“Theory to Practice”: Mapping your development and learning

As we start exploring theories of learning and the development of intelligence, cognitive and academic competencies, think of your own experiences with learning and development or of a child/youth in your life. You can choose to focus on a certain period of your own (or a child/adolescent you know well) development or your (their) experiences in certain classes (or a specific subject matter). You can pick different instances or periods of development in answering the different questions.
Using the theories, concepts, and research we have discussed so far in the course, you are expected to write a 2-3-page paper (single spaced; APA style, Times New Roman-12 Font Size) exploring the questions on ONE of three following areas of development:
1) Cognitive Development: How do you find theories of cognitive development and intelligence relevant/applicable to certain instances of your learning (or of a child/adolescent you know really well) and development as a child or adolescent (be selective in choosing these moments)? How do these experiences relate to your/their stages of development? How could certain theories explain why you/they were taught in a certain way at a certain age? How are any of the strategies you/they used for your/their own learning linked to the theories we discussed?
2) Motivation: Based on the concepts of motivation we have discussed, how would you describe your own motivation/or of the child during your school years? How did your/their motivation change (towards school overall and towards certain topics) from childhood to adolescence (or other transitions)?
3) How did your new understanding of motivation shed light on your own/their own motivation growing up? How would you like to have been taught/assessed/that they have been assessed (you can consider particular subject matters) based on what we know about the development of motivation?
4) Social and Emotional Development: How do you find the concepts and theories of self-esteem, identity development, and/or moral reasoning related to your own/the child’s social emotional development? What roles did your/their peers play in your development? How did any of the concepts we discussed help you better understand changes/experiences you/they went through (e.g., ethnic identity! 3 exploration, mood changes during adolescence, school transitions, risky behavior, bullying, taking part in extracurricular activities)? How can these theories help you better understand/support your future students’ own social and emotional development?

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To tell some small part of my particular experience of intersectionality, and thereby to understand how I am grounded in my past experiences, I focus here on two major themes which draw from high points in my personal educational landscape. The first takes ‘grounding’ quite literally in its concern with the ground: In part to ensure this project included some imagery, I present some of the fascinating research I had the immense privilege to conduct as an undergraduate, on the beaches of Clayoquot Sound and on the shore of the Salish Sea. These ecological wonders are truly some of the global community’s great heritages, and my work amidst such indescribable beauty will inform my lifelong project of teaching and global citizenship. The second track of my focus here is on some of our collective history as citizens and residents of Canada: As an immigrant of sorts, who has had the inestimable opportunity to come to Canada to learn and live, I find it both difficult and vital to grapple with Canada’s troubled past concerning immigration....

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