The Effectiveness of Developmentally Appropriate Compared with Developmentally Inappropriate Practices: Implications for Teacher Preparation


developmentally appropriate, teacher preparation


During the 1980's early childhood educators became increasingly concerned with the trend toward what we viewed as developmentally inappropriate instruction in early childhood classrooms (e.g.. Elkind. 1986). The publication of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) position statements in the initial and expanded versions was welcomed as it provided a much needed definition of developmentally appropriate practice (Bredekamp, 1987). The NAEYC guidelines served as the take-off point for an ongoing longitudinal study and several related offshoot studies completed and in progress. Our concern with guidelines was that, although documented with theory and expert opinion, there was very little empirical support for the contention that developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) was advantageous for young children or that developmentally inappropriate practice (DIP) might actually be harmful. The purpose of this article is to describe briefly some of our findings and to suggest some implications of these findings for early childhood teacher education. We'll begin with a brief description of the studies. followed by a summary of the major results, and finally some specific suggestions for teacher education.

Original Publication Citation

Charlesworth, R., Burts, D.C., & Hart, C.H. (1994). The effectiveness of developmentally appropriate compared with developmentally inappropriate practices: Implications for teacher preparation. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education 15, 8-12.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor