Praxis PLT Study Guide
The Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades K-6 exam is designed for prospective educators seeking to teach in that grade range. Candidates will need to demonstrate their competency in a broad range of topics related to the foundations of education. These topics will include concepts relating to teaching techniques, differing learning styles, growth & development, the nuances of learning, psychology in education, and professionalism.
Examinees will have 2 hours to respond to roughly 70 selected-response questions and 4 constructed-response questions. These questions are further divided by their content into different categories reflecting the topics covered and are explained in the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching: K-6 study guide below.
|Praxis PLT: K-6 Study Guide (5622)|
|Students As Learners||22.5% (~21 questions)|
|Instructional Process||22.5% (~21 questions)|
|Assessment||15% (~14 questions)|
|Professional Development, Leadership, and Community||15% (~14 questions)|
|Analysis of Instructional Scenarios||25% (~4 questions)|
Students as Learners
This first category concerns itself primarily with knowledge of concepts concerning how to teach students information and how to foster skill growth in them. It also covers ideas relating to how students take in that information and the different ways they learn.
Student Development & the Learning Process
Examinees will need to be able to link classroom scenarios with the theories found in the works of scholars like Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky. Additionally, candidates will need to demonstrate their familiarity with several learning theories and terms associated with them, such as classical and operant conditioning, among others. Candidates will be further tested on their knowledge of how educational theories and personal growth affect the learning process; candidates will also need to be able to describe various stages of growth in the different categories of development.
Students as Diverse Learners
Exam-takers will be tested on their familiarity with how students are affected by underlying influences, such as their identity, their mental state, and their economic standing, in their performance at school. Questions will also test the ability of candidates to identify several ways students can be exceptional, and then will require them to explain how that can affect how they learn.
Test-takers will also need to be able to identify the traits of a gifted student and how to meet their needs, how studying English affects English language learners (ELLs) in the classroom, and how to keep exceptional students involved in the classroom by utilizing diverse approaches to meeting their needs.
Student Motivation & Learning Environment
Candidates should be able to recognize concepts from the works of scholars such as Abraham Maslow and B.F. Skinner and tie them into the classroom. Examinees will be tested in their knowledge of the nuances of core concepts relating to motivation, learning, and managing a classroom. They will have to define terms relating to these concepts and also be able to identify techniques that can be utilized to foster in their students a desire to learn on their own.
Topics covered under this category deal with the strategies and techniques used in teaching as well as planning lessons.
Examinees will be assessed on their knowledge of established curriculum planning standards as well as how these will factor into their personal curriculum in their classroom. Candidates should also have a fluent understanding of introductory educational and social learning ideas, such as modeling or mapping, among others. Candidates will also be required to comprehend a litany of ideas like:
- Curating material to reach the goals of a unit or lesson
- Constructing identifiable learning objectives that incorporate the psychomotor, affective, and cognitive domains in their design
Finally, candidates will be tested on their ability to discern when to include remediation and enrichment as well as recognize materials for curating, finding, and constructing activities for remediation and enrichment. They will also be assessed on their knowledge of how proper resources and materials support learning including ideas like thematic teaching and interdisciplinary collaboration for units.
Candidates will need to understand multiple teaching models as well as the techniques associated with each. Test-takers will also need to understand how to foster intricate cognitive processes in their students through various activities as well as techniques to encourage student learning.
Additionally, candidates will be tested on their grasp of concepts such as techniques for encouraging the growth of self-regulation in students as well as how to best utilize grouping arrangements and techniques. Candidates will need to be able to pick the best approach for meeting a teaching objective and know how to adapt their instruction in response to student feedback. Candidates will also need to be able to understand the value of introspection on improving teaching. Lastly, test-takers will be required to understand the different forms of memory and their impact on teaching as well as student learning. They will also be tested on their understanding of teachable moments in the classroom and how to utilize them.
Candidates will be required to understand how to properly question their students and understand how to utilize it in the most effective way possible. Candidates will need to understand what techniques they can implement to help students form their ideas, and what approaches will promote higher levels of thought. Candidates will also be expected to know what techniques they can utilize to create a secure and receptive space for conversation that encourages students to engage.
Candidates will be assessed in their fluency with several verbal and nonverbal methods of interaction, such as tone, body language, and gestures, among others. In tandem with this, candidates will need to understand concepts like how gender and culture can influence interaction and what tools they can use to enhance participation in the classroom. Finally, candidates will need to know, explain, and provide examples of strong listening techniques they can use to properly engage with students.
In this category, candidates will need to prove their understanding of how to properly assess their students in the classroom and what tools they can utilize to accomplish this.
Assessment & Evaluation Strategies
Candidates will be required to classify means of informal and formal assessment and how the results can be used to influence teaching decisions. Candidates will also need to explain what formative, summative, and diagnostic assessment is and what each can be used for. Test-takers will be tested on their ability to pick the proper type of test structure to accomplish an objective and their ability to pick the best tool for gauging student performance in a given situation.
Examinees will also be tested on their understanding of the reasoning for self and peer-assessment for students and how to properly implement them, as well as their knowledge of several forms of assessment and how to best utilize them, such as an essay or performance, among others.
Examinees should understand subjects relating to testing, like differing forms of standardized testing, and their purposes in addition to the differences between criterion-referenced scoring and norm-referenced scoring. Candidates will also be assessed on other subjects like testing and scoring terminology and what differentiates holistic scoring from analytical scoring. Candidates will also be tested on how to properly understand test results and then relay that information to relevant figures, including other faculty members and parents.
Professional Development, Leadership, and Community
This category primarily concerns itself with concepts relating to growth as an educator and acting as a leader in the greater community. Candidates will find themselves tested on their knowledge of methods and materials for professional growth, like conferences and workshops, among others, as well as ongoing discussions regarding instructional techniques. Candidates will also find themselves tested on both their knowledge of utilizing reflective practice to grow as an educator as well as on faculty members who act as support for families and staff.
Candidates will need to understand their role as a part of a greater community and will be tested on their understanding of how legislation can impact students and teachers and how they can act as ambassadors for education in their local community. Test-takers will also be tested on their ability to form synergetic relationships with coworkers, other faculty members, families, and the wider community.
Analysis of Instructional Scenarios
Unlike the rest of the test, this testing section does not use selected-response questions, and test-takers will instead be expected to read through different situations or case studies that relate to the topics covered in the rest of the test. They will then have to construct their own response to these questions that properly respond to or explain a concept found within the given text. These questions will be based directly on the content categories previously explored in this Praxis PLT study guide.
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