Learner Development

Standard One: Learner Development

The first standard of the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium, Learner Development, states that teachers must have comprehensive knowledge of how students grow and develop and be mindful of the various cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical components of learner development that are unique to every individual student. Using this knowledge, teachers must then align their teaching methods and curriculum to most effectively meet the academic, social, environmental, and behavioral needs of students to enhance their overall learning experience.

One method I’ve utilized to demonstrate the components of the Learner Development Standard is spending a great deal of time working one-on-one with students in order to determine their specific academic, social, and cognitive needs [Performances 1(A)]. This image depicts myself working with a special needs student who has benefitted from specially designed classwork that I constructed to meet his developmental needs by using strategies that capture his individual interests [Performances 1(B)]. I also spent time collaborating with the student’s classroom and special needs teachers to gain insight into what methods and strategies should be used to promote this learner’s growth and development [Performances 1(C)].

Additionally, I develop lesson plans using  Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences to ensure a variety of strategies are used to meet the unique academic learning styles of all students in the classroom. Employing this method demonstrates an understanding of how learning occurs [Essential Knowledge 1(D)] as well as how to make instructional decisions that engage learners’ strengths and meets their varying needs (Essential Knowledge 1(E)]. This image includes artifacts from a lesson plan that included six of Gardner’s eight multiple intelligences – visual/spatial, linguistic/verbal, interpersonal, logical/mathematical, intrapersonal, and bodily/kinesthetic.

I also have extensive experience using various assessment strategies to identify readiness for learning [Essential Knowledge 1(F)]. One example of such an assessment is presented to the right, which indicates that the materials chosen for the student’s assessment were at the appropriate instructional zone. Other methods I’ve utilized for determining student readiness for learning include both formal assessments such as conducting Phonological Awareness Literacy Screenings and Developmental Spelling Assessments, as wells as informal strategies that include discussions with students, teachers, families, counselors, and other specialists who have insight into the student’s learning capabilities and unique individual needs. Using various strategies to determine a student’s readiness for learning is a critical component of Learner Development and as an aspiring teacher, I intend to use all the strategies at my disposal to differentiate instruction to meet the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical needs of the students in my classroom.

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