toire of cognitive and affective characteristics and skills that the young child needs to move down the path from natal culture to school culture to the culture of the larger society.


This intellectual framing of the idea of pedagogy supposes a coherence and deliberateness that is often absent in practice. Indeed, a review of the literature on early childhood curriculum suggests some reluctance to spell out even a limited set of specific goals. The three well-known programs briefly mentioned below are ones that have clearly articulated goals.

The Montessori approach (Montessori, 1964) promotes children’s active, independent observation and exploration of concrete materials to develop concepts/skills. Through this activity children develop a clear image of what they were trying to accomplish, thus developing self-discipline, self-reliance, and intrinsic motivation. J.McV.Hunt, in his introduction to the above referenced volume, describes the teacher’s role in this method, giving clarity to the pedagogical goals: “If a teacher can discern what a child is trying to do in his informational interaction with the environment, and if the teacher can have on hand materials to that intention, if he can impose a relevant challenge with which the child can cope, supply a relevant model for imitation, or pose a relevant question that the child can answer, that teacher can call forth the kind of accommodative change that constitutes psychological development or growth” (p. xxxiv).

High/Scope is one of the most widely adopted preschool curriculum models to have emerged during the early days of Project Head Start (Hohmann and Weikart, 1995). The curriculum offers children active engagement in planning their learning, as well as opportunity to enhance language and develop concepts through experiencing and representing different aspects of classification, seriation, number, spatial relations, and time.

Core Knowledge Foundation (2000) advocates a curriculum designed to immerse preschoolers in a clearly sequential set of experiences that will ensure their “cultural literacy.” At the preschool level of core knowledge, children follow a curriculum that addresses five dimensions of readiness: (1) physical well-being

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement