TeachME Professional Development

Defining Infant-Toddler Curricula


1. Researchers, practitioners, and policy makers recognize that the first three years are a distinct developmental period characterized by each of the following EXCEPT:

A. Rapid brain development

B. Extremes in emotions and temperament

C. Reliance on relationships with adults

D. Extreme responsiveness to environmental variation

2. Federal investment in high quality services for infants and toddlers has led to progress in professionalizing the early care and education workforce, defining learning goals for infants and toddlers, and providing guidance on activities that will support children’s school readiness beginning in the earliest years.

A. True

B. False

3. Over the last several years, the frontier of school readiness had moved from the infant/toddler to the preschool period, which has led to concerns about prioritizing the needs of infants and toddlers.

A. True

B. False

4. Experts contend that there are benefits from aligning frameworks for thinking about children’s earliest development with longer-term outcomes, if it is done in a way that is sensitive to what developmental science shows regarding a child’s first three years.

A. True

B. False

Definitions of Infant/Toddler Curriculum: The What, the How, and the Why

5. The “what” of infant/toddler curricula includes planned experiences and activities aimed at supporting and extending infant/toddler learning and environments that:

A. Promote cooperation and creativity

B. Reflect infant/toddler self-care and self-regulation

C. Are designed intentionally to support development

D. None of the above

The Why

6. The why of curricula for infants and toddlers involves selecting the particular curriculum in a way that matches the educator’s or program’s underlying understanding of very young children’s development, and then serves as a resource to ensure that goals are set and reviewed.

A. True

B. False

Ramifications of Definition for Educators

7. Intentionally setting goals to further an infant’s or toddler’s learning is important, providing that the goals take into account and build on observations of the child’s:

A. Interests and motivation

B. Experiences and skills

C. Temperament and well-being

D. Individuality and identity

8. The successful implementation of a curriculum rests on the educator’s deep knowledge of infant/toddler learning goals and needs.

A. True

B. False

Measuring the Implementation of Curricula for Infants and Toddlers

9. Steps to confirm that the how of an infant/toddler curriculum is actually working may include:

A. An ongoing process of identifying goals in light of the interests and development of the child

B. Recurrent assessments of the progress of the child in light of the identified individualized goals

C. Confirmation that the implementation of an infant/toddler curriculum is occurring within the context of supportive and sustained relationships with educators and the child’s families

D. All of the above

Relationship Context

10. Which of the following is NOT one of the expert recommendations for moving forward in the implementation of curricula for infants and toddlers?

A. Ascertain the actual use of appropriate materials

B. Encourage professional growth and collaboration to enhance curriculum implementation

C. Determine the use of a recurrent cycle of assessment, documentation, and planning in light of infant/toddler interests and development

D. Use planned activities in the context of supportive and sustained relationships

Implications for Policy

11. While key components of infant/toddler curricula continue to be important into later preschool years, the focus on individual learning is increasingly balanced with goals for peer interaction and for positive functioning within a group.

A. True

B. False

Appendix-Table 2: What Definitions and Descriptions Are Provided for Curricula in Early Childhood

12. According to Head Start, curriculum means a written plan that includes a collection of enjoyable activities, complex ideas containing multiple components, and knowledge, skills, and understanding children are able to acquire.

A. True

B. False

Table 4: What Information Is Used to Confirm Implementation of Infant/Toddler Curricula?-Standard 2: Curriculum

13. Essential characteristics of curriculum include the ability to be implemented in a manner that reflects responsiveness to family home values, beliefs, experiences, and:

A. Culture

B. Traditions

C. Language

D. Expectations

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