teaching students at different ages and developmental levels

Written analysis (3-5 pages) on teaching effectively across different ages and developmental levels, including an assessment of teaching strategies applied in your own educational setting.

Step 1. Choose a Teaching Model

Choose a particular teaching model to apply related to one of the specific families of educational psychology. In the resources, you are provided with background information associated with each of these models for you to consider.

  • Social.
    • Teaching Model: Collaborative/Cooperative.
  • Information Processing.
    • Teaching Model: Inquiry-Based Learning Model.
  • Personal.
    • Teaching Model: Non-Directive Teaching Model.
  • Behavioral Systems.
    • Teaching Model: Direct Instruction Model.
  • Constructivism.
    • Problem-Based or Project-Based Learning.

Step 2. Write a 3–5 page paper discussing both research and practical application of theory as it relates to your current school/teaching environment. Do the following:

  • Analyze your current teaching/school environment.
  • Reflect on the developmental practices that are evident when teachers are working with different age groups, integrating research and theories into your analysis of current practices being employed.
  • Evaluate whether the current practices in your educational setting are in line or not aligned with research and theory.


  • Sousa, D. A. (2017). How the brain learns (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. Available from the bookstore.
    • Introduction and Chapter 1, “Basic Brain Facts,” pages 1–41. You might consider completing the following self-assessments for self-reflection:
      • What Do You Already Know?
      • How Brain-Compatible Is My Teaching/School/District?
    • Preferences survey in the Practitioner’s Corner section. Consider how your own preferences influence your teaching practice.
    • Chapter 3, “Memory, Retention, and Learning,” pages 86-134.
    • Chapter 5, “Brain Organization and Learning,” pages 187-241
  • Wolfe, P. (2010). ‹Brain matters: Translating research into classroom practice. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
    • Chapter 1, “Opening the Black Box of the Brain,” pages 3–15
  • TEDx Talks. (2015, December 14). Lara Boyd: After watching this, your brain will not be the same [Video] | Transcript. Retrieved from
  • Texas Instruments. (2012, July 6). Texas Instruments – 2012 T3 International Conference keynote presentation [Video] | Transcript. Retrieved from
    • Dr. Sousa is the author of the How the Brain Learns text. He has spent years researching how the brain learns. In this keynote address he discusses many of the topics that will be discussed in the 5th edition of his book. The video provides a nice background to start from.

View the following media piece to see a timeline overview of key theorists who still influence much of teaching practice today. Use this overview of theorists to help identify those you are familiar with as well as those you might want to examine further.

The following address key considerations for working with students across different ages and stages of development.

The following articles and sites provide helpful summaries of early learning theorists whose work is still influential.

The following resources include reference to cognitive theorists, as well as others. Cognitivism in educational technology can be found in online games and reinforcement activities, such as sorting games, puzzles, and flashcards. These games will often present prior knowledge in a different method, thus creating a need to adapt and learn the new information in order to continue to develop understanding.

As you consider the learning-through-doing approach of constructivism, what are the benefits and constraints of teaching in a learning-by-doing framework? How do the constructivist philosophy and brain-based learning theory overlap?

For an overview of this theory, view the Introduction to Constructivism | Transcript media piece.

The following video provides an inspiring student perspective on constructivism in action.

The following resources provide additional background on constructivism and its relationship to teaching practice.

For your assessment, you will choose one of the teaching models below to consider across different age groups in your educational environment. Examine the resources regarding different teaching models that are associated with different models in educational psychology (noted in parentheses).

Teaching Model: Problem-Based or Project-Based Learning (Constructivism)
Teaching Model: Collaborative/Cooperative (Social)
Teaching Model: Inquiry-Based Learning Model (Information Processing)
Teaching Model: Non-Directive Teaching Model (Personal)
Teaching Model: Direct Instruction Model (Behavioral Systems)

The following articles provide an overview of the direct instruction model of teaching.

Overview of Learning Theorists

Foundational Thinkers and Early Learning Theorists in Educational Psychology

You will likely have studied many of these learning theorists in your prior training. As you consider these different theorists’ viewpoints, consider where you see early learning theories present in today’s classroom. Are these theories and applications still relevant in today’s educational environments? Are there any theories you believe may no longer be relevant to today’s teaching environment?


The following book is not available in the Capella bookstore, but is a listed for your reference in case you want to read the original work of Vgotsky.

  • Vygotsky, L. S. (1986). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press.
Operant and Classical Conditioning