Giants in the Nursery: A Biographical History of Developmentally Appropriate Practice

February 5, 2019 - 1 minute read

By David Elkind, PhD

This book looks at 11 theorists and their impact on Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) in Early Childhood Education including: John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, Sigmund Freud, Lev Semenovich Vygotsky and many others.

The author shares each theorist’s personal history and the impact that it had on the theorist’s views on education and children.

Have you ever thought about where the Developmentally Appropriate Practices came originated?

  • John Amos Comenius was the first to promote the education of all whether boy or girl, or any social status.
  • Rudolf Steiner was the first to look at holistic learning – teaching the whole child.
  • Maria Montessori was the first to use child-sized furniture in her classroom Casa dei Bambini; which is now seen as a staple in most early childhood programs.

Each chapter focuses on a different theorist with the final chapter categorizing and comparing the different philosophies held by the theorists and the impact that they have made on DAP.

This book is very well written and informative about the history of Developmentally Appropriate Practice.  It is definitely worth reading!

Reviewed by: Bridget Meis