Instructional Strategies for Developmental Guidance Curriculum

Instructor: Santiago Cárdenas

Santiago has experience in both quantitative and qualitative research in Psychology and has worked as a teacher assistant in Psychometrics for almost two years. He has also worked as a freelance writer in Humanities and Social Sciences for more than a year.

Learn about some instructional strategies to promote students' acquisition of age-appropriate knowledge and skills in the developmental guidance curriculum as well as some considerations about how to work collaboratively to integrate guidance and academic curricula. Updated: 10/16/2021

Instructional Strategies to Promote Student's Acquisition of Age-appropriate Knowledge and skills in the Developmental Guidance Curriculum

In concrete terms, the Developmental Guidance Curriculum consists of a set of academic lessons systematically designed to help students learn different skills and grow properly. Thus, the developmental guidance curriculum aims to help the progressive competency development of the students, according to the abilities they acquire during specific developmental stages.

All this is potentiated through the use of diverse strategies, resources, and materials that students can use to nurture their learning and that are constantly implemented by the school professional to follow the process of development, which is especially accelerated in childhood. Consequently, some of the instructional strategies that serve to promote students' acquisition of age-appropriate knowledge and skills in the developmental guidance curriculum include the following:

1. The arrangement of stimulating activities.

2. The planning through areas and domains according to the different developmental stages.

3. The implementation of group and individualized learning.

The Arrangement of Stimulating Activities

The arrangement of stimulating activities involves the immersion of students in experiences that positively influence their development and learning within the classroom setting. These activities should cover specific learning goals but also be enjoyable and engaging for students by inviting them to explore, investigate, and have active participation. It should be stressed that if you involve yourself as a participant in these activities, this might give you the opportunity to observe your students' behavior and assess their interests, difficulties, motivations, among other important aspects that can help you establish the best developmental practices for them.

Furthermore, activities are stimulating when they offer a variety of novel materials and ideas that grab students' attention. The introduction of challenges according to the developmental stage that your students are going through is also optimal to stimulate their learning. Additionally, you will find that in the first stages of development, the design of learning activities that include play can be quite fruitful.

As an example, you could plan weekly activities in which your students are free to explore a particular environment in order to observe others' behavior or the occurrence of specific phenomena. Later, you could ask students to make notes and questions about what they observed; invite them to complete their notes and answer their own questions through investigation; and offer a space for discussion so all the information they gathered can be shared between them.

The Planning through Areas and Domains according to Different Developmental Stages

The planning through areas and domains according to different developmental stages consists of preparing activities and establishing learning goals to enhance physical, cognitive, social, emotional, linguistic, and other levels of learning or domains, concerning different educational areas such as science, art, mathematics, language, et cetera. That is to say, students should have the opportunity to learn different subjects through multiple ways of representation and expression, which are commonly relegated to the cognitive domain. An example of this occurs when students are led to passively memorize concrete information instead of being motivated to learn through social, emotional, or even physical experience.

On the other hand, the planning of activities related to different areas and domains should be accompanied by prior knowledge about what the different stages of development are, what typical behaviors to expect, and what abilities in each developmental stage mature. Particularly, this information will provide important clues about the level of difficulty you should set in your activities, the number of didactic resources you will need, and the depth of the information that can be covered.

For instance, children at the age of 12 are expected to develop their abstract abilities to understanding complex concepts that don't have a physical counterpart in reality. Knowing this, you could plan a forum cinema activity in which the students watch audiovisuals about real-life situations that implicitly refer to the concept of justice to then discuss their thoughts, feelings, insights, opinions, own definitions about the concept, among others. Concretely, this would be a way of achieving goals in different domains, such as the social, cognitive, linguistic, and even emotional domains, through an activity that could be included in the area of social sciences.

The Implementation of Group and Individualized Learning

The implementation of group and individualized learning includes attending to both the group and individual students' learning needs through specific strategies, considering that there are developmental differences among the students for several reasons. In this way, individuals might present differences concerning their development because they count on a stimulating environment outside the classroom that potentiates their skills or, on the contrary, because they don't.

Other reasons involve previous conditions such as a disability or belonging to a culturally diverse group. Precisely, all these differences make noticeable the need for individualized teaching strategies but also group activities in which all students feel included and have the opportunity to share their interests, potentialities, background, et cetera.

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In the development guidance curriculum, some resources to implement group and individualized learning include:

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