PRAXIS II Pre-Kindergarten Education Exam

This exam is designed for individuals who would like to teach prekindergarten students. You will be given two hours to complete this 100 multiple-choice question exam. The test can be broken down into the following sections:

Early Childhood Development – 17 questions
Teaching and Supporting Diverse Children – 14 questions
Creating a Developmentally Appropriate Learning Environment – 20 questions
Teaching and Learning – 25 questions
Professionalism, Family, and Community – 24 questions

Early Childhood Development
This section of the exam will cover the typical progression in each developmental domain of children from age two to age five, theories of family and community and how they impact child development, and how individual characteristics of a child influence all domains of development.

Teaching and Supporting Diverse Children
This section of the exam will cover recognizing areas of exceptionality and its potential impact on a child‘s learning, the implications of current federal legislation relating to children with exceptionalities, and the variety of approaches for accommodating children with diverse learning needs.

Creating a Developmentally Appropriate Learning Environment
This section will include topics like the need for displaying critical health and safety information and procedures, how to create a literacy-rich environment, the importance of health
and safety when working with young children, and how the arrangement of multisensory indoor and outdoor spatial environments impact children’s development and learning.

Teaching and Learning
This section will cover topics like the role of standards and frameworks in instructional planning, how scope and sequence affect instructional planning, the role of resources and materials for planning and for differentiated instruction, techniques to support children’s learning, basic methods for promoting the development of children’s self-regulatory skills, and how to integrate the arts throughout the curriculum.

Professionalism, Family, and Community
This section will cover topics like the skills needed for respectful and effective communication about early childhood education to various audiences, the guidelines for the ethical and safe use of technology, the role of reflective practice for professional growth, the role of professional development resources, basic strategies for the protection of teachers’ rights, and how to advocate for children.

PRAXIS II Pre-Kindergarten Education Practice Questions

1. Jean Piaget’s stages of cognitive development include:

A. preoperational
B. concrete operational
C. formal operational
D. All of the above

2. Which of these statements is incorrect?

A. Children understand right and wrong.
B. Moral realism is believing a three-cookie thief is worse than a one-cookie thief.
C. Objective morality is the same as autonomous morality.
D. Objective morality is the same as moral realism.

3. Cognitive development is the study of the acquisition of and mental processes for:

A. awareness
B. reasoning
C. judgment
D. All of the above

4. Which of the following is not a major developmental skill of early childhood?

A. Exploring their environment
B. Limited social interactions
C. Finding adventure
D. Discovering how things work

5. Young children should only be assessed on age-appropriate:

A. skills attained
B. behavior control
C. social interactions
D. All of the above

Answer Key For Pre-Kindergarten Education

1. Answer: D

Based on the observation that unlike adults, young children keep making the same mistakes, Piaget’s theory of cognitive development examines the premise that children’s thought processes are innately different from an adult’s. His theory maintains that the validity of new information is confirmed from knowledge learned earlier. He believes there is a chronological order to the way children structure data and that they use old knowledge to test new information against its usefulness in the real world.

The ages used in Piaget’s four developmental stages are approximate because studies show a huge variation between individual children, meaning the ages should not be used as rigid criteria The stages are:

  • Sensorimotor, birth to two years: Children learn through their senses.
  • Preoperational, two to seven years: Children acquire motor skills.
  • Concrete Operational, seven to eleven years: Children learn to apply logic to situations.
  • Formal Operational, eleven years forward: Children develop abstract reasoning ability.

2. Answer: C

Jean Piaget discovered that children have a very basic understanding of right and wrong and that this view changes as the child ages. Young children base bad behavior on the amount of damage the particular behavior causes. For example, if someone takes three cookies from the cookie jar, and a second person makes sure mom is unable to see him take one cookie from the cookie jar, the younger child would say the three-cookie thief is naughtier than the one-cookie thief because he took more cookies.

This type of reasoning is called objective morality or moral realism. However, an older child would say the one-cookie thief is naughtier because he was sneaking the cookies while his mom wasn’t looking. This more mature reasoning is called subjective morality, or autonomous morality. Piaget believed children were unable to use this more advanced form of reasoning before the age of twelve or thirteen.

3. Answer: D

The American Heritage College Dictionary defines cognition as the “mental process or faculty of knowing, including aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment.” The dictionary defines cognitive science as “the study of the nature of various mental tasks and the processes that enable them to be performed.”

Using these dictionary definitions, cognitive development is the acquisition of and mental processes for knowing, awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment. The study of cognitive development is observing, analyzing, and predicting how individuals acquire and perform various mental tasks.

Early theories of cognitive development postulated that the individual progresses through various stages from infancy to adulthood, and growth stops at a certain point or after a goal have been attained. Later theories suggest that acquisition of these complex mental processes is a lifelong learning process that starts in infancy and continues until death. Studies proceeding from the latter premise investigate both innate and environmental influences on the growth of cognitive development.

4. Answer: B

In early childhood, approximately three to five years of age, children widen their social interactions and become more involved with and attuned to the people around them. They are eager to explore their environment, take risks, find adventure in the backyard, and discover how things work. Children this age are very creative and expressive. Their world might have purple trees, an orange sky, and super heroes living behind the garage.

It is the responsibility of the caregivers in his or her life to encourage initiative and exploration and help the child learn from mistakes. If the caretaker offers appropriate praise when earned and is consistent with discipline when needed, the child will become more responsible, follow through on assigned tasks, and develop a healthy, positive self-esteem. If the child is not allowed to make some decisions for himself and be a little independent, he may stop taking the initiative altogether and be easily led by other people.

5. Answer: D

It is important to know how children are progressing in learning age-appropriate tasks and acquiring age-appropriate skills. If problems are diagnosed early, they can be addressed, and many times, corrected before they become serious roadblocks in development. One cautionary note: Be careful of attaching a good or bad label; they tend to follow a child throughout his entire educational experience. Determining children’s progress helps make placement and promotion decisions, aids in the design of curriculum and other programs, and can lead to improvements in instructional methods and classroom management.

Young children are notoriously poor test-takers because they don’t understand the concept or why the person giving the test doesn’t already know the answers. Studies have shown that the younger the child taking the test, the more errors made in interpreting the results. Children develop at different rates, so their performance is uneven, inconsistent, and variable. They should be assessed on general age-appropriate knowledge gained and skills attained, how much progress they have made learning to control their behavior, and their overall improvement in social interactions.