What is developmental learning?

By: Alyssa Paddie

California’s state department of education has established recommendations for what children should be learning in order to be ready for kindergarten. What has been known for decades is that children thrive and have a higher chance of succeeding in later years when educated developmentally. Developmental learning focusses on the whole child rather then solely academics. Developmental learning is not anti-academic, however academics are taught with the child’s development in mind. The department of education has identified eight domains of development. The state utilizes an assessment tool called the Desired Results Developmental Profiles document to insure a program is high quality. I will define each one as stated on the DRDP. By providing learning experiences for the whole child children can learn at their own pace while discovering new interests and a sense of self esteem.

As stated on the California’s department of education (https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/psfvol1sspimessage.asp) “Young children are naturally eager to learn. However, not all of them are ready for school. All too often, children entering school for the first time as kindergarteners are already lagging behind their classmates, and this disadvantage can affect them socially and academically long past kindergarten. Children who have had the benefit of attending high-quality preschools are more comfortable in their surroundings, have been exposed to books, have learned how to play cooperatively, and are accustomed to learning with others”(Jack O’connell, former superintendent).

1. Approaches to learning-self regulation: Includes attention maintenance, engagement and persistence, curiosity and initiative. Self regulation includes self comforting, self control of feelings and behavior, imitation and shared use of materials.

2. Social Emotional: Includes learning self identity in relation to others, social and emotional understanding, learning how to interact with familiar adults and peers. This domain includes symbolic and sociodramatic play.

3. Language and Literacy: The development of learning language development and increased literacy.

4. English-Language Development:The ELD domain assesses the progress of children who are dual language learners in
learning to communicate in English.

5. Cognition Including Math and Science: Explores people and objects, and the investigation of objects and concepts. Includes learning spatial relationships, cause and effect, classification, number sense of quantity number sense of math operations, measurement, patterning and shapes. Explores inquiry through observation and investigation, documentation and communication and knowledge of the outside world.

6. Physical Development and Health: Learning personal care, safety and nutrition.

7.History-Social Science: Learning expectations of social situations, how to participate within a group, and the relationship people and the environment which they live. Includes exploring sense of time, sense of place, ecology, conflict resolution, negotiation and responsible conduct.

8. Visual and Performing Arts: Includes engaging in visual art, drama and dance.

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