Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: February 22, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412957403 | Print ISBN: 9781412956642 | Online ISBN: 9781412957403| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Developmentally Appropriate Practice
K. Alisa Lowrey
Guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) were published in a position statement by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in 1987. These practices were published to assist early childhood educators in operationalizing the eclectic theories of child development of Jean Piaget, Maria Montessori, Howard Gardner, Albert Bandura, and Lev Vygotsky into actual practice. The NAEYC recommended that early childhood educators nurture children's educational, physical, and social-emotional growth by using the DAPs. Through the DAPs the NAEYC recommended teachers consider (a) theories of child development, including cognitive, social-emotional, and physical development; (b) the incorporation of authentic assessment to identify a child's individual strengths and weaknesses; and (c) the cultural background of the child, to include family structure, family history, and community. The publication of these practices in 1987 led to a debate regarding reform between the fields of early childhood education and early childhood special education. That ...