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Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth Through Age 8, Fourth Edition (Fully Revised and Updated)  (4th Edition) Spiral-Bound | November 30, 2021

NAEYC, Susan Friedman (Edited by), Brian L. Wright (Edited by), Marie L. Masterson (Edited by), Barbara Willer (Contributions by), Sue Bredekamp (Contributions by)

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Clear, Relevant, Evidence-Based Guidance to Support Early Childhood Educators 

Spring 2022 Academic's Choice Awards Smart Book Winner.  Developmentally appropriate practice is the foundation on which quality early learning is built. The fourth edition of this classic, influential text addresses developmentally appropriate practice within the context of the ever-changing and evolving world of early childhood education. With a strong focus on equity and teaching and supporting all children, it underscores the importance of social, cultural, and historical contexts of development.  

Research Based 

Based on what the research says about child development, how children learn, and effective practices—as well as what professional experience tells the field about intentional teaching—this book provides a thorough discussion of the core considerations, principles, and guidelines that inform educators’ decision making. You’ll find extensive examples of effective approaches for teaching children across the early childhood spectrum as well as specific examples for infants and toddlers, preschoolers, kindergartners, and children in the primary grades. 

Even More Resources for Early Childhood Professionals 

This edition provides a comprehensive approach to implementing practices that ensure all young children have access to high-quality early learning. New resources in the book and online support higher education faculty, K–3 leaders, and early childhood educators in extending their own and others’ knowledge and application of developmentally appropriate practice. 

For higher education faculty:

 • Suggested activities, assignments, and reflections that correspond to specific content in the book, key areas of practice in NAEYC’s position statement on developmentally appropriate practice, and the professional standards and competencies

 • A test bank to create quick quizzes 


For K–3 leaders: 

• Considerations for incorporating developmentally appropriate practice into K–3 schools and programs, including those that provide pre-K, to foster children’s joyful learning and maximize learning opportunities for all children

For early childhood educators: 

• Tips and resources for engaging with content in the book, extending learning with additional resources, and collaborating with others in the early childhood learning community

Publisher: Ingram Publisher Services
Original Binding: Trade Paperback
Pages: 400 pages
ISBN-10: 1938113950
Item Weight: 2.76 lbs
Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.5 x 10.9 inches
Customer Reviews: 4 out of 5 stars Up to 30 ratings

Continuing its path-breaking tradition, the fourth edition of Developmentally Appropriate Practice is fresh and remarkably resonant with contemporary issues; it is ethically provocative and practically useful. Elevating the importance of cultural, social, and educational contexts, this edition beckons intentional reflection on the role and transcendence of bias in inhibiting the creation of just learning opportunities and a just society. To advance this hard and necessary work, this edition also offers practical guideposts, including rich examples and probing discussion questions. Its elegant nine principles of development and learning render it an unparalleled gift to the profession.


—Sharon Lynn Kagan, Marx Professor of Early Childhood and Family Policy, Teachers College, Columbia University



This work fully supports our practice in the field of early learning and care. Educators of children from birth to age 8 will use this information to learn applicable skills for teaching through developmentally appropriate practices that build brains during the critical first five years of life. 


—Barbara J. Cooper, Secretary, Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education



This newest edition provides a wealth of information for both new and experienced teachers. From emphasizing a both/and approach to incorporating strengths-based intentional teaching, this book guides early childhood professionals to refine and reflect on the decisions they make every day that impact young children.


—Debbie Pischke, Early Childhood Director, Peoria Unified School District



Yet again, NAEYC has struck the perfect balance between what practitioners in the field need and what researchers and administrators will use to apply developmentally appropriate practice. The timeliness of the updates toward equity allows us all to deliver on the sacred promise to make early childhood matter most.


—Edward J. Manuszak II, Superintendent, Dundee Community Schools, and Early Learning Cohort Co-Chair, The School Superintendents Association (AASA)



The authors of this book wisely remind us of three foundational pillars: Children have universal needs, even as each child yearns be seen and heard; teaching practices are fruitful when planted in relationships; and we learn and grow best in a reciprocal partnership among educators, families, and communities.


—Junlei Li, Saul Zaentz Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Education and Co-Chair of the Human Development and Education Program, Harvard Graduate School of Education



If educators intentionally meet children where they are and implement NAEYC’s updated guidelines and recommendations for developmentally appropriate practice, there is no question that children will have meaningful opportunities to thrive in joyful learning environments where inclusive, research-based, high-quality early education is the norm and not the exception. This must be the goal of all early childhood education programs, but it requires unwavering support from funders, policymakers, administrators, teaching practitioners, and the private sector.


—Maria-Isabel Ballivian, Executive Director, Annandale Christian Community for Action Child Development Center



I really appreciate the organization and layout of the book, with learning objectives and thought questions at the beginning of each chapter and opportunities to reflect at the end. Overall, I am pleased to see the evolution of Developmentally Appropriate Practice and its inclusive move from an either/or to a both/and way of looking at how early childhood professionals can better serve children and families. I am looking forward to using this book in the classes I teach.


—Benita Flores-Munoz, Professor of Child Development, Del Mar College



Schools are complex organizations and young children are complex human beings. Ensuring that organizations are designed for the children they serve is at the heart of developmentally appropriate practice. All administrators should read this book and consider the appropriateness and effectiveness of their approach.


—Vincent J. Costanza, Principal, Metuchen Public Schools



This volume uses research and teaching experience to describe the balance needed in today’s programs for young children. The avoidance of either/or positions in pedagogy, culture and language, and family involvement make it perfect for teachers and students.


—Barbara T. Bowman, Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Development, Erikson Institute

Aristotle once said, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” The revised edition of Developmentally Appropriate Practice invites educators to discover the whys of their decision making, emphasizing the importance of understanding the social contexts in which relationships and learning are built.


—Margarita Marichal-Lugo, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, Inter American University of Puerto Rico



As a long-time consumer of NAEYC resources, especially content related to developmentally appropriate practice, it is encouraging to see the evolution of thought from “best practices” to a model that recognizes the complex needs and inherent strengths of each and every child and family.


—Dina Walker-DeVose, Associate Professor of Child and Family Development, Georgia Southern University


Intentionality—this is the word that best describes the focus of the latest edition of this foundational text. Early childhood educators have a pedagogical tool that recognizes the strength of both/and approach to teaching and learning.


—Meghan Gowin, Primary Teacher, Uplift Ascend Primary, and Doctoral Candidate, Texas A&M University-Commerce

A range of early childhood experts will be key contributors including the following: 

NAEYC Volume Editor

Susan Friedman is senior director of publishing and content development at NAEYC. In this role, she leads the content development work of NAEYC’s books and periodicals teams. Ms.Friedman is coeditor of Each and Every Child: Teaching Preschool with an Equity Lens. She has extensive prior experience creating content on play, developmentally appropriate uses of media, and other topics for educators and families. She began her career as a preschool teacher at City and Country School in New York City. She holds degrees from Vassar College and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

Volume Editors and Contributing Editors

Sue Bredekamp, PhD, is an early childhood education consultant on developmentally appropriate practice, curriculum, teaching, and professional development. She coedited NAEYC’s 1986, 1997, and 2009 editions of Developmentally Appropriate Practice, and she developed and directed NAEYC’s accreditation system for early childhood programs. Dr. Bredekamp is the author of an introductory teacher education textbook, Effective Practices in Early Childhood Education: Building a Foundation, Third Edition (Pearson, 2016). 

Marie Masterson, PhD, is director of quality assessment at the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership. She is a licensed teacher, national speaker, and author of many books and articles that address research-based, practical skills for high-quality teaching, children’s development and behavior in cultural contexts, family engagement, and family child care. Dr. Masterson provides content expertise and consultation to organizations and systems involved in quality improvement and leadership development. 

Barbara Willer, PhD, retired from NAEYC after 35 years of service and leadership. During her tenure, Dr. Willer led many substantive projects to further NAEYC’s mission. The capstone efforts of her contributions to NAEYC and the field were leading the development of the position statements “Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education” (2019) and “Developmentally Appropriate Practice” (2020).

Brian L. Wright, PhD, is associate professor and coordinator of the early childhood education program as well as coordinator of the middle school cohort of the African American Male Academy at the University of Memphis. Dr. Wright is author of The Brilliance of Black Boys: Cultivating School Success in the Early Grades, with contributions by Shelly L. Counsell, which won the National Association for Multicultural Education’s 2018 Phillip C. Chinn Book Award.