Date of Award

Spring 3-19-2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

First Advisor

Sal Vascellaro


This paper is a reflection on the writing of a social studies curriculum for five and six-year-olds-a study of a neighborhood construction site. It examines the way in which one teacher's commitment to offering children meaningful content evolved into the formulation of her educational philosophy, as influenced by such progressive educators as John Dewey, Lucy Sprague Mitchell, and Caroline Pratt.

Part One of the thesis is divided into three major sections. The first consists of a developmental overview of five- and six-year-olds. The second describes the connections between understandings of basic child development, understandings of a particular group of children, and the selection of a subject for study. It also outlines the rich scope of knowledge that a construction site holds out for exploration and offers a perspective on how kindergartners absorb and process that knowledge. The third section examines the relationship between methodology-specific acts of teaching curriculum-and educational philosophy. It details one teacher's philosophy of education as a rationale that supports her development of curriculum. Part Two of the thesis provides the complete curriculum guide for the study of a neighborhood construction site. Part One, a framework for developing curriculum, and Part Two, the curriculum guide, are designed as discrete yet related documents.

Throughout, this thesis considers how teaching and learning can be relevant to the grown-ups and children working together in school every day.


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Early childhood general education (Program of study)