PRAXIS II Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 5-9 Exam

The Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 5-9 exam is divided into two sections relating to topics associated with early childhood education: one section includes four case studies with 4 corresponding short answers questions, and the multiple choice section consists of 70 questions divided into four sections.

The short answer section will give four teaching related scenarios, with three questions each, pertaining to comprehension of forms of teaching, guidelines for learning and teaching associated with various methods of teaching, and the implementation of the techniques. Two hours is given to complete the entire exam.

The first area that the questions may address is Students as Learners, which consists of theories of learning, theories of human development, differences in learning styles, laws and responsibilities related to diversity in schools, the management of the classroom, and ways to promote motivation in the classroom. The next area is the instruction process, which focuses on types of learning and methods of teaching, such as the inquiry method and learning centers, techniques and materials involved with forms of teaching and learning, and strategies for creating lesson plans. The next section is assessment which focuses on the variety of ways to grade and assess students. The last area of questioning addresses Profession and Community and involves knowledge of resources for educators and the role of teachers beyond the classroom.

The short-answer questions can be given scores from 0-2, with the high score being 2. A score of 2 is given for answers that respond to each element in the question with a superb understanding of important parts of the scenario and a strong demonstration of theories and methods that apply to the situation. A score of 1 is given for fair demonstration of this knowledge and for response to only part of the question. A score of 0 is given for misinterpreting the important aspects in the scenario and misapplying theories and concepts. The Students as Learners and the Instructional Process sections contribute approximately 22.5% each to the total score, the Assessment section contributes 15% to the score, the Professional Development and Community questions contribute to about 15%% of the score, and the Analysis of Instructional Scenarios contributes 25% of the total score.


PRAXIS II Principles Of Learning And Teaching: Grades 5 – 9 Practice Questions

1. Which of the following does not happen during adolescence?

A. Learning to apply logic
B. Abandoning egocentric behavior
C. Exploring new ideas
D. Testing limits

2. Self-regulated-learning students work toward goals to:

A. increase knowledge
B. earn higher grades
C. demonstrate abilities
D. All of the above

3. Which of the following is not part of child-centered middle school environment?

A. Learning styles are not considered in curriculum development.
B. Provides a safe, violence- and bully-free atmosphere.
C. Interdisciplinary team teaching is effective.
D. Students are encouraged to explore different ideas.

4. Individual assessments use the following standards:

A. Self-referenced
B. Criterion-referenced
C. Norm-referenced
D. All of the above

5. Which behavior management strategy is not effective?

A. Review expectations as needed.
B. Enforce rules when necessary.
C. Embarrass the offender.
D. Keep situations in perspective.


Answer Key To Principles Of Learning And Teaching: Grades 5 – 9

1. Answer: B

Adolescence starts at about eleven and lasts until the child reaches eighteen or so. Youngsters this age learn to apply logic to abstract concepts. In the first few years of this stage, adolescents return to being egocentric because they are trying to figure out who they are and where and how they fit into the world.

They explore new ideas, test established limits both at home and in school, and try to cope with and understand all the physical, hormonal, and emotional changes they are experiencing. They try on different roles, personas, and behaviors as they figure out which identity to embrace. It is a confusing time but a necessary and critical step in developing a positive sense of self. Parents, friends, teachers, mentors, peers, and other people in the adolescent’s life all have an influence, positive or negative, on the adolescent’s choices.

2. Answer: D

The concept of self-regulated learning is based on the idea that students who are active participants in the learning process absorb more information, retain the data longer, and use it more effectively both inside and outside the classroom. These students set goals and devise strategies to reach those goals; analyze complex tasks and divide them into manageable parts; and monitor themselves on how well they understand the information presented to them.

Self-regulated learning students work to achieve their goals in order to: increase their knowledge and skills (mastery); earn higher grades and demonstrate their abilities (performance approach); or avoid feeling like a failure (performance avoidance). Factors that contribute to their success or failure include interactions with adults in school and at home, relationships with peers academically and socially, their motivation to learn, and how much they believe in their ability to succeed.

3. Answer: A

Students in middle school are approximately ten to fifteen years old and in the sixth through eighth grades (in some districts fifth through ninth grades). A child-centered middle school is one in which students are provided an educational experience that is responsive to their needs in a safe environment that is free of violence and bullies.

Administrators, teachers, and counselors should understand the physical, psychosocial, and cognitive developmental needs of these adolescents. Gender and cultural differences, learning styles, and individual interests should be considered when developing a curriculum. Interdisciplinary team teaching is especially effective with this age group.

Middle school students should be given access to and encouraged to explore different ideas and a variety of academic subjects. Exploring new ideas and concepts helps adolescents discover their particular talents and interests. To build their confidence, the curriculum should be designed so that all students have the opportunity do well in several areas.

4. Answer: D

Individual assessments focus on the progress each student made during a defined period of time (every six weeks, at the end of the semester, etc.) rather than in team collaboration. A variety of activities such as written assignments, oral presentations, and class participation should be incorporated into the assessment in order to obtain a broader, more realistic view of the student’s understanding of the material.

The assessment process should be fully explained so the student knows what is expected. He is evaluated using one or all of the following standards: self-referenced, which is based on his previous level of progress; criterion-referenced, which is a defined, school or district-wide standard; norm-referenced, which is based on the progress of groups of students the same age or grade level. Using a combination of standards instead of relying on one method presents a clearer, more accurate picture of the student’s growth.

5. Answer: C

Behavior management is an essential key to creating a positive learning environment. If the students are misbehaving, they are not paying attention, and they can’t learn. It is important to establish written expectations at the beginning of the year, review them with the students as needed, and enforce them when necessary. When discipline is required, do it quietly and privately; never embarrass a student.

Avoid talking the entire class period. Spend fifteen minutes lecturing, and then give the students something to do. Make sure everyone is actively involved. Break the time into predictable segments and move smoothly from one activity to the next. A wise teacher makes sure he and the parents are working as a team by communicating often, being specific, and providing details. Teachers need to be consistent, patient with themselves and the students, keep situations in perspective, have a sense of humor, and know when to ask for help.