PRAXIS II Special Education: Preschool/Early Childhood Exam (5691)

The PRAXIS II Special Education: Preschool/Early Childhood Exam (5691) is designed for individuals, who would like to teach special-education from grades preschool through first. You will be given two hours complete this 130 multiple choice question exam.

The test can be broken down into four sections:
Development and Characteristics of Learners – 23 questions
IFSP, IEP Development and Delivery of Services, and Assessment and Eligibility – 32 questions
Planning and Managing the Learning Environment – 48 questions
Family, Community, and Professional Relationships – 27 questions

Development and Characteristics of Learners:
This section of the exam will cover cognitive development, language/communication development, physical development, social-emotional development, adaptive development, and disabling conditions.

Family, Community, and Professional Relationships:
This section of the exam will cover family support systems, community resources, parent training, family involvement, and issues impacting families of disabled children.

IFSP, IEP Development and Delivery of Services, and Assessment and Eligibility:
This section of the exam will cover the basic characteristics and defining factors of each major area of exceptionality as defined in IDEA, federal safeguards of stakeholders’ rights and their impact on educational decisions, factors that can lead to the misidentification of students with disabilities, and procedures for identifying young children at risk for or with disabilities.

Planning and Managing the Learning Environment:
This section of the exam will cover subjects like the basic components of curriculum development, how to use technology to support instruction, behavior management strategies for promoting developmentally appropriate behavior across settings, and how to create an environment that promotes literacy.

PRAXIS II Special Education: Preschool/Early Education Practice Questions

1. Major developmental skills of early childhood include:

A. widen social interactions
B. explore their environment
C. discover how things work
D. All of the above

2. Research methodology used in educational psychology to study children is different because of:

A. cognitive differences
B. age of the subjects
C. still in school
D. background variables

3. More study is needed to understand how learning and cognition are related to improve:

A. curriculum content
B. instructional methods
C. classroom management
D. All of the above

4. Main components of self-control include:

A. resisting temptation
B. suppressing impulses
C. delaying gratification
D. All of the above

5. What should not be included in a child-centered kindergarten environment?

A. Lots of hands-on activities
B. Playing confined to recess
C. Celebration of multicultural differences
D. Arranged from a child’s viewpoint

Answer Key For Special Education: Preschool/early Childhood

1. Answer: D

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.

2. Answer: A

Because of the underlying cognitive differences between children and adults, educational psychologists have designed new and often innovative methods to study how children learn, as well as the unique educational problems and instructional issues discovered in the classroom environment. Experiments and studies must be designed so they provide internal, external, and ecological validity. Methods should include both quantitative and qualitative measurements.

An important development in quantitative methodology is factor analysis, which is used to summarize a set of variables, such as test questions, develop theories about both positive and negative reactions to the test, and determine the reliability of the content of test questions.

Qualitative analysis uses verbal data gathered from the notes of classroom instructors and/or classroom observers. The information can be obtained from conversations, interviews, focus groups, and personal journals. Analysis can also come from students’ artwork, computer logs, and interactions recorded on video.

3. Answer: D

Most educational psychological studies are based on two assumptions: how well students retain knowledge and skills and if they can and do apply the information learned in the classroom to situations outside the classroom. Studies have shown that people, on average, remember twenty percent to thirty percent of what they learned in school for as long as ten years. A second discovery is the greater the level of mastery of a subject, the longer the retention time.

Whether students apply what they learn in the classroom to situations in the real world is harder to study. Researchers disagree on the quantity and quality of evidence available to prove or disprove how much, if any, knowledge acquired in an educational setting is transferred to and used in real life situations. Educational psychologists agree more study is needed so curriculum content, methods of instruction, and classroom management can be improved and the learning environment enhanced for all children.

4. Answer: D

Some researchers consider self-control or self-discipline one of the two most critical building blocks of character (the other being empathy). Between the ages of about five and seven, children should learn to resist temptation, suppress impulses, and delay gratification. Children are highly influenced by and learn from the behavior of those with whom they interact on a regular basis. It is important that children have good role models to imitate and emulate. The primary caregivers, including parents, babysitters, and teachers, should help children develop self-regulation by:

  • Providing situational management, which protects the child from his impulsive actions
  • Helping the child learn to control emotional outbursts by soothing him until he calms down
  • Consistently teaching coping skills when the child is confronted with a difficult or unfamiliar situation
  • Explaining the possible consequences if the child says or does certain things
  • Showing self-control when dealing with the child in challenging situations

5. Answer: B

One critical factor to remember is that five-year-olds learn differently than older children. The physical space and the teacher’s approach to instruction should reflect the unique learning requirements of the kindergarten student. A five-year-old needs an environment that grows and changes as he acquires new skills; a curriculum that addresses his physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development; provides lots of different hands-on activities and materials that encourage active participation; and views play as fundamental to his development.

The kindergartner’s experiences should include opportunities to try new ideas and concepts and introduce and celebrate multicultural differences. The physical area should be inviting, colorful, encourage interaction, and be easy to navigate. The room should be arranged from the child’s viewpoint with large and small spaces designed for different activities; all areas should be visible to the teacher. Parental involvement should be strongly encouraged from helping in the classroom to asking about the kindergartner’s day. These requirements are especially critical for special needs students.