Infant Development Chapter Notes
Chapter 1: Caring & Education, Philosophy and Practice
•We tend to connect later experiences with our own childhood.
•Perspectives of childrearing: Montessori, Reggio, Emilia, Waldorf, Constructivist, or Self-directed.
•We need to work out what our values mean in practice.
•Belief: most let the family make their own decisions about their child. But as an educator you can guide them
with professional models and practices.
•Different value system between educator and parent/guardian can cause conflict.
•Educators can use the ‘code of ethics’ which proposes a common basis for resolving situations that involve
ethical decision-making & presents guidelines for responsible behaviour.
•The Code of Ethics: developed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
Founded in 1926; 100,000 members (teachers, administrators, college personnel, students, and family
members). Dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children, birth to age 8.
•“Comfort of Fit”: ways of teaching that have been absorbed into our frame of reference because the “feel
Types of reflection:
1. “The way I was brought up” – usually seen as the norm, we internalize the values that we experienced.
The challenge as professionals is to question our assumptions & to become aware of & review everything that
2. “I was trained for the job” – professionalized training also contributes to a standardized view of what
‘practice’ should be. Differences in eras of teaching occur. Teachers taught in the 50s/60s will have a different
philosophy then those taught in the 1980s or those studying now. Programs preparing adults to work with
infants and toddlers reflect not only the current knowledge and research about children, but also differing
values and societal influences.
3. “Isn’t child-centered good?” – may take the form of a ‘hand-off’ approach, letting the child guide learning
with little adult interference.
4. “More toys must make a better program” – more toys may influence cognitive stimulation, or turn the
children into more consumers.
5. “Young children new sensory play experiences”. “Is food a good choice?” – Supposedly inappropriate:
children may learn to take food for granted, & not understand that it is a precious commodity. The use of food
for play disregards foods place in other cultures. If children play with food they learn that it’s acceptable to
eat play materials. However, it may also support physical, social, emotional, and cognitive domains and
provide necessary sensory play opportunities.
6. “Development id divided into domains”. “Has that changed?” – Domains (separate parts) to be brought
together to make the whole child. Holistic development – focus on ‘who the child is’. NAEYC says that
recognizing developmental domains is necessary for making ethical decisions in regards to children’s
development. A solution would be to combine the holistic approach to the developmental approach.
7. “Is developmentally appropriate practice still important?” – Individually child-centered and suitable for
child’s stage of development. DAP developmentally appropriate practice. Was originally monoculture, or
Infant Development Chapter Notes
hegemonic/limited. Some educators mistakenly used it as a benchmark for stages of development, and
evaluated children’s success based on the DAP document. Now, DAP intends that teachers decisions be based
upon knowledge about how children grow and learn, knowledge about individual children’s needs and skills,
and knowledge about the social, emotional, familial, cultural, and community context in which children live
8. “Is direct instruction wrong?” – Given time, materials, and space, children have always played; they don’t
usually need to be taught how to play. ‘Play’ has been shown to contribute to developmental domains.
Creative play, a catalyst for social, emotional, moral, motoric, perceptual, intellectual, linguistic, and
neurological development. Vygotsky was a proponent of the importance of guided instruction (i.e.,
-Guided instruction : preferred; method of instruction that includes strategies on a continuum ranging from
less to more direction offered by the teachers.
-Learning strategies don’t have to be at either end of the spectrum to work. DAP & directed strategies can
be combined and work well.
-Having a teaching philosophy gives us a guide for practice/ a purpose.
-Garden Analogy : children are like growing plants, they need to be tended to.
-Kindergarten : “kinder” = “children” in German; “garten” = “garden”.
-Magda Gerber showed adults how to respect babies. She respected the ‘individual style’ and rhythm of
-Professionals must maintain communication and respect with families. Can’t show favoritism, and can’t
shun or disregard parents away. The professional role requires deep sensitivity, based on knowledge and
readiness to admit mistakes.
-If health and safety is not guaranteed in educational facilities than nothing else matters.
Healthcare Facilities should address at a minimum: Hand washing; tracking immunizations; tracking,
reporting, and preventing illness; promotion of health practices, and good nutrition, including physical fitness;
identification, treatment, and prevention of child abuse and neglect.
•Responsive Caregiving : a philosophy of care, education, and nurturing that meets the changing needs of the
developing infant and young child & is sensitive to the individual differences od each child. (Adult
involvement is the most important part of the curriculum).
•Best Practices : way of working (with children) that are accepted within the profession as exemplary.
•Be respectful of center staff even if you don’t share their philosophies/perspectives.
Terminology in Philosophy Statements: developmentally appropriate, sensory, play-based, developmental,
discovery, child-directed, nurturing, primary caregiver, or social curriculum. These are good terms to use in
•Recently an anti-violence approach has been taken. The intent to arm children with strategies for solving
•Pg 15 – strategies for writing a philosophy statement, fyi.
Infant Development Chapter Notes
Quality of care Indicators: Agreed upon measures which contribute to quality in caregiving.
1. Ratio of children to adults – 5 children to 1 adult.
2. Size of the group of children – max of 15 kids.
3. The education of the educator: high/ post-secondary, ECE.
4. Amount of attention each child receives: longer the better.
5. The communication methods/styles used by the agency. Open communication with families.
6. Continuity of care: children having a consistent caregiver.
7. Family involvement: high involvement.
8. Remuneration: fees, have an indirect effect.
9. Environment: access to appropriate materials.
10. Climate: emotional wellbeing of the staff, children, and parents.
11. Administration: care is financed/organized effectively and efficiently.
Social Context: every element of an environment that influences an individual’s development, including the
people, institutions, and values to which the individual is exposed on a daily basis.
Phenomenology: A school of thought in which people value the essence of the individuals human experience; they
remind us that although experience is essentially individual, the creation of the experience is shaped by the values
& attitudes that surround the developing child. We need to have sensitivity to the wide variety of experiences, of
•“Globalized Childhood” – younger humans are the same all over the world. No notion of cultural variation.
Anti-Bias Curriculum: Addresses potential biases related to gender, race/ethnicity, culture, poverty and other
-Goals: to enable every child: to construct a knowledgeable, confident self-identity; to develop
comfortable, empathetic, & just interaction with diversity; & to develop critical thinking & the skills for
standing up for oneself and others in the face of injustice.
-Now: early childhood programs inadvertently teach white supremacy, and perpetuate European American,
-There needs to be a pro diversity philosophy/curriculum.
-It is the quality of the continuity of the caregiving experience by the young child that’s important, not
where it occurs.
-There is: group care, private, non-profit, government, workplace, laboratory school, or school-based
services. Can have affiliations with churches, synagogues, temples, or other religious organizaitons.
-2001 – Over 50% of children under 3 years still received care in a setting that was family linked.