Developmentally appropriate curriculum is a component for quality early childhood care and education. This study was conducted in Debre Markos town, East Gojjam Zone, Ethiopia. The study aimed to evaluate if the textbooks implemented by private preschools are developmentally appropriate or not. Qualitative case study approach was employed and Mathematics and Environmental Science textbooks for upper kindergarten class of one private preschool were purposefully selected. The textbooks were analyzed using a checklist focusing on the extent to which contents in the textbooks are appealing, play-based, employ concrete/realistic contexts; contain activities of counting, simple addition and subtraction; contain activities of seriation and conservation, and concepts about shapes and colors. The study found that the Environmental Science textbook pictorially represents parts of the body along with corresponding names, personal hygiene and children’s daily routines, concepts of time, pictures of different sizes of animals and objects and domestic and wild animals and colors. Besides, it introduces children about the sources and uses of water and air. Likewise, the Mathematics textbook comprises pictures of different animals and objects and activities related to ascending and descending orders. Counting from 0 to 10 and counting forwards and backwards, names and pictures of simple geometric figures and basic colors, and lines and shapes are also emphasized. Both textbooks contain contents related to size, color and classification. Despite these qualities, these textbooks are less appealing to children and do not provide concrete examples; they are poor in containing play, songs and rhymes and fail to suggest the use of environmentally available, concrete and realistic teaching materials to enhance understanding of idealistic concepts. The two textbooks lack several developmentally appropriate contents and fail to relate contents with naturalistic and environmentally available materials. This implies that the textbooks need to be revised to fit with preschool children’s level of cognitive development. The findings of this study have implication for designing developmentally preschool curriculum.
Key words: Curriculum, developmentally appropriate, preschool, Mathematics, Environmental Science.
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