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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET Introduction | 3 namely, child rearing and education have to be adapted to the growing needs, abil- ities, and interests of the child, and children are best served when they are actively involved in their own learning. This commonality makes it clear that beneath the appearance of diversity and discontinuity in the history of early childhood educa- tion, there is an underlying unity and continuity. The Giants of Developmentally Appropriate Practice The progressive elaboration and integration of the philosophical insights, experi- mental innovations, theoretical ideas, and research evidence of the twelve principles brought together by NAEYC is the untold history of early childhood education. To be sure, these philosophical, practical, theoretical, and research ideas were not for- mulated exclusively for the education of young children. Indeed, the Giants thought of their ideas as applicable to all levels of child rearing and education. Comenius himself proposed that his ideas were applicable from infancy through the univer- sity level (Keatinge 1910). That DAP can be employed at least up to the high school level is supported by the fact that many of the descendants of the schools first intro- duced by two of the Giants, Montessori and Steiner (Waldorf schools), today serve the K–12 age groups. I am very well aware that, over the years, a great many distinguished educators both in the United Sates and abroad have made important contributions to early childhood education. But in every discipline there are only a few individuals whose work marks major turning points in their field. I believe this is true for early child- hood education. From this perspective, there are eleven individuals whose work has shaped the discipline. These are the philosophers, practitioners, researchers, and theorists whom I am calling Giants. By focusing on the work of the Giants, I by no means intend to belittle the significance of other contributors. It just seems nec- essary to call on the authority of the Giants in support of DAP at a time when DAP principles are being overlooked, ignored, or rejected—witness national achieve- ment standards. In choosing the Giants, I used three criteria. First, they were persuaded, far ahead of their times, that education had to be based on an understanding of the child. In the absence of a science of child psychology, they employed analogies, such as the growth of plants and the change of seasons, to illustrate developmental changes and to suggest age-appropriate child-rearing and educational practices. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL