Developmentally appropriate programming in a primary school : a case study
chapterposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Paul RichardsonPaul Richardson, John Dekkers
When analysing the structure of schooling in the digital age, debate is occuring about the impact of Information Communications Technologies on how education services should be provided to cater for the needs of learners. It would appear that a dichotomy now exists between the technological capabilities that can be applied to education and the traditionalist approach of the graded year level model that characterises most western schooling systems. The concept of knowledge and how the learner can acquire it now present challenges to the relativity of traditional paradigms that exist in schooling constructs. Through the application of technology to schooling a teachers' understanding of how knowledge exists in society, and how relationships between teachers and the learners develop, is being transformed. A primary school in Queensland has established an organisational framework referred to as Developmentally Appropriate Programming. Within this framework, children are placed in developmentally appropriate learning groups. The learning groups replace the "year level" class group, to provide a framework in which children can access a range a pedgogical approaches reflective of the technological age in which they are growing up. Learning progression for children within, and across, learning groups has evolved from identifying the achievements of each learner. This chapter defines and describes Developmentally Appropriate Programming (DAP), and presents the rationale and assumptions for its use in schooling. The chapter then demonstrates the congruency of DAP with the societal and technological changes in which schooling as organisations exist. A case study is proposed to determine the efficacy of the DAP approach as an alternative means of schooling.