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16. A Topical Approach to. LIFE-SPAN DEVELOPMENT. Schools, Achievement, and Work. John W. Santrock. Schools, Achievement, and Work. Schools Achievement Careers, Work , and Retirement. Schools. Contemporary Approaches to Student Learning and Assessment. Direct Instruction Approach

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life span development


A Topical Approach to


Schools, Achievement, and Work

John W. Santrock

schools achievement and work
Schools, Achievement, and Work
  • Schools
  • Achievement
  • Careers, Work, and Retirement
contemporary approaches to student learning and assessment


Contemporary Approaches to Student Learning and Assessment
  • Direct Instruction Approach
    • Teacher-centered approach characterized by
      • Teacher direction and control
      • Mastery of academic material
      • High expectations for students’ progress
      • Maximum time spent on learning tasks
contemporary approaches to student learning and assessment4


Contemporary Approaches to Student Learning and Assessment
  • Cognitive Constructivist Approaches
    • Emphasizes child’s active, cognitive construction of knowledge and understanding
      • Teacher provides support for students exploring

their world and developing knowledge

      • Main theory: Piaget’s theory
contemporary approaches to student learning and assessment5


Contemporary Approaches to Student Learning and Assessment
  • Social constructivist approaches
    • Focuses on collaboration with others to produce

knowledge and understanding

    • Main theory: Vygotsky’s theory
  • Constructivist approaches
    • Learner is center of educational process;

learner-center principles

accountability in schools


Accountability in Schools
  • State-mandated tests have taken on a more powerful role —No Child Left Behind
  • Critics argue that they lead to
    • Single score being used as sole predictor
    • Teaching to test; use of memorization
    • Tests don’t measure important skills like creativity

and social skills

schools and developmental status


Schools and Developmental Status
  • Early childhood education
    • Many ways young children are educated
  • The child-centered kindergarten
    • Emphasizes the whole child
      • Physical, cognitive, socioemotional development
      • Needs, interests, and learning styles
      • Emphasizes learning process
developmentally appropriate and inappropriate education


Developmentally Appropriate and Inappropriate Education
  • Developmentally appropriate practice —focuses on typical development of children within age span (age appropriateness) and uniqueness of each child (individual appropriateness)
  • Developmentally inappropriate practice— relies on abstract paper-and-pencil activities given to large groups
controversy in early childhood education


Controversy in Early Childhood Education
  • What should curriculum be?
    • Child-centered, constructivist approach
    • Academic, instructivist approach
      • Child dependent on direct instruction
      • Emphasizes accountability, high standards
  • Many high quality programs includes both
elementary school


Elementary School
  • Change from “home-child’’ to “school-child”
  • New roles and obligations
  • Too often, early schooling has more negative feedback; lowers child’s self-esteem
  • Teachers often pressured to cover curriculum;
    • Tight scheduling; may harm children
educating adolescents

Independent from parents’ monitoring

More opportunities for friends

More subjects to select from

Challenging work

Feel more grown up


Stressful — many changes at once

Top-dog phenomenon


Educating Adolescents

Transition to Middle or Junior High School

effective schools for young adolescents


Effective Schools for Young Adolescents
  • Criticisms
    • Watered-down versions of high schools
    • Lack age-appropriate curricular and

extracurricular schedules

    • Massive, impersonal, and lacking
  • Recommendations of Carnegie Foundation
high school


High School
  • Concerns about education and students
    • Graduate with inadequate skills
    • Enter college needing remediation classes
    • Student drop out rates
      • Ethnic and racial differences
      • Gender differences
high school14


High School
  • Need for more effective programs
  • More support needed to enable students to graduate with knowledge and skills needed to succeed
  • Need higher expectations for student achievement
trends in high school dropout rates





Percent of 16- to 24-year-olds who havedropped out of school
















Trends in High School Dropout Rates

Fig. 16.3

college and adult education


College and Adult Education
  • Transition to College
    • Replays the top-dog phenomenon
    • Many of same benefits found in high school
    • Movement to a larger, more impersonal school
    • Interact with peers of more diverse backgrounds
    • Increased focus on achievement and assessment
college and adult education17


College and Adult Education
  • Adult education includes
    • Literacy training
    • Community development
    • University credit programs
    • On-the-job training
    • Continuing professional education
  • Women — the majority of adult learners
educating children with disabilities


Educating Children with Disabilities
  • Approximately 10 percent of children in the U.S. receive special education or related services
learning disabilities


Learning Disabilities
  • Learning disabilitycharacteristics:
    • A minimum IQ level
    • A significant difficulty in a school-related area
    • No other conditions, such as
      • severe emotional disorders
      • second-language background
      • sensory disabilities
      • specific neurological deficits
learning disabilities21


Learning Disabilities
  • Dyslexia— severe impairment in ability to read and spell
  • Dyscalculia— impairment of math ability
  • Diagnosing is difficult task
  • Many intervention strategies available
learning disabilities22


Learning Disabilities
  • Boys classified about 3x more than girls; biological vulnerability
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)— children consistently show one or more of inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity
    • Diagnosis and characteristics
    • Causes and treatment
special educational law


Special Educational Law
  • Public Law 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act
    • Individualized education plan (IEP) — written program tailored to child with disability
    • Least restrictive environment (LRE) — child with disability educated in setting similar to where other children educated
    • Inclusion — educating child with special education needs in regular classroom
socioeconomic status in schools


Socioeconomic Status in Schools
  • Low-income, ethnic minority children face more difficulties in school
  • Compensatory Education
    • Project Head Start — provides children from low-income families opportunity to acquire skills and experiences important for school success
  • School inequalities
    • School in poor areas poorly equipped, have inexperienced teachers
ethnicity in schools


Ethnicity in Schools
  • Minority students are majority in some schools
  • Many inner city schools
    • Still segregated
    • Grossly underfunded
    • Do not provide adequate opportunities to learn


    • Effects of SES and ethnicity often intertwined
    • Claims of institutional racism in U.S. schools
improving relationships among ethnically diverse students
Turn class into jigsaw classroom

Use technology to foster cooperation

Positive personal contact with diverse other students

Engage in perspective taking

Help students think critically and be emotionally intelligent

Reduce bias

View school and community as team

Be competent cultural mediator


Improving relationships among ethnically diverse students
extrinsic and intrinsic motivation

Incentives such as rewards and punishments

Rewards can undermine motivation


Factors such as self-determination, curiosity, challenge, and effort

Increased by opportunity for choices


Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation
self determination and choice
Student internal motivation and intrinsic interest in school tasks increase when more opportunities for choice available

Some rewards can undermine learning; rewards most effective with high interest

Rewards convey mastery information

Developmental shifts


Self-Determination and Choice
mastery motivation


Mastery Motivation
  • Mastery orientation— task-oriented; concerned with learning strategies
  • Helpless orientation— one seems trapped by difficulty and attributes one’s difficulty to a lack of ability
  • Performance orientation— achievement outcomes; winning matters
attribution theory


Attribution Theory
  • Attributions— perceived causes of outcomes
    • Internal— person’s personality, motives, effort
    • External— situational and environmental factors
  • Self-Efficacy
    • Belief that one can master a situation and produce

favorable outcomes

goal setting planning and self monitoring


Goal-Setting, Planning, and Self-Monitoring
  • Self-efficacy and achievement improve when individuals set goals that are
    • Specific
    • Proximal (short-term)
    • Challenging
  • Students can set both long and short-term goals; need to plan to reach goals and monitor progress
ethnicity and culture


Ethnicity and Culture
  • Ethnicity and Achievement
    • Often tangled with Socioeconomic Status
      • SES better predictor of achievements
  • Many minorities challenged by
    • Negative stereotypes and discrimination
    • Poverty
    • Culture and conflicting neighborhood values
cross cultural comparisons of educational achievement
American children perform poorly on international math and science tests

Compare different samples of students

Different attitudes about achievement

Different teaching styles

Differing parental expectations


Cross-Cultural Comparisons of Educational Achievement
career developmental changes

Careers, Work, and Retirement

Career Developmental Changes

Idealistic fantasies about what they want to be when they grow up

Young children

Career decision-making more serious as they explore different career possibilities

High school

Choosing major or specialization designed to lead to work in a field


Start full-time occupation

Early adulthood

values and careers

Careers, Work, and Retirement

Values and Careers
  • Important aspect of choosing a career — match career to one’s values
  • Monitoring the Occupational Outlook
    • Service-producing industries will account for most new jobs
    • Jobs requiring college degrees will be fastest-growing and highest-paying
    • Labor force participation rates of women projected to increase
work in adolescence

Careers, Work, and Retirement

Work in Adolescence
  • U.S. high school students
    • 90% receive high school diplomas
    • 75% work part-time and attend school
    • Most work 16-20 hours per week
    • Most work in service jobs
  • Work more than in other developed countries; less than developing countries
advantages and disadvantages of part time work for adolescents

Careers, Work, and Retirement

Advantages and Disadvantages of Part-Time Work for Adolescents
  • Pros
  • Understand how business world works
  • Learn how to get and keep a job
  • Manage money
  • Budget time
  • Pride in accomplishments
  • Evaluate goals


  • Give up sports
  • Forego social affairs with peers
  • Less sleep
  • Balance demands of work, school, family, and peers
  • Lower grades
work in adulthood

Careers, Work, and Retirement

Work in Adulthood
  • Changing gender roles
    • Increasing dual-earner couples
    • Men increasing responsibility for maintaining


    • Women increasing responsibility for breadwinning
    • Men showing greater interest in family and


careers and work in middle adulthood

Careers, Work, and Retirement

Careers and Work in Middle Adulthood
  • Midlife time of evaluation, assessment, and reflection
  • Recognizing limitations in career progress
  • Deciding whether to change jobs or careers
  • Rebalance family and work
  • Planning for retirement
work in late adulthood

Careers, Work, and Retirement

Work in Late Adulthood
  • Percentage of older adults who work part-time steadily increased since 1960s
    • Good health
    • Strong psychological commitment to work
    • Distaste for retirement
    • Cognitive ability
  • Many participate in unpaid work

Careers, Work, and Retirement

  • Option to retire late twentieth-century phenomenon in U.S.
  • Today’s workers will spend 10 to 15 percent of their lives in retirement
  • 80 percent of baby boomers said they expect to work during retirement
  • Flexibility is key factor in adjustment