what is content knowledge in early childhood education

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Early childhood educators have knowledge of the content of theacademic disciplines(e.g., language and literacy, the arts, mathematics, social studies, science, technology and engineering, physical education) and of the pedagogical methods for teaching each discipline. They (a) understand the central concepts, the methods and tools of inquiry, and the structures in each academic discipline. Educators (b) understand pedagogy, including how young children learn and process information in each discipline, the learning trajectories for each discipline, and how teachers use this knowledge to inform their practice They (c) apply this knowledge using early learning standards and other resources to make decisions about spontaneous and planned learning experiences and about curriculum development, implementation, and evaluation to ensure that learning will be stimulating, challenging, and meaningful to each child.5a: Understand content knowledge鈥攖he central concepts, methods and tools of inquiry, and structure鈥攁nd resources for the academic disciplines in an early childhood curriculum.5b:Understand pedagogical content knowledge鈥攈ow young children learn in each discipline鈥攁nd how to use the teacher knowledge and practices described in Standards 1 through 4 to support young children鈥檚 learning in each content area.5c: Modify teaching practices by applying, expanding, integrating, and updating their content knowledge in the disciplines, their knowledge of curriculum content resources, and their pedagogical content knowledge.

People also ask


  • Why is subject knowledge important in early childhood education?

  • In primary and secondary teaching, subject knowledge is deemed a critical aspect of teachers’ knowledge base and curricula documents. However, a common feature of early childhood education is an underemphasis of the subject content knowledge of teachers and children.

  • Why is content knowledge important for children?

  • Children who possess greater knowledge exhibit stronger oral language and reading comprehension skills, critical reasoning, and learning across academic content domains. Research has demonstrated that it is crucial to provide children with a strong foundation of content knowledge for at least three reasons.

  • What is pedagogical content knowledge?

  • Pedagogical content knowledge is a special combination of content and pedagogy that is uniquely constructed by teachers and thus is the 鈥渟pecial鈥?form of an educator鈥檚 professional knowing and understanding. Pedagogical content knowledge also is known as craft knowledge.

  • What is a common feature of early childhood education?

  • However, a common feature of early childhood education is an underemphasis of the subject content knowledge of teachers and children. Teacher beliefs have been established as perhaps the most important determinant of quality teaching and learning interactions and teacher professional growth (Kagan, 1992a).

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