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ECE366 Comparing Curricular Approaches and Models SUSS Assignment Sample Singapore

ECE366 Comparing Curricular Approaches and Models is a course offered by the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS). This course is designed to explore the various approaches and models for curriculum development used in the field of Early Childhood Education. The module will focus on how different curricular systems, such as play-based learning, project work, and individualized instruction can be applied in early childhood education settings. It will also analyze the effects of different approaches on the development and learning of young children. By the end of the course, students will be able to understand different curricular models and how they can be used in their own practice.

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Here, we will describe some assignment objectives. These are:

Assignment Objective 1: Discuss the various influences that have shaped the development and purpose of curricula approaches.

Curriculum approaches have been shaped by a variety of influences throughout history, ranging from philosophical, social, cultural, and economic factors. Here are some of the most significant influences that have shaped the development and purpose of curricula approaches:

  1. Philosophy: Different philosophical perspectives have influenced the development of curricula approaches. For instance, the traditionalist approach is based on the idea that knowledge is fixed and objective, and that it should be transmitted to students in a structured and systematic manner. In contrast, the progressive approach emphasizes experiential learning and the development of critical thinking skills.
  2. Social and Cultural Factors: Social and cultural factors such as class, race, and gender have also influenced curricula approaches. For instance, during the civil rights movement in the US, there was a push for more inclusive and diverse curricula that reflected the experiences of marginalized groups. Similarly, in post-colonial countries, there has been an emphasis on developing curricula that reflect local cultures and languages.
  3. Economic Factors: Economic factors such as globalization and the rise of the knowledge economy have also influenced curricula approaches. In response to these changes, there has been a push for curricula that emphasize skills such as creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
  4. Technological Advances: Technological advances have also played a significant role in shaping curricula approaches. With the rise of digital technology, there has been a push for curricula that integrate technology into teaching and learning.
  5. Political Factors: Political factors such as government policies and ideologies have also influenced curricula approaches. For instance, in countries with centralized education systems, curricula may be developed at a national level and reflect the values and priorities of the government.

Assignment Objective 2: Appraise the relevance of curriculum models and approaches.

Curriculum models and approaches are highly relevant in the field of education as they provide a framework for designing, implementing, and evaluating curricula. They help educators to create cohesive, coherent, and effective educational programs that meet the needs of learners and align with educational goals and objectives. Here are some of the reasons why curriculum models and approaches are important:

  1. Provides a structure for curriculum development: Curriculum models and approaches provide a structure for designing, implementing, and evaluating educational programs. They provide a roadmap for educators to follow, ensuring that all necessary components of a curriculum are included.
  2. Enhances teacher effectiveness: By using curriculum models and approaches, educators are able to improve their effectiveness in the classroom. They are better able to identify learning goals, design instruction that meets the needs of their students, and assess student progress.
  3. Fosters consistency and continuity: Curriculum models and approaches promote consistency and continuity in education by ensuring that all students receive the same quality of instruction regardless of the teacher or school they attend.
  4. Helps to align curricula with educational goals and objectives: Curriculum models and approaches help to ensure that curricula are aligned with the educational goals and objectives of the institution or governing body. This ensures that students are receiving an education that is relevant and meaningful.
  5. Encourages innovation and creativity: While curriculum models and approaches provide a structure, they also allow for flexibility and innovation. Educators can adapt and modify these models to fit the unique needs of their students, encouraging creativity and innovation in the classroom.

Assignment Objective 3: Examine the strengths and limitations of major EC curricula influencing Singapore child care centres and kindergartens.

There are several major Early Childhood (EC) curricula that influence Singapore’s child care centers and kindergartens. These include the Montessori approach, the Reggio Emilia approach, and the HighScope approach. Each of these curricula has its own strengths and limitations, which we will examine below:

Montessori Approach:


  • Focuses on the individual needs and interests of the child
  • Promotes self-directed learning and independence
  • Hands-on learning experiences
  • Encourages children to learn at their own pace
  • Emphasizes practical life skills


  • Requires highly trained teachers who are well-versed in the Montessori philosophy and methodology
  • Can be costly due to the need for specialized materials and equipment
  • May not be suitable for all children, especially those who require more structured learning environments
  • Some critics argue that the emphasis on individual learning may lead to a lack of social interaction and collaboration skills.

Reggio Emilia Approach:


  • Focuses on child-led learning and exploration
  • Emphasizes the importance of the environment in the learning process
  • Encourages collaboration and communication among children
  • Values creativity and self-expression
  • Promotes the development of critical thinking skills


  • Can be difficult to implement due to the need for highly trained teachers and specialized materials
  • May not be suitable for all children, especially those who require more structured learning environments
  • The emphasis on child-led learning may lead to a lack of academic rigor in some areas.

HighScope Approach:


  • Emphasizes active learning through hands-on experiences
  • Promotes social and emotional development through cooperative play and problem-solving
  • Focuses on the development of skills and dispositions that are essential for success in later life, such as communication, self-regulation, and critical thinking
  • Incorporates ongoing assessment and evaluation to ensure that each child’s individual needs are being met.


  • Can be costly due to the need for specialized materials and equipment
  • Requires highly trained teachers who are well-versed in the HighScope philosophy and methodology
  • May not be suitable for all children, especially those who require more structured learning environments.

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Assignment Objective 4: Compare aspects of EC curricular models/approaches.

There are several different curricular models and approaches to early childhood education (EC), each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Here are some of the most common approaches and their key aspects:

Montessori approach: This approach emphasizes the development of independence, self-discipline, and problem-solving skills through hands-on learning activities. Children are encouraged to work at their own pace and to choose activities that interest them. Montessori classrooms are typically organized into learning areas where children can explore materials and work independently.

Reggio Emilia approach: This approach is focused on child-centered learning and encourages children to explore and discover their environment through play and other experiences. Teachers act as facilitators, providing support and guidance while allowing children to take the lead in their learning. The approach also emphasizes the importance of art and creative expression as a means of communication and learning.

High/Scope approach: This approach is based on the belief that children learn best through active participation in their own learning. The curriculum is structured around “key experiences” that are designed to promote intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development. Children are encouraged to plan and carry out their own activities, and teachers serve as facilitators, providing guidance and support.

Bank Street approach: This approach is focused on the whole child, taking into account the social, emotional, and cognitive development of each child. The curriculum is designed to be flexible and responsive to the needs and interests of individual children. Teachers work collaboratively with families and other professionals to support children’s learning and development.

Waldorf approach: This approach is based on the belief that children learn best through activities that engage their imagination and creativity. The curriculum is designed to integrate academic subjects with the arts, movement, and practical skills. Teachers strive to create a warm, nurturing environment that supports children’s development in all areas.

Each of these approaches has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and the best approach for a particular child or group of children depends on a variety of factors, including their individual needs and interests, the goals of their families, and the resources available to support their learning and development.

Assignment Objective 5: Apply distinctive strategies and/or activities found in well-known EC curricular models/approaches.

There are several well-known early childhood curricular models and approaches that incorporate distinctive strategies and activities to support children’s learning and development. Here are a few examples:

Reggio Emilia Approach: This approach emphasizes the importance of child-led inquiry-based learning, where children are encouraged to explore and investigate their interests through open-ended projects. Some distinctive strategies used in the Reggio Emilia approach include:

  • Documentation: Teachers document children’s learning processes through photos, videos, and other forms of media, which are used to reflect on children’s progress and support further inquiry.
  • Atelier: Ateliers are art studios designed for children to explore different materials and techniques to express themselves creatively.
  • Environment as the Third Teacher: The physical environment is considered an important factor in children’s learning, and is intentionally designed to promote exploration, independence, and collaboration.

Montessori Approach: The Montessori approach emphasizes hands-on learning and individualized instruction, where children are encouraged to follow their own interests and pace. Some distinctive strategies used in the Montessori approach include:

  • Materials and Activities: Montessori classrooms are equipped with a variety of hands-on materials and activities designed to support children’s learning across different domains, such as language, math, and practical life skills.
  • Mixed Age Groups: Children of different ages are grouped together in a single classroom, allowing older children to mentor younger ones and younger children to learn from their peers.
  • Freedom within Limits: Children are given the freedom to choose their own activities, but within established guidelines and expectations for behavior and respect.

High/Scope Approach: The High/Scope approach emphasizes active learning through play, where children are encouraged to make choices and take responsibility for their own learning. Some distinctive strategies used in the High/Scope approach include:

  • Plan-Do-Review: Children engage in a cyclical process of planning their activities, carrying them out, and reflecting on their experiences.
  • Key Experiences: High/Scope identifies 58 key experiences that are important for children’s development, and teachers intentionally plan activities and experiences to support these areas.
  • Consistent Routine: A consistent daily routine provides structure and predictability for children while allowing for flexibility and choice within the routine.

These are just a few examples of the many curricular models and approaches used in early childhood education. Each approach has its own unique strategies and activities, and educators may choose to incorporate elements of different approaches to creating a curriculum that best meets the needs of their students.

Assignment Objective 6: Evaluate the utility of these strategies in relation to the Singapore context.

The strategies found in the well-known EC curricular models and approaches discussed above can be adapted to fit the Singapore context. For example, the use of documentation as a tool for reflection on children’s learning processes can be adopted as an effective way to assess student performance and progress. The Atelier is also an important part of the Reggio Emilia approach, and this can be adapted to the Singapore context by providing spaces for creative exploration and expression. The Montessori environment can also be adapted to a Singapore context, with materials and activities that are tailored to best meet the needs of students in a diverse range of subjects and skills. Similarly, the High/Scope approach’s Plan-Do-Review cycle is an effective way to encourage active learning and independent exploration. By adapting these strategies and approaches, educators in Singapore can create a curriculum that best meets the needs of their students.

Overall, these strategies are useful for early childhood education in Singapore as they provide a framework for creating engaging and stimulating learning environments. They also emphasize hands-on learning, individualization, and collaboration which are important for developing the skills and abilities of Singapore’s young learners. By carefully considering how each approach can be tailored to create an effective curriculum in the Singapore context, educators can ensure that their students are receiving a comprehensive education that is tailored to their unique needs.

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