PSY 104: Child and Adolescent Development

Week 4 - Instructor Guidance


I actually really like this graphic for representing what we are talking about this week.

We are exploring factors that influence learning...but theory only informs us, it does not solve our individual learning problems. This graphic is really the way in which YOU and I can look at our own learning situation and find solutions for them.

Just take a learning problem like learning how to create online presentations in this class!

Learning Outcomes

This week students will:

  • Discriminate between the different types of education available and the factors which influence individual differences regarding the effect that education has on child and adolescent development.
  • Examine the role of cognitive theory in understanding education, IQ, and learning styles.
  • Explore common learning styles and measurements of IQ in childhood and adolescence and how they influence development.
  • Report on the developmental effects of teen pregnancy on the teen mother, infant, and other family members.


In this section you will find my own thoughts and teaching on the subject matter. This does not substitute for the assigned and suggested course readings and other materials.

Education Theory

Throughout time there have been numerous approaches to education. The links below will bring you to websites that deal with each of these approaches. Use these resources to explore the discussion on Montessori and traditional/other appraoches.


An Introduction to Montessori Education and the Montessori Foundation

  • Montessori (American Montessori Society)
  • Curriculum Theory (this is very much like traditional schooling)
  • Clich HERE to visit the K12 Academics Website...this stie lists brief descriptions of the following alternative education models:
    • Alternative School
    • Alternative Teacher Certification
    • Autodidacticism
    • Blended Learning
    • Charter School
    • Computer-Based Training
    • Contextual Learning
    • Coyote Teaching
    • Cuisenaire Rods
    • Dalton Plan
    • Deschooling
    • Distance Education
    • Dogme Language Teaching
    • E-Learning
    • Early Childhood Education
    • Education Voucher
    • Experiential Education
    • Forest Schools
    • Free School
    • Gifted Education
    • Helen Doron Method
    • Homeschooling
    • Humanistic Education
    • Industry-Oriented Education
    • Inquiry Education
    • Instructional Theory
    • Life-Wide Learning
    • M-Learning
    • Minimally Invasive Education
    • Montessori Method
    • Online Tutoring
    • Opportunity School
    • Out-of-School Learning
    • Outdoor Education
    • Place-Based Education
    • Special Education
    • Sudbury SChool
    • Umbrella Education
    • Universal Preschool
    • Videobook
    • Vocational Education
    • Waldorf Education

Learning Theory and Pedagogy

Educations systems arise from Educational Theory which arise from Learning there is a direct connection between the basic Learning Theories and "Pedagogical" systems in Education.

Click HERE to review a website that outlines the basics of a number of Learning Theories and Cognitive Theories.

For the sake of the discussion, I'm going to go a bit more into Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligence and Robert Sternberg's Triarchic Theory of Intelligence.

Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligence

Wikipedia definition and explanation

This particular model allows us to understand more about the interplay between different intelligences that people have and how they learn best.

Robert Sternberg's Triarchic Theory of Intelligence

Wikipedia definition and explanation

This particular theory does a good job in looking at the applications of intelligence in problem solving. It also gives a great deal of acknowledgment to the factors of context and experience.

Consider this...

My personal perspective on Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory is that it helps us identify the areas of intelligence that we are each good at. Likely there are many areas you are good at. This leads us into a conversation about Learning Styles...which really represent the ways we like to learn.

Finding Your Learning Style

VARK: A Guide to Learning Styles

VARK is a questionnaire that you will take to learn about your own Learning Styles. To explore this test and the factors it measures, visit their website HERE.

Based on this specific test, you will be categorized in one of four styles (or Multimodal):

  • Aural
  • Visual
  • Read/Write
  • Kinesthetic
  • Multimodal

Review the information on each style by clicking HERE

What do you do with it?

The first thing to keep in mind is that EVERYONE can learning things in ALL the styles...unless a particular style is inhibited by a disability. Having a PREFERRED STYLE does not mean that you need to have all your learning information in that is your is what comes most easily for you.

What is wrong with this cartoon? Assume that the person who is saying "Blah, Blah, Blah..." is the teacher

It is NOT the responsibility of the TEACHER to remember that the STUDENT is a kinesthetic learner!

(Now, many teachers will strive to teach in a way that that addresses all learning styles, but sometimes this is not possible to do)

The STUDENT knows they are a Kinesthetic Learners so they need to take steps to translate the "Blah, Blah, Blah..." into a format that they can study. In this example, the student may choose to take notes on index cards, organize them, and review them as flash cards in order to engage her preferred learning style (Kinesthetic or Tactile) to learn information that is being presented in another style (Auditory)

It is going to be important for you to incorporate ALL learning styles into your skill set....sometimes you are going to have to learn SOME information in other ways that you are not as skilled is a good time to develop those skills.

Intelligence Quotient (IQ)

Even with all this information on cognitive learning, learning styles, and multiple intelligence, we are still talking about simply IQ. IQ remains important.

A "quotient" is a fraction! The "intelligence quotient" is a fraction:

Mental Age (as measured by an intelligence test)

Chronological Age (as measured by your birthday)

Essentially IQ is this...take the test and get a score...your score is compared to scores of other people your age who have taken the same test

If your score is similar to the average score for people your age then your Mental Age = Chronological Age

If your score is HIGHER...then you score is the same as the average for people OLDER than you...then your Mental Age > Chronological Age


This is actually a very nicely done critique of IQ tests.

IQ, however, is good for some does a fairly good job predicting how well you will do with school stuff. We know that that is not all there is to life, but it is important some of the time!

Teen Pregnancy

Switching gears a bit, let's take some time to look at things that can happen when we are teens that might disrupt or normal developmental path.

Some things that happen include:

  • Becoming disabled
  • Parents getting a divorce
  • Moving to a new country
  • Getting pregnant

I'm not being flippant...but each of these are events that can come along and change your path...many of them change them dramatically. However, aside from the risk taking associated with some acquired disabilities we are not in control of much of these except for "getting pregnant".

While we know that kids can be resilient and that sometimes teenagers can turn out to be very successful mom's and rise to the occassion...a PLANNED pregnancy is a better pregnancy!

Adverse Effects of Teen Pregnancy

Psychologists are concerned about teens who become pregnant for a lot of HERE to review some of them.

Here are some of the ways in which communities respond


In this section you will find any specific instructions or ideas I may have for you to support your graded work. Please read the instructions for each task in the course as well as the information I have here.

Discussion - Career Goal Sheet (I think this is not the right name of this assignment, but this is how it is listed in the course)

In this discussion you are asked to compare and contrast education systems. One is the Montessori Education system and the other is "typical education systems". For this discussion I would like you to describe your own high school education experience as the "typical one".

When you review the materials in the course, pay special attention to the video on Howard Gardiner's Multiple Intelligence theory. When you describe your "typical" education does it match the assumptions of the video (mostly linguistic and mathematical intelligence)? Did you have any experiences that addressed other forms of intelligence?

Focus your initial discussion posting on Montessori vs. "whatever you experienced"!

Discussion - Public Service Announcement - Children Having Children

In this presentation you want to keep in mind that your AUDIENCE is the teenage create a public service announcement that attracts the attention of TEENS!

Be sure to review the document I have in the course called Technology Guidance. (Click HERE to see it as well)

Journal - IQ and Learning Styles

Review the details of this discussion in the course. You need to take the Learning Styles test that is listed in the course. (You can also take the one I mention in this document if you want to compare them.

This is a really good opportunity to engage in some "metacognition" about how you learn. Share your stories (triumphs and challenges) as you have learned more about how you learn over the years.

To contemplate the comparison between your INTELLIGENCE and your LEARNING STYLE, consider which of Gardner's Intelligences can you most relate to.