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National College Credit Recommendation Service

Board of Regents  |  University of the State of New York

Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services, Inc. | Evaluated Learning Experience

Thematic Approach to Curriculum Development in Early Childhood


45 hours (20 weeks); includes 2.5 hours per week of supervised structured independent study. In addition, supervisors meet twice monthly with participants to assess and guide progress and assimilation.

Various child care facilities associated with the Caritas Training Center.
January 2001 - August 2005.
Instructional delivery format: 
Traditional classroom model
Learner Outcomes: 

Students will be able to: explore various topics of interest to children and choose a specific theme for curriculum development that relates to each of the discipline areas; develop and gather curriculum materials for activities and learning experiences integrated around the specific theme; apply the thematic approach in cross-disciplinary classroom teaching; tie separate discipline areas into an integrated approach to learning. Brainstorm ideas about curriculum development; list relevant ideas and develop a theme; research and create materials which are age appropriate for preschool children; field test materials with preschool children and describe their reactions and conversation regarding the materials; and summarize the steps taken in the creation of the project and present a project which introduces, presents, and displays the thematic materials that have been developed.


This course explores specific themes, such as seasons, holidays, animate life, etc. Students work in small groups to develop and/or gather relevant curriculum materials from across the discipline areas to support the selected theme. Groups present their final projects to the class and they work in small groups to develop and/or gather thematic materials to support activities and learning experiences across the discipline areas. Students are graded on the appropriateness and comprehensive-ness of the curriculum materials and their relevance to each discipline area.

Credit recommendation: 
In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, 3 semester hours in Montessori Education (11/00).