How? How will this curriculum deliver? What are the technology of learning and technology of teaching?

Share This Article: On Twitter On Facebook Print


The Good Play Curriculum tells parents and teachers "how" thinking tasks, and social skills are learned by infants and toddlers at play; and "what" objects to use to enhance and develop those tasks and skills. While age is not stressed because of the wide variability among toddlers, the relationship among play objects, tasks, activities, and stage of growth and development will be displayed. Research shows a relationship exists between object use, object manipulations and the sensory-motor stages of infancy and toddler hood. Tasks and activities with objectives will be ordered from simple to complex. They will interweave several dimensions at once: age, tasks, activities, objects, sensory skills, and areas of growth and development. These are the branches of the curriculum. They will be applied emphasizing social contact with adults and peers that enables toddlers to learn independent self-directed and self-regulated skills.

There are specific teaching techniques that go along with this curriculum. Adults are encouraged to model desired play behavior, rather than unstructured "age-mate" play. Play activity suitable for home and early intervention programs will be charted concisely across several modalities simultaneously. A series of stable positions within the child's environment described as "observation" posts will be illustrated by pictures and words. These posts are vantage points from which the toddler can view people, places, and objects independently, safely allowing for more independent decision-making on the part of the child. "Self"-directed and self-controlled actions are highlighted by pictures and words. Environments designed to be self-regulated by 2-year-olds will be constructed to fit with the series of stable positions, or observation posts.

The home climate is the perfect place for adult-modeling of play behaviors. Modeling of substitutional and pretend activities by an adult has been shown to accentuate the transformational quality of play at the older toddler age level (19-to-22 months). Toddlers use more objects as substitutes for "real" objects more often, if modeling has occurred. Objects with high similarity to real ones are used most. These unambiguous objects are preferred to any other sort; thus the higher the degree of realism, the higher the rate of pretense.

For the child with vision loss, social object contact and 2-way game playing may be the element that makes objects continue to be exciting to the toddler and thus worth exploring. Social contact is one way adults can make objects valuable and meaningful to toddlers so that they will not give up the intentional search for them.

Two-by-two pairing of activities so that toddlers attend to the joint consideration of two objects at a time might be designed to increase and to internalize knowledge of making mental images of people, places, and things. When listing activities in this area alternative explanations must be given, as well as multiple observations of children at each age. Object preferences will be examined.

Along with objects, task, activities, functional information on the visual system (independent of the motor system) will be displayed. Near and far vision, acuity, depth perception, magnification, illumination, and visual aids are described. Manual skills, dexterity, handling, and prehensile functions are listed also. Language and auditory cues are independently presented. Audition or controlled use of the auditory environment is one strand upon which to weave a simul-sensory curricula. Auditory control beings with the localization of sound sources and develops into auditory imitation and auditory repetition of aspects of the environment. Auditory "labeling" or naming of objects is followed by auditory displacement of objects cued by sound. This basic repertoire would normally occur by 13-, 14-, or 15-months.

Controlled audition means different things at different ages. It begins by referring to the child's own auditory responses to auditory stimulation in the environment. A later version of controlled audition would include, instead, external auditory controls delivered simultaneously with other sensory input. It would mean environmental mapping by description, and stabilizing the environment by talking, dictating, and producing essentially simultaneous "broadcasts" to the toddler.

There are technical means by which sensor auditory descriptions of any environment can be produced. These "mapped" descriptions and analysis of the physical environment may be noun and verb oriented at first, and controlled by the toddler by switches even at this young age. In the classroom and at home controlled audition may mean that toddlers might learn to stabilize their own unique environments and through keyboards, switches, and talking machines. These variations of the auditory control problem have important social, as well as auditory implications.

Ask Dr. Susan