Why are the developmental sciences important in the classroom? In November, we looked at child development and why academic progress cannot be separated from the emotional, social, and cognitive changes that occur simultaneously. Effective application of the science of learning and child development in early childhood, the middle grades, and adolescence can be used to maximize learning and help ensure that students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.
What is the use of transmitting knowledge if the individual's total development lags behind?
Listen to the Whole Child Podcast with guests Eric Schaps, founder and president of whole child partner the Developmental Studies Center and member of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education’s national expert panel on increasing the application of knowledge about child and adolescent development and learning in educator preparation programs; Chip Wood, author of Yardsticks, a resource for parents and teachers on child development, and director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development in the Gill-Montague Regional School District; and John Lee, an exceptional educator with Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland who has grounded his teaching in the Comer School Development Program to improve his teaching and student learning.
Question why developmental milestones aren't taken into consideration in the classroom when we know that social and emotional factors affect cognitive learning throughout early childhood and adolescence and that not every child learns how to walk at the same time, reads at the same level, or behaves in the same way. Isn't it just common sense?
Learn about historical perspectives on what is "developmentally appropriate" with guest blogger and learning and human development expert Thomas Armstrong. Is a historical perspective necessary in discussing and applying developmental sciences in education? Explore multiple intelligences theory in a recent ASCD webinar with Dr. Armstrong and his thoughts on restoring a human development curriculum.
Think about cognitive structures—when is it too late to develop them? Cognitive structures are so basic that we assume everyone has them, but many middle and high school students arrive in school without these tools. Betty K. Garner explores these questions and shares classroom strategies in ASCD's Educational Leadership magazine.
Reflect on relationships and their importance with ASCD's Healthy School Communities Director Sean Slade as he explains the "positive youth development" approach and learn classroom management tips that help build a positive classroom environment from educator and author Caltha Crowe.
Read how other educators make time to meet students' emotional needs and share your experiences among colleagues.
Explore resilience research in education—a focus on healthy development and successful learning, especially with young people facing difficult life challenges in their homes, schools, and communities—with guest blogger and education consultant Sara Truebridge, and reflect on what it looks like in a school or community.
Find principles of developmental science that can affect the way teachers teach and the way students learn from whole child partners the American Montessori Society, Developmental Studies Center, National Association of School Psychologists, and National Middle School Association.
Share these resources, research, and stats:
- The latest in developmental sciences news—and much, much more!—at Chip Woods' Yardsticks blog.
- A research-based, developmental perspective on what competencies young people need to be ready for college, the workplace, and the transition to adulthood from Child Trends.
- Articles on child and adolescent development from Education.com.
- A free copy of How Students Learn: History, Mathematics, and Science in the Classroom by the Committee on How People Learn, the Center for Studies on Behavior and Development, and the National Research Council.
- Resources to help you integrate the developmental sciences throughout the school improvement process, including guiding questions and a series of easy-to-use tools, from whole child partner the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
- A discussion of differentiated instruction in mixed-ability classrooms from whole child partner the National Association for Gifted Children.
- Policy recommendations on how the developmental sciences can prepare educators to improve student achievement from the National Expert Panel commissioned by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
- A "Success In School/Skills for Life" Online Resource Kit that includes a focus on mental health from whole child partner the National Association of School Psychologists.
- Bright Futures at Georgetown University's development tools for families and providers, available in English and Spanish, that support healthy social and emotional development in children and teens.
Most teacher training programs require minimal coursework in child development, and few researchers receive significant education training, basically isolating each group from its natural counterpart. Edutopia explores the lack of exchange and understanding between academic researchers and educators and believes that professional connections are the key to change. As you build your academic researcher-educator connection, here are a few research findings that could be easily translated into classroom practice.
In this interview, Maurice Elias, director of Rutgers University's Social and Emotional Learning Lab and Edutopia blogger, talks about the importance of emotion in education and provides an example of his work translating research into classroom practice.
How can we prepare educators to apply developmental principles effectively to maximize students' academic, social, and emotional development?