Case Study Assignment
Supporting Students’ Development and Learning
Case Study Vignette: Alejandro
Alejandro comes from a large and involved family, and is the youngest of four. He is an outgoing and somewhat impulsive 13-15 year-old. He enjoys hanging out with his friends, but is easily distracted by his peers when in class. He learns and remembers information best when he is actively engaged in constructing his own meaning of the material, and benefits greatly when the teacher provides him with concrete, hands-on examples. However, Alejandro sometimes has misconceptions about key ideas and information, and it is often difficult for the teacher to help him change his misunderstanding and grow in his learning. Alejandro also gets frustrated easily and gives up on homework when it is too challenging or when he encounters something that he does not understand. When asked to work on a difficult problem in class, Alejandro often gives up without really trying. With a sigh, Alejandro throws up his hands and states, “it’s no use; I’m just not good at this!”. Unfortunately, when Alejandro gets frustrated, he is unable to manage his emotions, becomes upset and overwhelmed, and is not able to concentrate on his learning. On several occasions, Alejandro has disrupted the class and the teacher has had to have him leave the class until he could act appropriately.
Alejandro always looks forward to music and math classes, his two favorite subjects and strengths. He comes from a family that highly values music, and his family is actively involved in either singing or performing in the community. Further, his father encourages him to do well in math, and tells him that he will need it to solve problems that he will encounter in the future. Although Alejandro works hard and excels in music and math, it is difficult to get him to learn in his least favorite class, history (or social science). Alejandro often does not concentrate on the teacher’s lesson or complete the homework, and complains that the material has no relevance to his life. The teacher usually tries to motivate him through using some sort of behavioral reinforcement or consequence. However, this is not helping the teacher to reach his/her goal of helping Alejandro to become a more intrinsically motivated and self-regulated learner. Moreover, it seems as though Alejandro is focusing more on the social aspects of school, and he is often caught talking to friends or trying to distract others in class. Lately Alejandro seems to be struggling to figure out who he is, and he has explored several different social roles and identities the past few months. Further, when asked about his distracting behaviors in the classroom, he bases the reasons for his behavior on his own personal needs and other’s rules, rather than on an internal sense of right or wrong. The teacher is worried that Alejandro’s development and success in school may be compromised if action is not taken as teachers are increasingly expecting him to be an independent, intrinsically motivated, and self-regulated learner.
Case Study Instructions
Your task is to draw upon well-established human development/learning theories and concepts from the course in order to design effective instructional methods and strategies for Alejandro. Support your choice of instructional methods and strategies by citing specific teaching methods and discussing ways to improve upon these instructional strategies. The strength of your case study analysis rests in the ability to clearly discuss relevant human development/learning theories and to design effective instructional strategies to support Alejandro’s learning and development that draw upon multiple development/learning theories and concepts. References to the text book are critical to a successful case study analysis. Case study should be double spaced, standard 12 point Times New Roman font, 1” margins, 5 full pages in length minimum (the most successful papers will be 7-8 pages in length).
Objective: The objectives of the case study assignment are two-fold: (1) to apply human development/ learning theories and concepts to an individual student, and (2) to design effective teaching strategies to support the student’s development and learning.
Overview: This case study has three components: (1) descriiption of areas of development and learning theories, (2) analysis of instructional methods and strategies, and (3) quality of writing.
1. Descriiption of areas of development and learning theories (45%): Clearly identify and discuss key aspects of well-established human development theories and concepts (e.g., mental, social, moral, intellectual, and cultural aspects of development) and learning theories and concepts (e.g., cognitive, behavioral, social cognitive, emotional, and motivational models of learning) and how they apply to the student. Discuss the student’s individual learning needs, developmental levels, and other applicable differences in his/her learning and development, based on well-established human development and learning theories and concepts from EDF 316.
a. Synthesis across areas of development: Does the author examine 2-3 aspects of development and look across the different aspects to see how they influence one another and to understand the whole child?
b. Synthesis across learning theories: Does the author examine 2-3 learning theories and look across different learning theories to see how the student learns best?
2. Analysis of instructional methods and strategies (45%): Drawing upon your discussion of selected human development and learning theories and concepts, provide an analysis of at least three sound instructional methods and strategies that a teacher could use in order to effectively support the learning and development of the student. Provide a rationale for your instructional methods and strategies by citing specific teaching techniques and discuss ways in which teachers can continue to improve upon these methods and strategies in the classroom in terms of professional development.
a. Use literature in Educational Psychology: Does the author use the literature on Educational Psychology from EDF 316 to interpret his or her findings and to draw well-grounded conclusions? Does the author discuss the conclusions in relation to the age of the student? How are these conclusions age-appropriate?
3. Quality of Writing (10%):
a. Presentation of information: Does the author present information in a careful, thorough, and nonjudgmental fashion, and supply evidence for all assertions or conclusions?
b. Writing style: Is the paper well-organized and well-written?
c. Proper use of conventions and citations: Is the paper written in accordance with APA style guidelines?
Rubric for Assessing the Case Study Assignment
Level 5: An excellent job in drawing upon well-established human development/learning theories and concepts in designing instructional strategies for individual students. The student uses different instructional strategies taking into account children’s individual learning needs, developmental levels, and other applicable differences and explains the rationale for choosing different methods. Student does an excellent job in presenting the case study (presentation of information, writing style, APA guidelines).
Level 4: A good job of drawing upon well-established human development/learning theories and concepts in designing instructional strategies for individual students. The student uses more than one instructional strategy taking into account children’s individual learning needs, developmental levels, and other applicable differences and notes the rationale for choosing different methods. Student does a good job in presenting the case study (presentation of information, writing style, APA guidelines).
Level 3: A fair job of drawing upon well-established human development/learning theory in designing instruction. The student uses one instructional strategy taking into account either children’s learning needs, developmental levels, or some other aspect of the group of children for making a decision and gives some rationale for choosing that method. Student does a fair job in presenting the case study (presentation of information, writing style, APA guidelines).
Level 2: Does not do an adequate job of drawing upon knowledge of human development/learning theory when designing instruction. The student does not take into account children’s learning needs, developmental levels, or some other aspect of the group of children for making a decision and gives little rationale for choosing that method. Student does not do an adequate job in presenting the case study (presentation, writing style, APA guidelines).
Level 1: Fails to draw upon any knowledge of human development/learning theory when designing instruction. The student chooses an inappropriate instructional strategy for that group of children. Student fails to adequately present the case study (presentation of information, writing style, APA guidelines).
NOTE: YOU WILL BE GRADED ON YOUR SPECIFIC APPLICATION OF THEORIES, CONCPETS, AND TECHNIQUES PRESENTED IN THIS COURSE.
Case Study Assignment