To complete this assignment successfully, you should:
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
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
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
- The community is central and people around the student affect the
way he or she sees the world.
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.
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E-mail J'Anne Ellsworth at Janne.Ellsworth@nau.edu
Course developed by J'Anne
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Northern Arizona University
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