E T S Praxis Series

Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 7-12 (0524)

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Topics Covered

Current section: I. Students as Learners

I. Students as Learners

  1. Student Development and the Learning Process
    1. Theoretical foundations about how learning occurs: how students construct knowledge, acquire skills, and develop habits of mind
      • Examples of important theorists
      • Important terms that relate to learning theory
    2. Human development in the physical, social, emotional, moral, speech/language, and cognitive domains
      • Contributions of important theorists
      • Major progressions in each developmental domain and the ranges of individual variation within each domain
      • Impact of students' physical, social, emotional, moral, and cognitive development on their learning and how to address these factors when making instructional decisions
      • How development in one domain, such as physical, may affect performance in another domain, such as social
  1. Students as Diverse Learners
    1. Differences in the ways students learn and perform
      • Learning styles
      • Multiple intelligences
      • Performance modes
        • Concrete operational thinkers
        • Visual and aural learners
      • Gender differences
      • Cultural expectations and styles
    2. Areas of exceptionality in students' learning
      • Visual and perceptual difficulties
      • Special physical or sensory challenges
      • Learning disabilities
      • Attention-deficit disorder (ADD); Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
      • Functional mental retardation
      • Behavioral disorders
      • Developmental delays
    3. Legislation and institutional responsibilities relating to exceptional students
      • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
      • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
      • Inclusion, mainstreaming, and "least restrictive environment"
      • IEP (Individualized Education Plan), including what, by law, must be included in each IEP
      • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Services Act
      • Due process
      • Family involvement
    4. Approaches for accommodating various learning styles, intelligences, or exceptionalities
      • Differentiated instruction
      • Alternative assessments
      • Testing modifications
    5. Process of second-language acquisition and strategies to support the learning of students for whom English is not a first language
    6. Understanding the influence of individual experiences, talents, and prior learning, as well as language, culture, family, and community values on students' learning
      • Multicultural backgrounds
      • Age-appropriate knowledge and behavior
      • The student culture at school
      • Family backgrounds
      • Linguistic patterns and differences
      • Cognitive patterns and differences
      • Social and emotional issues
  1. Student Motivation and the Learning Environment
    1. Theoretical foundations of human motivation and behavior
      • Important terms that relate to motivation and behavior
    2. How knowledge of human motivation and behavior should influence strategies for organizing and supporting individual and group work in the classroom
      • Examination debate and parliamentary debates
      • Individual events: extemporaneous speaking, oratory, and interpretation
      • Program management: tournament management, forensics program philosophy, and school relations
    3. Factors and situations that are likely to promote or diminish student's motivation to learn, and how to help students to become self-motivated
    4. Principles of effective classroom management and strategies to promote positive relationships, cooperation, and purposeful learning
      • Establishing daily procedures and routines
      • Establishing classroom rules
      • Using natural and logical consequences
      • Providing positive guidance
      • Modeling conflict resolution, problem solving, and anger management
      • Giving timely feedback
      • Maintaining accurate records
      • Communicating with parents and caregivers
      • Using objective behavior descriptions
      • Responding to student behavior
      • Arranging classroom space
      • Pacing and structuring the lesson