David Burchfield, a first-grade teacher at Brownsville Elementary School in Croset, Virginia, talks about developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood classrooms. Excerpted from the videotape Developmentally Appropriate First Grade: A Community of Learners (North Central Regional Educational Laboratory & National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1993).
"In the broad sense, the concept of developmentally appropriate practice has two major components. One is the idea that the kinds of activities and experiences you give children are age appropriate, that they are based on the kinds of things we know that six year olds, for example, should be doing, they need to be active, the kinds of experiences need to have meaningful content, they need to be social, they should not be sitting down all doing discrete bits of knowledge, things should be seen in a more whole way. Then the other part of that concept is the idea of individually appropriate, so that you not only look at the age of the loner, and what a typical six year old might need, but then you look at the individual. What does the individual learner look like? What are their interests, their needs?"
Date posted: 1997