PRAXIS II Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 7-12 Exam

The Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 7-12 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 short answer section will give four teaching situations, with three questions each, pertaining to comprehension of forms of teaching, principles of learning and teaching associated with various methods of teaching, and the implementation of the techniques. The examinee should be prepared to spend approximately 25 minutes on each of the four teaching situations. A total of about 20 minutes will be required to answer the 24 multiple choice questions. Two hours is given to complete the 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 7 – 12 Practice Questions

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

A. Growth slows
B. Development of sexual characteristics
C. Boys’ physical abilities are enhanced
D. Girls’ body fat increases

2. Which of the following are reasons why most junior highs and middle schools do not meet the psychological developmental needs of early adolescents?

A. Organized by department
B. Big classes
C. Limited time to devote to individual students
D. All of the above

3. Which of the following is not part of the communication barrier between adolescents and adults?

A. General distrust of adults
B. Fear of revealing vulnerabilities
C. Willingness to listen
D. Easier not to talk

4. The different stages of adolescent social development include:

A. desire to conform
B. tolerance of differences
C. one-on-one relationships form
D. All of the above

5. Participation in class discussions is based on:

A. expectations
B. instructional strategies
C. classroom atmosphere
D. All of the above

Answer Key For Principles Of Learning And Teaching: Grades 7 – 12

1. Answer: A

The biological changes experienced in puberty are dramatic, happen at different times for boys and girls, and have unique consequences for each gender. During these years both boys and girls have a growth spurt and develop primary and secondary sexual characteristics. Youngsters this age experience increased sexual feelings, and their bodies become fertile. For boys, puberty enhances their physical abilities. This increases their potential for success in sports, which can lead to a higher social standing in school.

Girls tend to mature, on average, about eighteen months earlier than boys do. Their body fat increases, changing their shape from a childhood androgynous profile to the curvaceous female form. Since some girls this age are still playing with dolls, those who mature early may have a difficult time accepting these noticeable changes, which can lead to a negative self-image and self-esteem problems later in adolescence.

2. Answer: D

Youngsters in early adolescence need to be able to develop relationships with adults outside the family. Most junior high and middle schools are organized by department, so students and teachers are rarely able to really get to know each other. Class sizes are big, which means teachers have more students and limited time to devote to each child.

Because they are not usually able to really know their students, teachers often miss early warning signs or fail to detect developmental issues. When the learning environment is highly competitive, stresses self-assessment, and allows social comparison, youngsters can be overwhelmed and psychologically unable to progress to the next level of growth. Scientific studies and anecdotal evidence provides ample proof that one teacher taking an interest in a marginal student can and does make a difference, not only in academic performance but in personal development as well. One-on-one attention can change a life.

3. Answer: C

Privacy, trust, and respect are huge issues with adolescents. Couple those real psychological needs with a fragile sense of self, add a general distrust of most adults and authority figures, and communication becomes tricky at best while contentious at worst. Adolescents have a great fear of revealing their vulnerabilities. If they share their thoughts, feelings, and activities, these potential peeks behind the armor of self-protection opens them up to possible humiliation and ridicule.

If they tell parents or other adults what they are doing, questions are asked and truthful answers are expected. Since adolescents worry about disapproval and want to avoid punishment, it is easier and safer to just not talk at all. Parents, teachers, and other authority figures who interact with adolescents need to show a willingness to listen and create an open atmosphere of honesty and fairness if they expect to be able to communicate effectively with teenagers.

4. Answer: D

According to the American Psychological Association, adolescent social development follows a discernible pattern. The ages given are approximate. Each youngster will progress at his or her pace, in his or her way, and in his or her timeframe.

EARLY ADOLESCENCE: eleven to thirteen (11 to 13)

  • Social world shifts from family to friends
  • Tends to be involved with a same-sex peer group
  • Strong desire to conform and be accepted by chosen peer group

MIDDLE ADOLESCENCE: fourteen to sixteen (14 to 16)

  • Peer group acceptance fades in importance.
  • Peer groups include both boys and girls.
  • More tolerant of individual differences
  • One-on-one friendships develop.
  • Romance becomes important and dating begins.

LATE ADOLESCENCE: seventeen to nineteen (17 to 19)

  • Intimate one-on-one relationships form.
  • Peer groups begin to lose their importance.

5. Answer: D

Teachers need to remember not all students are comfortable speaking in front of a group. Therefore, it is important to recognize that the goal is to foster an environment that encourages students to participate and that no one is inhibited or prevented from participating because of the teaching methods used.

Participation is predicated on teacher and student expectations, instructional methods and strategies, and the atmosphere created in the classroom. Students should be told in a variety of ways throughout the year that their presence is needed and valued and that their contributions are important and welcome. The teacher needs to explain the role participation plays during class time, how much importance is attached to active involvement, and how it will be evaluated. It is important to develop class rules for discussions, provide frequent feedback, and ask for student input to ensure teaching practices are in line with student perceptions of reasonable opportunities to actively engage.