About the Curriculum Principles
From its beginning, the World Forum on Early Care and Education has been committed to addressing early childhood curriculum. This commitment previously resulted in presentations of several widely used curriculum models or approaches. In 2011 we took a working group approach instead. We recruited early childhood curriculum developers and their representatives to participate. Throughout the year we developed a set of eleven clearly stated principles that all participants agreed on. At the 2011 World Forum in Honolulu, we finalized the list and wording at working group meetings and presented the statement to a larger group of Forum participants for more feedback.
Our Universal Early Childhood Curriculum Principles focus on universal curriculum principles, early childhood, care and education, respect for children, young children’s role in the curriculum, the inter-relatedness of development, early childhood assessment, curriculum review, parents and teachers as partners, respect for culture, and professional development. You can read a complete list of the principles.
While the early childhood curriculum domain certainly has its disputes, the widespread agreement on these principles shows that it also has broad areas of consensus. This list serves several purposes going forward. One is that it can always serve as a starting point for further refinement and adaptation to changing conditions or changing group consensus, at the 2014 World Forum or any other such meeting or collaborative communication. Similarly, it can serve as a starting point for adaptation to local conditions in any of the diverse cultures, regions, and countries of the world. In addition, it can serve as a statement of widely agreed upon early childhood curriculum principles for communication with people other than early childhood educators – other educators, other kinds of professionals, parents, and others interested in early childhood education, including the general public. Indeed, it would be interesting to examine the list from the perspectives of these diverse audiences, to see if it communicates to them as intended. It would also be possible to use the list as a basis for other official pronouncements of widely held beliefs of early childhood educators.