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Introduction to Early Childhood Education

Introduction to Early Childhood Education

Eighth Edition
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Early Childhood Education

January 2019 | 496 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Introduction to Early Childhood Education provides current and future educators with a highly readable, comprehensive overview of the field. The underlying philosophy of the book is that early childhood educators’ most important task is to provide a program that is sensitive to and supports the development of young children. Author Eva L. Essa and new co-author Melissa Burnham provide valuable insight by strategically dividing the book into six sections that answer the “What, Who, Why, Where, and How” of early childhood education. Utilizing both NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) and DAP (Developmentally Appropriate Practice) standards, this supportive text provides students with the skills, theories, and best practices needed to succeed and thrive as early childhood educators.

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About the Authors
Chapter 1. The Scope of and Need for Early Childhood Education
Developmentally Appropriate Practice and Early Childhood Standards

The Growth of Early Childhood Education

What Is Included in Early Childhood Education?

Defining Quality in Early Childhood Programs

The Future of Early Childhood Education


Chapter 2. The Children
Age-Related Commonalities Among Children

Factors That Influence Child Development

Children With Different Abilities

Working With Families of Young Children


Chapter 3. The Families
A Theoretical Perspective

The Changing American Family

The Needs of Families

Communicating With Families

Family Engagement


Chapter 4. The Teachers and Caregivers
The Early Childhood Teacher and Caregiver

Staffing in Early Childhood Programs

Training and Regulation in Early Childhood Education


Some Current Issues and Dilemmas

Family Support for the Early Childhood Profession


Chapter 5. Rationale Supporting Early Childhood Education
A Look Back—Children Through Time

Influential People in the History of Early Childhood Education

Influential Theorists’ Views of Child Development

Application of Theories in Early Childhood Education

Research Support for Early Childhood Education


Chapter 6. Accountability, Standards, and Assessment
Accountability: Program Standards and Assessment

Learning Standards for Young Children

Child Assessment: Informal Methods

Child Assessment: Formal Methods

Assessment Systems

Family Collaboration in Screening and Assessment


Chapter 7. Helping Children Cope With Stress
Defining Stress and Coping

Sources of Stress in Children’s Lives

Resilient Children

Techniques to Help Children Cope With Stress

Helping Families Cope With Stress


Chapter 8. The Physical Environment
Effects of the Physical Environment

Arranging the Indoor Environment

Arranging the Outdoor Environment

Adapting Environments for Different Ages and Abilities

Developmentally Appropriate Equipment

Developmentally Appropriate Materials

Technology and Interactive Media


Chapter 9. Scheduling and Curriculum Planning
Components of the Early Childhood Schedule

Guidelines for Program Scheduling

Types of Schedules

What Is Curriculum?

Theme-Based Curriculum

Emergent Curriculum

Family Involvement in the Curriculum


Chapter 10. Creative Development Through the Curriculum
What Is Creativity?

An Environment That Encourages Creativity

Art Theories and Philosophies

Art Activities

Music Activities

Supporting Creativity in Children of Different Ages and Abilities

Factors That Decrease Creativity

Family Values for Creativity


Chapter 11. Physical Development Through the Curriculum
A Developmental Framework for Motor Development

Components of Motor Development

Gross Motor Activities

Fine Motor Activities—Manipulatives

Caring for the Body

Supporting Physical Development in Children of Different Ages and Abilities

Family Values Related to Physical Development and Care


Chapter 12. Cognitive Development Through the Curriculum
Theoretical Foundations of Cognitive Development

Tools of the Mind

Cognitive Tasks


Supporting STEM Learning in Children of Different Ages and Abilities

Family Values for Cognitive Development


Chapter 13. Language Development Through the Curriculum
Theoretical Views of Language Development

Components of Language

English Language Learners

Language and the Early Childhood Curriculum

Supporting Language and Literacy Development in Children of Different Ages and Abilities

Family Values for Language and Literacy Development


Chapter 14. Social–Emotional Development Through the Curriculum
Theoretical Views of the Socialization Process

Emotional Intelligence

Development of Social Competence

Promoting Anti-Bias Attitudes

Activities That Promote Social Development

Supporting Social Development in Children of Different Ages and Abilities

Reflecting the Family’s Culture and Values


Chapter 15. Guiding Routines and Group Activities
Guiding Routines for Individual Children

Guiding Routines for Groups of Children

Factors That Affect Group Behavior

Out-of-the-Ordinary or Unexpected Situations

Coordinating With Families About Routines


Chapter 16. Guiding Social Behaviors
What Behaviors Do Educators Expect of Young Children?

Philosophies of Guidance

Some Techniques of Guidance

What Is the Difference Between Normal and Problem Behavior?

Factors That Affect Children’s Behavior

Dealing With Specific Behavior Challenges

Working With Families to Solve Behavior Challenges


Pulling It All Together: An Early Childhood Classroom Observation
Appendix: Standards Correlation Matrix


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“Great book for helping students identify developmentally appropriate standards and practices.”

Lisa White
Athens Technical College

“A foundational text for early childhood education topics that is cognizant of and responsive to the current practices and concerns that recent brain-based research encourages EC practitioners to be aware of and proficient in for the success of the whole child. The text's features makes it more approachable than most texts, while simultaneously providing a myriad of prompts for further discussion and/or reflection.”

Dr. Lauren E. Burrow
Stephen F. Austin State University

“Essa and Burnham’s text is clear and concise, and presents information in an easy-to-understand format for my students. The textbook includes NAEYC standards and stresses Developmentally Appropriate Practices and play.”

Dr. Lois Silvernail
Spring Hill College

“This book provides the historical contexts, rationale, and a great overview of the early childhood profession.”

Wendy P. Jung
Tulane University

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