Timmons, K. (2019). The great debate applied to developmentally appropriate practice (DAP): Moving beyond dichotomies in the early years (Chapter 7). In S. Jagger (Ed.), Early Years Education and Care in Canada: A Historical and Philosophical Overview. Toronto, ON: Canadian Scholars Press.

Collaborative scholarship in assessment, evaluation, and knowledge mobilization

Timmons, K. (2019). The great debate applied to developmentally appropriate practice (DAP): Moving beyond dichotomies in the early years (Chapter 7). In S. Jagger (Ed.), Early Years Education and Care in Canada: A Historical and Philosophical Overview. Toronto, ON: Canadian Scholars Press.

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ABSTRACT: This chapter provides an overview of the historical perspectives of develop- mentally appropriate practice (DAP) and the organization that published the position statement, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The core components of DAP and the principles of child development and learning that inform practice in the early years are presented. A critical exploration is undertaken, which includes an examina- tion of potential misunderstandings and misconceptions of DAP, and a call to move beyond dichotomies in the early years is suggested. Despite a common desire from parents, teachers, researchers, and policymakers to increase the quality of learning environments for all children, tensions exist concerning the “best” or most “appropriate” way to support development and learning. In order to move forward as a community of early learning professionals, we must come together to recognize the ways in which different practices sup- port the development of children’s social, emotional, cognitive, and physical skills, while moving away from extremes of “this” versus “that” thinking. The chapter concludes with suggestions for continual refinement in understanding evidence-based practices in the early years.

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