The 2012 NAEYC Annual Conference & Expo, taking place November 7-10 in Atlanta, Georgia, will be the early childhood education event of the year! The Annual Conference is a great place to showcase your materials, services, and ideas through exhibits, advertisements in the Final Program, and sponsorship opportunities.
There are millions of children in early education programs—from preschool and child care to the early elementary grades. If you’re interested in connecting with the teachers and directors of those programs, Atlanta is the place to be in November 2012! (Reach NAEYC’s 80,000 members throughout the year by advertising in our journal, Young Children, and our magazine for preschool educators, Teaching Young Children.)
This year’s theme focuses on a critical issue: Developmentally Appropriate Practice in the 21st Century
Often shortened to DAP, developmentally appropriate practice is an approach to teaching grounded both in the research on how young children develop and learn and in what is known about education effectiveness. The framework is designed to promote young children’s optimal learning and development.
DAP provides many aha! moments to early childhood professionals stuggling to understand and implement strategies for helping a toddler become a more independent child-safely, supporting a 3-year-old’s attempts to deal with classroom problems himself, or planning experiences for a kindergartener to use conventional measurement tools as she grapples with math concepts. With DAP, early childhood professionals can make decisions about what and how to teach—based on what is known about child development and learning, as well as what is individually and culturally important for each child.
With the increasing challenge to early childhood education programs from the pressure to test, to meet Common Core and other learning standards, and to address the concerns of anxious parents, it’s important for frontline practitioners to understand and be able to explain to others why developmentally appropriate practice is the most effective approach to teaching young children.