Essentials PEPSI Elementary Adolescence Advanced CD
Getting StartedClassSyllabusCommunicateLibraryHelp!
ESE504 : The Class : Elementary : Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking:
Development on-line Reading Response

To complete this assignment successfully, you should:

  1. Study the assignment carefully
  2. Respond to each question in the space provided
  3. Fill in your Name and Email address
  4. Send the Assignment

After reading or reviewing the text assignment and reading the Introductory on-line lesson, Development, please respond to at least four of these comments or questions.

1. Apply a developmental framework to understand behavior. Example: Children are property, and are to be seen and not heard....

2. Identify an example of sociohistorical / cultural contexts that influence children's development. Example: Children are more violent today because of the influence of television...

3. Apply developmental concepts to enhance personal adaptations. Example: Mary, a student with Downs syndrome, talks to unseen people, and the teacher believes she may be hallucinating. [The psychologist knows that in many respects, Mary is behaving like a child of four and recognizes that Mary is actually speaking to an imaginary friend..].

4. Pursue alternative explanations to more fully understand children's development. Example: The classroom teacher uses the PEPSI model to do a case study for Dom since he can't understand the sudden outbursts and temper flares that periodically send Dom into a rage...

5. Evaluate the quality of conclusions and strategies that can be used as part of the educational response once educators become knowledgeable about children's development. Example: The child study team has a meeting to discuss Lynn's placement and IEP. One teacher wants to review findings using a developmental framework...

6. Demonstrate appreciation of individual differences in children's development. Example: I don't think we should make a referral to special education yet. Frank does have reversals in his work, but he is only in second grade...


Excellent response: At least four statements are addressed and in each one, there is evidence of the importance and value of child development in considering curriculum and discipline issues.

Marginal: Fewer than four statements are addressed and/or there is little recognition of the ways that developmental issues impact education and teaching.

Something interesting

Lev Vygotsky, a Russian psychologist and philosopher in the early 1900's, wrote about social constructivist theory. His model places the teacher in an active role while the students' mental abilities develop naturally through various paths of discovery.

Vygotsky's Three Principal Assumptions

Making Meaning - The community is central and people around the student affect the way he or she sees the world.

Tools for Cognitive Development - The type and quality of learning tools - important adults, culture and language - determines the pattern and rate of development.

The Zone of Proximal Development - Problem solving skills can be placed into three categories: (a) those performed independently by the student; (b) those that cannot be performed even with help; and (c) those that fall between the two extremes, the tasks that can be performed with help from others.

Vygotskian Principles - Learning and development are social and collaborative activities that cannot be "taught" to anyone. It is up to the student to construct his or her own understanding in his or her own mind. It is during this process that the teacher acts as a facilitator. The zone of proximal development can be used to design appropriate situations during which the student can be provided the appropriate support for optimal learning. When providing appropriate situations, one must take into consideration that learning should take place in meaningful contexts, preferably the context in which the knowledge is to be applied.

For grading purposes, please provide the following information:

Your Name:
Your Email address:

Once you have filled in the areas above, click the Send button below to send your response to the instructor.


E-mail J'Anne Ellsworth at

Course developed by J'Anne Ellsworth


Copyright © 1999 Northern Arizona University