Developmentally-Appropriate Practice (DAP) is a style of teaching where the teachers create goals for the children based on the individual developmental level of each child and then find ways to support each child to meet those individual goals. In the preschool classroom, a DAP classroom is led by the interests of the children, and the classroom allows young children to learn through play. Since children enter preschool at many different levels of development (particularly in multi-age or inclusive classrooms), the classroom must be designed to support a variety of learners. Here are some items found in the DAP preschool classroom:
There are several things that you should not see in a developmentally-appropriate classroom:
You can learn more about Developmentally-Appropriate Practice at http://www.naeyc.org/DAP.
Dr. Sarah Vanover has been working in the field of early childhood education for over 22 years and has had the opportunity to be a teacher, a director, and a trainer for other early childhood educators. She has a passion for making sure that children with special needs receive high-quality early care and education.