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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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