Developing Early Childhood Curriculum

Home/ Developing Early Childhood Curriculum
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSES2021064

Semester and Year offered:II semester, Winter (every year)

Course Coordinator and Team:Sunita Singh

Email of Course Coordinator:

Pre-requisites: None

Course Objectives/Description

This course will focus on diverse approaches to early childhood curriculum and evaluate their relevance to current early childhood settings and early primary grades. Children’s growth in various developmental areas is not uniform and hence, in a day care centre or preschool program, one can have developmental range of several years in social, emotional, language, physical and cognitive domains. This leads to challenges in determining the developmental abilities of the child and creating developmentally appropriate activities especially for ages 3-8. The purpose of this course is to examine developmentally appropriate curricula, current issues and practices at the preschool and early primary grades. It will also address inquiry based curriculum planning for all domains of child development.

Course Outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical and historical perspectives of early childhood education and curriculum and evaluate their relevance to current early childhood settings.
  2. Recognize and model developmentally appropriate curriculum approaches for children with varied developmental profiles and needs.
  3. Examine current policies and practices that influence curriculum development in young children.
  4. Apply knowledge of principles of curriculum development and use those in creating and evaluating an existing curriculum and curriculum materials.
  5. Utilize principles of curriculum development in creating a caring, safe and healthy environment for all children for their learning and development.
  6. Explain and demonstrate typical educational techniques and terms (i.e., programme plan, planning process, goals of activities, etc.).
  7. Identify, plan and utilize culturally and individually appropriate educational practices for diverse classroom settings.


Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Unit 1: Approaches to Curriculum Development

  • This unit will provide the theoretical foundations of inquiry learning and integration of curriculum. It will examine current views regarding curriculum development and the historical basis for the same. The Indian approach to “play-way” method, with its roots in the ideas of TarabaiModak, Gandhi, Tagore and GijubhaiBadheka will be discussed. Some of the other prominent approaches that will be examined include Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, The Project Method, etc. Further, it will explore the physical and social-emotional aspects of the classroom with implications for providing developmentally appropriate teaching materials, methods and classroom management—with a purpose of creating a child-centred learning environment. The role of teacher in developing a curriculum for the early childhood years will also be examined.


Unit 2: Early Childhood Curriculum in India

  • This unit will examine the current trends and policy documents regarding early childhood curriculum in India and the policy practice divide. The National ECCE Curriculum Framework lays out some curricular issues for the Indian context. These concerns include addressing, ‘multilingualism’, ‘inclusion’, ‘multi-age grouping’, ‘gender equality’, ‘harms of early formal education’, ‘preparing ECCE teachers/caregivers’ and ‘school readiness’ in the curriculum. It is critical to examine how these issues can be integrated into the curriculum. This unit will also enable students to prepare a guideline that could be used to evaluate a curriculum in place, such as their field placement site.


Unit 3: Developmentally Appropriate Assessment

  • Assessment in early childhood should be used to plan for meeting the individual needs of the children and to determine appropriate learning activities. This unit will highlight some issues related to early childhood education and developmentally appropriate assessment for children’s development and learning. It will also focus on curriculum assessment, especially, the goals and objectives of a curriculum, preparations and procedures, activities and procedures for providing closure and feedback. This unit will allow students to examine the existing curriculum at their field placement site and evaluate the same.


Unit 4: Developing a Programme Plan

  • Unit will focus on how the goals of quality early childhood education apply to preschool programmes and early primary grades. This unit will focus on developmental-thematic curriculum. The focus will be on maintaining the integrity of the content areas also. The content areas that this unit will focus on include Language and literacy, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Music, Dramatic Play and Drama, Movement and Physical Education. Each content area will address diversity in development, age-appropriateness of activities and materials, using play-based methods, connections across domains, and assessment.



Unit 1: Approaches to Curriculum Development

  • Prochner, L. (2002). Preschool and playway in India.Childhood, 9(4), 435-453.
  • Gupta, A. (2008). Tracing Global-Local Transitions within Early Childhood Curriculum and Practice in India. Research in Comparative and International Education, 3(3), 266-280.
  • Wortham, S. C. (2009). Early childhood curriculum: Developmental bases for learning and teaching. Pearson.


Chapter 1: The changing role of the teacher in developing curriculum for diverse learners.

Chapter 2: Historical and theoretical bases for appropriate programs in early childhood settings.

  • Edwards, S. (2003). New directions: Charting the paths for the role of sociocultural theory in early childhood education and curriculum. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 4(3), 251-266.
  • Venugopal, K. (2014). Blooming Flowers: A case for developmentally appropriate practice.Journal of Early Childhood Research, 1-11. doi. 10.1177/1476718X14538597.


Chapter 3: The need for quality programs in early childhood settings.

Chapter 4: Developmental characteristics of young children from birth to 8 years: Implications for learning.

  • Rosen, R. (2010). ‘We got our heads together and came up with a plan: Young children’s perceptions of curriculum development in one Canadian preschool. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 8(1), 89-108.
  • Barnes, E. (1908). Fundamental factors in the making of a kindergarten curriculum.The Elementary School Teacher, 57-64.
  • McNeil, J. (1988). Curriculum, politics: Local, state and federal. NASSP Bulletin.60-69.
  • Wortham, S. C. (2009). Early childhood curriculum: Developmental bases for learning and teaching. Pearson.


Unit 2: Early Childhood Curriculum in India

  • Ministry of Women and Child Development.(2013). National Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Curriculum Framework.
  • National Council of Educational Research and Training.(2005). National Curriculum Framework. Available at: (focus on sections relevant for early childhood years)
  • National Council of Educational Research and Training.(2014). Syllabus for classes at the elementary level.Available at (classes 1 and 2)
  • National Council of Educational Research and Training. (2014). Learning indicators. (classes 1 & 2).
  • Curriculum developed by Indian States (based upon availability)


Unit 3: Developmentally Appropriate Assessment


Unit 4: Developing a Programme Plan

  • Wortham, S. C. (2009). Early childhood curriculum: Developmental bases for learning and teaching. Pearson.


Chapter 7: A developmental model for preschool programs.

Chapter 8: Preschool curriculum: Ages 3 to 5 (Language and cognitive development)

  • Comber, B., & Nichols, S. (2004). Getting the big picture: Regulating knowledge in the early childhood literacy curriculum.Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 4(1), 43-63. DOI: 10.1177/1468798404041455


Chapter 9: Preschool curriculum: Ages 3 to 5 (Social and physical development)

Chapter 10: A model for programs for children 5-8

Chapter 11: A transitional curriculum: Ages 5 to 8: Language Arts

Chapter 12: A transitional curriculum: Ages 5 to 8: Mathematics and science

  • Yoon, J &Onchwari, J. A. (2005). Teaching young children science: Three key points. EarlyChildhood Education Journal, 33(6), 419-423. DOi:10.1007is10643-006-0064-4


Chapter 13: A transitional curriculum: Ages 5 to 8: Social studies and physical education

  • Cooper, P. M. (2005). Literacy learning and pedagogical purpose in Vivian Paley’s ‘storytelling curriculum’.Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 5(3), 229-251. DOI: 10.1177/1468798405058686


Tentative Assessment schedule with details of weightage:



Date/period in which Assessment will take place



Book discussion/presentation

Early February



Curriculum evaluation




Programme planning





Throughout the semester



Final paper

As per AUD Academic Calendar