Application of Developmental Theories to Education

Modified: 18th Jun 2018
Wordcount: 4076 words

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Part 1. Purpose

My classroom will be a place of respect. It will provide an inclusive and safe environment that will encourage students to learn. Students are to play an active role in their learning and are also expected to respect each other and the teacher.
Our classroom will foster positive interactions with safe and open communication between students and teachers alike. All individuals shall be respected and respectful of the differences of others. Our classroom will become a community of learners encouraging one another’s personal and academic success.

In our classroom we will obey all the rules, be respectful, be organized, and create a safe and positive learning environment. All students will do their best and be successful in all they do.

Part 2. The Learner

  1. Age and Developmental Characteristics

Infants and Toddlers





Attachment: baby settles when parent comforts; toddler seeks comfort from parent, safe-base exploration 5 mo: responsive to social stimuli; facial expressions of emotion

9 mo: socially interactive; plays games (pattycake) with caretakers 

11 mo: stranger anxiety; separation anxiety; solitary play

2 yr: imitation, parallel and symbolic, play

Newborn: rough, random, uncoordinated, reflexive movement 

3 mo: head at 90 degree angle, uses arms to prop; visually track through midline

5 mo: purposeful grasp; roll over; head lag disappears; reaches for objects; transfer objects from hand to hand; plays with feet; exercises body by stretching, moving; touch genitals, rock on stomach for pleasure

7 mo: sits in “tripod”; push head and torso up off the floor; support weight on legs; “raking” with hands

9 mo: gets to and from sitting; crawls, pulls to standing; stooping and recovering; fingerthumb opposition; eyehand coordination, but no hand preference

12 mo: walking

15 mo: more complex motor skills

2 yrs: learns to climb up stairs first, then down

Sensori-motor: physically

explores environment

to learn about it;

repeats movements to

master them, which

also stimulates brain

cell development

4-5 mo: coos, curious

and interested in


6 mo: babbles and

imitates sounds

9 mo: discriminates

between parents and

others; trial and error

problem solving

12 mo: beginning of

symbolic thinking;

points to pictures in

books in response to

verbal cue; object

permanence; some

may use single words; receptive language more advanced than

expressive language

15 mo: learns through

imitating complex

behaviors; knows

objects are used for

specific purposes

2 yrs: 2 word phrases;

uses more complex

toys and understands

sequence of putting

toys, puzzles together

Birth-1 yr: learns fundamental trust

in self, caretakers, environment

1-3 yr: mastery of body and rudimentary mastery of environment (can get other’s to take care of him)

12-18 mo: “terrible twos” may

begin; willful, stubborn, tantrums

18-36 mo: feel pride when they are “good” and embarrassment when they are “bad”

18-36 mo: Can recognize distress

in others – beginning of empathy

18-36 mo: are emotionally attached to toys or objects for







Birth-1 yr: learns fundamental trust in self, caretakers, environment

1-3 yr: mastery of body and rudimentary mastery of environment (can get other’s to take care of him)

12-18 mo: “terrible twos” may begin; willful, stubborn, tantrums

18-36 mo: feel pride when they are “good” and embarrassment when they are “bad” Can recognize distress in others – beginning of empathy

Are emotionally attached to toys or objects for security

Physically active

Rule of Three: 3 yrs,

3 ft, 33 lbs.

Weight gain: 4-5 lbs

per year

Growth: 3-4 inches

per year

Physically active,

can’t sit still for


Clumsy throwing


Refines complex

skills: hopping, jumping, climbing,

running, ride “big wheels” and tricycles

Improving fine

motor skills and


coordination: cut

with scissors,

draw shapes

3- 3 ½ yr: most

toilet trained

Ego-centric, illogical, magical thinking

Explosion of vocabulary; learning syntax, grammar;

understood by 75% of people by age 3

Poor understanding of time, value, sequence of events

Vivid imaginations; some difficulty separating fantasy

from reality

Accurate memory, but more suggestible than older children

Primitive drawing, can’t represent themselves in

drawing till age 4

Don’t realize others have different perspective

Leave out important facts

May misinterpret visual cues of emotions

Receptive language better than expressive till age 4

Self-esteem based on

what others tell him

or her

Increasing ability to

control emotions; less

emotional outbursts

Increased frustration


Better delay


Rudimentary sense of


Understands concepts

of right and wrong

Self-esteem reflects

opinions of

significant others


Self-directed in many


School Aged





Friendships are situation specific

Understands concepts

of right and wrong

Rules relied upon to

guide behavior and

play, and provide

child with structure

and security

5-6 yr: believe rules can be changed

7-8 yrs: strict adherence

to rules

9-10 yrs: rules can be


Begin understanding

social roles; regards

them as inflexible; can

adapt behavior to fit

different situations;

practices social roles

Takes on more

responsibilities at


Less fantasy play, more

team sports, board


Morality: avoid

punishment; self

interested exchanges

Self-esteem based on

what others tell him

or her

Increasing ability to

control emotions; less

emotional outbursts

Increased frustration


Better delay gratification

Rudimentary sense of


Understands concepts

of right and wrong

Self-esteem reflects

opinions of

significant others


Self-directed in many


Use language as a

communication tool

Perspective taking:

5-8 yr: can recognize

others’ perspectives,

can’t assume the role of

the other

8-10 yr: recognize

difference between

behavior and intent; age

10-11 yr: can accurately

recognize and consider

others’ viewpoints

Concrete operations:

Accurate perception of events; rational, logical thought; concrete thinking; reflect upon self

and attributes;

understands concepts of space, time, dimension

Can remember events

from months, or years


More effective coping skills

Understands how his

behavior affects others

Self esteem based on ability to perform and produce

Alternative strategies for dealing with frustration and expressing emotions

Sensitive to other’s opinions about themselves

6-9 yr: have questions about

pregnancy, intercourse,

sexual swearing, look for nude pictures in books,magazines

10-12 yr: games with peeing, sexual activity (truth/dare, boy-girl

relationships, flirting, some kissing, stroking/rubbing, re-enacting intercourse

with clothes on)





Young (12 – 14):


distance self from

parents; identify

with peer group;

social status largely

related to group membership; social

acceptance depends on conformity to observable traits or

roles; need to be

independent from

all adults; ambivalent about sexual relationships, sexual behavior is exploratory

Middle (15 – 17):

friendships based

on loyalty,


trust; self-revelation

is first step towards

intimacy; conscious

choices about

adults to trust;

respect honesty &


from adults; may

become sexually


Morality: golden rule;

conformity with law

is necessary for

good of society

Growth spurt:

Girls: 11-14 yrs

Boys: 13-17 yrs


Girls: 11-14 yrs

Boys: 12-15 yrs

Youth acclimate to

changes in body

Formal operations: precursors in

early adolescence, more developed in middle and late adolescence, as follows:

Think hypothetically: calculate consequences of thoughts and actions without experiencing them; consider a number of possibilities and plan behavior accordingly

Think logically: identify and reject hypotheses or possible outcomes based on logic

Think hypothetically, abstractly, logically

Think about thought: leads to

introspection and self-analysis

Insight, perspective taking: understand and consider others’ perspectives, and

perspectives of social


Systematic problem solving: can attack a problem, consider multiple solutions,

plan a course of action

Cognitive development is

uneven, and impacted by emotionality

Psycho-social task is identity


Young adolescents (12-14): self-conscious

about physical

appearance and early or late development; body image rarely objective, negatively

affected by physical and sexual abuse; emotionally labile; may over-react to parental questions or criticisms; engage

in activities for intense emotional experience; risky

behavior; blatant rejections of parental standards; rely on peer group for support

Middle adolescents (15-17):

examination of others’ values,

beliefs; forms identity by organizing perceptions of ones

attitudes, behaviors, values into coherent “whole”; identity

includes positive self image comprised of cognitive and

affective components

Additional struggles with identity

formation include minority or biracial

status, being an adopted child, gay/lesbian identity

  1. Diversity

In every classroom there will be all types of diversities. A few examples of different types of diversity are: students come from all different racial, ethical, and religious backgrounds. As a teacher it is our job to treat every student equally no matter what kind of background they come from. Some students in our classroom may be originally from a different country and may not speak English; but we have to make accommodations to make sure this child can learn and succeed. In our classrooms we will also have students with different learning disabilities. We have to these into consideration when we plan our lesson making sure we make modifications to help ensure the childs needs are being met.

Through out the textbook Comprehensive Classroom Management Creating Communities of Support and Solving Problems, the authors Vern and Louise Jones gathered reasearch and wrote about diversity in the classroom in several chapters. Here is the important information that I found that will assist in having a well managed classroom with a diverse student body.

When teachers begin a new school year it is important to get to know who the students are. It is important to get an understanding of their background so a teacher can apply this knowledge to their classroom management. The textbook has a quote from Shevalier and McKenzie’s (2012) review on culturally responsive teaching that shares where classroom management arose from. It quotes “classroom management arose from a family-like community defined by a shared vocabulary, with all responsible to one another to do the right thing”.

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By communicating with the students and their families the teacher learns what is and is not accepted or taught at home. Learning what is accepted in their culture will guide the teacher in how to apply the lesson to the class. Students that move to the United States may have different interpretations of gestures and words and it is important for teachers to know this so no students are offended or class is disrupted.

Another important area of a student’s background is where they live. Being aware of student’s home life and if they live in poverty areas helps the teachers learn to establish a postitive learning environment. The textbook discusses the article “A Framework for Culturally Responsive Teaching” written by Raymond Wlodkowski and Margery Ginsberg. (1995) It discusses in poverty areas a learning environment has to emphasize intrinsic motivation. The atmosphere that is created has students and teachers respecting each other, making what is taught relavent to the students, having creative learning experiences that include student’s input, and making students feel that they are effective in learning something they value.

Where students live and what cultures they come from are not the only things that cover classroom diversity. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) teachers are to include students with Kathleen Slamka 3 both physical and learning disablities in the general education classroom. Working with in their IEP team it is important for teachers to make these students feel they are competent to participate in class. They need to be treated the same as the other students and to be an effective teacher you need to consider this and work it into your lesson plans.

When becoming a teacher it is important for teachers not to just learn how to teach but understand who they are teaching. Classroom diversity is an important part of good classroom mangement. When a teacher goes that extra mile to become involved in students life then the students will succeed under their care

  1. Motivation and High Expectations
  • Causes of Low Motivation in Students
  1. Pressure – Some students respond negatively to pressure and avoid participation because of fear of failure. They appear not to care but are using this to cover their anxiety.
  2. Low Classroom Expectations – Teachers having poor attitudes and does not focus on student’s needs and mutual respect.
  3. Lack Of Home Support- Parents are less invloved in the student’s learning and show a lack of importance toward education.
  4. Low income parents- Parents are working more and not home enough to meet childs personal and emotional needs. Parents may not make much therefore students are left with little food and clothes that are worn out or outgrown.
  5. Low Self Esteem Students- have low self image and see themselves not capable and tasks to hard for them. They avoid doing tasks for fear.

According to our textbook (2016), one of the main components of creating high motivation and expectations is creating a safe, calm, and healthy classroom environment. If students feel like they are safe and cared for, they more than likely will do their best. Students can come from all different backgrounds and home lives and it is our job as teachers to take that worry away from them and make them feel safe and loved at school. Another component is making students feel like they can accomplish anything they set their minds to.

Some things that organize our thinking about motivation are: Intrinsic Value, which is a student’s interest or enjoyment with engaging in a task; Attainment Value, which is when a student feels like they can achieve or accomplish a task; and Utility Value, which is when the students feel like what they are learning and doing will benefit their career one day.

Teachers feel that student don’t see the value in learning the curriculums taught in the classroom. As teachers, we have to create a learning environment that establishes inclusion, develops attitude, enhances meaning, and engenders competence. We have to create a classroom environment where everyone feels respected and valued including the teachers and students; we have to try our best to create a favorable disposition for learning through their personal relevance, we have to create learning that is challenging, and we need to make students feel like they are learning about something they value.

Finally, students that are low motivators need help understanding the value of their learning goals, understand the learning process, be involved in the process, have goals, experience success, self-evaluate, receive appropriate rewards, and experience a safe and well-organized learning environment.

  1. Academic Learning Goals
  1. Teacher’s responsibility regarding safety

Creating a safe classroom environment is one of the key factors for a successful classroom, and it is very important for the students. A lot of classroom problems can be prevented by creating a safe and positive environment for the students. Research has indicated that when students perceive their relationships with their teachers and peers to be positive and supportive their motivation and positive behavior increases dramatically. Students’ academics will be enhanced when the teacher takes time to respond to the students’ psychological and personal needs. Creating a safe environment for students will benefit their social, mental, physical, and spiritual needs. A student will always remember a teacher who took the time to get to know them and cared about them.

  1. Alabama Educator Code of Ethics
  1. Important Laws for Teachers

Bullying Laws

Alabama has anti-bullying laws and policies. The Student Harassment Prevention Act was signed by Bob Riley on May 29, 2009. Cyberbullying is included in these laws. According to Alabama’s Student Harassment Prevention Act says that research confirms that victims of school bullying and harassment suffer detrimental psychological problems that could lead to suicide, behavioral problems, and lower levels of academic achievement. As teachers it is our job to make sure our students are not being bullied, and if we see bullying to take certain protocols to resolve the bullying.

No student shall engage in or be sujected to harassment, violence, threats of violence, or intimidation by any other student that is based on any of the specific characteristics

that have been identified by the board in this policy. Students who violate this policy will be suject to disciplinary sanctions.


  • IDEA is the Individuals with Disablities Education Act. This act ensures services for students with disabilities. They provide special education and intervention to students who need the help.

IDEA is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities

Due Process

  • According to myaea Students first Act was adopted by the legislature during the 2011 regular session. This act imposed a new tenure system and education support professionals in Alabama.Teachers have the right to hear and contest charges that are placed against the before they lose their jobs. Teachers have a right to a hearing and have the right to appeal the hearing’s findings.

Discipline of Special Needs Students

  • According to IDEA, students with disabilities can be suspended or expelled for violating the schools code of conduct. There are some procedures though, the length of time and type of action, the nature of the conduct that led to the action, and whether it is connected to the student’s disability. These situations are handled case by case.


  • Teachers are to dress professionally and by their schools dress code policy. Every school district is different in what they have their teachers to wear.


  • FERPA is the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act. It is to ensure that parents have access to their children’s educational records and to protect the privacy rights of parents and children by limiting access to these records without parental consent.

Works Cited Page

Denton,Paula, Kriete, Roxann. A Conflict Resolution Protocol for Elementary

Classrooms. Creducation.Retrieved from

Jones, Vernon, Jones, Louise. Comprehensive Classroom Management Eleventh Edition

p. 4, 49-50, 172-174, 298-299.>stop bullying>mode

Http:// of_Ethics.pdf


Due Process Laws Vary for Teachers by State. (2014, September 23). Retrieved November 24, 2015,



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