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Developmentally Appropriate Practices

Developmentally Appropriate What?
dapTeachers at Cambridge Schools™ support developmentally appropriate practices. DAP requires the staff to combine the knowledge of human development and the ability to plan the appropriate activities. The teachers are able to create classroom learning environments and plan activities that continue to match the child’s developing abilities while respecting their unique interests.

The following questions concerning “Developmentally Appropriate Practices” or DAP are the most commonly asked. We hope the answers will help you better understand what DAP is all about!

What does DAP mean?
DAP has two components:

Age appropriateness refers to the growth and change that occur in healthy developing children during the first eight years of life. These predictable changes occur in all areas of development—physical, emotional, social, and cognitive.

Individual Appropriateness refers to the fact that each child is a unique person and comes to school with her own individual pattern and timing of growth, as well as individual personality, learning style, and family background.

What if our cultural background is different than other families?
Teachers at Cambridge Schools™ support the DAP concept and recognize that children’s backgrounds, experiences, socialization, and learning styles are different and that not one method will work with all children. The younger the children and the more diverse their backgrounds, the wider the variety of teaching methods and materials required.

Cultural differences are celebrated and used as foundations for building new information for all the children and even the teacher.

I never had DAP when I was in school. The traditional method of education many of the parents today are used to; formalized instruction where everyone was expected to be on the “same page” and know the same material at the same time has been reevaluated and revised in light of new brain research. Recent research has shown that children learn best through hands-on, brains-on approaches to early childhood education (birth to eight years old). This brain research has proven that stimulating activities will promote brain growth and challenges educators to integrate all activities for meaningful experiences for all children. Age appropriate “hands-on, brains-on” activities are the key!

dap_clip_image002Teachers at Cambridge Schools™ value developmentally appropriate activities as they recognize that a child’s interest for learning will be strengthened by providing a multitude of activities to acquire and learn many life skills, mostly the love and joy and excitement of learning!