of environmental factors on brain development cannot be under-

estimated. In fact, Marshall (2011) argues that permanent deficits in the developing neurosensory systems can result from disruption, damage, or deprivation in the infant’s social and physical environment. It is imperative that early childhood educators create spaces that support the development of social relationships and cognitive development, while resisting

“the drive to protect our children [that] is profound and easily can lead to cleansing their lives of challenge and depth. Early childhood is a time when children begin to live in the world and hopefully learn to love the world. They can’t do this when fenced off from the messy richness of life to live in a world of fluorescent lights and plastic toys, two-dimensional glowing screens, and narrow teaching instruc-tion.” (Greenman, 2005, p. 7)

PhOTO 8–1 Having a book basket with developmentally appropriate materials available continuously can foster a love of reading.

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Think about what the classroom environment you created says about your educational values, your beliefs about the capabilities of young chil-dren, and the role of families. The focus of this chapter is on answering the following question: How do teachers create meaningful learning environ-ments that facilitate optimal development for very young children?

8-1 The Teacher’s Perspective Many teachers prepare their indoor and outdoor areas for learning, but do they prepare these areas to promote optimal learning? Teachers create environments to promote all areas of development as well as learning in particular content areas, such as mathematics or social studies. Therefore, a thorough understanding of child development and learning theories will guide you in planning how to use your classroom space. When making educational decisions such as the arrangement and selection of materials, you should begin by reflecting on the age of children in your classroom; their needs, interests, and abilities; your program’s philosophy; licensing and accreditation standards; and guidelines for developmentally appro-priate practice. Each of these factors helps you shape the various areas in which the children will grow and learn.

An important question to begin your work is “How do I want the chil-dren to use this space?”

8-1a Learning CentersLearning centers organize the space and materials and encourage specific types of behaviors in one location. For infants and toddlers, you can orga-nize centers in several ways. A popular approach for toddlers involves dividing the indoor and outdoor space into use areas. A quiet zone or pri-vate space, a construction center, a wet center, a project area, a reading and listening center, or a dramatic play center can be created by using tables, short shelves, transparent dividers, and flooring to indicate an area inside. For infants, these areas may be less well defined. For example, a manipulation area will allow for exploring toys with the hands, while a more open space becomes a gross motor area. The room might be further subdivided into areas for specific types of routine care times such as dia-pering or napping. The outdoor space should also be divided into learning centers. Any experience done inside can be done outside; teachers should not overlook the importance of the outdoor learning environment (Nelson, 2012; Rivkin with Schein, 2014). Painting, riding trikes, climbing and jumping, playing in sand and water, growing vegetables or flowers in a garden, dramatic play, and storytelling are all centers that should be out-side (Nelson, 2012). More importantly, outdoor learning environments should instill a passion in each child to explore, ask questions, and care for the environment (Honig, 2015). Given the importance of learning cen-ters for promoting development, it is assumed that your child care setting will be flexibly organized into them.

When planning your learning environment, base the number and type of learning centers on the size of the space and the age of the children. In general, to maximize choice and minimize conflict over possessions,

learning centers A particular part of the environment where materials and equipment are organized to promote and encourage a specific type of learning, for example, music or science.

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a rule of thumb to follow for toddlers is to provide one-third more work spaces than the number of children in your classroom. To illustrate, if you have 10 toddlers in your group, you will need at least (10 × 1/3) + 10 or 13 spaces for working. This might mean including two spaces at the sensory table, two at the easel, two or three at the art center, three or four in blocks/construction, three or four in dramatic play, two in the music/movement area, and one in the library/private spot. You can set up learning centers outside but will not need as many because you will want to maximize the amount of time children are moving and exercising; you can intentionally plan games and movement activities outdoors or indoors (Dow, 2010).

8-1b  real Objects versus Open-ended MaterialsChildren need a balance of novel and familiar materials to attract and maintain their attention (see the next section for a more in-depth discus-sion). When children are engaged with materials and ideas, they have less opportunity to create mischief or misbehave, thus enabling teachers to change their supervision from guidance of behavior to guidance of learn-ing. Developmentally, throughout the early childhood period, young chil-dren are learning to use objects as tools for representing their thoughts and theories about how the world works. Therefore, providing a balance of real and open-ended materials promotes cognitive development. Making available real objects such as child-size shovels for digging in the garden, Navajo pottery for storing paintbrushes, or child-size glass tumblers for drinks during meals (for older toddlers) serves two further purposes: (1) it demonstrates trust in the children’s ability to care for objects, and (2) it connects home and school environments. Real objects, when pro-

vided in response to the children’s expressed interests, can also facilitate thinking about a particular topic or concept.

Open-ended materials, on the other hand, can be used by the children to expand their understanding of concepts and demon-strate creative uses of materials (Photo 8–2); these materials cause children to problem solve and be inventive as they answer the question of “what if” (Daly & Beloglovsky, 2015). Open-ended materials include collected items such as fabric, cardboard, plas-tics, pebbles, shells, pinecones, or egg cartons, as well as commer-cially produced objects such as wooden blocks, animal and people figurines, or connecting manipulatives. Open-ended materials can spark, support, and enhance learning and development in any learning environment. Neatly arranging them in baskets or clear containers and displaying them on a shelf at the children’s height will make them easily accessible to the children whether they are working indoors or outdoors. Of course, some open-ended materi-als might pose a choking hazard for infants and toddlers, so never leave the child unattended during the experience.

Independence versus DependenceA primary goal for adults is that children become independent, self-regulated learners. For this to occur, teachers must carefully plan the physical environment with this in mind. As mentioned

PhOTO 8–2 Open-ended materials can provide extensive opportunity for play and representation of ideas.

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earlier, providing easily accessible open-ended materials promotes cog-nitive development. This practice also promotes social and emotional development because the children can independently select the materi-als they need for their work and can more easily help with cleanup before they leave the learning area. More-over, modifying the bathroom so that all necessary hand-washing supplies can be reached fosters the children’s independence. Outside faucets that have an attachment allowing children to serve themselves encourage the toddlers to get water whenever they need it for their work.

Messy versus DryDesigning space for daily opportuni-ties to explore messy materials is a must. In fact, Bredekamp and Copple (1997) suggest that toddlers should have daily experiences with sand and water because of their educational value. Messy experiences are particularly significant for young children because they build cognitive structures or sche-mas (i.e., tightly organized sets of ideas about specific objects or situations) through sensorimotor and hands-on, minds-on experiences (Photo 8–3). Some typical messy centers include water and/or sensory tables, painting easels, and art. Water play, for example, provides opportunities for learning about quantity, building vocabulary, and negotiating the sharing of materials.

What does a teacher need to consider when managing messy expe-riences in a classroom setting? First, setting up messy experiences in an area with vinyl or linoleum flooring allows for ease of cleanup when spills occur. Second, placing these experiences near a water source can aid in cleaning up and refilling containers or even adding a new element to an experience. For example, if a sensory table is filled with dry sand, children can transfer water from the source using pitchers, thus transforming the properties of the sand. Third, placing a hand broom and dustpan nearby prompts children to keep the area clean.

If you do not have an area with flooring that allows for easy cleanup, you will need to be creative to provide such valuable learning experiences. Placing newspaper, towels, or a shower curtain under a sensory table or easel can resolve this issue. Another way to address this challenge is to plan daily experiences with messy materials outside.

Noisy versus QuietSome classroom experiences are noisier than others. Cooperating and nego-tiating requires children to interact with one another. Although sometimes interactions can become heated, a caregiver’s goal should be to enable such

PhOTO 8–3 Messy experiences for young children build cognitive structures through sensorimotor and hands-on, minds-on experiences.

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interactions so that the children gain necessary perspective-taking and problem-solving skills, not to stop the interactions or prevent them in the first place. To manage the environment and facilitate learning, teachers can place noisy areas close together. Noisy centers include blocks and construc-tion, dramatic play, music and movement, and project work space. Placing these centers adjacent to one another serves two purposes. First, the higher noise levels will be located in a particular section of the room. This allows children to concentrate better in the quiet areas, with fewer distractions close by. Second, placing areas that require more supervision and support together permits the teacher to engage in these interactions (e.g., assisting children with problem solving) without having to travel between different parts of the room.

Quiet centers consist of the library, listening centers, and private spaces. For your mental health and that of the children, you must provide both indoor and outdoor areas for children to be alone. These private spaces allow the children to regroup and gather their thoughts before rejoining others. A note of caution is needed here. You should never send a child to the quiet or private areas as a consequence for misbehavior. Children should freely choose these areas to help them relax. If you use the areas for punishment, or the children perceive them as such, they will not serve their purpose of helping them to relax and regroup.

Play in some other centers, such as with manipulatives or science/discovery, fluctuates between quiet and noisy, depending on the type of materials provided and the children’s levels of engagement. These areas can be used to transition between the noisy and quiet centers.

When deciding where to place learning centers, teachers also need to consider the needs of the different types of centers. To illustrate, the music and movement center needs an electrical outlet for a CD player, shelves for musical instruments, baskets for scarves or strips of fabric, mirrors for observing motions, and space for creative movement and dance. Teachers often have limited resources and need to maximize the use of equipment and materials they do have. Locating the music and movement center near the dramatic play area is one way to do this: these two centers can share materials such as a mirror or basket of fabric.

8-1c  Calm, Safe Learning environmentAnother question that you will encounter is “How can I create a calm, safe environment that provides stimulating learning experiences for the children?” In this section, we will focus attention on the last part of this question: “stimulating learning experiences.”

Novel versus FamiliarTeachers and children deserve to be surrounded by beautiful objects and materials that are displayed in an aesthetically pleasing fashion. A well-planned environment should offer a mix of novel and familiar experi-ences and objects that each infant can explore at her own pace (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009). In other words, some of these objects should be part of the environment on a regular basis, while others can be included occa-sionally to spark interest. For example, hanging a framed print of Monet’s

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sunflowers on the wall near the easel will create a beautiful environment for toddler children. Surprising the children with a display of Pueblo Indian pottery one day will create a different motivation to use the easel.

Learning spaces should be varied so that children have the opportunity to explore different perspectives. To illustrate, having the ability to change one’s physical location by climbing up the stairs to a loft or playscape and looking down on a teacher provides a child with a new view of the world. Another way that teachers can vary the space and provoke thinking is by providing a new display or object to explore and discuss. A ground cover-ing with two or more variations can naturally demonstrate hard versus soft and warm versus cold. Sitting on soft, lush grass on a hot summer day will feel cool to an infant’s touch, thus providing him an opportunity to experi-ence his environment in a different way.

Another way to conceptualize the familiar is to create spaces that par-allel those found in home environments. For example, placing a couch, rocking chair, and end table with a lamp in the entryway mimics a living room in a home. A cozy nook like this not only adds warmth and comfort to the learning environment but also helps to create a sense of security at school: a home away from home. Having a hanging swing, the kind fami-lies might have on their front porch, gives the adults and children a place to snuggle and relax on a warm springtime afternoon.

Pathways versus BoundariesAs you are planning your layout, you need to consider how you will define your learning centers. Having visible boundaries for centers provides children with a clear message about the use of materials in a particular area. Use a variety of dividers, such as short shelving units, bookcases, transparent fabrics, and sheets of decorated acrylic. Flower beds, raised gardens, or cobbled pathways make great dividers for outdoor learning centers. Transparency, or the ability to see between centers, both allows teachers to supervise and facilitates children’s play because they can make connections between materials in different centers in each envi-ronment. Even though materials are organized into learning centers, care-givers should be flexible in allowing the children to move materials that they need from one center to another. When planning the boundaries for a learning center, you must carefully consider how much space to devote to that area. As described earlier, the noisier areas often require more space than quieter areas because these areas tend to elicit more parallel and associative play, requiring two or more children at a time.

A teacher also needs to consider how to use open space. Because we need gathering spaces for toddlers that can easily accommodate most of the children and caregivers in the room at one time, we often set aside this space for that one purpose. However, it is more logical, when not being used for a gathering, to convert that space to a place for “rough and tumble” play (see the Spotlight on Research box).

Pathways into and out of the room as well as between centers need to be carefully considered. When children arrive for the day, they should be able to complete a gradual transition from home to school. Having to walk to the opposite side of the classroom to store their belongings in their cubbies can

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be stressful, especially if they must pass by noisy centers. When consider-ing movement between centers, remember that walking through one center to get to another can cause children to become distracted. Do you want the children to walk through a center such as the block/construction area to get

Rough and Tumble Play

From birth, children learn by using their bodies. They kick their feet and move a blanket; they roll over and get to a toy that was originally out of reach; they learn how to balance their body when standing for the first time. They also learn a great deal by wrestling with each other, jumping on a mattress, and playing chase. Rough and tumble play supports the development of the whole child: physical, cognitive, social, and emo-tional. Carlson (2011) considers boisterous, physical play a “developmental necessity” (p. 11). Teachers are often suspicious of having children engage in rough and tumble play for fear that it will lead to real fights, aggressive acts, or injury. Carlson’s (2011) extensive review of research suggests that these are not typical outcomes and that there are many more benefits to engaging in such behaviors than limitations, especially for children who are experiencing social difficulties.

Flanders and his colleagues have investigated the impact of rough and tumble play on children’s level of aggression and emotional regulation. Their research found that the amount of time fathers spent with their child was negatively associated with the child’s level of reported aggression. In other words, the more time fathers spent with their children, the lower they rated their child on frequency of aggressive acts (Flanders, Leo, Paquette, Pihl, & Séguin, 2009). More importantly, “when fathers asserted a minimum amount of dom-inance, rough and tumble play is not associated with adverse consequences [aggression or lack of emotional regulation] concurrently and overtime” (Flanders, Simard, Paquette, Parent, Vitaro, Pihl, et al., 2010, p. 365). Paquette (2013) investigated this relationship based on activation relationship theory. This theory focuses on parents balance the stimulation of risk-tak-ing behaviors with parental control during exploration or interactions. When fathers more optimally acti-vated their sons during interactions in toddlerhood, the more the father-child dyad engaged in rough and tumble play at the age of 3 (Paquette, 2013). This body of research suggests that rough and tumble play is very exciting and engaging for young children, but that they need assistance in learning to regulate those strong emotions. When fathers do not contain these

play interactions, the children can become excited to the point of being out of control or physically aggres-sive and, therefore, do not develop the skills required to regulate these states (Flanders et al., 2010).

Rough and tumble play should occur not only in homes. Early childhood educators should intentionally set up space and plan ways to encourage such interac-tions (Carlson, 2011; Swim, 2014). In interviews with teachers, Tannock (2008) found that they could articu-late the benefits of rough and tumble play, allowed chil-dren to engage in it, but they did not actively plan for it. The author concluded that these teachers needed more guidance to increase their comfort level with this type of play. Carlson’s and Flanders’s research provides some guidelines. A few important ones are the following: (1) set up the environment to support rough and tumble play, (2) provide constant supervision for infants and toddlers, (3) coach them at reading each other’s nonver-bal cues (especially faces), (4) create limits for this type of play and help children follow them, and (5) engage yourself in this type of play with individual children, especially those at risk for social difficulties.

When studying rough and tumble play in a university- sponsored child care center, Lindsey (2014) discov-ered that peer acceptance depended not only on the type of play but whether the play was with same- or opposite-gender peers. In general, for this group of pre-schoolers, boys’ rough and tumble chasing was asso-ciated with peer acceptance. When analyzed more deeply, he found that boys who engaged in rough and tumble fighting with same-gender peers were better liked by peers, whereas boys who engaged in rough and tumble chasing with other-gender peers were less liked by peers. Thus, teachers much consider multiple variables when planning rough and tumble play expe-riences to maximize the positive benefits for young children.

In addition, all teachers should be familiar with state regulations related to rough and tumble play. Although these regulations must be followed to remain in compliance, if they are too limiting, work with col-leagues and family members toward amending those laws/guidelines so that each child can experience this invaluable play (Carlson, 2011).

Spotlight on Research

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to the music center? It would quickly become evident from the children’s behavior that such an arrangement does not work well.

8-1d  Basic NeedsAs you are considering the educational needs of the children, you must also dedicate space for meeting the children’s basic needs for eating, toileting, resting, and playing. The question here is “How do I plan the environment to meet these basic requirements?”

Eating versus ToiletingSome infant and toddler classrooms separate the changing table and food preparation counter with a small sink. This practice may seem to be an efficient use of counter space, but it could jeopardize both the early childhood educators’ and the children’s health. For hygienic purposes, it is imperative that the eating and toileting areas are separated (Photo 8–4). Although this is rela-tively simple in a preschool classroom, it may be more difficult in an infant and toddler classroom because the typical restroom just does not have enough space for toilets, sinks, and a chang-ing table. Because infant and toddler teachers must both contin-ually supervise the children and also spend a significant amount of time diapering, changing tables are often placed in the class-room. Where should a changing table be located? Placing it next to a water source assists with good hand-washing practices. You should also position it away from a wall, so that your back is not to the rest of the children when you are changing a diaper.

The food area can require a number of small appliances such as a mini-refrigerator or microwave (per licensing regulations); therefore, cab-inet space near electrical outlets is very important. For toddlers and older children, space for eating can be shared with other areas of the classroom. For example, the tables that are used for art can be cleaned and sanitized when it is snack time or mealtime. Infant teachers must address other issues when planning the environment. Depending on your state regulations, you may or may not need a separate high chair for each infant. Finding storage space for mealtime equipment must be given careful consideration.

Sleep and Comfort versus PlayChildren and adults need locations to store special items and belongings from home. This not only reaffirms the importance of both environments but also teaches respect for one’s own and others’ belongings. Switch-ing between environments can be stressful for people of all ages, so plan for comfortable places for children to make the transition from home to school, snuggle, relax, and enjoy reunions with family members. Couches and rocking chairs located in a variety of classroom areas provide an excel-lent avenue for this.

All children need time throughout the day to rest and rejuvenate. Teachers should create a calm relaxing environment during nap or rest time. Closing blinds on the windows, plugging in a night light, playing

Photo 8–4 Teachers must plan the environment and adopt practices to protect their own health and the health of the children.

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soft instrumental music, and providing comfort items for each child (e.g., blankets, favorite stuffed animals) might assist with shifting from play to sleep. You should also organize the environment to address the needs of children who require less sleep during the day, by creating baskets with books, paper and pencils, and other quiet toys that can be used by a child lying on a cot or sitting at a table.

At times, children may prefer to nap outdoors after exerting themselves during activities and play. A shady and easily supervised space made soft with quilts or blankets should be readily available for resting.

We have now considered the learning environment from the teacher’s perspective, but it is time to consider the child’s perspective. Although presenting the material in this manner may create paradoxes (seemingly contradictory messages), keep in mind that these are different sides of the same coin. In other words, consider and prepare to articulate the common focus of each perspective.

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following question about the material discussed so far.1. When planning classroom environments, why do we need to balance oppo-

sites such as real objects versus open-ended materials, noisy versus quiet, and novel versus familiar?

r e a D I N G C h e C K p O I N t

8-2 The Child’s PerspectiveFirst and foremost, the educational space has to guarantee the well-being of each child and of the group of children. Children have the right to educational environments that facilitate their social, emotional, moral, physical, linguistic, and cognitive development; they also have the right to environments that are free of excessive stress, noise, and physical and psychological harm (Gandini, 2012b). At the same time, according to Loris Malguzzi, the space should reflect how the school is a “dynamic organism: it has difficulties, controversies, joys, and the capacity to handle exter-nal disturbances” (Gandini, 2012b, p. 41). The following section explains 10 principles that are important to consider when creating your educa-tional environment from the child’s perspective. You may notice that these principles are not restricted to a particular learning center but rather apply across educational spaces.

Consider each of the general principles in relationship to the spe-cific children in your care. The environment must reflect and be respon-sive to the unique developmental characteristics of children of specific ages as well as the individual children within that age group (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009). Although the general principles are relevant to all envi-ronments for young children, they may manifest themselves differently for the various age groups. One or two principles may be more relevant for a particular age group or setting. To briefly illustrate, continuity of care between home and school environments is vital for the appropriate care of infants (see, e.g., Bergen, Reid, & Torelli, 2001; Bove, 2001; Essa, Favre, Thweatt, & Waugh, 1999). Thus, plenty of space needs to be devoted to

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areas where family members and teachers can comfortably communicate and ease each infant’s transition. Less space may be required for this pur-pose with preschoolers.

Before providing detailed explanations of each principle, a general overview of each will be provided, highlighting questions that a child might ask:

●● Transparency—Can I see my friends, teachers, and family members from almost any place in the room? Is there a place I can have some time alone? Can I quickly find the materials I want to use?

●● Flexibility—Can I find areas that support my interests in the classroom?●● Relationships—Can I build relationships with other people in my

classroom?●● Identity—Am I an important person in this environment?●● Movement—Can I move my body freely?●● Documentation—Do the important adults in my life communicate

about me frequently?●● Senses—Is the environment warm and welcoming and a place that I

want to spend 4 to 10 hours of my day?●● Representation—Can I tell you in multiple ways about my understand-

ing of and theories about the world?●● Independence—Can I do things myself?●● Discovery—Can I find interesting things to examine closely and learn

about?

8-2a  transparencyCan I see my friends, teachers, and family members from almost any place in the room? To support connections and relationships, children need to be able to see materials and one another. From the adult’s viewpoint, trans-parency adds to the ease of supervision. You should be able to see from one side of the room to the other. This should not remove all privacy, how-ever. Children and adults need secluded spaces to be alone and gather their thoughts (Marion, 2014). To achieve this principle, you can use translucent fabrics, shelves with the backing removed, or sheets of decorated acrylic to divide areas (Photo 8–5) (Curtis & Carter, 2015).

A second concern a child might have is, “Can I quickly find the materi-als I want to use?” This aspect of transparency considers the amount and the presentation of materials in the environment. In general, you want the room to be as uncluttered as possible. You should regularly analyze your environment to identify unused toys or materials and then locate places to store those items to minimize clutter (Cutler, 2000).

For those items that are being used regularly, carefully observe the quantity of material being used by the children; have you provided too many objects or not enough? You should strive to provide a sufficient amount of material. The definition of sufficient is guided by your profes-sional interpretation; realize that it differs for each group of children. The aim is to provide materials to spark older toddlers’ interests, yet not totally satisfy them, thus provoking them to use their emerging skills of imagining,

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pretending, and transforming objects for use. The phrase “less is more” is key to this principle. Try to display the materials and supplies in baskets or clear containers on shelves that are low and open so that children can see what is available and can select and clean up materials independently (Isbell & Exelby, 2001; Marion, 2014; Topal & Gandini, 1999).

8-2b FlexibilityCan I find areas that support my interests in the classroom? The environ-ment should change in response to individual children and each group of children living in it (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009). To illustrate, an infant-toddler teacher modified her classroom as the children got older and she noticed particular interests. For example, to support and further enhance the children’s interests in building, she designed her room with two separate construction areas. This seemed to work well for this group because they could spread out to work in the distinct spaces. As one of the children’s projects grew, she altered another area of the classroom to sup-port their representation of a city surrounded by train tracks. For a short period of time, this teacher had three classroom areas devoted to construc-tion! She flexed her environment to best meet the needs of the children.

To many teachers’ dismay, child care programs often lack adequate space for all that the children and teachers want to do. Combining or rotating learn-ing centers is one way to maximize learning opportunities without overload-ing the setting (Isbell & Exelby, 2001). For example, a toddler teacher in a church-based program had to combine the writing and art center, while her colleague decided to carefully select materials to merge science exploration and reading/library into one center. In contrast, another of their colleagues provided space in the outdoor environment for daily experiences at the sen-sory table and easel to better use classroom space.

PhOTO 8–5 “Hiding” behind the transparent barrier.

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Related to that idea of combining centers is the notion of providing open-ended materials that can be used in many areas of the classroom (Curtis & Carter, 2015). Encouraging the children to borrow or move material among the learning centers is another way to demonstrate the flexibility of the environment. Hence, another question a child might wonder is, “Can I move the materials and supplies around the room to do my work?”

A final aspect of flexibility highlights the teacher’s role in building engaging learning environments. DeViney, Duncan, Harris, Rody, and Rosenberry (2010) suggest that teachers should create displays in the learn-ing environment to spark engagement and creativity. These displays should be changed frequently so that they relate to current topics of study. In addi-tion, each display should be aesthetically pleasing and use real items and/or natural materials. For example, Lois teaches a group of toddlers. They are very interested in cars. She decided to go to a local auto salvage yard and gather some items. She found a rear view mirror, fuzzy dice, and a stick-shift knob. She then went to a local fabric store and found cloth sim-ilar to what is on her car seats. The next week, she created a beautiful dis-play of these items in the dramatic play area. The children spotted the display immediately upon arrival and began to talk about the materials.

8-2c RelationshipsCan I build relationships with other people in my classroom? The environment needs to support and facilitate the development of strong, enduring relationships among children, families, and staff members (Honig, 2002; Galardini & Giovannini, 2001; Gandini, 2012a). As discussed in previous chapters, continuity of care should be a priority to support optimal social and emotional develop-ment. Space needs to be allocated and arranged so that adults and children have soft, warm areas for gathering, snuggling, communicating, or just being together (Photo 8–6). This space also serves to create an “at home” feeling, which is important because it helps high-quality child care programs avoid an institutional feel.

To illustrate this principle, consider the infant teacher who reorganized the entry to his class-room to include two rocking chairs and a small table. This provided space for him to speak with families at the beginning of the day, gathering information about family events and sharing anecdotes from the previous day. He also noticed that some families would linger in this area to say their goodbyes. Moreover, he used the same chairs to read to and snuggle with individual chil-dren before naptime.

Photo 8–6 Space needs to be allocated so that adults and children have soft, warm areas for gathering, snuggling, or just being together.

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8-2d IdentityAm I an important person in this environment? Learning space should pro-vide traces of those who live in it. Providing special spots for belongings is also a must, because it tells children that items of value from home are welcomed and respected in the classroom. Photographs of children work-ing and playing, as well as family members and staff members both at work and at home, should be displayed in prominent locations around the classroom. Pedagogical panel documentation makes visible the work of the children and teachers; provides explanation and evidence of the persons living and learning in the space; and provokes dialogue and interpretation about the work and the participants (Dahlberg, 2012; Forman & Fyfe, 2012; Turner & Krechevsky, 2003). Such documentation also communicates that it is important to understand the children and their work and adds to their sense of self (Project Zero & Reggio Children, 2001).

Do not restrict yourself to displaying traces of the children, families, and staff on classroom walls. No space should be considered marginal (Gandini, 2012a). Using the door of the playground shed, a shelf in the entryway, bathroom walls or stall doors to display photographs or works of art, for example, demonstrates to children the importance of that space and can provide additional information to help them build their identities (see Wien, Coates, Keating, & Bigelow, 2005). For example, a toddler teacher created a hand-washing chart using photographs of the children engaged in the various steps of the process. This chart not only provided the necessary information required to be posted by the state regulatory agency but also assisted the children with independently completing this self-help task.

An additional idea is to place mirrors around the classroom in strategic places, so that children notice their work or actions from another perspective (Photo 8–7).

Another way to conceptualize identity is to consider the ways in which individual children think about and engage with the world. Some children are persistent when faced with a chal-lenging task, while other children are incredibly inventive and use materials in ways others would never consider. Children, like teachers, must develop a variety of important dispositions; good environments assist young children with this ongoing task. Teachers must plan environments to support social dispositions such as being cooperative, empathetic, and accepting, as well as intellectual dispositions such as being creative and curious, ask-ing questions, solving problems, investigating, and communi-cating (Da Ros-Voseles & Fowler-Haughey, 2007).

8-2e MovementCan I move my body freely? The environment needs to reflect the National Association for Sport and Physical Education’s (NASPE) guidelines by providing plenty of structured and unstructured opportunities for physical activity and movement experiences (see Table 8–1). High-quality environments provide space for large-muscle movements such as climbing, dancing, and acting out stories. Such environments also minimize, or

dispositions Frequent and voluntary habits of thinking and doing that represent a particular orientation to the work and responsibilities of teaching.

PhOTO 8–7 Mirrors also provide valuable information that contributes to the development of children’s identity.

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eliminate entirely, equipment that confines children. A playpen, for exam-ple, not only physically limits a child but creates a barrier that socially and emotionally isolates the child from others. Holding a child offers more safety and security than the most expensive playpen. In addition, wheeled walkers do not enhance upright mobility development of infants; they can actually promote bad habits such as walking on tiptoes. Before using equipment that confines children (indoors or out), check with your state and local licensing regulations.

Creating multilevel spaces inside and outside provides additional ways for the children to explore their bodies in space. Adults should be mindful of how the architecture of the room intersects with their educational goals (Zane, 2015). Playscapes, platforms, and lofts, for example, not only pro-vide a quiet space for reading or writing but also offer a different viewpoint of the room and the objects within it (Curtis & Carter, 2015). When stand-ing in a loft, many toddlers are larger than their caregivers for the first time, thus filling them with a new sensation: power!

8-2f DocumentationDo the important adults in my life communicate about me frequently? Some classroom space should be dedicated to communicating and record

TABLE 8–1 ◗ NASPE Guidelines for Physical Activity

GUIDELINES FOR INFANTS

a. Infants should interact with caregivers in daily physical activities that are dedicated to exploring movement and the environment.

b. caregivers should place infants in settings that encourage and stimulate movement experiences and active play for short periods of time several times a day.

c. Infants’ physical activity should promote skill development in movement.d. Infants should be placed in an environment that meets or exceeds recommended safety

standards for performing large-muscle activities.e. those in charge of infants’ well-being are responsible for understanding the importance

of physical activity and should promote movement skills by providing opportunities for structured and unstructured physical activity.

GUIDELINES FOR TODDLERS

a. toddlers should engage in a total of at least 30 minutes of structured physical activity each day.

b. toddlers should engage in at least 60 minutes—and up to several hours—per day of unstructured physical activity and should not be sedentary for more than 60 minutes at a time, unless sleeping.

c. toddlers should be given ample opportunity to develop movement skills that will serve as the building blocks for future motor skillfulness and physical activity.

d. toddlers should have access to indoor and outdoor areas that meet or exceed recommended safety standards for performing large-muscle activities.

e. those in charge of toddlers’ well-being are responsible for understanding the importance of physical activity and promoting movement skills by providing opportunities for structured and unstructured physical activity and movement experiences.

Source: Reprinted from Active Start: A Statement of Physical Activity Guidelines for Children from Birth to Age 5, 2nd edition (retrieved September 16, 2011 from http://www.aahperd.org/naspe/standards/nationalGuidelines/ActiveStart.cfm), with permission from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), 1900 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191, www.NASPEinfo.org.

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keeping because reciprocal relationships are built on open, ongoing com-munication among the adults in the children’s lives (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009). Adults require comfortable places to read and send messages, record observations, and store or display documentation about each child, such as portfolios and pedagogical panels. Returning to the example provided in the “Relationship” section earlier, the teacher also used his entryway as a place for providing written communication with families. Beside one chair, he placed a basket that held the home-school journals (see Chapter 5). In addition, he had a bookshelf where all of the children’s portfolios were stored. The table provided space for him to spread out artifacts collected over the week and make decisions about what to add to the portfolio or use in this pedagogical panel documentation.

8-2g SensesIs the environment warm and welcoming—a place that I want to spend 4 to 10 hours of my day? The environment should be pleasing to the senses. There needs to be a balance of hard and soft, rough and smooth, novel and familiar, simple and complex, quiet and noisy (Bergen et al., 2001). Neutral or natural tones are preferable for both furniture and walls. Young children bring plenty of colors to the environment; their natural beauty should be a focal point rather than having it compete with “loud back-ground noise.”

The principle of the senses also includes the use of natural light. As often as possible, rely on natural sunlight to supply lighting for the class-room because it is less harsh on the senses for you and the children. How-ever, when this is not possible, you can provide additional lighting in the form of lamps. Place them on shelves, end tables, or on the floor to create

smaller areas for work and gather-ings. Avoid relying on overhead, flu-orescent lighting, which tends to be less warm and welcoming.

To provide complexity and aes-thetic pleasure, you can include paintings, sculptures, or photographs in the environment (Curtis & Carter, 2015). Pillows, nontoxic potted plants, and fabrics can also be used to soften the environment and lower the height of the ceiling. Moreover, scented potpourri, oils, or plug-ins (kept out of the reach of the children, of course) can be used to provide a pleasant aroma.

You also need to provide oppor-tunities for infants and toddlers to explore and learn using their senses (Photo 8–8). You can’t be afraid to get dirty or to let the children get dirty. For example, imagine that an

PhOTO 8–8 A developmentally appropriate environment supports young children in making decisions and in doing things alone.

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older infant is crawling outside on a small mound of dirt. She repeatedly pats the dry dirt flat. If you pour a bit of water in one area to see how she responds, she is likely to squish the mud between her fingers and giggle in delight. Adding water may make the child dirtier, but it enhances the expe-rience for her.

8-2h representationCan I tell you in multiple ways about my understanding of and theories about the world? Children need multiple opportunities to express their cur-rent understanding of the world. Representation of ideas can occur through painting, drawing, dramatic play, music, writing, sculpting, or any of the other “hundred languages” (New, 2003; Edwards et al., 2012). The envi-ronment, then, needs to provide space and open-ended materials for these purposes.

8-2i IndependenceCan I do things myself? Children desire independence (Photo 8–9). This is a natural and healthy aspect of socioemotional development. A devel-opmentally appropriate environment supports young children in making decisions, doing things alone, solving problems, and regulating their own behavior (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009; Marion & Swim, 2007). Use care in selecting where to place materials, supplies, and learning areas because this is one way to foster independence. As mentioned previously, display-ing materials and supplies in baskets or clear containers on low shelves allows children to select and clean up materials with assistance from others (Isbell & Exelby, 2001; Marion, 2014).

Careful placement of learning centers adds to this sense of indepen-dence. One toddler teacher placed her easel on the tile floor closest to the sink. Not only was this more conve-nient for her, but it also encouraged the children to take responsibility for cleaning up spills or splatters. In the beginning of the year, she discussed with children where paper towels and sponges were kept, while assist-ing them in cleaning up the paint. In no time at all, many of the children were cleaning up after themselves, often without even notifying her.

8-2j DiscoveryCan I find interesting things to examine closely and learn about? As mentioned in the “Senses” sec-tion, the environment needs to pro-vide a balance of novel and familiar materials, permitting new discover-ies that keep the learners engaged. PhOTO 8–9 Plan for independence.

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Providing unique things to explore, examine, and learn about does not have to be expensive. Arranging familiar materials in a new location or display is one technique for renewing interest. Another method to cul-tivate interest in infants and toddlers is to offer treasures or items from nature that they can explore and investigate (McHenry & Buerk, 2008). Rocks, feathers, flowers, tree branches, and things that sparkle or shine are all worthy of investigation (Curtis & Carter, 2015). In addition, provid-ing recycled or found materials in aesthetically pleasing arrangements or containers provokes children to think about them in new ways (Topal & Gandini, 1999). The intention is to help the children with “finding the extraordinary in the ordinary” (L. Gandini, personal communication, January 26, 2001). Of course, remember to examine each item or material carefully for sharp edges and the like to ensure that it is safe for the infants and toddlers. If an item is a choke hazard, never leave a toddler unsuper-vised while handling it (see the “Selecting Equipment and Materials” sec-tion later in this chapter).

Before moving on to the last perspective on environmental design, Table 8–2 recaps the major components from the first two perspectives: teacher and child.

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.

1. Why is it important to consider the child’s perspective when designing a learning environment?

2. What can teachers do to make sure that their environment addresses each child’s development and learning?

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TABLE 8–2 ◗ Key Aspects of Environmental Design by Perspective

teacher’s Perspective Learning centersreal Objects vs. Open-ended materialsIndependence vs. dependenceuse of Spacemessy vs. drynoisy vs. Quietcalm, Safe Learning Environmentnovel vs. FamiliarPathways vs. boundariesbasic needsEating vs. toiletingSleep and comfort vs. Play

child’s Perspective transparencyFlexibilityrelationshipsIdentitymovementdocumentationSensesrepresentationIndependencediscovery

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8-3 Society’s PerspectiveThis section focuses on making decisions about the environment that are good for the greater society. In other words, I am asking you to consider ways in which you can “go green” or “reduce your carbon footprint” when working with infants and toddlers in educational settings. Some changes to consider might seem very small, and others might seem more than a teacher can do alone. That is okay. Each teacher has to make changes at her own pace. However, each of us should consider what we can do to make long-term differences in the future world of the infants and toddlers that we work with today. If we don’t think big and do our part, we run the risk of permanently changing the earth’s climate in negative directions (Sivertsen & Sivertsen, 2008).

8-3a environmental Changes for the ClassroomTeachers can take many steps to build an earth-friendly environment in their learning environments (i.e., indoors and outdoors). One suggestion for reducing energy use in a classroom is to plug appliances such as a CD player, microwave, and computers into one or two plug strips. Turn the strips off at the end of the day. Another idea is to use natural sunlight to light the classroom during the day. This was mentioned earlier as being good for the children, not just the environment. Taylor (2008) provided evidence that older children are able to concentrate better when they are in a green school that uses natural light. A logical extension of this find-ing would be that the infants and toddlers also learn and grow better in natural light. When additional light sources are needed, use lamps with compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs). As CFLs now come in a variety of color spectra, try out a few different types until you find one that you pre-fer. Some CFLs give off a warm light similar to the old incandescent light-bulbs, so they are more pleasing in the environment. In addition, you can consider using light-emitting diodes (LEDs) such as rope lights to provide a small amount of light in specific areas of the classroom. Stringing rope lights around the book corner provides additional light on overcast days and makes the area feel warm and cozy.

Plants were discussed earlier as a way to soften the environment. They should also be included in the environment as a way to improve air qual-ity. Plants naturally clean the air that we breathe. In addition, if you select flowering plants or herbs, they can emit pleasant aromas.

Teachers can also make decisions about how to create recycling areas in their learning environments. In an infant classroom, create the space based on how you use items. For example, it might be most convenient for you to have three containers side by side: one for trash, one for plastic (e.g., baby wipes or baby food containers), and one for glass (e.g., baby food jars). Have small containers near the phone and documentation area to hold recycled paper for writing notes. In a toddler classroom, make an area for recycling containers that the toddlers can access independently or with supervision. For example, you could put a box in the art center to collect paper that can be reused. Help the toddlers to learn to distinguish paper that is reusable from that which should be recycled in another area. At other times, guide the toddlers to place items to be recycled in the proper areas.

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8-3b Curricular ChangesMany young children grow up in homes where food is purchased entirely from grocery stores and where the outdoors is viewed as a dangerous place. It is our responsibility as educators to help them feel safe and to connect appropriately with nature. Yet, there is so much more to be learned by engaging with nature (see, e.g., Honig, 2015; Nelson, 2012; Rivkin with Schein, 2014). Nimmo and Hallet (2008) argue that planting and tending to a garden teach young children about “play and inquiry, safe risk taking, the building of relationships, and deeper understandings of diversity” in nature and society (p. 1). Relatedly, other authors suggest that a lifetime of healthy eating habits can sprout from teaching young children how to gar-den (Kalich, Bauer, & McPartlin, 2009). Thus, teachers must intentionally incorporate this into their curriculum (to be discussed in Chapter 9) oppor-tunities for engaging with nature.

Infants and toddlers explore their world and work hard to understand it and their role within it. As discussed previously, one way to address their interest in the natural world is to create spaces both inside and out-side for exploring nature. However, teaching about the environment goes beyond providing selected items from nature; young children need ongo-ing, meaningful experiences. To illustrate, you could plant a garden to attract butterflies in your outdoor learning space. You could place magni-fying glasses outside for the children to use along with paper and pencils for recording their observations. These experiences over time would afford the children the opportunity to talk about what they see, create hypoth-eses, and search for answers. For example, if the toddlers notice that the butterflies fly back to the garden each morning, you could ask, “Where do the butterflies go at night?” Together, you could search for answers through observations or in books.

Toddlers are also very interested in how things grow. They cogni-tively link their own personal experiences to explain their observations of changes in other living things. Growing a vegetable garden is a particularly engaging experience for toddlers because of this interest. You could enlist the assistance of the toddlers to plant fruits and vegetables that the chil-dren are familiar with as well as novel ones. Encourage them to assist in tending to the crops, harvesting them, preparing and cooking them, and, of course, eating them. Toddlers understand, albeit in a primitive way, that they eat food to grow. You can assist them in discovering that plants

A small group of families in your toddler class are interested in being more “green.” They would like to start a community garden on the land to the south of the building. This land is owned by the center but not currently used in any meaningful way. How would you support these families in advocating for using the land

in this way? What information would you share with them about the importance of outdoor experiences for young children? Who else in your community could you obtain information from? What might be benefits of this project for families, the center, and the greater community?

Family and Community Connections

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need food also. To extend this thinking and further help the environment, you can compost their uneaten food from snack and lunch to enrich the soil. Thus, the toddlers will come to see that they can play an active role in helping to sustain their environment (Honig, 2015). More importantly, however, learning to care for plants and the environment is part of devel-oping a disposition to care (Noddings, 2005), and, as the following quote reminds us:

The human heart and the environment are inseparably linked together. If you think only of yourself, ultimately you will lose. (Dalai Lama XIV, 2002)

8-3c partnerships and advocacyTeachers cannot tackle some of the bigger environmental issues without creating partnerships with family members, colleagues, directors, and/or licensing agents. For example, instead of needing to recycle individual baby food jars, it may be possible to make the baby food in the kitchen at the center or family child care home. Whenever possible, you should shop locally at farmers’ markets or directly from farmers to obtain fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to those available at your local supermar-ket (Marriott, 2008; Taylor, 2008). Clean, cook, and mash the food as neces-sary before serving it to the children. Involving children in the process also tends to increase their desire to eat the “fruits of their labor,” which can be a real benefit if you are introducing new vegetables to a group of toddlers. When you need to begin with frozen vegetables, you can quickly thaw a serving of peas, for example, from the larger package, cook, and then mash them for an infant. Not only would this practice be better nutritionally for the infant, but it would also eliminate the need to recycle jars.

Another option is for child care centers to reduce their reliance on disposable napkins, paper towels, and baby wipes. Much waste is created each day in an infant/toddler classroom. Teachers can rethink their prac-tices to eliminate some of the waste. To illustrate, just imagine how much paper would be saved if you switched to cloth napkins at lunchtime. In addition, instead of cleaning up children with paper products, consider the warmth and softness of a warm, wet washcloth on the skin after snack or lunch. This may also start the soothing, calming process before naptime. When paper products cannot be eliminated entirely, purchase those man-ufactured with recycled materials, such as office paper products, toilet paper, and paper towels.

Consider all of the waste with each diaper change. Given the yet- unresolved-controversies regarding cloth versus disposable diapers, if a family wants to use cloth diapers, you should make every attempt to sup-port this decision. Consult your local licensing representative for specific procedures that should be followed. Beyond that issue, there are other ways to reduce the use of diaper wipes. When an infant is just wet, it is better for the child’s skin to be cleaned with a washcloth that has been dampened with warm water. You could place a lidded clothes basket next to the diaper pail and dispose of the cloth much as you would the soiled diaper. Then, the clothes are washed at the end of each day so that they can be reused.

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Child care centers and family child care homes should consider speaking with their licensing representatives to find ways to reduce the use of harsh chemicals. According to Taylor (2008), research shows that when hospitals use green cleaning products, patients recover faster and spend less time in the hospital. It would seem logical that subjecting infants and toddlers to harsh cleaning products to disinfect surfaces may not be the best option. (Taylor [2008] also provides a list of clean-ing products that are considered environmentally friendly.) In addi-tion, it is important to remember that washing children’s hands with soap and warm water is the best defense against spreading germs. Pro-grams should avoid using antibacterial soap with very young children as recent animal research suggests that it alters hormone regulation. While the effects on humans are being investigated, the FDA is not suggesting that the product be pulled from the market, yet the agency clearly states that they have limited evidence that antibacterial soaps provide benefit over washing with regular soap and water (US Food and Drug Administration, 2010).

This section has provided just a few ways to start thinking about how teachers and programs can “go green” to build a more sustainable society for the next generations. Table 8–3 provides a list of suggestions that have the potential to have a greater positive impact on the environment.

An environment should never be considered “finished” or “complete.” You should frequently (i.e., at least once a month) consider the primary question of this chapter, “How do teachers create meaningful learning envi-ronments that facilitate optimal development for the children?” Regularly review all the ways that the physical environment impacts the children’s development and learning and vice versa because the answer is constantly evolving. Teachers must continually assess and respond to the changing developmental needs and interests of young children.

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.

1. What are three things that teachers could do to “go green” in their classrooms?2. Compare the teacher’s perspective, the child’s perspective, and society’s per-

spective on environmental design. How are they alike and different?

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TABLE 8–3 ◗ Changes for “Going Green” Making a Positive Environmental Impact

utilize solar or wind power to provide part of your electricity needs. research available rebates and incentives at the state and federal levels.

Order an energy audit from your local utility company. Follow as many of the suggestions as you can. For example, install a programmable thermostat to minimize heating/cooling the building at night.

Join a purchasing group with other child care centers/family providers to purchase paper and food items as well as bulk equipment.

create partnerships with families and local businesses to recycle nonhazardous “beautiful stuff” that can be used in unique ways by the children.

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8-4 Selecting Equipment and MaterialsEarly childhood educators must carefully select the equipment and materi-als they make available to the children, based on the children’s needs and abilities (Table 8–4). For example, with young infants, you should have a high chair available for feeding; infants who can sit unassisted skillfully can sit on a low chair at a table. Select materials to use based on your

TABLE 8–4 ◗ Basic Equipment for Infants and Toddlers

CHILD CARE CENTER CLASSROOM CHILD CARE HOME

Indoor

EATING

high chairs low chairs and tables

booster seats for kitchen and dining room chairs

low chairs and tables kitchen and dining room table

SLEEPING

rocking chair rocking chair

cribs cribs

cots family beds and sofa covered with the child’s sheet and blanket for naps

TOILETING

changing table sink and hand-washing supplies

changing table or counter space in the bathroom for changing

free-standing potties diapers, hand-washing and storing supplies

supply storage

toilet seat adapter toilet seat adapter

steps (if needed at sink) steps (if needed at sink)

STORAGE

coat rack coat rack near door

cubbies shelves: toys, books especially designated shelves in the family room, living room, and/or bedroom where books and toys are kept for the child care children

RECORD KEEPING

bulletin boards corked wall and refrigerator door space to exhibit art treasures

record-keeping table, counter table, counter, drawer

Outdoor

CLIMBING STRUCTURES

wood, tile, rubber tires, steps, tied ropes rubber tires, steps, tied ropes

CONTAINERS

sand table or box water table

large plastic trays or tubs for sand and water

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observations of the children to support their individual needs and interests (Table 8–5). Kate, for example, is exploring peer relationships and would benefit from a toy that puts her into contact with others, such as a rubber ball. When Adrianna is upset, she may need a soft, cuddly toy that encourages seclu-sion, such as a teddy bear. Manendra is working on representing complex ideas, so clay would be a good open-ended material to offer him.

Materials and equipment must be selected with special care because very young children put everything they touch to a hard test: they bite, pinch, hit, fling, bang, pound, and tear at what-ever they can. In their exploration, they focus on actions and do not think initially in terms of consequences. Therefore, caregiv-ers must take care to provide only materials and equipment that can safely withstand intense use by children.

When purchasing equipment for any child care setting, con-sider buying a choke tube; many states require its use (Photo 8–10). Loose toy pieces are dropped through an opening in the device; if the pieces go through the tube, they are considered a swallowable hazard and are discarded or used only when toddlers are under constant supervision. Toys with pieces larger than the opening are presented to the child as part of the regular learning environment.

choke tube Plastic tube used to determine safe sizes of objects for child play.

TABLE 8–5 ◗ Types of Equipment and Materials

SOFT HARD

puppets blocks

cloth and soft plastic dolls hard plastic dolls

dress-up clothes cars, trucks

mats and rugs cardboard books

cloth or foam scraps wood

ribbon or yarn plastic bottles

stuffed animals sandpaper

rubber or sponge balls metal cans

OPEN-ENDED CLOSED/REAL OBJECTS

clay stacking rings

blocks zipper

water button/buttonhole

sand lidded containers

SIMPLE COMPLEX

one-piece puzzle wooden blocks

doll doll clothes

HIGH MOBILITY LOW MOBILITY

bike water

toy cars, trucks slide

stroller, buggy books

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PhOTO 8–10 Many states require a choke tube in all child care settings.

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In other words, items that are not a choking hazard can be put on a shelf for a child to select independently.

8-4a  age-appropriate MaterialsWhen purchasing materials, be aware that the age classifications provided will not accurately fit each child. This brings up the crucial distinction between age and individual appropriateness. An item that is right for many other infants may not be appropriate for a specific infant in your care because of the developmental skills she possesses. Caregivers must deter-mine when an item is appropriate for a particular child.

Selection of appropriate equipment and materials involves a cost-benefit analysis. To determine whether an item is cost-effective, analyze the follow-ing factors for each item:

●● The areas of development facilitated●● The ages of children who can use it●● The number of senses it engages●● The number of ways it can be used●● Safety factors●● The type, quality, and durability of construction

Table 8–6 provides an example of deciding whether to purchase a wooden telephone. The telephone was evaluated as supporting two areas of development: social and cognitive. When program goals emphasize the development of the whole child, a variety of items facilitating physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development are needed. Some materials attract interest at particular ages. The telephone can be used with a wide range of ages, thus is a better buy than materials with a limited age range.

Because infants and toddlers interact with their environment through their senses, they need items that stimulate the senses. Children of differ-ent ages make use of their senses in different ways. In the first few months of life, infants see many things and need items that stimulate their interest in seeing. They do not have much control of their hands and fingers, so touching is limited to bumping, banging, and eventually grasping. A lim-ited number and kind of items are needed to stimulate touching. However, 18-month-olds actively use all their senses, so they need a wider range of items to stimulate each of their senses. How many senses does the tele-phone stimulate?

Some equipment and materials can be used in only one way; others have flexible uses (refer to the discussion of open-ended materials versus real objects in previous sections). Children and caregivers can adjust and adapt open-ended materials in a variety of ways to facilitate development. Single-use materials, like the telephone in the example, are in themselves neither good nor bad, but they may be costly.

It is important to analyze how materials and equipment are constructed. What they are made of and how they are put together will determine their durability when used by the children. This in turn will determine whether the item can serve the purposes for which it is intended in the program. Poorly constructed items that fall apart are frustrating, often unsafe for

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TABLE 8–6 ◗ Guide for Analyzing Equipment or Materials

ANALYSIS

FACILITATED DEVELOPMENT TELEPHONE (EXAMPLE)

physical emotional social cognitive

X X

AGE GROUP

0–6 months 6–12 months 12–18 months 18–24 months 24–30 months 30–36 months

XXXX

SENSES APPEALED TO

seeing hearing touching tasting smelling

XX

NUMBER OF USES

single flexible

X

SAFETY FACTORS

nontoxic sturdy no sharp edges

XXX

CONSTRUCTION

MAterIAl fabric paper cardboard rubber plastic wood metal

QuAlIty fair good excellent

DurABIlIty fair good excellent

X

X

X

COST—$

commercial homemade

$15.00

COMMENTS:

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children, and costly. The telephone is of high quality, wood construction that should be durable for many years.

The cost of equipment and materials has become astronomical. There-fore, most programs must decide which commercially made items they can purchase and which items they can make themselves.

8-4b homemade MaterialsHomemade items should meet high standards for construction, durability, and safety. The items we make can be more individualized than commer-cially prepared items, stimulating the interest and development of children in the program. For example, using cardboard-mounted color photographs of each child to identify space for storing belongings will appeal to the children more than a commercially produced label. Resources such as Herr and Swim (2002) and Miller and Gibbs (2002) are available that explain how to make homemade materials. In addition, Part 3 of this text includes ideas for homemade materials.

Diligent scrounging of free and inexpensive materials from parents, friends, and community businesses and industries can greatly reduce the cost of homemade items. One group that has developed a very creative and beneficial support system to help child care programs locate and use scrounged materials is the St. Louis Teachers’ Recycle Center. The organi-zation operates a recycling center for discarded or excess industrial materi-als that can be used by teachers, parents, and youth groups to provide learning activities for children for free or at a fraction of the usual cost. Because of the demand, they have a traveling recycle center for delivering materials or displaying them at educational events.

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.

1. How can caregivers determine whether a piece of equipment or material is useful in the program?

2. List safety factors caregivers must consider in selecting toys and equipment for infants and toddlers.

3. Describe how a toy or piece of equipment may be safe for one child and unsafe for another.

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8-5 Protecting Children’s Health and SafetyAll early childhood education programs must have clearly defined policies and procedures for protecting children’s health and safety. The child care program should be a model for families to duplicate. These policies should be well thought out and designed from the viewpoint of the child and with prevention as the underlying tenet for health and safety.

Policies will need to be determined on such issues as these:

●● Respectful care and treatment of children, families, and staff●● Confidentiality of children’s records

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●● Detection and prevention of child abuse●● Emergency care and training for staff●● Communicable diseases●● Keeping medical records and files for children and staff up to date

8-5a emergency proceduresEach program should have policies and procedures in place and practice them regularly to ensure that the needs of the children can be immediately and effectively met in the event of natural disasters that are common to the area (e.g., hurricane, tornado) as well as fire. Emergency numbers, evac-uation routes, and established meeting places should be up to date and posted in a convenient place for staff to see.

Materials or supplies needed during an emergency, such as fire extin-guishers, need to be organized in an accessible location and tested peri-odically to ensure they are in proper working condition. In addition, you should practice evacuating the building safely with the children. Many state licensing regulations require fire drills to be performed, timed, and recorded on a monthly basis. Talk with the children about times when all of you might need to get out of the building quickly; be careful, however, not to scare them. Discuss how the sirens or signals might be loud and hurt their ears. When practicing a fire drill, warn the children in advance to minimize feelings of fright. If you have nonwalkers, select one crib that can fit through doorways, put heavy-duty wheels on it, and put a special symbol on it. When you need to evacuate, put the nonwalking children in this special crib and wheel it outside. If you have toddlers, hold hands, talk calmly, and walk the toddlers as quickly as possible out of the building to the designated spot.

8-5b Immunization ScheduleProgram policies for immunization should reflect the requirements set forth by the appropriate state licensing agency. The immunization sched-ule in Figure 8–1, from the American Academy of Pediatrics, provides a general guide of immunizations for very young children.

8-5c Signs and Symptoms of possible Severe IllnessEach center or family home program that provides care to young children must have policies and procedures in place to recognize and respond to illnesses and communicable diseases. Teachers should watch carefully for the signs of severe illness such as having a temperature; coughing, wheez-ing or breathing difficulties; vomiting or diarrhea; or a rash.

Children who exhibit any of these symptoms or who demonstrate unusual behavior in relation to any of these symptoms should be removed to a predetermined place of isolation, where they should be cared for until a family member takes them home. Given the contagious nature of some illnesses, programs must report to other families as well as the local health department that children have been exposed.

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8-5d First aidFirst aid refers to treatment administered for injuries and illnesses that are not considered life threatening. Before an event occurs, programs must have in place policies and procedures to prepare the adults to act. For example, programs need to keep a completed Emergency Care Permission form on file for all children. This allows emergency medical personnel to administer life-saving care if the situation calls for it. In addition, all teachers and program staff (e.g., administrators, cleaning staff, and cooks) should be educated in first aid, universal precautions, and cardiopulmo-nary resuscitation (CPR) and keep their certification up to date. Thus, first-aid procedures should be based on principles that are familiar to everyone

FIGURE 8–1 ◗ Recommended Immunization Schedule

Dep

artm

ent o

f Hea

lth a

nd H

uman

Ser

vice

s – C

ente

rs fo

r Dis

ease

Con

trol

and

Pre

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involved in the care setting. Take the following steps in the event of an emergency:

1. Summon emergency medical assistance (call 911 in most areas) for any injury or illness that requires more than simple first aid.

2. Stay calm and in control of the situation.

3. Always remain with the child. If necessary, send another adult for help.

4. Keep the child still until the extent of injuries or illness can be deter-mined. If in doubt, have the child stay in the same position and await emergency medical help.

5. Quickly evaluate the child’s condition, paying special attention to an open airway, breathing, and circulation.

6. Carefully plan and administer appropriate emergency care.

7. Do not give any medications unless they are prescribed to save a life in certain life-threatening conditions.

8. Record all the facts concerning the accident and treatment adminis-tered on the appropriate form; provide one copy to the child’s family member(s) and one in the child’s file.

First-aid kits should be visible and easily accessible to teachers but out of the reach of children. Kits should be available in all indoor and outdoor environments. If the playground is large, you should consider having two kits so they are more easily reached. The contents of first-aid kits should reflect your particular state’s licensing regulations, but they might include the following:

adhesive tape bandages of assorted sizescotton balls roller gauze, 1″ and 2″ widthsflashlight gauze pads, sterile, 2″ × 2″, 4″ × 4″latex gloves instant ice pack or plastic bagsblunt-tipped scissors tweezersspirits of ammonia splintstongue blades first-aid book

8-5e Universal precautionsUniversal precautions must be understood and used by every person in the care setting who is around body fluids. Each caregiver is responsible for receiving the training and updates necessary to be aware of current policies. Universal precautions are a set of procedures to prevent coming into con-tact with bodily fluids. Infectious germs may be contained in human waste (urine, feces and body fluids, saliva, nasal discharge, tissue and injury dis-charges, eye discharges, and blood). Because many infected people carry communicable diseases without symptoms, and many are contagious before they experience symptoms, everyone must protect himself or herself and the children he or she serves by routinely carrying out sanitation and disin-fection procedures that prevent potential illness-spreading conditions.

Medical gloves must be worn every time bodily fluids are present, such as when changing diapers or controlling a bloody nose (Photo 8–11).

universal precautions medical term for a series of standard procedures used to keep the patient and staff as healthy and safe as possible during physical care.

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Blood contaminants such as hepatitis B are found in blood and blood fluid (watery discharge from lacerations and cuts) and pose a real health threat. Other fluids, such as saliva, may present health dangers as well. Proce-dures for handling spills of bodily fluids—urine, feces, blood, saliva, nasal discharge, eye discharge, and tissue discharges—after putting on the medi-cal gloves, are as follows:

1. For spills of vomit, urine, feces, blood, and/or blood-containing bodily fluids: Anything that had the potential to come in contact with the sub-stance (e.g., the floor, tabletop, toys, diaper-changing table) should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, even if contaminants are not visi-ble to your naked eye. Use a solution of 1/4 cup liquid chlorine bleach to 1 gallon tap water when cleaning contaminated surfaces. Even if the area looks clean, anyone involved in cleaning contaminated surfaces must wear gloves to protect herself from exposure to disease.

2. Blood-contaminated material and diapers should be disposed of in a plastic bag with a secure tie, and labeled with a tag.

3. Mops should be cleaned, rinsed in sanitizing solution, wrung as dry as possible, and hung to dry.

4. After you have removed your gloves, engage in established hand-washing procedures (see Chapter 9) for yourself and with the children.

5. Because of the frequency of children touching objects to their mouths, toys and all equipment should be sanitized and disinfected on a regu-lar basis. Rooms with nondiapered children should be cleaned weekly. For example, individual children’s items for personal care and hygiene should be sent home with parents to be cleaned weekly. Crib mat-tresses should be cleaned at least weekly. Thermometers, pacifiers, and the like should be disinfected between uses.

PhOTO 8–11 Medical gloves must be worn every time bodily fluids are present.

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It is important to realize that having policies and procedures for uni-versal precautions may not be sufficient for guaranteeing compliance if everyone is not held accountable for following them. Alkon and Cole (2012) discovered that child care providers in their sample demonstrated the lowest level of compliance with national health and safety standards for washing children’s hands and cleaning and sanitizing counters. Every-one working in a child care program must come to value these policies and procedures for what they really are: personal protection. As will be discussed in the next section, adults can be at higher risks for contracting contagious diseases than children are at getting them from us.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) InfectionThis infection attacks and destroys white blood cells, making the person more susceptible to illnesses. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is the final stage of the HIV infection. No cases of transmission through casual contact have been reported in child care anywhere in the world (National Network for Child Care, 2014). HIV-positive adults may care for children. However, the HIV caregiver is at great risk due to the highly contagious environment that child care settings represent.

Parents of HIV-infected children should be alerted to any exposure to communicable diseases such as measles and chicken pox. Their pediatri-cian will probably want to take special precautions to protect them. As with any other child, universal precautions are used in every incident of spilled blood or possible blood exposure.

8-5f playground SafetyThe National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) provides resources to child care teachers as they work to keep playgrounds safe for children. This organization suggests that when teachers use S.A.F.E., they uphold their responsibility for keeping children safe (NPPS, 2015). S.A.F.E. stands for:

1. Supervision. Does not mean standing back and watching. Actively engage in learning experiences with the infants and toddlers to support their play and provide necessary redirection to prevent injuries.

2. Age-Appropriate. All equipment should be designed for the age of children who are using it. The steps on a slide or a climber, for example, should be spaced at the appropriate distance depending on how long the children’s legs are. Of course, just because it is age-appropriate does not always ensure that it is individually appropriate. Provide extra supervision as necessary.

3. Fall Surface. The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Pub-lic Health Association, and the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care (2011) suggest these modifications to make safer play-grounds: place climbing structures closer to the ground (i.e., 1 foot per year of age for intended users); mount them over 9–12 inches of uncompressed, shock-absorbing material such as pea gravel, or tree bark; have enough space for each child using the playground at any one time (amount varies depending on the child’s age) to place all equipment far enough away from other structures and child traffic patterns to prevent collisions; cover sharp

hIV infection Immune disease that attacks white blood cells and is transmitted through open sores or other bodily fluid sources.

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8-1 Create high-quality and developmentally appropriate indoor and outdoor learning environments from the teacher’s perspective.Teachers must consciously plan indoor and out-door learning environments to support the phys-ical, social, emotional, and intellectual needs of children. To do that, they must consider many different aspects.

8-2 Improve a learning environment based on the child’s perspective.Preparing high-quality indoor and outdoor learning environments should also consider the

child’s perspective. How is the environment experienced by the children? Many questions from the child’s perspective were provided to help spark thinking and analysis about learning environments.

8-3 Describe why teachers should consider society’s perspective when creating high-quality indoor and outdoor learning environments.Learning environments need to reflect our soci-ety’s need for sustainability. Strategies for “going green” were provided.

Summary

edges and exposed bolts; and teach children to play safely. Mack, Sacks, Hudson, and Thompson (2001) found that child care centers with indoor equipment were using mats designed for exercising or tumbling as fall sur-faces. When tested, those mats were found to be insufficient for preventing injuries. Thus, attention to selecting the correct type of fall surface is just as important indoors as out.

4. Equipment Maintenance. All pieces of equipment, indoors and outdoors, should be examined daily to ensure that they are functioning properly and pose no hazards to the children. Unsafe climbers, slides, and other equipment should be removed until repaired. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has developed a Site Safety Checklist and a Playground Safety Checklist that can be used or adapted for assessing and providing safe and healthy indoor and outdoor environments for infants and toddlers (see Appendix A).

As discussed earlier, everyone should also know how to complete an injury report properly. Completed reports should be routinely examined by all providers to identify and correct trouble spots. More importantly, this regular, systematic study of injury in child care centers and in home child care is needed to enhance prevention efforts because very young children do not understand how to be safe (Waibel & Misra, 2003) and because children 2–5 years of age cared for in child care centers experi-ence more injuries than children that age cared for by parents in their own home (Davis, Godfrey, & Rankin, 2013).

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following question about the material discussed so far.

1. Explain how universal precautions serve to protect everyone’s safety, but especially the safety of the caregivers.

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8-4 Select materials for use in a classroom based upon criteria.Selecting appropriate equipment and materials requires planning and reflecting. Items should be appropriate for the age of the children as well as reflect the needs, abilities, and culture of individ-ual children.

8-5 Evaluate policies and procedures for protecting the health and safety of very young children.Teachers have to collaborate with colleagues to implement policies and procedures to protect the

health and safety of themselves and very young children. Sometimes teachers also have to create or modify such policies and procedures for their specific classroom, group of children, and/or individual children.

Ena Robson, who was 7 1/2 months old, had an un -usual first day in the group family child care center. One of the helpers got sick in the middle of the day, and another provider was called on to take her place. The first provider had been ready to begin an assess-ment of Ena, but her replacement was not told of this, so she did not conduct one.

Ena was small, frail, and odd-looking. Her skull was box-shaped, her eyes were set far apart, and her mouth seemed to be in an unusual position when you looked straight at her. She had only a wisp of hair, she was mostly inactive, and her eyes appeared to be slow in reacting to visual changes. On her first day, Ena was dressed in a tattered but clean outfit with strawberry patches and a hat.

Because the regular provider was sick again the next day, the director took care of Ena and noted her appear-ance after checking her medical records. She performed a developmental assessment with the following results.

Physical, cognitive, and language skills were at the four-month level. Her social and emotional skills were at the six-month level.

Because there was a significant delay in three areas (two months with a 7 1/2-month-old), the director de -cided that a conference was needed soon so that appro-priate referrals for further evaluation could be made.

A conference was arranged with Ena’s mother to obtain permission in writing for the referrals. Mrs. Robson arrived with Ena’s grandmother, who was a trained nurse’s aide, early in the morning for the

conference. The director had reviewed the medical and family records in advance and found no unusual med-ical or family history. Della, Ena’s mother, was tall but appeared to have been sick because she needed help walking, had deep circles under her eyes, and had a rather gray color to her skin. Della explained that Ena had experienced many fevers off and on but that she was well at present. The director began asking ques-tions from an interview form, and after a short time, Della became visibly stressed. Her voice changed, her arms and hands waved when she spoke, and she refused to answer questions about the pregnancy and Ena’s birth. When the director rephrased the question to ask if Ena was a full-term baby, Mrs. Robson became agitated, and Ena’s grandmother answered in a calm voice that it would probably be best if they stopped the conference but that she would like to set up an eve-ning appointment. A home visit was scheduled for that evening in Ena’s home, and her grandmother said she would speak to Della in the meantime.

The apartment where Della and Ena lived was small and sparsely furnished. The grandmother and a regis-tered nurse were administering an intravenous injec-tion to Mrs. Robson when the director arrived. When Mrs. Robson saw the director, she began to cry, and Ena’s grandmother sadly explained that both Della and Ena had AIDS. The director maintained a professional demeanor and actively listened to the grandmother as she discussed her sadness, anger, and disappointment. It was obvious that both Della and her mother were very fearful that the director would not allow Ena to

Ena’s Medical ChallengesC a S e S t U D Y

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stay in the child care setting. The director learned that Della’s disease was progressing rapidly in spite of med-ications, and that Ena would start on medication the next day. Both Della and her mother asked the director to please keep Ena.

The director assured them that they would keep Ena in the child care center as long as she was not running a fever or showing other disease complications. She assured the family that all of her staff used universal precaution techniques, and they were all aware that blood was the only transmitter of the disease. She reas-sured the family that her staff would hold, feed, and play with Ena in both the indoor and outdoor envi-ronments. They discussed the importance of having Ena take her medication as prescribed by her doctor, on a regular basis, and at the same time of day. As long as Ena was without disease symptoms, the direc-tor assured them that Ena was welcome to attend the center. Both Della and her mother were relieved to hear that the staff would keep the illness confidential because that was permitted by law.

The result of the home visit was that no further refer-rals were made at that time. The director and teacher decided that Ena might need more time to adjust to her new routine before another assessment could be made. In the meantime, Ena was cared for in both indoor and outdoor environments at the child care center, just like the other children. The staff provided her with more rest and activities to enhance her physical, cognitive, and language skill areas, and Ena showed improvement in her growth and development.

1. Discuss your feelings about working with a child like Ena, who has AIDS. How do you feel you would handle such a responsibility?

2. What should the teacher consider changing in her environment to make it more individually appro-priate for Ena?

3. What information should the caregivers use when selecting equipment or materials for Ena?

4. What other steps or help might the director have provided to this family?

Lesson PlanTitle: A Sculpting We Will Go!Child Observation:

Charlie was at the outdoor table making a pile of dough into a tall tower. The dough was soft from the heat of his hands and from the warm fall day. The dough kept squishing down on the table, getting flatter rather than taller. Charlie showed he was frustrated by saying “No” and “Don’t,” but he continued to work for another six minutes.

Child’s Developmental Goal:

To develop fine motor skills

To demonstrate creative use of materials

Materials: Clay for sculpting, wire with handles for cutting clay, placemat for each area at the table or a cloth to cover the entire table, smock or shirt to cover child’s clothing, wet sponge

Preparation: Put placemats or cloth on the table. Place clay and wire near the end of the table so that adult

and child can cut off pieces together. Hang a smock or shirt over the back of each chair to signal that it is needed for this experience. Use the wet sponge to clean up the area as needed.

Learning Environment:

1. When you notice a child at the table, join the child. If necessary, assist with the smock.

2. Draw the child’s attention to the clay by using descriptive language. To illustrate, you could say:

“This is clay. We can cut off a piece for you to use. Can you help me cut it?”

3. Invite Charlie to use the clay with the child at the table, if he hasn’t already.

4. By using prompts or asking open-ended questions, encourage the child to touch and manipulate the clay. Say something such as:a. I wonder how the clay feels on your fingers.b. How can you use your fingers to pinch or shape

the clay?

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Additional ResourcesBergen, S., & Robertson, R. (2013). Healthy children,

healthy lives: The wellness guide for early child-hood programs. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press.

Broadhead, P., & Burt, A. (2012). Understanding young children’s learning through play: Building playful pedagogies. New York: Routledge.

Bullard, J. (2014). Creating environments for learning: Birth to age eight (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.

Kuh, L. P. (Ed.) (2014). Thinking critically about envi-ronments for young children: Bridging theory and practice. New York: Teachers College Press.

Quon, E., & Quon, T. (2013 ). Little cooks: Fun and easy recipes to make with your kids. San Francisco, CA: Weldonowen.

Williams, D., & Brown, J. (2012). Learning gardens and sustainability education: Bringing life to schools and schools to life. New York: Routledge.

Young, S. T., & Dhanda, K. (2013). Sustainability: Essentials for business. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

5. Talk about how the clay compares to other dough they’ve used.

6. If a toddler tries to eat the clay, redirect the child’s attention to manipulating the clay. You might say, for example:a. The clay is for using with our fingers. b. Please keep the clay on the table.

7. When the child is done with the experience, invite her or him to clean up the area for the next child. Be specific about how that should be done. For example, say:a. “Please put your clay beside the block of clay”

(while pointing).b. “Use this sponge to wipe the table beside your

placemat” (while pointing).

Guidance Consideration:

If a toddler attempts to take the clay to another area, explain why it needs to stay at the table (e.g., it is messy).

Variations:

When the child is ready, introduce other tools for work-ing with or carving the clay. Talk about how the tools work, and demonstrate how to use them, if necessary.

Important Note:

The focus of the toddlers’ work with clay should be on the sensory experience. Toddlers typically do not focus on representing a particular object or idea before they start working or even after they complete their work. This will come later.

Professional Resource Download

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© 2017 Cengage Learning

C h a p t e r

Designing the Curriculum

Learning ObjectivesAfter reading this chapter, you should be able to:

9-1 Identify major influences on the curriculum.

9-2 Defend why routine care times are important for facilitating development and learning.

9-3 Plan daily or weekly, integrated lesson plans that are individualized for each child.

Standards Addressed in This Chapter

NaeYC Standards for early Childhood professional preparation

1 Promoting Child Development and Learning

4 Using Developmentally Effective Approaches

Developmentally appropriate practice Guidelines

2 Teaching to Enhance Development and Learning

3 Planning Curriculum to Achieve Important Goals

In addition, the NAEYC standards for develop-mentally appropriate practice are divided into six areas particularly important to infant/toddler care. The following areas are addressed in this chapter: play routines, and exploration.

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Having already discussed how teachers actively construct the physical and social environments for infants and toddlers (Chapters 8 and 6, respectively), let’s turn our attention to the intentional design of the intellectual environ-ment. Curriculum is everything that you do with a child or that a child expe-riences through her interactions with the environment from the time she enters the classroom until the time she leaves it (Greenman, Stonehouse, & Schweikert, 2008). While this definition may seem simplistic, it is actually complicated because it requires teachers to consider all of their actions and reactions throughout the day.

You should plan curriculum based on what you know about each child’s development, that is, what the child can do now independently and what he can do with assistance. Your teaching or caregiving strategies should scaffold or challenge the child to move toward the next level. In this way, it may be helpful for you to think about how the “curriculum is the child.”

Infants and toddlers participate actively in selecting their curriculum and initiating their activities. When Jessie babbles sentence-like sounds and then pauses, Ms. Howard looks over at her, smiles, and answers, “Jessie, you are excited about finding the red ring.” Jessie is playing with a large, colored plastic ring that Ms. Howard has set near her. Jessie deter-mines what she will do with the ring and what she will say. Her sounds attract Ms. Howard’s attention. Ms. Howard then makes a conscious choice to attend and become attuned to her, engaging her as a competent communicator. Daily experiences provide an integrated curriculum for children to be actively involved with learning about the world around them.

Because the infant and toddler curriculum involves the whole child, the child should have experiences that enhance his or her physical, emo-tional, social, and cognitive/language development. In addition, infants and toddlers are working on understanding important concepts such as gravity, cause and effect, and directionality. The caregiver is responsible for planning and facilitating this holistic curriculum.

Each child is a distinct being, differing from others in some ways, yet sharing many of the same basic needs. There is no single curriculum for all infants. Caregivers have a special responsibility to design each child’s curriculum by observing, analyzing, and planning. They can meet these individual needs best when they adopt a developmental perspective. This entails gathering observational data continually, analyzing the data, and then using that data as the justification when selecting materials and plan-ning curricular experiences. Thus, careful, ongoing observation on the part of the adults (e.g., caregivers and family members) facilitates child contribu-tions to the curriculum; it is responsive to the needs, abilities, and interests of each child. Curriculum should also be designed with a purpose in mind. In other words, you should balance meeting areas of development and areas of learning so that the development of the whole child is addressed.

9-1 Influences on the CurriculumCultural expectations, the setting, the child, and the caregiver all influence the infant and toddler curriculum. Each of these influences on the child is discussed in detail in the following sections.

curriculum Everything that occurs during the course of the day with infants and toddlers; planned learning experiences and routine care.

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9-1a Influences from Cultural expectationsFamilies feel pressure from their friends, relatives, strangers (i.e., looks in a restaurant), and the media about their child-rearing activities. They receive comments, praise, suggestions, scolding, and ridicule on a variety of topics. Sometimes they hear conflicting comments on the same topic, such as the following:

●● The parent should stay home with the newborn and very young infant versus it is acceptable for the parent of a child of any age to work out-side the home.

●● The parents are wasting their time when talking to and playing with a young baby versus the parents should talk to and play with the infant.

●● The infant should start solid foods at 4 months of age versus the infant should start solid food after 9 months of age.

Parents must reconcile their attitudes and expectations with those of people around them, including their child’s teacher. This is a long and laborious task that often results in inconsistent beliefs and practices. It may seem that parents are wishy-washy or flip-flop about what they do versus what they want you to do. When you understand the various pressures on families and use active listening, you can help them resolve these parenting conflicts. Using the other positive communication skills discussed earlier (Chapter 7) will help family members share their expectations with you.

Cultural variations will be evident during your conversations with family members. Family members, even within the same family, hold vari-ous ideas about child-rearing and parenting techniques. Some family mem-bers, for example, expect to be perfect parents. The realities of parenting often cause them to feel guilty when they fall short of perfection or when they leave their child with another caregiver. Their frustrations may affect their attitudes about themselves and their interactions with their children and teachers. Sometimes jealousies develop. Early childhood educators can discuss more realistic expectations when a family member raises an issue. On the other hand, some family members seem very casual about their responsibilities. They move from one parenting task to the next with seemingly little thought of goals or consequences. Some of these family members seem to place their children into child care with the attitude, “Do what you want to with them; just keep them safe.” The caregiver may need to emphasize the worth of the child in his daily conversations and encour-age the family to consider how important it is for them to demonstrate in multiple ways how they value the child. Between these two extremes are family members who want to engage in positive parenting behaviors and who actively invite caregivers to assist them and their children.

Family members look to teachers to reinforce and extend their own child-rearing practices, which is a realistic expectation, within certain boundaries, given the guidelines for developmentally appropriate prac-tice (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009) as well as standards for teacher prepa-ration (NAEYC, 2011a). Our goal is to create partnerships with families, and supporting child-rearing practices, whenever possible, is part of the process. Another aspect of partnering with families involves using what family members believe to inform your interactions with and curriculum

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planning for the child. For example, if a family feeds their toddler from their laps, then it is an acceptable practice for you to hold the child dur-ing meals and snacks.

Like families, each caregiver brings unique cultural experiences and expectations to the care-giving role (Photo 9–1). Be aware of how these are similar to or different from those of the families and other staff to plan and provide meaningful curriculum.

Cultural DiversityCulture can be described as the shared, learned, symbolic system of values, attitudes, and beliefs that shape and influence a person’s perceptions and behaviors shared by groups of people (Espinosa, 2010). The group of people referenced in the definition can be large, such as African Americans or Blacks, or it can be small, such as an individual family. Child care settings offer many opportunities to experience cultural diver-sity because of how this setting raises important issues for discussion around the care and educa-tion of very young children. Every culture has somewhat different customs, mores, beliefs, and attitudes toward child care. Although the style and form may vary from one culture to the next, all cultures have healthy child care practices.

Some cultures do not talk to young children as much as other cultures. Some do not smile at them or expect a response. Some carry their babies

on their backs; other cultures carry them over their hearts. Father involve-ment is different from one culture to another, as is the way family members interact with each other. Families also differ on how they define indepen-dence for their child. Brainstorming and other problem-solving techniques, along with active listening, will help to address any misunderstandings that may occur. Moreover, valuing and supporting these differences, as well as working to understand child-rearing practices within every culture, are important for being a competent early childhood educator.

Your job is to be sensitive to cultural diversity, seek additional informa-tion when values or beliefs clash, and facilitate open conversations between and among family members. This will not be easy because strongly held beliefs are often hidden, even from ourselves, and, therefore, seldom examined. Through shared experiences, readings, and conversations with others, the adults can examine carefully their beliefs and then decide what changes to embark on. In contrast, if you are embarrassed about discussing differences or prejudices, you will continue to (unknowingly) act on your biases—negative judgments about the style, form, and content of another person’s culture that are made without a thorough investigation. More importantly, however, is that not discussing these issues can actually result

culture Values and beliefs held in common by a group of people.

bias a prejudgment concerning the style and forms of a specific culture.

PhOTO 9–1 Each child is a unique being who deserves positive support to reach his or her full potential.

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in children forming biases. You could, through omission, perpetuate oppressive beliefs and behavior (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010).

To prevent the development of biases, teachers need to take an active role in helping very young children develop to their fullest potential. Opti-mal development will not happen by chance or naturally as the result of getting older. Human differences can impede children receiving all of the rights they deserve (see Chapter 6) from teachers, other adults, and other children due to inequity of resources and the invisibility of certain kinds of people and cultures within educational systems (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010). Thus, teachers should implement an anti-biased curriculum to challenge children’s current understanding about identity, fairness, diversity, prejudice, and discrimination. Children should learn how to think critically about unfairness and how to take action to remedy unfair situations. Derman-Sparks and Edwards (2010) and Derman-Sparks, LeeKeenan, and Nimmo (2015) outlined four goals of an anti-biased curric-ulum for children:

1. Each child will demonstrate self-awareness, confidence, family pride, and positive social identities.

2. Each child will express comfort and joy with human diversity; accurate language for human differences; and deep, caring human connections.

3. Each child will increasingly recognize unfairness, have language to describe unfairness, and understand that unfairness hurts.

4. Each child will demonstrate empowerment and the skills to act, with others or alone, against prejudice and/or discriminatory actions.

An anti-biased approach understands that teachers, both alone and together, can make a huge impact on child outcomes. However, the process is not simplistic; the society beyond their classrooms challenges change because it “has built advantages and disadvantages into its institutions and systems” (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010, p. 3). Child care programs are no exception. Early childhood programs must reconstruct their culture to move away from a dominant-culture-centered program that pushes other viewpoints to the margin to one that intentionally pulls many cultures into the center of all that happens (Derman-Sparks et al., 2015). To accom-plish a many-cultures, anti-biased approach, teachers have to acknowledge that each of us is biased toward what we have always known or our own experiences. We must find ways to be open to looking at other ways of doing things that might be equally valid. Many researchers and teachers refer to the idea of tolerating different cultures as considering people and ideas that are different from our own and finding ways of living together. However, King (2001) asks that we transcend toleration and move to being empowered by understanding the following:

1. Culture is learned. Children learn rules both directly by being taught (e.g., “Hold your fork in your left hand and your knife in your right”) and through observation. It can be a mistake to assume a person’s cul-ture from his or her appearance.

2. Culture is characteristic of groups. Cultural rules come from the group and are passed from generation to generation. Do not mistake individ-ual differences for cultural differences. We share some characteristics

anti-biased curriculum an approach to curriculum development that involves directly addressing issues of identity, fairness, diversity, prejudice, and discrimination through critical thinking and taking action.

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with our cultural group, but we are also defined by our individual identities.

3. Culture is a set of rules for behavior. Cultural rules influence people to act similarly, in ways that help them understand each other. Culture is not the behavior, but the rules that shape the behavior.

4. Individual members of a culture are embedded to different degrees in that culture. Because culture is learned, people learn it to different degrees. Family emphasis, individual preferences, and other factors influence how deeply embedded one is in one’s culture.

5. Cultures borrow and share rules. Every culture has a consistent core set of rules, but they are not necessarily unique. Two cultures may share rules about some things but have very different rules about other things.

6. Members of culture groups may be proficient at cultural behavior but are unable to describe the rules. People who are culturally competent may not know that they are behaving according to a set of cultural rules; they have absorbed the rules by living them. However, teachers must do the extra work to reflect on and identify the cultural rules, beliefs, and practices that they bring to their work (Im, Parlakian, & Sànchez, 2007).

9-1b Influences from the Care SettingFamily Child Care HomeThe setting has a variety of influences on your curriculum. Physical loca-tion, financial limitations, family work schedules, and other factors influ-ence the schedule, environment, and curriculum in family child care homes. Establishing a positive learning environment is essential to quality care no matter which resources and limitations you find in your particular setting. Establishing a consistent, warm, friendly environment where large doses of the three As (Attention, Approval, and Attunement) are admin-istered is the way to create the most powerful positive influence in any physical setting.

Family child care homes provide a homelike situation for the infant or toddler. During the transition for a child to a new caregiver and a new situation, the caregiver should quickly establish a setting that is familiar to the child: crib, rooms, and routines of playing, eating, and sleeping. A warm, one-on-one relationship between the teacher and the child pro-vides security in this new setting.

Child Care CenterChild care centers care for multiple infants and toddlers in a group set-ting. Some centers care for infants 6 weeks of age and older, and a few centers are even equipped to care for newborns. The very young infant must receive special care. One caregiver in each shift needs to be respon-sible for the same infant each day. The caregiver should adjust routines to the infant’s body rhythm rather than try to make the infant eat and sleep according to the center’s schedule. The early childhood educator will need to work closely with family members to understand the infant’s behavior and changing schedule of eating and sleeping. Consistently recording and

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sharing information with the family is necessary to meet infant needs and involve the family in their child’s daily experiences.

TimeThe number and age of children in a group will affect the amount of time the caregiver has to give each child. The needs of the other children also affect how the time is allocated. Schedules in the child care home or center should be adjusted to meet the children’s needs and the family members’ employment schedules. For instance, if the father works the 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. shift, special planning may be required for the infant who awak-ens from a nap at 2:45 p.m. to be ready when he arrives. Through the use of attunement, the quality of interaction can remain high, even when time for interaction is limited.

Educational Philosophy of Program and TeachersThe philosophy of the program needs to be clearly articulated to teachers and families. Educational decisions should be evaluated in light of the pro-gram’s philosophy. However, philosophy statements are often broad, leav-ing much room for interpretation. This is where your personal educational philosophy, including your image of the child, comes into play. You must consider your beliefs and how they apply to daily interactions with chil-dren, family members, and colleagues.

Programs vary in how the teachers approach curriculum (Photo 9–2). Recent research on family child care providers will be used to help us under-stand the variations. Some family providers approach curriculum as a parent might. They don’t plan extra learning activities but focus on what happens in the normal course of the day (e.g., free play, then work together to prepare

philosophy Set of educational beliefs that guide behaviors and decision-making for individual teachers and groups of teachers (e.g., programs).

PhOTO 9–2 The caregiver facilitates each child’s development by planning experiences that match his interests and skill level.

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lunch). In contrast, other family child care providers intentionally create more of a “preschool” atmosphere with multiple planned learning activities that follow a set time schedule. As Freeman (2011) discovered, when she inquired into the daily life of four family child care providers, many pro-viders adopt aspects of both extremes. She found that their curriculum was characterized by responsiveness, play, reflection, and didactic teaching. When considering the first three aspects of the curriculum, the providers reg-ularly made decisions based on what attracted children rather than prepar-ing teaching objectives in advance and holding children to them (Freeman, 2011). These aspects were in contrast to their use of didactic teaching when asked about teaching as an intentional act (Freeman, 2011). Thus, the pro-viders fluctuated between being responsive to the children’s needs and inter-ests by using strategies such as listening, negotiation, and encouragement to using direct instruction, cued recall (e.g., verbal questions on first letter of a word), and sequenced craft activities. Adopting an educational philosophy that makes young children’s learning a stronger and more natural, integrated dimension of the program would help teacher support optimal learning. Freeman and Karlsson (2012) suggest that family child care providers should adopt four recommendations, grounded in the Reggio Emilia approach to early education, to improve the quality of their program:

1. Provide active, hands-on learning experiences.

2. Support play that promotes strong development and learning.

3. Offer opportunities for challenge within children’s potential.

4. Capitalize on the benefits of the home’s natural environments.

Those recommendations serve to further support the educational phi-losophies that serve as the basis for this book. Important aspects of this book include the following:

1. All people are viewed developmentally. From the moment of birth to the time of death, every person is constantly growing in many ways. Focusing on the positive changes resulting from growth helps maintain a positive learning environment.

a. Each infant and toddler progresses through development at his or her own rate.

b. Each family member and caregiver adds to his or her knowledge and skills. Caregivers have knowledge obtained from talking, reading, and studying, as well as individual experiences with children and families.

2. Development and growth occur through active interaction with one’s environment and can be observed through the four major areas of development (see Table 1–1, page 4).

a. Each person is an active learner with rights and responsibilities.

b. Each person constructs knowledge through active interactions with people and materials.

c. Each person adapts previous experiences to current situations.

d. Each person builds on the knowledge and skills learned from previ-ous experiences.

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e. Each person initiates interactions with other people and materials in the environment.

f. Each person uses multiple modes of representation to express understanding about the world.

9-1c Influences from the ChildEvery child has an internal need to grow, develop, and learn. During the first years of life, children’s energies are directed toward those purposes consciously and unconsciously. Although children cannot tell you this, observers can see that both random and purposeful behaviors help them.

The children look, touch, taste, listen, smell, reach, bite, push, kick, smile, and take any other action they can to involve themselves actively with the world. The fact that children are sometimes unsuccessful in what they try to do does not stop them from attempting new tasks. Sometimes they may turn away and begin a different task, but they will keep seeking something to do.

Infants learn from the responses they get to their actions. When the caregiver consistently answers cries of distress immediately, infants begin to build up feelings of security. Gradually these responses will help infants learn to exert control over their world. If caregivers let infants cry for long periods before going to them, the infants remain distressed longer, possibly causing them to have difficulty developing a sense of security and trust. Remember from Chapter 3 that research demonstrates unresponsive, harm-ful, stressful, or neglectful caregiving behaviors affect the development of the brain negatively. Children who experience unresponsive and stressful conditions, either in a home or in a child care setting, were found to have elevated cortisol levels. You can’t love a child too much or address their cries of distress too quickly.

Joey, age 7 months, is crying hard. Paulette is speaking softly to him as she checks to see if he is wet, tired, hungry, too hot, or too cold. None of these are the source of his discomfort, so she picks him up and holds him close. She walks with him slowly around the room, rocking him gen-tly in her arms. Joey soon calms down. We can see how Paulette’s actions influenced Joey. A child can influence her caregiver in many ways as well. Eden, 30 months, has started to hide and make faces during her bowel movements. Mrs. Frank has noticed and recorded it in Eden’s daily log. Mrs. Frank soon begins to introduce Eden to toilet learning as a result of the child’s own influence.

As you will learn in your day-to-day work with children, influence runs in many directions. The family can influence your behavior just as society can, and all come into play within the four walls of your classroom.

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.

1. List and explain three influences on the curriculum. Make sure that your answer provides examples from three different types of influences.

2. Write a brief newsletter article for a child care center explaining its approach to cultural diversity.

r e a D I N G C h e C K p O I N t

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9-2 Routine Care TimesInfants and toddlers have needs that must be met on a regular basis. Some needs, such as eating and eliminating, occur frequently throughout the day. Infant and toddler teachers often think that all they do is feed, rock, and diaper children. Our traditional notion of teaching seems—and is—inappropriate for very young children (Swim & Muza, 1999). That is why our definition of curriculum presented earlier is so important. You must come to understand that everything you do facilitates development and learning. As discussed in previous chapters, using the three As—Attention, Approval, and Attunement—while meeting the basic needs of infants and toddlers promotes optimal development and learning. This section provides examples of ways to organize and plan the routine care times of the curriculum. First, however, we will discuss aspects of the daily schedules.

9-2a Flexible ScheduleThe schedule you create for the day should reflect each individual child’s physical rhythms. Thus, your schedule depends on the infant or toddler you are caring for (Photo 9–3). The goal is not to coordinate the children’s physical schedules but rather to have a flexible plan for meeting the needs of each child. During the first months, the infant is in the process of setting a personal, internal schedule. Some infants do this easily; others seem to have more difficulty. So when a child is first entering your care, ask family members what the infant or toddler does at home. Write this down to serve as a guideline. Next, observe the child to see whether he or she follows the home schedule or develops a different one.

The daily schedule must be indi-vidualized in infant and toddler care. It focuses on the basic activi-ties: sleeping, feeding, and playing. Andrea arrives at 7:45 a.m.; Novak is ready for a bottle and nap at 8:00 a.m.; Myron is alert and will play until about 9:00 a.m., when he takes a bottle and a nap; and Savan-nah is alert and will play all morning but is ready for a nap immediately after lunch. As their caregiver, noting these preferences will provide you with guidelines for your time.

Children’s schedules and prefer-ences for routines change over time. Each month infants sleep less. This affects when they eat and when they are alert. As infants change their sleeping schedules, they will adjust to allow more time for exploration and engagement with materials.

routine care times Devoting attention to the developmental needs of children while attending to their biological needs. For example, using diapering times as opportunities for building relationships with a child and not just meeting her need to be clean.

PhOTO 9–3 The schedule teachers create each day should be flexible to meet the needs of each child.

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Toddlers will also differ in how much time they spend asleep and awake. Morning and afternoon naps do not fit into a rigid schedule from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. or from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. You can identify blocks of time for specific types of activities but should keep in mind that no schedule can fit each child’s needs.

Arrival TimeDuring this special time, the primary caregiver greets the parent and child and receives the infant or toddler. This is the time for the caregiver to lis-ten to the family member who tells about the child’s night and about any joys, problems, or concerns. They should write down important details, for example, “celebrated birthday last night.”

Arrival time is also a time to help the infant or toddler make the tran-sition from home to school. The caregiver’s relationships with the child

Sudden Infant death Syndrome (SIdS)

SIDS is a tragic event in which a very young child dies after going to sleep for a nap or at bedtime with no indication of having discomfort. The peak age for SIDS is 2–4 months; however, SIDS can occur as late as 12 months. The peak time of occurrence is in the early morning (Cornwell & Feigenbaum, 2006). Research suggests that SIDS may be related to sleep apnea, a condition in which breathing momentarily stops (Sawaguchi, Franco, Kadhim, Groswasser, Sottiaux, Nishida, et al., 2004) or hippocampal asymmetry (Rodriguez, McMillan, Crandall, Minter, Grafe, Poduri, et al., 2012). Research on apnea in infants indicates that the baby’s brain is not mature and therefore peri-ods of instability occur. Young children spend a great deal of the day sleeping, yet REM cycles do not stabi-lize into a regular pattern until 3 months of age. The development of the central nervous system facilitates the synchronization of sleeping patterns (Cornwell & Feigenbaum, 2006). Regarding hippocampal asymme-try, Rodriguez and colleagues (2012) believe that some cases of SIDS might be analogous to sudden unex-pected death in epilepsy due to a possible link with temporal lobe pathology; this suggests a possible role for seizures in the events leading to sudden death for some very young children.

Fortunately, the incidence of SIDS is very low (2 infants per 1,000 births between 1 week and 1 year of age), but the American Academy of Pediatrics has found

that infants who are placed on their backs on a firm mat-tress to sleep have a lower incidence of SIDS. Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics expanded its rec-ommendations from being only SIDS-focused to address-ing safe sleep environments in the hope of reducing the risk of all sleep-related infant deaths. The recommenda-tions continue to include infants sleeping on their backs on a firm sleep surface, but they also endorse breast-feeding, room-sharing without bed-sharing, staying up to date on routine immunizations, using a pacifier, and avoiding soft bedding, overheating, and exposure to tobacco smoke, alcohol, and illicit drugs (American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, 2011). In addition, this organiza-tion continues to promote “tummy time” at home and at child care as long as the child is awake and closely supervised, as this supports the development of chest and neck muscles.

All early childhood educators are expected to fol-low the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics when it comes to safe sleep environments for infants. Barriers to following those recommenda-tions include perceived parental objections, provider skepticism about the benefits of infants sleeping on their backs, and lack of program policies and training opportunities (Moon, Calabrese, & Aird, 2008). Edu-cators, directors, family members, and licensing agen-cies can join together to overcome those barriers, such as revising statewide regulations and monitoring and creating systematic advocacy campaigns.

Spotlight on SIDS

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should provide a calming, comfortable, accepting situation so that the child will feel secure. Touching, holding, and talking with the child for a few minutes helps the child reestablish relations with the caregiver. When the child is settled, the caregiver can help the child move on to whatever activity she is ready to do. If the child is upset during the transition, use emotional talk (Chapter 6) to address emotional needs and the desire to maintain a strong connection with family members. Do not rush to distract the child with other activities.

SleepingNewborns sleep an average of 16 to 17 hours per day. Sleep periods range from 2 to 10 hours. By 3 to 4 months of age, infants regularly sleep more at night than during the day. As children become more mobile and begin to crawl and walk, their sleep patterns change, and they require less sleep. Children should still be encouraged to rest every day, and a well-planned child care program provides nap times that meet the individual needs for children who are under 3 years of age.

If you are responsible for several infants or toddlers, plan your time carefully so you are available to help each child fall asleep by providing what they desire (Photo 9–4). Each child has preferences that you must learn to build your curriculum. Ask family members how they put their child to sleep at home so that you can coordinate your routines at school. Some children like quiet time with a favorite stuffed animal or blanket; oth-ers want to be held, sung to, and rocked; still others like their backs rubbed. Because of the risk of SIDS, place the baby on her back on a firm mattress.

PhOTO 9–4 Caregivers should plan their time so they are available to help each child fall asleep.

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Record when each child went to sleep and when she or he woke. Family members need to know how long and at what time their child slept, and the caregiver needs to know when each infant or toddler can be expected to sleep.

Some infants and toddlers have difficulty relaxing and falling asleep. You will need to work with the family to create strategies that work in those situations. Some teachers have found that various relaxation tech-niques such as visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, and massage (Berggren, 2004; Mayo Clinic Staff, 2011) work with young children. Of course, making sure that infants and toddlers have sufficient opportunity for exercise and full-body play can positively impact sleep patterns as well (see Chapter 8).

EatingThe very young infant may eat every two to four hours. They should eat when they are hungry, which is called demand feeding. Demand feeding involves more flexibility for the caregiver and is one of the first steps to building a bond between that person and the children in his or her care. It is also the first step toward the child internalizing a sense of trust and secu-rity. Ask family members how often the baby eats at home. Infants will tell you when they are hungry by fussing and crying. Learn their individual schedules and their physical and oral signals, so you can feed them when they cry but before they become too distressed. Record the time of feedings and the amount of milk, formula, or food the baby consumed.

This curricular time is to meet the nutritional needs of the child. All food offered to the children should be nutritious. State licensing regulations often provide plenty of information on how to address the children’s nutri-tional needs. But eating is also a curricular time for nurturing physical, emo-tional, social, cognitive, and language development. Always hold the infant when you are giving a bottle. Maintaining eye contact, talking to, and build-ing a relationship with the child creates a secure foundation for the child.

Infants are born with their primary teeth. The first primary tooth usu-ally erupts between 4 and 8 months of age, but individuals vary widely in teething. New teeth erupt every month or so after the first one. The average age for having all 20 baby teeth is around 33 months. Figure 9–1 shows the order and age at which teeth typically erupt. As children get older, they begin to exert independence while eating. They no longer want you to hold the bottle for them or feed them with a spoon. This is normal behavior and should be supported as much as possible. During this time, however, par-ents and caregivers often worry that the child is not getting enough to eat. You may find that a child in this situation wants to eat more often; pro-viding additional opportunities to eat can ensure that the child’s need for food is being met. Children may also want to exert their independence by skipping a meal or snack occasionally. Encourage community involvement by having the child stay in the area where the other children are eating, or allowing the child to sit on your lap.

All eating must be supervised, as the chance of choking is high for very young children who are learning to eat solid foods. Food for older infants should be cut into pieces no larger than a quarter of an inch. Older toddlers can have half-inch pieces. But the best way to supervise is to eat with the older infants and toddlers. Sit at the table and engage them in conversation.

demand feeding Providing solid or liquid foods when an infant or toddler is hungry.

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ToothbrushingHelping infants’ and toddlers’ brush their teeth after each meal and provid-ing information to family members about the importance of oral hygiene will support the development of lifelong, healthy dental habits. Encourage each family to have their child’s first dental checkup at least 6 months after the first tooth erupts or at 12 months.

There are multiple steps for helping a toddler brush her teeth. First, prepare the environment by putting a small swipe of toothpaste on the toothbrush. Put a stepstool in front of the sink, if not already available. Wet a washcloth with warm water for cleaning up afterwards. Then, encourage the toddler climb up on a stepstool at the sink so she can reach everything needed. Turn on the faucet and have the toddler wash her hands; you wash your hands also. Next, remind the toddler that first she brushes and then you get to brush her teeth. Encourage the toddler to wet her own toothbrush and brush all of her teeth (not just the front ones). Singing a song or speaking a chant you created about how to brush your teeth can promote longer brushing. Then, it is your turn to brush the child’s teeth. Encourage the toddler to spit out the extra toothpaste, but this is not a necessity. Turn on the faucet and allow the toddler to rinse her own toothbrush. Have the child wipe off her face and mouth with the warm washcloth. Return the toothbrush to its proper place for use later.

Diapering and ToiletingMost infants and toddlers cannot communicate that they need a curricular experience involving a diaper change. You must be vigilant about checking.

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FIGURE 9–1 ◗ Dental Eruption Chart

PRIMARY TEETH

Central incisor 8–12 mos.

Central incisor 6–10 mos.

Lateral incisor 9–13 mos.

Lateral incisor 10–16 mos.

Canine (cuspid) 16–22 mos.

Canine (cuspid) 17–23 mos.

First molar 13–19 mos.

First molar 14–18 mos.

Second molar 25–33 mos.

Second molar 23–31 mos.

Lower Teeth Erupt

Upper Teeth Erupt

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Diapers should always be changed when wet or soiled. With young children, it is common to have seven or eight changes within a 12-hour period. Some children may have several bowel movements per day, while others may have only one. If a child does not have a bowel movement each day, the family should be notified because constipation can be a problem in some cases. Diarrhea can also be a problem because of the possibility of rapid dehydration. As with other areas of physical development, accu-rate daily records should be kept on elimination and shared with family members.

Attending to this routine care time requires planning. Doing so will allow you to talk and sing and engage in positive expe-riences while you are providing for this basic need (see, e.g., Herr & Swim, 2002). Make this a pleasant time for both of you (Photo 9–5). The steps in the diapering process (Aronson, 2012; Swim, 1998) are as follows:

1. Gather all of the supplies (e.g., latex gloves, diaper wipes, clean diaper, and change of clothes) you will need, and place them in the changing area within reach.

Access to DentAl cAre

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that a dentist examine a child within six months of the eruption of the first tooth or no later than the first birth-day (ADA, 2014). This first dental visit is a “well-baby checkup.” Besides checking for tooth decay and other problems, the dentist can demonstrate how to clean the child’s teeth properly and how to evaluate any adverse habits, such as putting a child to sleep with a bottle or consuming too many sugary drinks (including fruit juice), which are significant factors in dental caries. Pro-tecting the primary teeth is important because they cre-ate a foundation for the health of the permanent teeth.

Access to dental care, while improving, is not uni-form within our society. Children who are Black or mul-tiracial, lower income, and lack a personal dentist were significantly less likely to have a preventive dental visit within the previous year (Lewis, Johnston, Linsenmeyar, Williams, & Mouradian, 2007). Access to appropriate dental care, however, might not just be based on family or child characteristics. Two other factors to be considered are availability and attitudes of oral health providers.

Not all children live in close proximity to an oral health provider, even if their services are covered by Medicaid. Most US states have expanded oral health ser-vices to include physician-based preventive oral health services for infants and toddlers to fight inequalities in

oral health and access to care. But has this increased rates of utilization of these services? Among North Carolina’s 100 counties, 4 counties had no physician- based oral health services and 9 counties had no den-tal practice (Kranz, Lee, Divaris, Baker, & Vann, 2014). These researchers learned that children who lived far-ther from the nearest dental practice were less likely to make dental visits, yet distance from physician-based oral health services did not predict utilization (Kranz et al., 2014). They concluded that, for very young chil-dren, oral health services provided in medical offices can improve access and increase utilization. But what happens when a child who needs more than preventive care goes to a pediatrician?

Long, Quinonez, Rozier, Kranz, and Lee (2014) dis-covered that pediatricians in North Carolina were chal-lenged to refer 1-year-old children to a general dentist if the child already had dental caries. The general den-tists were more willing to accept referrals when they could focus on providing preventive care and when the parents saw the importance of dental referrals. Thus, finding a dental home after the child has caries might be a great challenge for families.

This research demonstrates that a complex interac-tion of variables is at play when discussing access to oral health care for infants and toddlers. Helping fami-lies gain access so that the primary teeth are well cared for is important both now and for later oral health.

Spotlight on Dental Health

Photo 9–5 Make diapering a pleasant time for both of you.

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2. Put on latex gloves. Remove the infant’s clothes or pull them up to the chest level. Remove the soiled diaper and place it on the edge of the area out of the infant’s reach.

3. Keep one hand on the infant at all times.

4. Wipe off the bowel movement with a diaper wipe or toilet tissue, going from front to back. Put this wipe on the soiled diaper. Continue until the child’s bottom is clean.

5. Take off your gloves and wrap the soiled disposable diaper and wipes inside of them. Do this, for example, by holding the diaper in your right hand and using your left hand to pull the glove over and around the diaper. Then, put the diaper into your left hand and pull the glove over them again.

6. Throw away a soiled disposable diaper immediately in a foot-activated, covered, plastic-bag-lined container. Put a soiled cloth diaper in a plas-tic bag, which will be closed with a twist tie when you are finished. When using cloth diapers, throw away the soiled wipes separately in the trash container.

7. Wash your hands with a diaper wipe. If at any time from this point for-ward you notice bodily fluid, put gloves on.

8. Put a clean diaper on the child, fitting it snugly around the child’s legs and waist. Dress the infant again or put on new clothes, as necessary.

9. Wash the child’s hands in running water and carry the child to the next activity.

10. Return to the changing area to clean it. Spray the changing area with disinfectant. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and running water before you do anything else.

11. Record the time and consistency of bowel movements. You and the child’s family members need this information to determine patterns of normalcy and to look for causes of irregularities.

Toilet learning should begin when the toddler is developmentally ready. The muscles that control bowel and bladder, called sphincter muscles, are usually not mature until after 18 months of age. Toilet learn-ing requires two major functions—biofeedback and muscular control. Toddlers learn to recognize the feelings their bodies have before they urinate or have a bowel movement. They can use this biofeedback to decide what to do. At first, they seem to just observe the feelings and afterward label what has happened. When the child is aware of the sen-sations of the sphincter muscles and can control them until the appro-priate time, he or she is ready for toilet learning. Timing and control must be coordinated. Toddlers may have some control at first but not enough to last as long as it takes to get into the bathroom, get clothes out of the way, and get seated or standing. Through feedback and adjust-ments, toddlers learn what their bodies are doing and what they can control and plan.

Toddlers tell you through their behavior and words that they are ready for toilet learning. Behaviors include staying dry for a few hours;

toilet learning the developmental process for gaining control of bladder and bowels; complex process involving physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and language skills.

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demonstrating awareness that they are going to the bathroom (e.g., squatting); telling you that they have urinated or had a bowel move-ment after they have; and showing a desire to be dry and wear under-pants. Research by Barone, Jasutkar, and Schneider (2009) suggested that toilet learning should be initiated prior to the age of 32 months for children who display these signs of toilet learning because starting after that time was associated with increased rates of urge incontinence for children in their sample. However, there is no right age by which all children should be using the toilet independently. Schum, Kolb, McAuliffe, Simms, Underhill, and Lewis (2002) found that the median age when girls could independently enter the bathroom and urinate by themselves was 33.0 months, whereas the same skill for boys was achieved at 37.1 months.

When the child starts toilet learning, use training pants at home and at the child care program. Do not put diapers on the toddler during nap time. Outer clothes must be loose or easily removed to facilitate indepen-dence. Help the toddler acquire self-help skills by instructing her how to pull down necessary clothes and how to get seated on the adapter seat or potty chair. For the boy who can reach while standing, determine where he should stand and direct his penis. If the child needs to have a bowel movement, use your knowledge gained from family members to decide whether to give the child a sense of privacy or whether you should stay near. If he wants you to be nearby, read a book to support literacy develop-ment (being sure to clean the books on a regular basis), or engage the child in a conversation about his work so far or what he is planning to do next to support reflection and planning. To support understanding of diversity, you could also engage in a conversation about how the child is similar to and different from you (Aldridge, 2010). For example, you could discuss hair color versus hair texture. When the child is done, put on your gloves before proceeding. Teach how to get toilet paper and how to wipe from front to back. Then let the child try to do it alone. Check to see if assis-tance is needed in cleaning the child’s bottom. Support independence in getting clothes back up. Remove gloves. Both you and the child should wash your hands thoroughly.

Throughout the toilet learning process, toddlers will need special reminders, especially during play, regarding when they typically need to go to the bathroom. A good approach to toilet learning is to provide spe-cific feedback on success and avoid punishing or shaming for mistakes. The child should participate as much as possible for his or her age in cleaning up when accidents happen.

Of course, toilet learning is not a skill that can be learned only while in your care; it takes a concerted effort by everyone to achieve indepen-dence. Both the home and the child care program need to begin at the same time and use the same procedures. Let the toddler’s family direct the timing. All human relationships are bound to involve conflicts and disagreements. Toilet learning is an area ripe for such conflicts because it is accompanied by such a great deal of variability in cultural beliefs (Gonzalez-Mena, 2001; Gonzalez-Mena & Eyer, 2007). Cultural groups and individual families within those groups often have strong beliefs

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about when and how to assist with toilet learning. One family will start toilet learning at 1 year of age and another will wait until the child is “ready,” while still another may not provide any formal assistance until the child is 4 years of age. None of these perspectives on timing is definitively cor-rect or incorrect; they reflect different belief sys-tems. As a parent, member of a cultural group, and/or a teacher, you have beliefs about toileting also. Open communication and respectful listen-ing are the beginning steps in addressing cultural conflicts, but they are not enough. You must be clear about your own views and the philosophy of the program so that you can truly listen and work toward solutions with the families. Issues such as toilet learning will not be resolved in one conver-sation. Sustained dialogue is necessary for resolv-ing the conflict (Gonzalez-Mena, 2001).

Hand WashingFrequent hand washing is a vital routine for care-givers and children to establish because failure to do it is directly related to the occurrence of illness (Photo 9–6). Hand-washing procedures should be thorough: a quick rinse with clear water does not remove microorganisms.

The caregiver must wash hands before

●● working with children at the beginning of the day.

●● handling bottles, food, or feeding utensils.

●● assisting child with face and hand washing.

●● assisting child with brushing teeth.

The child must wash hands before

●● handling food and food utensils.

●● brushing teeth.

The caregiver must wash hands after

●● feeding.●● cleaning up.●● diapering (remove gloves first).●● assisting with toileting (remove

gloves first).●● wiping or assisting with a runny

nose (remove gloves first).●● working with wet, sticky, dirty

items (remove gloves first).

The child must wash hands after

●● eating.●● diapering or toileting.●● playing with wet, sticky,

and/or dirty items (e.g., sand, mud).

PhOTO 9–6 Caregivers should make hand washing a routine for themselves and the children.

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Proper procedures for hand washing include wetting the whole hand with warm water, applying soap, and rubbing the whole hand—palm, back, between fingers, and around fingernails. Rinse with clean water, rubbing the skin to help remove the microorganisms and soap. Dry hands on a dispos-able paper towel that has no colored dyes in it. Throw away the towel so others do not have to handle it. You can also use small washcloths as towels, with each child using his own once and then putting it in the laundry basket.

Toddlers who can stand on a stepstool at the sink can be somewhat independent in washing their own hands. Stay nearby so you can verbally remind them of the steps and provide physical assistance when needed. Singing a favorite song or reciting a nursery rhyme can help make this time enjoyable. In addition, to support scientific understanding, allow time for the toddlers to explore the water; how it feels on their arms versus their hands, how it splashes, and what it takes to clean up spills.

End of the DayAt the end of each child’s day, collect your thoughts and decide what to share with family members. To help you remember, or to gather information for other caregivers who work with the child, review the notes in the child’s port-folio or on the report sheet. This sharing time includes the family members in the child’s day and provides a transition for the child from school to home.

As mentioned several times throughout this section, routine care times can be designed to support and enhance both development and learning. Singing songs, reciting nursery rhymes and fingerplays, and exploring the properties of water can support various aspects of learning. We will turn our attention to planning learning experiences in the next section.

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.

1. Why is flexibility in schedules important in an infant and toddler program? How would you explain this need for flexibility to a child’s family member?

2. List three routine care times. Explain how each event can be used to promote the development of the child.

3. How is toilet learning a complex developmental accomplishment?

r e a D I N G C h e C K p O I N t

9-3 Planned Learning ExperiencesIn between sleeping and eating, infants and toddlers have alert times when they are very aware and attracted to the world around them. This is the time when the caregiver does special activities with them (see Part 3). The infant or toddler discovers himself or herself, plays, and talks and interacts with you and others. Children have fun when in an alert state, as they actively involve themselves in the world.

Determine the times when the infants and toddlers in your care are alert. Decide which times each individual child will spend alone with appropriate materials you have selected and which times you will spend together one-on-one or in a small group. Each infant or toddler needs some time during each day to play with his or her primary caregiver. This

alert times times during the day when a child is attending and attracted to the world around him or her.

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playtime is in addition to the time you spend changing diapers, feeding the child, and helping the child get to sleep.

As you play with the infant or toddler, you will discover how long that child remains interested. Stop before the child gets tired. The child is just learning how to interact with others and needs rest times and unpressured times in between highly attentive times. With an infant, you might play a reaching-grasping game for a couple of minutes, a visual focusing activity for about a minute, and a standing-bouncing-singing game for a minute. Watch the infant’s reactions to determine when to extend the activity to two minutes, five minutes, and so on. Alternate interactive times with time spent playing alone. Infants will stay awake and alert longer if they have some times of stimulation and interaction.

Toddlers spend increasing amounts of time in play. There should be opportunities for self-directed play as well as challenge and interaction with the caregiver. Toddlers also need quiet, uninterrupted time during their day. Constant activity, especially in a group setting, is emotionally and physically wearing on them.

NAEYC’s guidelines for developmentally appropriate practices support our understanding of how to create learning experiences:

1. Providing experiences for all areas of development: physical, cognitive, language, social, and emotional

2. Building on what the children already know and are able to do

3. Promoting the development of knowledge and understanding, pro-cesses and skills, as well as dispositions toward learning

4. Supporting home cultures and languages while developing a shared culture of the learning community

5. Setting goals that are realistic and attainable for each child (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009).

In addition, Freeman and Swim (2009) challenge teachers to evaluate the intellectual integrity of their work. Examining educational rituals and classroom practices often uncovers instructional strategies that are more about the teacher than for an individual or a group of children. Giving infants copies or pages from a coloring book, for example, focuses on the perceptions of the teachers and other adults (e.g., family members) rather than the learning needs of infants. When infants are able to hold a spoon, they are able to hold a chunky crayon. Yet, they should be encouraged to make their own marks on blank paper.

The following sections discuss the specifics of how to create curricu-lum for infants and toddlers.

9-3a Daily plansFor infants and young toddlers, you should plan experiences daily for each child (Photo 9–7). Assess the four areas of development for children by gathering observational data using the Developmental Milestones (Appen-dix A). Analyze your data and determine the skills that the child can do independently and with assistance. Translate these skills into daily plans.

After implementing some planned experiences, you can use the data gathered and recorded to plan new experiences for the next day. This is

daily plans an approach to curriculum in which planned learning experiences are designed daily based on specific observations of the children.

planned experiences curricular experiences designed to enhance and support the individual learning needs, interests, and abilities of the children in an early childhood program.

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called the assessment-planning-teaching loop. As a loop, caregivers can begin anywhere in the process. However, infant and toddler teachers are becoming more and more accountable for using evidence-based practices. If you start with obser-vational data, you can more easily explain to your director, co-teacher, or family members the ratio-nale or justification for your planning. Imagine that you implemented one or both experiences outlined on Table 9–1. What data did you collect and record after the experience, and how would you use that information to plan the next learning experience?

When planning experiences, you should not only consider the children’s developmental needs and abilities but also their interests and culture. If you want an infant to practice finding hidden objects, for example, hide a rattle that the child likes. Curricular experiences should balance practicing or reinforcing skills with in -troducing new ones. Introducing too many new experiences can overstimulate the infant or make him overtired. Carefully read the child’s nonverbal communication to know when to stop the experience. Regarding cultural appropriate-ness, you should select materials for learning experiences that reflect the cultures and back-grounds of the children in the classroom. For example, when working with dough, select var-ious shades of brown and pink/peach, or use chopsticks or Splayds (Australian name-brand sporf—a spork with a knife edge) instead of forks and knives.

In addition, with each planned experience, consider extensions or adaptations so that you can be flexible in addressing the children’s

Photo 9–7 Plan time throughout the day to interact one on one with each infant or toddler.

tABLE 9–1 ◗ Sample Section of a Weekly Plan for Two Individual Children

ExamplE:

Child’s NamE: WEEk:

arEa of dEvElopmENt matErials CarEgivEr stratEgiEs aNd CommENts

Physical: (Seeing) Roberto: Visual tracking

Red ribbon bow

Hold bow where infant can focus. Slowly move bow to side, to front, to other side. Observe eyes holding focus. Stop. Talk to infant, and repeat moving bow.

Naomi: Changing focus Red and blue ribbon bows

Hold red bow where infant can focus. Lift up blue bow and hold a few inches to side of red bow. Observe eyes changing focus. Continue changing positions with both bows.

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reactions to the materials. How, for example, could you make the experi-ence less challenging or more challenging?

9-3b Weekly plansFor older toddlers, you can plan experiences by the week, but you must modify the weekly plans throughout the week to respond to the children’s needs. Planning for the entire week affords you the ability to carefully plan the learning environment (see Chapter 8) and make available appropriate materials, equipment, and supplies. Materials are a vital part of the curricu-lum; they should be carefully selected to provoke the children’s thinking and learning (White, Swim, Freeman, & Norton-Smith, 2007). The infants and toddlers learn by interacting with materials; the construction of knowledge comes from holding, tasting, shaking, hitting, throwing, taking apart, and lis-tening to objects. Select open-ended materials, such as wooden unit blocks, clay, and sand, because they provide a variety of experiences and can be used by each child to meet his or her needs and ideas (Curtis & Carter, 2015).

Learning CentersAs discussed in Chapter 8, learning centers organize the room and materi-als and encourage specific use of a particular space. Select materials for each learning center by matching them with the needs, interests, and abil-ities of the children. Do so carefully because a poor selection of materials can actually impede the children’s development. Materials that are too easy can be boring, while those that are too difficult can be frustrating. Using currently popular materials or those labeled “educational” may or may not be appropriate or effective for promoting development for your group of toddlers or a particular toddler. On the other hand, selecting developmen-tally appropriate materials for each child can facilitate growth and skill advancement (see Part 3).

For example, you notice that José seems to attend carefully to the wind chime outdoors. You want to promote his reaching and grabbing of objects, so you secure a wind chime in the manipulative area just within his reach. In Elizabeth’s case, however, you want her to practice transferring objects from hand to hand, so you put out attractive clear blocks with interesting materials inside. You anticipate that when she picks one up to examine it, the material inside will shift locations, encouraging her to switch hands for a better view.

weekly plans approach to curriculum where experiences are planned on a weekly basis based on specific observations of the children.

You have decided to follow Schwarz and Luckenbill’s (2012) suggestion to help your materials be more authentic and accurate by inviting family members to donate items that reflect their background. You decide that you would like to have materials for your dramatic play area. You invite them to share “extra” items from their homes that would work in the chil-dren’s kitchen. You suggest that they could consider

“extra” eating utensils, pans for cooking, and materi-als for reading/writing (e.g., cook books, menus for favorite restaurants). The response is overwhelming! How will you decide which materials to put out first, knowing that your choice will communicate your values regarding identity and dominant culture? How might you involve the families in making this decision?

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ProjectsAfter you know the children’s interests and abilities, you can plan a week’s worth of engaging curriculum. Instead of selecting themes, you should iden-tify moments that can be developed into an ongoing project. Many projects have no clear beginning; they emerge (with much teacher observation and reflection) slowly over time from the documentation (see Chapter 5) that the teacher has collected or from her experiences interacting with the children (Photo 9–8). Small moments encountered by one or two children can become projects in their own ways (May, Kantor, & Sanderson, 2004). Following our approach about the daily plans, projects should be individual-ized for each child or a small group of children.

You can outline experiences and questions to support the project or line of thinking and integrate the areas of development. In the infant-toddler

project An ongoing investigation that provokes infants, toddlers, and teachers to construct knowledge.

Infant BraIn Development

As mentioned several times throughout this book, infants and toddlers use everything within their realm—people, materials, equipment—to develop their brain. When we view very young children as competent, constructors of their own development, it emphasizes the role of adults in opening “a world of possibilities that lay the groundwork for their develop-ment” (Lewin-Benham, 2010, p. 1). In her book, Infants and Toddlers at Work: Using Reggio-Inspired Materials to Support Brain Development, Lewin-Benham dem-onstrates how certain materials are essential resources for infants and toddlers to build neural networks that, in time, enable them to use higher-order thinking skills and build complex relationships between and among concepts. She especially advocates for the use of open-ended materials “because they allow many approaches; therefore, they reach children with diverse interests” (p. 11). These materials also stimulate long engage-ment, which provides evidence of prolonged attention, and any experience that facilitates attention also builds the brain’s capacity to learn.

Lewin-Benham advocates for using more natural materials, such as fabric, wood scraps, leaves, and clay, as well as man-made materials such as foil, paper, card-board tubes, netting, and paint, as tools for engaging the senses and building the brain. Short- and long-term memory is constructed, in part, through the adult’s intentional use of language to mediate meaning-making during experiences. Infants and toddlers need words to provide content “because to think, you have to think about something” (p. 31). As the teacher expounds on what is happening, asks questions, waits for answers,

and provides powerful descriptive language, she entices the infant/toddler brain to create pathways for remem-bering the experience and ideas associated with it. For example, an infant is manipulating clay with her hands. The teacher says, “You nipped off a small piece this time using just your thumb and pointer finger. You are rolling the clay into a ball using your hand and the table. How will you get it to stick to the large flat piece? (pause) Oh, you just pushed down hard on it. Will it work?”

Teachers also promote brain development through their intentional planning of curricular experiences. Teachers must carefully observe the children to learn what they are interested in, what they can do indepen-dently and with assistance, and what confuses them. Because feeling disoriented is an essential prerequi-site for learning, teachers should create experiences that produce results that are counter to what the child might expect, given their current level of understand-ing. “The teacher, like an administrative assistance to children’s brains, reminds, refocuses, and provokes them to remember” (p. 148). On the other hand, teach-ers must balance provocations with repetition. Adults often have difficulty deferring their work so toddlers can engage in theirs—namely, repeating an activity. Teachers need to be intentional about following the pace set by the children and not just impose their own.

Lewin-Benham concluded her book by stating chil-dren’s extensive experiences with materials “trigger the brain functions that from 0 to 3 lay the groundwork for increasingly complex learning” (p. 158), and a large vocabulary of materials helps children to “imagine, build relationships, realize ideas for projects, make construc-tions and contraptions, and in a word think” (p. 159).

Spotlight on Research

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centers of Reggio Emilia, teachers have constructed a particular approach to curricular planning referred to as progettazione, or flexible planning (Rinaldi, 1998). This curriculum is character-ized by uncertainty, no predetermined outcome, and multiple directions for the work. Teachers there plan open-ended experi-ences to facilitate the co-construction of knowledge for children and themselves. They view the teacher’s role as that of a resource who does not simply satisfy needs or answer questions but instead helps children discover their own answers and, more importantly, helps them learn to ask good questions (Rinaldi, 1998). Therefore, this “is a dynamic process based on communication that ge nerates documentation and is regenerated by documentation” (Gandini & Goldhaber, 2001, p. 128).

As discussed earlier, a key principle of the educational approach used in Reggio Emilia, Italy, involves the many languages of chil-dren. Children are provided with multiple opportunities and ave-nues for expressing their understanding of the world. Thus, children use their “one hundred languages” to tell adults and peers what they know. Some avenues for expression include, but are not lim-ited to, sculpting with clay or wire, painting, building with found materials, sketching, acting out stories, and dancing with scarves. These types of curricular experiences serve to cultivate and elabo-rate on the image of the child as a competent, capable, active learner who is constantly creating and re-creating theories about the world.

Sample ProjectThis section provides two examples of projects that can be done with a group of children. The number and types of projects appropriate for chil-dren this age are only limited by teachers’ thinking. The first example extends from the butterfly garden discussed in Chapter 8. The toddlers were curious about the butterflies that come and go in their garden, ask-ing many questions about how they fly. You notice that the children have discovered that they can see the butterfly garden from a window in the classroom. You decide to extend their interest by placing a small table near the window. On this table, you place a book about butterflies, two pairs of binoculars, and two clipboards with blank paper/pencils for drawing and writing. This proves to be a popular area, with many children visiting it for 10–15 minutes at a time. You decide to post a large piece of easel paper on the wall and record all of the questions you hear being asked. After review-ing the list, you decide to provide a new provocation and add a bird feeder to the garden. The children immediately notice it and wonder who else might visit the garden. When the yellow finches come to feed, the opportu-nity to discuss and compare how the butterflies and birds fly arises.

The other example is a project about wheeled vehicles that was created for a group of older toddlers. Joan and Derek displayed interest when the wheels fell off a vehicle in the block area. They immediately noticed that the car didn’t move as easily without the wheels, and after about five min-utes of “hard” pushing, left it lying on the edge of the carpet.

Picking up on the children’s frustration about the car, Sue decided to provoke the children’s thinking about wheels further. She placed a

progettazione Italian term that is loosely translated as “flexible planning.”

PhOTO 9–8 To plan engaging and challenging experiences, create curriculum based on your prior observations of each individual child.

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full-size car tire (that had been cleaned) in the center of the room and waited to see what the children would do. Derek ran right to it and began to climb on it. Sue stood back and watched as other children began to join in the excitement. After about seven minutes, she sat on the floor near the children and asked questions such as “What is this?” “What is this for?” “How does it help a car move?” “Can a wheel help you move?” “What helps you move?” and recorded their answers. Later that day when the children were napping, she took a few moments to review her notes. She began to web what the children knew about the movement of wheels and people (Figure 9–2).

Sue decided to build on the children’s interest in the wheels and planned the curricular experiences for the following week. To “kick off” the project, she planned to take the children on a walking field trip in their neighborhood to look for wheels. She mapped out the route to take so they would pass by the used car dealership and the playground with the tire swings. She prepared a clipboard (e.g., a piece of cardboard cut to 9″ × 12″ with unlined paper held on by a binder clip) with a pencil for each child to sketch what he or she saw. Later in the week, they were going to work with clay to represent wheels and possibly cars. She would put books about transportation in the reading/listening center and in the art center for when they worked with paint or clay. She planned to add wheels to the construc-tion area that fit on the unit blocks so children could build their own cars.

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FIGURE 9–2 ◗ An Example of Webbing About Wheels, Constructed by the Teacher After Conversing with the Children

Tricycle

Roll

Movement

Wheels

Wagon

Cars

Feet

Run

Pedal

Kick

Walk

Push

Food

Sun

Swings

Trucks

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Of course, Sue and her co-teacher, Joni, will document these classroom events using their digital video camera (which takes still photographs as well), running records of conversations, and work samples. These data will be reviewed daily during nap time and on Friday before planning experi-ences for the next week.

As mentioned in Chapter 8, the educators in Reggio Emilia speak of the importance of finding the “extraordinary in the ordinary” (L. Gandini, personal communication, January 26, 2001). In other words, early child-hood educators should balance novel and familiar objects in the environ-ment. Exploring flashlights on a dreary, rainy day meaningfully engages the children in investigating light, dark, and shadows. Wurm (2005) explains that teachers and children in Reggio engage in four types of over-lapping projects on a regular basis: intentional, daily life, self-managed, and environmental projects. The ones most important to infants and tod-dlers are daily life and environmental, which can both lead into inten-tional projects. Daily life projects are those events that occur repeatedly or on an ongoing basis for very young children. Learning to eat and dress independently and to separate from and rejoin family members, for exam-ple, are daily life projects. May et al. (2004) provide additional examples of daily life projects about object permanence and identity development.

Environmental projects are inherently built into the classroom as part of the learning environment (Wurm, 2005). In other words, these projects emerge directly from the space and materials in which the children live and work. Children investigate methods of construction and principles of physical sciences (e.g., balance, force) due to the availability of different types of blocks (e.g., large, hollow, unit blocks or cardboard bricks). Return-ing to our previous example, the children noticed the importance of wheels to make a vehicle move while pushing cars around on the carpet. When the teachers provided provocations to extend the children’s thinking, they moved the work in the direction of an intentional project. Intentional proj-ects result from the teachers’ careful observation of and attention to the children’s daily life and environmental projects and the teachers’ planning and designing of flexible learning experiences (Photo 9–9) (Wurm, 2005). Good infant-toddler curriculum, then, should provide children with conti-nuity from home to school and from day to day or even week to week. Chil-dren need time and support to construct and co-construct their knowledge of the world (see, e.g., Cross & Swim, 2006).

Teachers must assume the responsibility for reflecting on and evalu-ating the effectiveness of the curriculum (routine care and planned expe-riences). Therefore, feedback is a critical part of the curriculum cycle, whether you are planning for an individual child or a small group of chil-dren. You should solicit feedback from family members, colleagues, your own reflections, and the children themselves. Analyzing the documenta-tion of the children’s involvement, for example, ensures that the children have a balanced curriculum in the formal, planned times with you. Putting these data together with those collected during routine care times should provide evidence of a holistic, nurturing curriculum for each child in your care. If you find that any child is not receiving well-thought-out care, determine what changes are needed and make them to improve the quality of care and education provided for each child.

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PhOTO 9–9 Intentional projects arise from a teacher’s observation and attention to each child’s daily life and environment.

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9-1 Identify major influences on the curriculum.Infant-toddler curriculum, or everything that happens with a child during the time in an early childhood program, covers routine care times (e.g., eating and diapering) and planned learning experiences (e.g., daily plans or projects). Multiple forces, such as family culture, program philoso-phy, and child characteristics, influence how the curriculum is developed.

9-2 Defend why routine care times are important for facilitating development and learning.Routine care times (e.g., diapering, feeding, sleep-ing) should be designed to facilitate development

and learning of each individual child. Specific guidelines for select routines were provided.

9-3 plan daily or weekly, integrated lesson plans that are individualized for each child.Caregivers also plan daily or weekly, integrated lesson plans. Like routine care times, daily or weekly plans should be individualized for each child.

Summary

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.

1. List three reasons for creating daily plans for infants and young toddlers.2. How can a project be used to involve a child physically? Emotionally?

Socially? Cognitively?

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April is a teacher in a birth to 2-year-old, mixed-age classroom at a local university. Lukaz has been in her class since he was 6 weeks old, so she is very famil-iar with him and his family. He is a healthy 21-month-old child who has outstanding verbal skills. He speaks in full sentences and possesses an extensive vocab-ulary. He has a close friend in Tyler who is almost 2. The two boys are almost inseparable: they both love to read books, build ramps, and play chase games. She has noticed lately that these two children seem bored in the classroom and have disrupted others who were working on two different occasions. For example, on Monday, Mackenzie was painting at the easel, and Lukaz pushed her arm as he walked by. Tyler laughed when Mackenzie started to cry. As these behaviors are not typical for either boy, April decided to spend the next two days watching them closely and gathering some additional data.

Here are some data April gathered along with her wonderings.

1. Lukaz is in the book area. He picked up a board book, opened one page, and tossed it back toward the basket. He said “These are for babies.” Tyler responded with, “Yeah, babies. Let’s go.” They left the area. [April’s wonderings: When did I last add new books? Are they ready for stories with more words or more complex artwork?]

2. In the block area, Tyler has built a simple ramp using unit blocks. Lukaz helped him line up the

plastic people at the end of the ramp. They have one car and are taking turns pushing it down the ramp to knock over the people. [April’s wonder-ings: What else could challenge them with ramps? What questions should I ask? Should I be con-cerned about running over people—doesn’t seem very caring?]

3. Mackenzie, Lukaz, and Tyler are sitting at the art table working with clay. Lukaz is making a car. He is challenged by the wheels not rolling. His voice is getting louder as he rolls a wheel between his palms. Mackenzie tells him to “Stop.” He reaches over and pounds on her creation. She begins to cry.

a. Before addressing the specifics of the case, think about planning curriculum in general. What must be accomplished before an individ-ualized curriculum can be developed for any child? Why?

b. Do you think that April’s initial conclusion that Lukaz and Tyler are bored is accurate? Why or why not? Use the data she gathered to help pro-vide evidence for your conclusion.

c. What curricular experiences would you plan to challenge Lukaz and Tyler? How would these experiences build on the boys’ strengths? Pro-vide examples of daily plans as well as plans for an ongoing project.

Challenging Lukaz and TylerC a S e S t u D Y

Lesson Plantitle: Comforting JackChild Observation:

Jack, 17 months, started in the program two weeks ago; he attends four full days a week. He fell asleep in his pri-mary caregiver’s arms but startled awake when she put him in his crib. He cried hard for the next 18 minutes.

Teacher Interpretation:

This fits the patterns of other days; Jack has never slept more than 30 minutes at a time. He doesn’t seem to have a favorite item to use at nap time; a new blan-ket is brought to the program each day. I have been in constant communication with his grandmother since

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he joined our program. She told me that Jack moved in with her and her husband when her son, Jack’s father, was deployed as part of the National Guard. Her son is expected to be away for 12 months.

Child’s Developmental Goal:

To facilitate the development of trust

To find comfort in a new situation

Materials: Item that Jack finds comforting at home; Dad’s favorite scent (e.g., cologne or body spray)

Preparation: Invite Jack’s grandparents to determine an item that he finds comfort in, such as a blanket or stuffed animal. Have them spray a bit of his Dad’s cologne or body spray on the item before bringing it to the program.

Learning Environment:

1. When Jack is ready for his nap, prepare his bottle and retrieve the item (i.e., blanket) provided by his grandparents.

2. Draw his attention to the blanket by using descrip-tive language. To illustrate, you could say:

“Your grandmother thought you would like this special blanket. It smells good, like your Daddy. Would you like to smell it?

3. Invite Jack to touch and cuddle with the blanket, if he hasn’t already.

4. While feeding Jack his bottle, talk with him about how scary it is to be in a new program but how you want to help him. Say something such as:a. It is scary to be here. You miss your dad, grand-

mother, and grandfather. Your grandmother will be back to pick you up later. I’ll stay with you until she comes for you.

b. New faces are scary. You don’t know me well yet. I am here to help you. I feed you, keep you clean, and help you find toys to play with.

5. Explain that you will rock and hold him until his bottle is finished. Then, tell him that you will put him in his crib with his special blanket.

6. When you put him in the crib, make sure that his blanket is close by. Place him on his back and stay nearby to continue comforting him. Pat his belly or gently rub his arm if that seems to help him.

Guidance Consideration:

If Jack becomes overly upset when placed in his crib, pick him up and comfort him. As soon as possible, return him to his crib.

Variations:

Use the scented blanket throughout the day to provide comfort when Jack becomes upset.

Additional ResourcesDerman-Sparks, L., & Ramsey, P. G., with Edwards, J. O.

(2011). What if all the kids are white: Anti-bias mul-ticultural education with young children and fami-lies (2nd ed.). New York: Teachers College Press.

Helm, J. H. (2014). Becoming young thinkers: Deep project work in the classroom. New York: Teachers College Press.

Lickey, D. C., & Powers, D. J. (2011). Starting with their strengths: Using the project approach in early childhood special education. New York: Teachers College Press.

Marotz, L. R. (2015). Health, safety and nutrition for the young child (9th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

de Melendez, W. R., & Beck, V. O. (2013). Teaching young children in multicultural classrooms: Issues, concepts, and strategies (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Topal, C. W., & Gandini, L. (1999). Beautiful stuff! Learning with found materials. Worcester, MA: Davis Publications.

Professional Resource Download

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Learning ObjectivesAfter reading this chapter, you should be able to:

10-1 Describe early intervention.

10-2 Discriminate between different types of intervention.

10-3 Summarize the notion of special needs and special rights.

10-4 Explain why family capacity-building is a vital component of early intervention.

10-5 Identify the steps involved in the evaluation and assessment process, and apply this to your own practice.

10-6 Describe the characteristics and care of children with special rights related to physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development.

Standards Addressed in This Chapter

NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation

1 Promoting Child Development and Learning

Developmentally Appropriate Practice Guidelines

2 Teaching to Enhance Development and Learning

In addition, the NAEYC standards for develop-mentally appropriate practice are divided into six areas particularly important to infant/toddler care. The following areas are addressed in this

Early Intervention 10C h A P t E r

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chapter: relationship between caregiver and child; and exploration and play.

Co-written with Heloise Maconochie

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10-1 What Is Early Intervention?Early intervention (EI) can occur at any time in a child’s life. For example, health-care professionals may seek to intervene early in the lives of adoles-cents at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. However, as it pertains to early childhood, EI means to intervene early, and as soon as possible, in the lives of young children and their families who are experiencing difficulties or who may be “at risk” for poor developmental outcomes. In its broadest sense, EI refers to policies, services, and programs applied to vulnerable children and their families to promote a child’s healthy development and to reduce or prevent specific problems before they become intractable (Smith & Guralnick, 2007).

In the United States, under the provisions of Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the notion of EI is associated with a system of services to help disabled children (in our case, infants and tod-dlers) and those at risk of developmental delay. This includes children from birth until their third birthday who are experiencing developmental delays in one or more domain—cognitive, physical, communicative, social, emo-tional, or adaptive—or who have a physical or mental impairment that has a high probability of resulting in delay, such as Down syndrome or cerebral palsy. As discussed in previous chapters, all young children learn through social interaction with their primary caregivers and others, as well as through exploration of their environment. However, for disabled children, their learning experiences are likely to be more restricted than their nondis-abled peers due to the interaction between features of their impairment and the disabling features of the society in which they live. In other words, a disability is evident when an individual with an impairment is prevented from maximum participation in society by environmental, social, and atti-tudinal barriers. Specific intervention is therefore required to remove the environmental and social barriers disabled children face and to support them in achieving their optimal development. IDEA, therefore, provides for special education or specifically designed instruction for children over the age of 3 with an impairment, disability, or developmental delay.

At state discretion, Part C of IDEA can also apply to infants and tod-dlers who are at risk of poor health and/or social-emotional difficulties

early intervention Comprehensive services for infants and toddlers who have special rights or are at risk of acquiring a disability. Services may include education, health care, and/or social and psychological assistance.

IDEA Federal law in the United States that provides rights and protections for a free and appropriate public education to all children, ages 3–21. Part C outlines provisions for infants, toddlers, and their families.

Kierston, 2 1/2-months-old, has just arrived at the child care home. She sits in her infant seat, which is on the floor by the sofa. Kierston’s fists are closed, and her arms and legs make jerky movements. As each of the other children arrives, they smile and “talk” to her, with the caregiver watching close by. Kierston does not make eye contact with any child, and after a few

minutes, she starts to whimper, then cry. Bill, the care-giver, picks her up and says, “Are you getting sleepy? Do you want a nap?” Bill takes Kierston into the bed-room and puts her in her crib, where she promptly falls asleep.

Continue to think about Kierston as you read this chapter; we will return to her situation at the end.

Kierston’s Mother Is Depressed C A S E S t u D Y

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due to environmental factors such as poverty, homelessness, substantiated child abuse, poor attachment to caregivers, and parental mental illness and substance abuse. Indeed, research evidence suggests that infants and toddlers who experience adverse circumstances and maltreatment are six times more likely to have a developmental delay than the general population (Hebbeler, Spiker, Bailey, Scarborough, Mallik, Simeonsson, et al., 2007). The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study shows that young children having a difficult start to their lives can experience lifelong personal and social problems leading to high economic costs for society (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). Therefore, there is strong justification for intervening early to promote infant mental health and to reduce the risk of children’s development being ham-pered by poverty, abuse, neglect, or other early parent-child relationship difficulties.

The rationale for investing in EI is based on the premise that acting early on in a child’s life results in important effects not gained if action is delayed (Smith & Guralnick, 2007). Thus, intervention can pay divi-dends in the long term by improving a child’s overall development, includ-ing their social and emotional well-being and educational attainment, as well as helping to prevent problems in later life. Indeed, in recent years, there has been recognition by policy makers internationally that investing in early years’ prevention and intervention makes sense economically, as

talkIng aboUt early InterventIon

impairment A medical condition, diagnosis, or description of functioning that could be related to a difficulty with physical, sensory, cognitive/commu-nicative, adaptive, or social-emotional functioning. Examples of impairment include cerebral palsy, deaf-ness, learning difficulties, speech and language diffi-culties, and depression.

disability A dynamic interaction between individual impairment and the social effects of impairment as a consequence of environmental, social, and attitudinal barriers that prevent people with impairments from maximum participation in society. Examples of dis-abling barriers include buildings without ramps or lifts, discriminatory attitudes, segregated education, and inadequate health care.

disabled children Children who are treated differently because of an individual impairment. See disability definition above.

developmental delay A child who is experiencing a delay as defined by the state in which he or she resides

and as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments in one or more of the following areas: physical devel-opment, cognitive development, communication devel-opment, social or emotional development, or adaptive development (IDEA, 2004).

early intervention Comprehensive services for dis-abled infants and toddlers and those at risk of devel-opmental delay. Services may include education, health-care, and/or social and psychological assistance (Hardman, Drew, & Egan, 2014).

infant mental health The capacity to regulate and express emotions, form secure attachments, and explore the environment and learn. These skills develop in the context of family and community. Infant mental health is synonymous with healthy social and emotional development from birth to age 3.

special education Specifically designed instruction provided to children over the age of 3 with an impair-ment, disability, or developmental delay at no cost to the parents and in all settings (e.g., the classroom, physical education facilities, the home, and hospitals or institutions).

Spotlight on Terminology

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InFant Mental health

As defined previously, infant mental health focuses on promoting optimal social and emotional development of infants and toddlers. Chapter 3 outlined numerous social and emotional skills that need to be acquired for health development as well as how family and commu-nity factors influence that development. This Spotlight on Research box will investigate when development goes off the expected trajectory and intervention strate-gies to address areas for growth.

The mental health of infants and toddlers are impacted by the context in which they are being raised. Family crises, such as divorce (see Spotlight on Re -search box in Chapter 6), abuse or neglect (Osofsky & Lieberman, 2011), domestic violence (Brinaman, Taranta, & Johnston, 2012; Ellison, 2014), or homeless-ness (Brinaman et al., 2012) can disrupt the parent-child relationship and/or obscure the infant’s needs. Sim-ilarly, issues on either side of the relationship can be disruptive: maternal depression (Bydlowski, Lalanne, Golse, & Vaivre-Douret, 2013), maternal substance abuse (Flykt, Punamäki, Belt, Biringen, Salo, Posa, et al., 2012; Siqveland, Haabrekke, Wentzel-Larsen, & Moe, 2014), infant sleep and eating disorders (Christl, Reilly, Smith, Sims, Chavasse, & Austin, 2013) as well as aggression in very young children (see Bolten, 2013, for a review). Even though the vast majority of this research focused on the mother-child relationship, Fitzgerald, Bocknek, Hossain, and Roggman (2015) remind us of the important role fathers play in develop-ment, from pregnancy on, both directly and indirectly through their marital relationship.

As you will read later in this chapter, infant men-tal health is most often a problem of the relationship between adults and children. As such, interventions must be through bi-generational services (e.g., ser-vices that simultaneously address the needs of adults and children). The Parenting Interactions with Chil-dren: Checklist of Observations Linked to Outcomes (PICCOLO) measures parenting strengths that have been shown to improve outcomes for children, such as increased language and attention to emotions. When used with a protocol of therapeutic interactions and

observations and analysis of parent-child interac-tions (mostly through videotaped interactions), par-ents gained a deeper understand of their strengths and received guidance on areas for improvement (Wheeler, Ludtke, Helmer, Barna, Wilson, & Oleksiak, 2013). Although working with the video recordings can be challenging at first, the therapists and parents realized the benefits of immediately reviewing concrete behav-iors of the parents and their child and saw measurable gains in parent-child interactions (Wheeler et al., 2013).

Another intervention strategy, kangaroo mother care, is used to address infant mental health issues. This strategy focuses specifically on attachment and depres-sion issues that often accompany a premature birth. Kangaroo mother care involves prolonged and ongoing skin-to-skin contact between the mother and infant. Botero and Sanders (2014) believe that this type of care promotes a healthy mother-child relationship because it is an external extension of life in the womb. Bera and colleagues (2014) found that premature infants with the lowest birth weights responded best to 40 weeks of kangaroo mother care in terms of weight gain and cogni-tive development. More specifically, the lowest weight children met the control infants in terms of growth at their corrected birth age and then continued to sur-pass the control infants throughout the next 12 months (Bera, Ghosh, Singh, Hazra, Mukherjee, & Mukherjee, 2014). In addition, at 1 year, the infants who received kangaroo mother care also exceeded the control group in terms of cognitive development. While those results are important to the infants’ development, how did the intervention impact the mothers? In a meta-analysis of research, Athanasopoulou and Fox (2014) concluded that kangaroo mother care was beneficial to mothers due to its positive reduction of maternal stress and depression as well as the promotion of more positive interactions with their preterm infants. Thus, the inter-vention of kangaroo mother care has resulted in posi-tive benefits to both the infant and mother within the first year of life. Given the importance of attachment history in the first year of life, it would seem that such positive outcomes would set a foundation for future social and emotional development.

Spotlight on Research

well as ethically, because it can reduce later public spending on expen-sive specialist services in health, social care, education, and the criminal justice system (Cunha & Heckman, 2010; Heckman, 2004; Schweinhart, 2004; Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000; Uren, 2014).

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10-2 Types and Tiers of Early Intervention Multiple forms of EI exist depending on the nature of the difficulty experi-enced by the child and the level of severity (Gore, Hastings, & Brady, 2014; Baker & Feinfield, 2003). Part C of IDEA, Section 303.13, lists a range of different types of intervention available, including audiology and vision services; assistive technologies; family training, counseling, and home vis-its; health, medical, nursing, nutrition, and psychological services; occu-pational, physical, and speech therapies; social work services; and special instruction, such as the design of learning environments and curriculum activities. As you might imagine, different types of personnel with spe-cialized knowledge are needed to deliver each type of interventions. This could include the following:

●● Qualified audiologists●● Vision specialists●● Family therapists●● Nurses●● Occupational therapists●● Physical therapists●● Speech and language pathologists●● Orientation and mobility specialists●● Pediatricians and other physicians for diagnostic and evaluation

purposes●● Psychologists●● Registered dieticians●● Social workers●● Special educators and other suitably qualified professionals, such as

autism specialty providers and developmental specialists

In many cases, intervention teams are multidisciplinary, inasmuch as they involve two or more separate disciplines or professions working in partnership with the child and his or her family.

Levels of EI are often grouped into three tiers: universal, targeted, and specialist (see Figure 10–1). Universal services are provided to, or are rou-tinely available to, all children and their families to promote children’s healthy development. Universal services are generally expected to make reasonable adjustments to include disabled children and those with addi-tional needs. Countries and states (within the United States) differ as to the extent of universal early interventions available to young children and their families, but, in general, the United States lags behind other nations by providing few universal services. Examples provided in other countries include free or heavily subsidized early childhood care and education pro-grams; national/regional health promotions and immunization programs; and mainstream schools.

On the other hand, targeted interventions are not universal, rather, they are targeted at specific families or communities who are experiencing greater levels of difficulty or stress and need additional support. Targeted interventions apply to disabled children and those at risk of developmental

multidisciplinary Intervention teams that are comprised of professionals from two or more separate disciplines or professions working in partnership with the child and his or her family.

universal services programs that are routinely available to all children and their families to promote children’s healthy development.

targeted interventions programs that target specific families or communities who are experiencing greater levels of difficulty or stress and need additional support.

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delay or of developing social and emotional difficulties, such as attachment disorders and challenging behavior. Examples of targeted interventions in the United States include First Steps and Early Head Start. The aim of these often short-term interventions is to provide specific support and guidance to maximize a child’s cognitive, physical, communicative, social, emo-tional, or adaptive functioning, and to prevent or minimize the risk of neg-ative outcomes.

Finally, specialist or specialized interventions tend to be more long term and are provided to families with children who experience persistent challenges or to families in crisis. Specialist interventions offer systematic and sometimes intensive therapeutic treatment and other services to chil-dren and families with acute, complex, or very high-level needs who would otherwise be at great risk of poor outcomes.

For many children, a portfolio of interventions across the tiers is likely to be most effective because these interventions can address multiple risk factors by acting at the individual, family, school, and community levels. This is consistent with the ecological systems perspective advocated by Bronfenbrenner (2001) (see Chapter 1), which is integral to the multidisci-plinary approach of EI programs such as Early Head Start (EHS) and other integrated early education, health, and social care programs such as the Chicago Child-Parent Centers. However, whether children and families participate in mixed early child development interventions like these, or in other EI programs, it is vital that the range of early interventions they do receive are coordinated and flexible (Chen, 2014).

specialist or specialized interventions long-term, systematic services that are provided to children or families with acute, complex, or very high-level needs who would otherwise be at great risk.

mixed early child development intervention Intervention which includes a mix of approaches that can be center-based and home-based and/ or directed at both children and parents.

FIGURE 10–1 ◗ Tiered Approach to Early Intervention Services

Specialist

Targeted

Universal

Intensive specialized interventions/treatments for children and families experiencing high levels of difficulty, where problems are already established For example, The Development, Individual Difference Relationship-based (DIR) Model; Parent-Infant/Toddler Psychotherapy; Parent-Child Interaction therapy; Circle of Security; health, nursing, medical, psychological, and developmental services; and other intensive therapies

Targeted interventions for children and families identi�ed as needing extra support For example, Occupational, Physical, and Speech therapy; positive parenting pograms; home visits such as the Nurse Family Partnership, and services targeted at communities in need such as early Head Start

Universal support for every child and family: prevention and early identi�cation of dif�culty

For example, free early childhood care and education, health promotions, general parenting clases

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As mentioned in Chapter 1, Early Head Start (EHS), which started in 1994, is a federally funded program for low-income pregnant women and families with infants and toddlers. This program evolved from the Head Start program and the clear need to provide early intervention for disad-vantaged children and families. EHS is built on four cornerstones: child development, family development, community building, and staff devel-opment (Early Head Start National Resource Center, 2014). In addition, the program encompasses a range of EI strategies, including services such as the following:

●● Home-based services where families are visited weekly by a home vis-itor provider

●● Center-based services where care and enrichment experiences are pro-vided in an early learning center

●● Family child care services where care and enrichment experiences are provided in a family child care program

●● Health services●● Parental and community engagement such as group learning events

and social activities●● Combination services where more than one of the preceding services is

provided to families (Early Head Start National Resource Center, 2014)

Approximately 12 percent of all children enrolled in Early Head Start and Head Start have been diagnosed with a disability and receive spe-cial education and/or related services to address their developmental or learning issues (Early Head Start Program Facts Sheet, 2011). However, this figure does not include the number of children who are at risk for developmental or learning issues due to being victims of child abuse or neglect.

Even though far too few children are served by this important program, the children who are enrolled have documented positive outcomes in all areas of development. For example, they have higher immunization rates, larger vocabularies, and better social-emotional development as indi-cated by lower rates of aggression with peers and increased attunement with objects when playing (National Head Start Association [NHSA], 2014). They had higher early reading and math scores than peers who were not enrolled in EHS (Lee, Zhai, Brooks-Gunn, Han, & Waldfogel, 2014). African American children who were in EHS programs had bet-ter cognitive outcomes (e.g., increased receptive vocabulary and sustained attention) and social outcomes (e.g., increased engagement with parents during play; reduction in aggressive behaviors; Harden, Sandstrom, & Chazan-Cohen, 2012).

In addition, EHS has been found to have positive effects on parents, including decreased rates of depression, increased participation in educa-tional or job training, and higher rates of employment (NHSA, 2014). They have been found to score higher on measures of parenting supportiveness (Harden et al., 2012), especially for mothers with less initial attachment avoidance or attachment anxiety (Berlin, Whiteside-Mansell, Roggman, Green, Robinson, & Spieker, 2011). NHSA (2014) research found that EHS parents were more likely to read to their child on a daily basis

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and provided a more stimulating home-learning environment. Indeed, research from evaluations of EHS and other EI programs in the United States indicates that programs which combine center-based intervention with home visiting have greater benefits for families than those that rely on home-visiting alone (Love, Kisker, Ross, Raikes, Constantine, Boller, et al., 2005).

10-3 From Special Needs to Special RightsTaking a developmental perspective in our work with young children means valuing all of the individual characteristics for each infant and tod-dler in our care. In addition, it means being able to identify strengths and areas of growth for each child to support optimal growth, development, and learning. In the current context within the United States, educators tend to think about providing services to meet a child’s identified special needs. This perspective has its origins in federal law, specifically IDEA, in which the discourse of early intervention is associated with making provi-sion for “children with disabilities” and “special needs.” However, profes-sionals inspired by educators in Reggio Emilia, Italy, prefer to use the term “children with special rights,” as this further supports a strong, positive image of the child (see Chapter 6). Using this phrase shifts the emphasis away from a deficit model of childhood (i.e., that disabled children are “needy”) and toward a credit model in which all children have rights, including disabled children who have special rights. We would like you to reframe the issue of EI from a deficit approach (i.e., focusing on what dis-abled children lack and their educational needs) to a special rights approach (i.e., focusing on disabled children’s strengths and their educa-tional rights).

The special rights approach of Reggio Emilia also draws on the con-cepts of children’s rights as articulated within the United Nations Con-vention on the Rights of the Child, 1989. The UN Convention guarantees three types of rights for children: provision, protection, and participation (Lansdown, 1994). For example, each child has the right to be provided with an education, to be protected from harm, and to participate in deci-sions that affect his or her life. Thus, educators in Reggio Emilia expand on our basic value of individual rights to include the concept of special rights (Vakil, Freeman, & Swim, 2003). In that educational context, chil-dren with special rights have “immediate precedence” for admission into programs (Gandini, 2001, p. 55) and are included in classrooms along-side their nondisabled peers. This practice reflects how teachers in Reggio Emilia wanted to “embrace, not ignore, the concept of differences among children” (Soncini, 2012, p. 189). Soncini (2012) continues that while an impairment brings with it a difference, this is just one of many differences that every child, disabled and nondisabled, exhibits: “We want to have an encounter with these and all exceptions. Each child has his or her own exceptionality” (p. 190). We add to this understanding of special rights the idea that teachers must start their work focusing on what each child can do independently and adding on what she is entitled to learn with assistance (refer to the Vygotsky discussion in Chapter 2). When teachers, children, and family members discuss differences and come to terms with

special needs a deficit model that focuses on what children are not able to do, their limitations, or what they need, oftentimes to the exclusion of their strengths or abilities.

special rights a credit or strength-based model in which all children have rights, including disabled children who have special educational rights.

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conflicting ideas, then everyone can see the child’s possibilities and limits realistically (Soncini, 2012). Thus, giving some children the status of spe-cial rights is seen as a way to improve everyone’s participation and inclu-sion within the community.

10-4 The Need for Family Capacity-Building Traditionally, EI programs have been concerned with targeting individual children who have been deemed eligible for services under the criteria defined by the nation/state/region in which they reside. Interventions may include the provision of educational and/or therapeutic services, health-care, and/or social and psychological assistance (Hardman et al., 2014). However, in more recent years, awareness of the vital role that parents play in fostering children’s well-being, learning, and development has increased and subsequently broadened the term to include interventions targeted at both children and their parents (Photo 10–1). Indeed, there is a growing recognition among early childhood and EI programs that “in order to truly address the best interests of the children, they must also serve the best interests of their parents” (Summers and Chazan-Cowen, 2012, p. 52). This realization has led to the provision of high-quality family support and other bi-generational services and therapeutic programs that focus on par-enting practices as well as children’s well-being, education, and develop-ment. Consequently, effective EI programs have a twofold focus: (1) to promote the best possible outcomes for the child, and (2) to enhance the capacity of families (and communities) to meet their child’s needs. Early Head Start and the Nurse-Family Partnership in the United States and Sure Start Children’s Centres in England are good examples of family capacity- building programs that seek to intervene early in the lives of families with infants and toddlers.

Building the capacity of families to support their child’s development is important not only in mixed intervention programs such as EHS but also in therapeutic interventions with disabled children and programs targeted at children with emotional difficulties. Rather than leaving “intervention” to the specialists/clinicians (e.g., through the child participating in a one-hour clinical session once a week with a therapist), professionals should

work in close collaboration with families so that parents are able to incorporate specialists’ strategies into their child’s everyday routines and activities. For example, a physical therapist could introduce and illustrate to the parent of a child with mobility difficulties how to use a four-point kneeling exercise and then have the parent use this practice with his or her child and eval-uate the experience. Alternatively, for a pre-verbal toddler with behavioral difficulties, a specialist could model and explain how to attune and respond to a child’s communicative cues, and then film the parent attempting this with his or her toddler. The par-ent and specialist could then watch the film together to evalu-ate how the interaction went. These intervention strategies can then be implemented by parents (and teachers) on an ongoing basis rather than being conducted solely by a specialist on an

bi-generational services When services are provided to adults and children through the same program, often at the same time.

family capacity-building When professionals work in close collaboration with families to uncover each family members’ goals and wishes for the child. then, strategies are designed for the everyday routine and activities so that parents are able to improve their lives and the daily lives of their child.

PhOTO 10–1 Parents play a vital role in fostering children’s well-being.

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occasional basis. When intervention strategies are built into the fabric of the families’ daily life and respond to family members’ reported goals and challenges with daily routines, parents are more apt to implement them on a regular basis (Siller, Morgan, Turner-Brown, Baggett, Baranek, Brian, et al., 2013). The researchers also found that building on the families’ daily life “fostered the density of treatment hours, facilitated generalization across activities, and expanded opportunities for families and children to participate together in meaningful everyday activities” (Siller et al., 2013, p. 373).

early InterventIon anD bUIlDIng CollaboratIve partnerShIpS

After a child has been evaluated and deemed to benefit from early intervention, family members, clinicians, and teachers must find ways to build working part-nerships. A literature review revealed three aspects of building partnerships: (1) starting from a strength-based perspective, (2) sharing expectations, and (3) meeting emotional needs.

Working from a strength-based perspective means that professionals use language and communications to demonstrate what a child can do or is working on. For example, instead of saying that the child cannot sit unassisted, you could reframe the situation to say that the child is rolling over independently. Both observa-tions might be true, but the latter one highlights what the child can do. In this way, reframing provides a way for teachers to build a new perspective around the child and family (Weishaar, 2010).

The second aspect of building this partnership is for teachers and clinicians to shed their expert roles and co-construct with families a shared frame of refer-ence (Lyons, O’Malley, O’Connor, & Monaghan, 2010; McWilliam, 2015). In other words, all parties must share their goals, fears, concerns, and so on, as a start-ing point for the work. Parents are often uncertain about their roles, especially how to participate in ther-apy sessions and how they are expected to carry over strategies (Lyons et al., 2010). Being clear about what you expect from them and what they expect from you can create a stronger foundation from which to work.

Creating a partnership also involves finding ways to address and fulfill the emotional needs of the partici-pants. Brotherson et al. (2010) found that families and professionals had four types of emotional needs:

(a) a need for a sense of hope in the child’s prog-ress, (b) a sense of urgency to provide timely early

intervention and prevent or ameliorate the child’s disabilities, (c) a feeling of stress arising from multi-ple or complex challenges experienced by families, and (d) a sense of overload on the part of profession-als based on feeling inadequate to deal with com-plex needs or demands of the job. (p. 38)

Unfortunately, not all emotional needs are addressed equally in all partnerships. Sometimes the profession-als’ needs were met, sometimes the families’ needs were met, sometimes both the professionals’ and fam-ilies’ needs were met, and sometimes neither had their needs met (Brotherson et al., 2010). Systems of practice must be put in place better to ensure that everyone’s needs are appropriately addressed in the partnership. Epley et al. (2010) discovered in their research that administrative practices and procedures had a sig-nificant impact on providers’ ability to serve families of young children with disabilities. If the goal of the early intervention is to promote optional development in children, then professionals at all levels must create working partnerships that help everyone engage fully in the therapy process.

The collaborative relationship is not just between families and intervention professionals. Early child-hood teachers are a vital part of the process, often providing intervention strategies on a regular basis in their program or classroom. In a recent inquiry, Mattern (2015) discovered that early childhood educators were knowledgeable about evidence-based practices in early intervention. Unfortunately, they did not feel that such practices were being implemented in their programs/classrooms. Mattern concluded that early childhood educators need additional education and guided prac-tice to increase their ability to deliver high-quality early intervention strategies. This study demonstrates the importance of each member of the intervention team receiving support so that her or his needs are met.

Spotlight on Research

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Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.

1. What are the benefits of intervening early (1) for the child, (2) for the family, and (3) for society?

2. How does the family capacity-building approach described here compare to the EI practice you have observed or been involved with?

r E A D I N G C h E C K P O I N t

10-5 The Evaluation and Assessment ProcessChildren diagnosed with a specific condition, or who experience sig-nificant prematurity, low birth weight, illness, or surgery, are eligible for EI services from birth. In other cases, if an infant or toddler acquires an impairment later, or if a parent, caregiver, or other professional suspects a child is entitled to additional support, the family may be referred for assessment. Eligibility is ascertained by evaluating the child to see if she does, in fact, have a delay in development or a disability. Part C eligibil-ity is determined by each state’s definition of “developmental delay” and whether it includes children “at risk” in the eligibility formula.

10-5a the role of teachersTeachers have particular responsibilities regarding the identification of spe-cial rights, especially for children who experience poverty because they have been found to be at higher risk of disability, behavioral and emotional dif-ficulties, and ill health (Spencer, 2008; Shahtahmasebi, Emerson, Berridge, & Lancaster, 2011; World Health Organization, 2011). Peterson, Mayer, Summers, and Luze (2010) identify six recommendations for teachers:

1. Monitor children closely, especially when their families face multiple risks.

2. Develop clear procedures to determine when and how to refer families to disability-related services.

3. Collaborate closely with community partners.

4. Collaborate with the health-care community to address health issues and identify potential disabilities.

In your center-based classroom, you serve two chil-dren with special rights. Both children are sociable and show good emotional regulation. They are each challenged by physical movement, but for different reasons and to different degrees. A physical therapist and an occupational therapist provide intervention ser-vices each week. You try to implement the strategies

shown but they do not always work smoothly in your classroom routine. How can you communicate your issues to the therapists without appearing unsupport-ive of their work or unwilling to implement the strat-egies? What will you specifically do and say during a conversation?

Family and Community Connections

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5. Focus on early intervention strategies to prevent problems from becom-ing delays.

6. Provide services and support to families of children with disabilities.

After carefully observing, teachers should report their observations to family members and, in partnership with the family members, enlist the assistance of experts trained in clinical diagnoses (Photo 10–2). First Steps (a federally funded intervention program), Early Head Start, private agen-cies, and public schools should all have qualified personnel on staff to assess, evaluate, and provide diagnoses as appropriate. Only such experts can diagnose a child. As a teacher, you should never tell a family member that you think her child has a particular disorder or delay. In fact, doing so oversteps your areas of expertise and exposes you to specific legal liabil-ities. Your job is to explain what you have observed and allow the family member to draw her own conclusions. You can note, however, if any of the behaviors “raise a red flag” (i.e., item of concern) or “raise a yellow flag” (i.e., item to be watched further) for you and why. You should also note the child’s unique strengths and interests, celebrating and building on these with the child, family members, and any other professionals involved.

10-5b the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)After the qualified person has completed an assessment, the need for a spe-cific educational plan will be determined. If such a plan is warranted, a conference of all necessary professionals and family members will be con-vened. The goal of this meeting is to create an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) that outlines how professionals will provide services and assist the family in supporting the child’s growth, development, and learning.

PhOTO 10–2 Teachers should report observations to family members, rather than try to diagnose a particular disorder or delay.

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Depending on the nature of the difficulty, these assessments may involve professionals from a variety of different disciplines. Under IDEA, evaluations and assessments are to be provided at no cost to the parent. At each stage of the process, professionals need to collaborate with parents/caregivers (Gore et al., 2014) and to be culturally responsive to children and families in all screening, assessment, and intervention practices (Lynch and Hanson, 2011).

After the IFSP has been constructed, it is your responsibility as an educator to carry out the aspects of the early intervention plan that are assigned or designated to you. According to the Center for Parent Informa-tion and Resources (2014), the IFSP should contain the following elements:

●● The child’s present physical, cognitive, communication, social/emotional, and adaptive development levels and needs

●● Family information (with consent from parents), including the resources, priorities, and concerns of the child’s parents and other fam-ily members closely involved with the child

●● The major results or outcomes expected to be achieved for the child and family

●● The specific services the child will be receiving●● Where in the natural environment (e.g., home, community) the services

will be provided (if the services will not be provided in the natural environment, the IFSP must include a statement justifying why not)

●● When and where the child will receive services●● The number of days or sessions he or she will receive each service and

how long each session will last●● Who will pay for the services●● The name of the service coordinator overseeing the implementation of

the IFSP●● The steps to be taken to support the child’s transition out of EI and into

another program when the time comes (e.g., how the child will transi-tion from EI to preschool special education after his third birthday)

10-5c Natural EnvironmentsEarly intervention programs and services may be delivered in a variety of settings. Part C of IDEA requires that “to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of the child, EI must be provided in natural environments, including the home and community settings in which children without disabilities participate” (34 CFR Para 303.12(b)). It is therefore a legal requirement that EI must be provided in settings that are natural or typi-cal for a nondisabled infant or toddler to the maximum extent appropriate (Photo 10–3). Only when this cannot be achieved satisfactorily in a natural environment may services be provided in other settings.

There are a number of benefits to this approach. As sociocultural psy-chologists suggest, the social and temporal context of everyday environ-ments, such as home or child care center, are vital for child development (Donaldson, 1978; Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Hogan, 2005). These scholars assert that when children are placed in experimental or clinical settings, they often appear less competent compared to when they are in their

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real-world contexts. Familiar surroundings help children feel more comfortable and thus exhibit their competences more readily. Furthermore, natural environments promote family-centered practices because the focus is on helping families learn how to foster their child’s learning and development as part of the child’s daily routines and activities in their everyday settings. Finally, natural environments promote inclusive practices because children are not excluded from their non-disabled peers.

10-6 Characteristics and Care of Children with Special RightsIn virtually every community in the United States, early interventions for disabled and at-risk infants and toddlers are currently available (Odom, Teferra, & Kaul, 2004). These children sometimes require specialized equipment, care, and curricula, and the child care specialist must learn how to care for children with specific special rights. Because it is impossible to cover all the special conditions and procedures necessary to care for children with special rights in one text, an overview of categories and characteristics is provided here as related to: (1) physical and cognitive/language development, and (2) social and emo-tional development. However, the first source of information should be the child and family. Observe carefully and closely to understand the child. The partnerships you create should encourage the family members to freely exchange information with you. When you know the child well and need additional information about the disability in general, contact the appropriate local and national associations and organizations for information on how to care for an individual child with that specific special right. In other words, you should become an expert on each individual child first and then familiar-ize yourself with the effects of the impairment or difficulty (Brekken, 2004).

10-6a Physical and Cognitive Development The following categories help to explain several of the common special rights infants and toddlers may have regarding physical and cognitive/language development. However, note that every child with one or more of the impairments discussed next is unique in terms of the characteristics she possesses and the care she is entitled to.

1. Children with Motor Difficulties. Infants and toddlers with motor dif-ficulties exhibit delayed motor development, retention of primitive reflexes, and abnormal muscle tone as the result of central nervous sys-tem (CNS) damage or malformation. The three major conditions that are

natural environments legal requirement that eI must be provided in settings that are natural or typical for a nondisabled infant or toddler to the maximum extent appropriate.

inclusive practices the act of educating and providing supports and services to disabled children in settings with their nondisabled peers.

PhOTO 10–3 As much as possible, EI services must be provided in natural, typical settings.

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accompanied by motor difficulties are cerebral palsy, myelomeningo-cele, and Down syndrome. Infants and toddlers with motor difficulties usually exhibit delays in other developmental areas as well because learning occurs through active exploration of the world. Research on interventions involving systematic exercise and sensory stimulation and integration indicates that early intervention can improve motor and sensory development and encourage parent support and accep-tance. For more information, contact the American Medical Associa-tion, American Academy of Pediatrics, and local chapters of specific organizations such as the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation.

2. Biologically At-Risk Infants and Toddlers. Some children experience central nervous system (CNS) damage, for example, from CNS infec-tions, trauma, ingestion of toxins, and sustained hypoxia (lack of oxygen). Research results on interventions ranging from special nurs-ery settings and free nursing and medical care to infant stimulation by parents yield mixed results, with very short-term, positive effects. Interventions for this population appear to be more effective with par-ents than with children. For more information, contact the American Medical Association, the county health department, the American Academy of Pediatrics, or local pediatricians.

3. Children with Visual Impairments. Infants and toddlers who are blind or have low vision are found in approximately 1 out of 3,000 births, with a wide range of severity and etiology. The most important consid-eration is visual efficiency, which includes acuity, visual fields, ocular motility, binocular vision, adaptations to light and dark, color vision, and accommodation. Research findings indicate that early intervention helps visually impaired infants and toddlers perform closer to typi-cal developmental expectations. Interventions using a team approach, including parents, child care specialists, and other professionals, are more effective than individual treatment approaches. For more infor-mation, contact the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness, the National Council for Exceptional Children, the local health depart-ment, and agencies for the blind or those with low vision.

4. Children with Hearing Impairments. Hearing impairments are classified by type (sensorineural, conductive, or mixed), time of onset (at birth or after), severity (mild to profound), and etiology. Research indicates that early intervention programs should include parent counseling, staff with training in audiology, speech and language training, sign language as a normal program component, the flexibility to help each family, and the involvement of deaf adults as resources for children. For more informa-tion, contact the Council for Exceptional Children, the local health depart-ment, and the National Association of the Deaf.

5. Children Who Are Medically Fragile. A new subgroup of health disorders, referred to as medically fragile, has emerged in recent years (Hardman et al., 2014). These individuals are at risk for medical emergencies and often require specialized support. For example, children with feeding tubes need highly trained individuals to provide necessary nutritional supplements. Other times, medically fragile children have progressive dis-eases (e.g., AIDS or cancer) or episodic conditions (e.g., severe asthma or sickle cell disease; Hardman et al., 2014). Such disorders have an impact

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not only on the way the infant or toddler forms his or her own identity but also on how others see and treat him or her. Seeking information from fam-ilies or community agencies/organizations can help to alleviate your con-cerns and educate the child’s peers about the specific disorder, improving peer relationships (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2013).

6. Children with Cognitive and General Developmental Disorders. Some infants and toddlers exhibit delays in several facets of cognition, such as information processing, problem solving, and the ability to apply information to new situations. These issues may have environmental or genetic sources such as Down syndrome or teratogenic damage. Global delays in motor, cognitive, language, and socioemotional areas are com-mon. Children with cognitive and general developmental disorders tend to reach milestones but at a much slower rate, with lower final levels of development. Research strongly indicates that EI programs prevent the decline in intellectual functioning found in children with mild learning difficulties who do not receive intervention. Programs for children with moderate and profound learning difficulties are more effective with active parental participation and training, but overall they appear to be less effective with infants and toddlers with mild learning difficulties. For more information, contact the American Asso-ciation on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the local special education administration, or local chapters of specific associations such as the Down Syn-drome Association.

7. Children with Language and Communication Disorders. Infants and toddlers who exhibit problems with the mechanics of speech (phona-tion, moving air from the lungs through the mouth, and articulation) have speech disorders, and children with problems using the rules of language (labeling or forming sentences) have language disorders. Results of studies on var-ious kinds of interventions suggest that the course of communication disorders can be modified through early intervention. For more information, contact the American Associa-tion for Speech and Language, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the Association for Speech and Hearing, and local chapters of associations for speech and lan-guage disorders.

10-6b Social and Emotional Development This section outlines just a few of the ways in which infants and toddlers might exhibit special rights with regard to emotional and social develop-ment. However, the categories here are not exclu-sive to social and emotional development because the domains of development interact differently for each individual (Photo 10–4).

PhOTO 10–4 Children have different social and emotional abilities and needs.

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1. Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Infants and toddlers with ASD exhibit disturbances in developmental rates and sequences, social interactions (i.e., extremely withdrawn), responses to sensory stimuli, communication, and the capacity to relate appropriately to people, events, and objects. The incidence of ASD in the general pop-ulation is rising, yet estimates of prevalence rates vary widely: from 1 child out of 68 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014a) to 1 in 143 (Hardman et al., 2014). Overall, however, males outnumber females three to four (American Psychiatric Association, 2014). Data on early assessment suggest that children as young as 18 months can be reliably diagnosed with ASD, but that the tools fail to recognize the dis-order in many toddlers who will later show clear symptoms (Watson, Baranek, & DiLavore, 2003). Much research has continued to create tools and increase the reliability of diagnosing ASD for infants and tod-dlers (see, e.g., Brian, Bryson, Garon, Roberts, Smith, Szatmari, et al., 2008; Honda, Shimizu, Nitto, Imai, Ozawa, Iwasa, et al., 2009; Weth-erby, Brosnan-Maddox, Peace, & Newton, 2008). Research on structured EI programs, which include parents, has yielded highly encouraging results. For more information, contact the Autism Society of America, Autism Speaks, or your local psychological association.

2. Reactive Attachment Disorder. This term describes children who have experienced severe problems or disruptions in their early relationships. Children with an attachment disorder fail to form normal attachments to primary caregivers. Attachment disorders appear to be the result of “grossly inadequate care” during infancy and toddlerhood (Hardman et al., 2014, p. 190). This disorder results in serious problems in emo-tional attachments and developmentally incompetent social relation-ships (Cain, 2006). For more information, contact your state Infant Mental Health Organization, local mental health providers, and com-munity-specific organizations, such as an EHS program. In addition, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) website provides useful information as well as resources for families and teachers.

3. Mental Health Disorder. This describes a wide range of unique child characteristics that can begin during the infant-toddler developmental period, such as Reactive Attachment Disorder that was just described. Although the prevalence of such disorders is very, very low for this age group, serious disorders such as depression, childhood schizophre-nia, and anxiety disorders have been known to occur. However, some research suggests that the interaction of particular parent character-istics (e.g., depression symptoms) and infant traits (e.g., components of temperament) predict higher levels of depression-like symptoms in toddlers (Gartstein & Bateman, 2008).

4. Children with Multiple Disabilities. As defined by IDEA federal regulations, many children experience multiple disabilities or con-comitant impairments, meaning that they have more than one iden-tified exceptionality. The particular combination causes such severe educational issues that the individual cannot be accommodated in special education programs designed solely for one of the special

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needs (34 Code of Federal Regulations 300.8(c)(7) [2006], as cited in Hardman et al., 2014).

5. Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Children with FASD were exposed to an adverse environmental agent—alcohol—during the periods of prenatal development. Children with more severe cases typically have growth delays, facial abnormalities, mental retardation, impulsivity, and behavioral problems (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2013). Other children, while exposed to alcohol prenatally, do not demonstrate the same severity of outcomes. The difference seems to be the amount, frequency, and duration of alcohol consumption by the mother as well as other maternal and child characteristics (e.g., nutrition). Researchers and medical professionals do not know how much alcohol needs to be ingested to produce a small effect versus a large effect. Because of the diversity of characteristics for these chil-dren, a number of different intervention programs have been created (see Chandrasena, Mukherjee, Raja, & Turk, 2009; Davis, Desrocher, & Moore, 2011, for reviews).

10-1 Describe early intervention.EI programs are based on the premises that inter-vention is likely to be more effective and less costly when provided earlier in life rather than later. High-quality EI can minimize potential delay by promoting children’s development in key domains (physical, cognitive, communica-tive, adaptive, social, emotional).

10-2 Discriminate between different types of intervention.This chapter discussed universal, targeted, and spe-cialist types of intervention for disabled children and those experiencing adverse circumstances. Mixed, bi-generational approaches that focus on children and parents appear to be the most effective

in enhancing child outcomes (Geddes, Haw, & Frank, 2010).

10-3 Summarize the notion of special needs and special rights.We have reframed EI from a deficit approach (focusing on children with special needs) to a credit or strength-based model (focusing on chil-dren’s special rights). This has important implica-tions for practice. In our efforts to support children and their families, we should avoid pathologizing “at risk” and “poor” families, and/or children with “disabilities,” “developmental disorders,” “behav-ioral problems,” and “special needs.” Rather we should acknowledge each child’s unique strengths, rights, and interests.

Summary

Before moving on with your reading, make sure that you can answer the following questions about the material discussed so far.

1. Explain three special rights infants and toddlers might have in relationship to physical development, cognitive/language development, and social-emotional well-being. What would you do if you suspected a child had one of these spe-cial rights?

2. What is your role as a professional educator in supporting children with special rights and their families?

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10-4 Explain why family capacity-building is a vital component of early intervention.High-quality EI enhances the capacity of families to support their children’s development. Appro-priate bi-generational intervention, applied early, can change a child’s developmental trajectory, leading to higher achievement and greater inde-pendence, as well as promoting family com-petence and well-being. Working as partners with families in EI means listening actively to uncover each family member’s goals and wishes for the child. It also requires that families and other professionals collaborate to address the many structural and environmental factors that place children “at risk” of poor developmental outcomes.

10-5 Identify the steps involved in the evaluation and assessment process, and apply this to your own practice.Teachers have partic