Let me start by quoting Rabindranath Tagore, “Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.” I can understand the concern regarding developmentally appropriate instruction, I feel I must explain my decision to continue on with this path. Teachers concerned about their test scores later can be assured that these students will be ready for the next school year. I believe that if we can reach students on a fundamental level it will be easier to give them the information needed to succeed.
My plan has always been to ensure the students are following curriculum but in a way that meets their needs. I believe that each child is capable of learning as long as they are involved in ways that they can understand and retain the information. If a student needs to see the information, I will put it on the screen or give them the information from the text, assessing them will be done through testing.
Students who learn better hearing the information will be pulled aside and will follow along in the text while I read aloud to them- they will mostly be assessed during class discussion. Finally, students who learn best while doing will have activities in place for them to do in order to reach them and solidify their understanding. Their assessments will be based on these activities. Reaching each student in a way that is better suited for them will ensure his or her success and desire in learning because I am not only guiding them toward the information, I am teaching them how to receive and retain by involving him or her in the process.
My goal is to have students exceed educational standards that have been set but in a manner that is better suited to them. Students will meet and possibly exceed the standards because they will be better equipped learners. Standardized testing will still be a tough time for students as nerves are not something that can be cured with this method, but they will do better because the information will not consist of memorization and review, which is mind numbing to some children and results in “brain dumping” after the test.
By making the lesson part of their life, I am giving them a better shot at being successful. Moving through the curriculum at a pace that suits the class instead of just the standard will be based on student performance. Why continue teaching information the class understands if they already nailed it. That is not time used wisely. Being able to move freely around child understanding will make my lessons flow at a more comfortable pace for the whole class. Once they are able to explain a lesson to me we will move on to the next. Prior knowledge of subject will come into play here as I will be able to build on their understanding and meet the standards.
Developmentally Appropriate Practices with Young Children. (n.d). Retrieved from http://123child.com/website-share/D.A.P.pdf