Domains and subject areas addressed by the ELGs


The domains are the broad areas of child development and learning that will be addressed in the ELGs. Subject areas reflect academic content areas. Decisions about the domain areas and subject areas included in the document can shape the degree to which the ELGs address all areas of learning and development.


ELGs should be holistic and should address all areas of development and learning, but the subareas used to articulate the areas of development may vary. Five commonly used domains include:

  • Health and physical, perceptional and motor development
  • Social and emotional development
  • Approaches to learning
  • Language and communication development
  • Cognitive development

Academic subject areas are sometimes used as subcategories within the domain areas above and sometimes are "standalone" categories used to organize ELGs.


General considerations: ELG committees may want to consider what domains or subject areas are used in other standards within the state, and how areas of development are articulated in widely used curricula and assessments. It is also important to consider how the ELGs will communicate the integrated nature of learning and development. While ELGs may describe expectations for children's learning and development in different domains, learning that takes place in one domain is related to/integrated with learning that takes place in other domains. ELG development committees should give careful consideration as to how the document will communicate the importance of the integrated nature of learning and development and the importance of an integrated approach to addressing the ELGs when working with young children. If the ELG document addresses more than one age group, ELG committees will also need to think about how to organize ELG content written for different domains-whether to organize the document by age grouping (and include each of the domains within an age group in one section) or by domain (and include the content from each age grouping within one section that addresses a specific domain).

Age-specific considerations: The degree to which each of the five domains is emphasized may vary according to the age range addressed in the ELGs. Infant-toddler ELGs may place more emphasis on physical development and social-emotional development, while ELGs for older children may emphasize cognitive development and general knowledge more. Likewise, the degree to and manner in which the ELGs address academic subject areas should be different for infant-toddler versus preschool ELGs. Infant-toddler ELGs should focus on developmental skills and knowledge that are precursors for later academic content, while preschool ELGs may begin to introduce age-appropriate academic content.

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