The paper presents the summary and analysis of the observations of the classroom and school environment second grade school. The key issues that the given paper addresses are psychosocial development, motivation, behaviorism, constructivism, cognition, intelligence, and diversity in the classroom and school environment.
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The class under analysis was composed of 18 students of diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Age 6 – 7.
The classroom was big with all necessary equipment for the class activities. It was also decorated with plants, arts, rugs, posters and pictures drawn by students. The layout included five large tables with four seats.
There were also several individual desks for individual assignments. The space provided the opportunity to change the location of tables for various activities. In general, the environment of the classroom was engaging and comfortable for organizing different activities.
In the first grade students are not very independent and not very used to new learning activities. In order to organize and motivate children, teacher used a variety of learning styles taking into consideration group and individual characteristics of every student.
During different lessons, he made use of learning through seeing, using hand-outs, videos, illustrations, etc.; through listening, moving and doing, as well as combinations of these strategies. Assignments that included various physical activities were very effective.
The teacher also successfully used the knowledge about psychological development of children of age 6-7 to incorporate it in lessons. “Perception of differences among other ethnic groups arises between the age of 6 and 8 years. At this time, children begin to group people together to understand what people are alike (Martin & Fabes, 2008, p. 385).
Taking into consideration this characteristic, the teacher used different activities and group work so that children had a possibility to communicate extensively with all children in the classroom.
Applying the theory of multiple intelligence and theory of cognitive levels of development provided by Piaget and Vygotsky, (“as the child develops and goes through the process of assimilation and accommodation, their brain will develop through the natural processes of maturation” (Oakley, 2004, p. 15)) teacher manipulated with different assignments and adjusted tasks to the cognitive level of every student.
Moreover, teacher used different motivation techniques, such as “behavioral management techniques, social skill training, and educational modifications” (Thompson, p. 112) in order to hold the students’ attention during the lessons and engage them in different activities.
Teacher also focused on socio-moral development of students during lessons. He provided the activities that were aimed at developing children’s capacity relate their actions and behavior emotionally, ethically, and intellectually to the environment and social situations in the classroom.
For this purpose, he used tasks that presupposed communication. The tasks were focused on child as a member of the social community and child as an individual. The strategy of classroom meeting was applied and every one could express personal opinion on the “issue of the day”.
As a teacher candidate, I would employ in my classroom the organization techniques used by the teacher to promote socio-emotional development of my students and communication style of the teacher with children. I find the strategy of the class meetings also very effective and useful to develop children’s individuality and hold control over the discipline in the classroom.
Thus, 5 hours in the classroom were really useful for the future career development. I managed to see in practice the application of theoretical knowledge and how it works when working with students of the 1st grade.
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Martin, C. L., & Fabes, R. (2008). Discovering Child Development. Boston: Cengage Learning.
Oakley, L. (2004). Cognitive Development. London: Routledge.
Thompson, R. (2002). School Counseling: Best Practices for Working in the Schools. New York: Psychology Press.