The following are paraphrased examples of DAP and Developmentally Inappropriate Practices. There are five examples for each of the six areas outlined in the DAP guide for preschoolers. Similar examples for each of the other ages are found in the DAP guidelines.

Appropriate Practices

 (1) Creating A Caring Community Of Learners
2    Within an early childhood program (the classroom), the teachers should develop friendships, so that all the children in the class care about each other.
18  When selecting activities for the children, teachers should be aware of, and responsive to, individual differences in children's ability, developmental level, and approach to learning.
38  Teachers should bring each child's home culture and language into the classroom so children can learn to respect and appreciate similarities and differences among people.
46  Children with disabilities or special learning needs should be included in the class not only physically but also intellectually and socially.
58  Teachers should help children learn how to establish positive constructive relationships with adults and other children.
(2) Teaching To Enhance Development And Learning
5    Children's communication skills should be developed throughout the course of the day by encouraging individual and group discussions.
12  Teachers should motivate the children using activities that children are naturally curious about and interested in.
23  Teachers should frequently ask the children for different ways to solve a problem thereby developing different strategies for problem solving.
41  Teachers should often provide a wide range of learning experiences so that children are able to select activities they would like to do.
47  Teachers should create an environment where the child can take appropriate physical and academic risks.
 (3) Constructing Appropriate Curriculum
8    Teachers should ensure that activities are well matched to each child's development, encouraging children in new tasks when the child is ready to learn.
16  The curriculum design (what is to be taught in the program) should be based on the children's prior experiences and should change based on the children's interests.
40  Children should use strategies including inventing their own spelling, talking informally, listening to and reading stories and poems to develop language and literacy skills.
52  Teachers should integrate different content areas together (e.g., math / science / art) such as exploring patterns in math or counting blocks in the block center.
53  Teachers should be patient when there are occasional toileting accidents, spilled food at lunch, or unfinished jobs such as putting the art supplies away.
(4) Assessing Children’s Learning And Development
7    Teachers should use observation of the children's progress to assess the child's work.
14  Teachers should use their assessments of childrens' classroom behaviors, projects, etc., to plan and adapt the activities that the children participate in.
26  Examples of the child's work (over a period of time) from multiple activities should be used to give the teacher a good idea of the child's development.
35  Assessments should provide information concerning how the child solved the problem.
54  The program should accept children regardless of the child's prior knowledge, ability, or readiness.
(5) Reciprocal Relationships With Parents
6    Cultural and individual differences within the community should be respected by the teachers.
30  Family members should always be welcome in the program and opportunities for the family to participate in the program should be arranged to accommodate the family's schedule.
34  Teachers should work with members of the child's family as a partnership to help the child's learning and development.
49  When problems between teachers and families arise, teachers should be respectful of the families wishes and both parties should work together to solve the problem.
50  Teachers should always listen to the family members of the children in the program, respecting the goals that the family members have for their children.
(6) Program Policies
9    Teachers should possess college‑level preparation in child development and developmentally appropriate practices to be qualified to work with young children.
10  The number of children in the class should be limited by professional standards to ensure that each child receives the individual attention they require from the teacher.
13  Teachers should be expected to engage in ongoing professional development activities (e.g., university study, attending workshops, etc.) to remain in their teaching positions.
15  The administrators of the programs that serve young children should have professional knowledge of children's learning and development.
60  Strategies such as multiage grouping (children of lots of different ages in the same classroom) are used so that children can develop a strong and lasting relationship with the teacher.


Inappropriate Practices

(1) Creating A Caring Community Of Learners
37  Teachers should maintain order in the classroom by restricting talking and separating friends who talk all the time.
39  Teachers should move children from one class to another to make sure there aren't too many children for a single teacher even if it means the children do not settle into a regular class routine.
48  In the classroom, it is not important to consider cultural and other individual differences.
55  In the classroom, the teacher should attempt to get all the children to learn the same skills at the same time.
56  Children with disabilities or special learning needs should receive most of their instruction outside of the regular class with a special education teacher.
(2) Teaching To Enhance Development And Learning
1    Children's play should be limited so that the children can focus on their academic work.
22  Children should learn concepts and skills using repetitive examples (doing the skill over and over again) where there is only one correct response.
25  Teachers should often use rewards (such as outdoor privileges) for good behavior and punishments (such as "Time Out") for unacceptable behavior.
28  Children should often work in their seats on teacher chosen activities and talking among children should be kept to a minimum.
51  Teachers should often use drill and practice in the classroom and the best way for children to learn skills is to copy the teacher's example as closely as possible.
(3) Constructing Appropriate Curriculum
11  The focus in the classroom should be in teaching academic subjects like reading, writing, and arithmetic and these should be taught as separate subjects (e.g., math in the morning, science in the afternoon, etc.).
32  An academic level reflecting what all children should know should be set for the whole class and should be followed to make sure that all the material for the year is covered.
36  In learning to read, children should first be able to recognize all the letters of the alphabet and sound out all the letters' sounds before they start to look at books.
43  To teach children toileting skills, teachers should let the children know that they should be ashamed if there's an accident.
59  The teacher should follow a standard course of study reflecting the average American (different cultures are not studied).
(4) Assessing Children’s Learning And Development
3    How successful the early childhood program (the classroom) is should be based on how many of the children are able to perform specific skills (such as recognizing the letters of the alphabet, being able to count, etc.).
17  How well the child is doing in the program should be measured by how well the children perform on tests that compare the child to children from around the nation.
20  Prior to entering the program, teachers should test the child using a ‘readiness test' to determine whether the child is ready for the year's work.
29  Assessments should be used to find out how much the child knows and not with how the child comes to know the information (the process of learning).
33  Teachers and family members should use workbooks for practice and discovering if a child knows how to write letters, recognize numbers, etc..
(5) Reciprocal Relationships With Parents
21  Teachers should make sure that the child's culture should not be allowed to interfere with the goals of the class.
24  The flow of information should be from the teacher to the family member so that the family knows what to do to help their children learn.
44  Teachers should encourage family members to make sure the child knows that adults are always in charge and should not be questioned (e.g., children should only speak when spoken to).
45  Family members should not interfere in the design of the activities in the classroom because the teachers are the education experts.
57  Family members should be limited in how often they are allowed to visit the children to minimize the disruption caused by the visit.
(6) Program Policies
4    If older children can work at desks in large groups, younger children should be expected (and trained) to work the same way.
19  The administrators job is managerial and therefore administrators should be more like business people and don't need training in early childhood education.
27  Children of the same ability should be kept together and children who do not keep up with the other children should not be allowed to slow the pace of the class down.
31  It should be acceptable for qualified teachers of older children to work with younger children.
42  Teachers should not have to possess formal college‑level preparation to be qualified to work with young children. As long as adults care for the children this should qualify them as suitable for the job.