Child Development  
CD 101 - Sample syllabus



Saddleback College

CD 101 – Principles and Practices of Teaching Young Children




Course Description:  An introductory course to the field of early childhood education.  History, theories, and current models of practice in the areas of play, learning and educational or care-giving programs for young children will be covered and the role of the adult in providing developmentally and culturally appropriate practices; creating positive relationships with children through positive guidance and working with parents.


Course Objectives:  Upon completing this course, the student will be able to:

  • Identify and evaluate programs and trends in the field of early childhood education.
  • Describe the contributions of historical figures and events.
  • Compare and contrast early childhood program models
  • Apply learning theories to analysis of curriculum for young children
  • Differentiate between different types of and uses for play
  • Demonstrate understanding of professional preparation including professional portfolio and requirement needed for child development permit.
  • Recognize and apply components of NAEYC Code of Ethical conduct.



Texts needed:


Early Childhood Education birth – 8, Custom California edition, Driscoll and Nagel, 2009, Pearson, Allyn and Bacon.  ISBN #0558453481


Basics of Developmentally Appropriate Practice by Copple and Bredekamp, NAEYC 2006, ISBN# 1-928896-26-X



Course Policies


  • Written Assignments:  All students are expected to produce college-level work.  One of the goals of this class is to prepare students to be successful professionals.  Part of having a successful image is the ability to produce neat, legible, coherent, and grammatically correct written materials.  Grammar and spelling should be correct and do influence the points given on assignmentsIt is strongly recommended that students have someone else proof read assignments prior to turning them in.  All assignments must be typed.


  • Late assignments will be accepted for half credit up to one week after the due date.   Exception: Discussion boards must be done in the week they are assigned in order to get any credit.  Any entries after the week ends (Monday at midnight) will not be given any credit.


  • If you will be traveling during the semester, make sure you know where there will be internet access as I expect you to always be able to find a connection and I do not extend dates unless the Saddleback server is down.


  • Students must retain copies of assignments until grades are posted at the end of the semester.  If a recording error should take place, the student must show the instructor the returned assignment with points posted for credit.


  • Confidentiality:  In this class, we will be discussing various observations of real people.  In accordance with Principle 2.9 in the Code of Ethical Conduct (NAEYC, 1998), all efforts should be made to protect the privacy of children, parents, students, and staff.  We will identify children by using their first name only.


  • Academic dishonesty and cheating: There is a zero tolerance policy for academic dishonesty and cheating in this classroom.  All assignments must be original work by the student done for this class only.  During exams, any talking or unauthorized use of notes will be considered cheating.  Students will be given a zero on any project/assignment/test which violates this policy and an Academic Dishonesty Report will be filed with the college.


CD 101 – Sample Course Calendar



Class Topic

Reading Assignment

Homework Due



Introduction: Class overview/navigate site


What is Early Childhood Education?




Driscoll Chapters 1 &2

Assigned articles

glossary C and D



Homework assignment



Child Development and Dispositions


Chidlren's Play


Driscoll Chapters 3 &4

Assigned articles



Professional Portfolio




 Developmentally Appropriate Practices


jCopple- Basics of DAP

Play based learning assignment




Infant and Toddler Programs


 Driscoll Chapters 5 and 6

assigned articles





Midterm Exam





Preschool Programs


Driscoll Chapter 7

Assigned articles



Infant/toddler Observation





School Age Care

Special Needs

Driscoll Chapter 8

Assigned articles





Preschool Observation



 Families and Communities

Driscoll Chapter 9

Assigned articles




School Age Observation




Political, Social and Economic influences

NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct


Driscoll Chapter 10

NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct

Assigned articles






Final Exam




The instructor reserves the right to modify the schedule above to better meet the needs of the class.



Note that is a sample course calendar.  The course calendar for each session will be posted on the blackboard and may be a bit different.The instructor reserves the right to modify the schedule above to better meet the needs of the class.






  • Field Observations: These assignments present opportunities for the student to gain experience in observing and interpreting the many different types of programs and curriculum.  The observations are a chance to apply readings and class discussion.  Details for each observation will be provided in the weekly folder.   If you work in an early childhood setting which fits the description of the program you are to observe, you may do your field observation at your site but not during a time when you are responsible for children.  You must be free to be an observer.


  • Discussion Boards: Discussion boards are our main source of communication with each other and so comprise a very important part of the class.  In order for us to build meaning together and to learn from each other, we need to be involved in conversations with each other.  Each week, you must post an original thread in response to the information posted on the week’s Discussion Board.  Most weeks, you will be directed to post your first thread by Friday evening. Topics for each week’s discussion will be posted in the Assignments folder.    It is important to check into the discussion area at least 3 times each week.  Everyone must make a thoughtful response to the designated number of classmates by the end of the week (Monday at midnight).  You will not receive any credit for observations posted after the week ends. 



  • Professional Portfolio: You will compile a personal Professional Portfolio which will include documentation of your education and your professional experience.  Details and format will be given in the assignment folder.


  • Play based learning brochure: You will design a brochure or newsletter which explains the concept of play-based learning.  Detailed instructions will be included in your weekly folder.


  • Mid-term Exam: You mid-term exam will be a practical application of learned material.


  • Final Exam: Your final exam will also be a practical application of learned material.


  • IMPORTANT: Be sure you keep a copy of all your work in case of system failure.





Observation Procedures: When observing in a center, you represent Saddleback College.  Please observe the following rules of courtesy:

  • Dress modestly and appropriately for a school setting.
  • Do not talk to parents, children, or fellow students.  This is very important!
  • Observation students should not interact with children-your role is strictly observational.  Should a child approach you, briefly explain that you are busy with your writing work and direct them to a working adult.
  • Find a place to sit where you are close enough to see and hear what is going on, but will not obstruct or become part of the children’s play or activities.
  • Move around.  Do not stay in one place for your entire observation.
  • Drinking, eating (includes gum and candy), and smoking are not permitted at the Centers.
  • Do not bring purses, cell phones, backpacks or other bags into the children’s environment.  Leave valuables at home.  Center staff is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
  • Be sure to have your observation letter signed by the director or clerk before you leave.



Note: if you have a specific learning disability and require accommodations, please let me know at the first class meeting so that your learning needs may be appropriately met.  You will need to provide documentation of your disability to the Saddleback College Special Services Office in the Student Services Center, Room 113.  Many services are available to you as a Saddleback College Student, including testing.  All discussions will remain confidential.