Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Education


Developmentally Appropriate Practice is implemented in early education and aims to help the tutor stimulate the children’s development. At the same time, according to this practice, the teacher should improve the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive elements of the kid based on developmental theory. He needs to consider the child’s individual characteristics, such as the kid’s cultural background, family, social class, and other factors.

Determining Developmentally Appropriate Practices

It is essential to note that the concept of developmentally appropriate practice should be understood as a set of methods that aim to help children develop actively and effectively. At the same time, a key element of this notion is to stimulate success in children’s learning through a special focus. This approach is based on creating a joyful and active learning environment (Clements et al., 2017). Through a playful approach, it is possible to advance a child’s strengths and improve weaknesses discreetly and effectively for children.

Moreover, it must be emphasized that this method is modified through its implementation for certain children; that is, it enables adaptation to the peculiarities of each individual. Furthermore, the National Association for the Education of Young Children recognized the effectiveness of this approach to learning as early as 1987 (Clements et al., 2017). It also highlighted the main areas of effective early learning that should be considered when using this practice. These include creating a community that can care about children, implementing effective instruction for rapid development, and designing appropriate curricula. Also, essential objectives can be noted, assessing children’s progress while learning, and helping to build trusting relationships within the family circle.

The main elements of developmentally appropriate practice should also be described in detail. An essential component is knowledge of a student’s typical development and learning; this helps the teacher assess the level of a kid’s ability to assimilate information. Accordingly, based on this, the teacher can select materials and a unique approach for the children. In addition, the development of a curriculum should take place after each individual child has been evaluated and observed. During an assessment, it is necessary to pay attention to the child’s interactions with peers and other people in the community and to identify the interests to which the student is more likely to be exposed (Clements et al., 2017). This kind of evaluation will help determine each child’s personality and find an appropriate individualized growth plan for each kid.

Principles and Strategies of Developmentally Appropriate Practice

A teacher practicing this child development strategy should adhere to basic principles to achieve a successful outcome. Thus, should create an environment in which students feel cared for and supported. This includes verifying whether classrooms are safe for children, creating a space where children are not afraid to self-indulge, and constantly interacting with students. When communicating with kids, the instructor should ask questions about their preferences and propose and implement ideas based on those answers. It is critical to note that the teacher will identify students’ strengths and weaknesses by creating the right atmosphere. After, the teacher should support the students and help them deal with problems (Clements et al., 2017). Consequently, he will be able to establish a trusting relationship with the learners, which will contribute to faster assimilation of information and progress in education It is also essential to mention that a teacher using developmentally appropriate practices should plan the instructional program to achieve the desired goals. To realize them, it is necessary to prepare the program according to the needs of the students and make it realistic to reach the desired outcome.

At the same time, the teacher needs to observe each student throughout the semester to evaluate their work and provide additional assistance when necessary. It should be emphasized, though, that teacher-student interaction should take the form of conversations. In this way, the instructor will assess progress in learning and identify weaknesses that need to be refined. Another advantage is that the teacher will determine how the method of work he has chosen supports the students in improving their knowledge (Clements et al., 2017). Accordingly, if it is not valid, the instructor will need to adjust it to meet students’ requirements. Finally, the practicing educator should connect with the children’s families to ensure that they are also involved in the student’s learning.

It is also important to note the teacher’s strategies when using developmentally appropriate practice. The instructor needs to acknowledge and talk about the children’s successes, so they will know that their work is productive. For example, students can be praised if they have completed the math curriculum and are motivated to do so. At the same time, an essential practice is to encourage children’s efforts, that is, to calmly explain to them if they cannot accomplish a specific task, that they will surely do it if they put more effort into it (Clements et al., 2017). Moreover, it is necessary to provide some feedback so that children can correct their mistakes themselves. It is also an important additional strategy to modulate the correct behavior according to which the instructor can show by example how to perform certain tasks more effectively. In this way, students can practically learn the information and will try to repeat the teacher’s behavior.


Consequently, if the teacher uses developmentally appropriate practice, it helps to remove gaps in learning and protect student achievement. At the same time, the proper application of this practice ensures that children are not stressed if they cannot perform timely an assignment. In this way, the practice has a motivating effect and promotes kids’ socialization and willingness to learn new skills and achieve new objectives.


Clements, D. H., Fuson, K. C., & Sarama, J. (2017). What is developmentally appropriate teaching? Teaching Children Mathematics, 24(3), 178-188.

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ChalkyPapers. "Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Education." November 18, 2022.