Singapore University of Social Sciences

Comparing Curricular Approaches and Models

Comparing Curricular Approaches and Models (ECE366)


There was a period of time when policy makers and researchers experimented with curricular approaches and models in search of a “best” approach to educating young children. The notion of a single best approach has since been challenged. ECE366 presents a timeline of existing and well-known models and approaches that were initiated in the late 19th century and/or the 20th century. Some of these approaches are often branded as exemplary models for young children in Singapore. This course invites students to critically evaluate the strengths and limitations of each approach/model in accordance with current understandings of child learning and development within particular sociocultural contexts.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JULY
E-Learning: BLENDED - Learning is done ENTIRELY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. There are no face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, this will be administered on-campus.


  • Defining curriculum models and approaches in early childhood education
  • Determining the philosophical assumptions and/or child development theories underlying each model or approach
  • Pestalozzi and Froebel’s curriculum
  • Maria Montessori’s original curriculum
  • Direction instruction models
  • Bank Street Developmental-interaction approach
  • High/Scope curriculum
  • Waldorf Steiner’s curriculum
  • Dodge Creative Curriculum
  • Kamii-DeVries Constructivist approach
  • Vygotskian Tools of the Mind/Key to Learning
  • Reggio Emilia and Project Approach

Learning Outcome

  • Discuss the various influences that have shaped the development and purpose of curricula approaches
  • Appraise the relevance of curriculum models and approaches
  • Examine the strengths and limitations of major EC curricula influencing Singapore child care centres and kindergartens
  • Compare aspects of EC curricular models/approaches
  • Apply distinctive strategies and/or activities found in well-known EC curricular models/approaches
  • Evaluate the utility of these strategies in relation to the Singapore context
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