If you want to become a teacher, many states require you to take an exam based on which state you want to teach in and what grade or subject matter you want to teach. Many states around the country require the potential teacher to take the Praxis exam before they can receive their license to teach.
The Praxis exam focuses on measuring your knowledge and skills in specific subject areas. The Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching measure your knowledge of pedagogy and teaching methods that will be needed at different levels of education.
The Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 5-9 exam consists of 70 selected-response questions and 4 constructed-response questions. The exam takes two hours to complete and costs $146 to register for the exam.
The Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 5-9 exam covers five content categories.
I. Students as Learners
1. Student Development and the Learning Process
a. Understands the theoretical foundations of how students learn
b. Knows the major contributions of foundational theorists to education
c. Understands the concepts and terms related to a variety of learning theories
d. Knows the distinguishing characteristics of stages in each domain of human development
e. Understands how learning theory and human development impact the instructional process
2. Students as Diverse Learners
a. Understands that a number of variables affect how individual students learn and perform
b. Recognizes areas of exceptionality and their potential impact on student learning
c. Understands the implications and application of legislation relating to students with exceptionalities in classroom practice
d. Recognizes the traits, behaviors, and needs of intellectually gifted students
e. Recognizes that the process of English language acquisition affects the educational experience of English language learners
f. Knows a variety of approaches for accommodating students with exceptionalities in each phase of the education process
3. Student Motivation and Learning Environment
a. Knows the major contributions of foundational behavioral theorists to education
b. Understands the implications of foundational motivation theories for instruction, learning, and classroom management
c. Knows principles and strategies for classroom management
d. Knows a variety of strategies for helping students develop self-motivation
II. Instructional Process
1. Planning Instruction
a. Understands the role of the district, state, and national standards and frameworks in instructional planning
b. Knows how to apply the basic concepts of predominant educational theories
c. Understands how scope and sequence affect instructional planning
d. Knows how to select content to achieve lesson and unit objectives
e. Knows how to develop observable and measurable instructional objectives in the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains
f. Is aware of the need for and is able to identify various resources for planning enrichment and remediation
g. Understands the role of resources and materials in supporting student learning
2. Instructional Strategies
a. Understands the cognitive processes associated with learning
b. Understands the distinguishing features of different instructional models
c. Knows a variety of instructional strategies associated with each instructional model
d. Knows a variety of strategies for encouraging complex cognitive processes
e. Knows a variety of strategies for supporting student learning
f. Knows basic strategies for promoting students’ development of self-regulatory skills
g. Understands the use and implications of different grouping techniques and strategies
h. Knows how to select an appropriate strategy for achieving an instructional objective
i. Understands the concept of monitoring and adjusting instruction in response to student feedback
j. Recognizes the purpose of reflecting upon, analyzing, and evaluating the effectiveness of instructional strategies
k. Knows the characteristics of different types of memory and their implications for instructional planning and student learning
l. Recognize the role of teachable moments in instruction
3. Questioning Techniques
a. Knows the components of effective questioning
b. Understand the uses of questioning
c. Knows strategies for supporting students in articulating their ideas
d. Knows methods for encouraging higher levels of thinking
e. Knows strategies for promoting a safe and open forum for discussion
4. Communication Techniques
a. Understands various verbal and nonverbal communication modes
b. Is aware of how culture and gender can affect communication
c. Knows how to use various communication tools to enrich the learning environment
d. Understands effective listening strategies
1.Assessment and Evaluation Strategies
a. Understands the role of formal and informal assessment in informing the instructional process
b. Understands the distinctions among the different types of assessment
c. Knows how to create and select an appropriate assessment format to meet instructional objectives
d. Knows how to select from a variety of assessment tools to evaluate student performance
e. Understands the rationale behind and the uses of students’ self and peer assessment
f. Knows how to use a variety of assessment formats
2. Assessment Tools
a. Understands the types and purposes of standardized tests
b. Understands the distinction between norm-referenced and criterion-referenced scoring
c. Understands terminology related to testing and scoring
d. Understands the distinction between holistic and analytical scoring
e. Knows how to interpret assessment results and communicate the meaning of those results to students, parents/caregiver, and school personnel
3. Professional Development, Leadership, and Community
a. Is aware of a variety of professional development practices and resources
b. Understands the implications of research, views, ideas, and debates on teaching practices
c. Recognizes the role of reflective practice professional growth
d. Is aware of school support personnel who assist students, teachers, and families
e. Understands the role of teachers and schools as educational leaders in the greater community
f. Knows basic strategies for developing collaborative relationships with colleagues, administrators, other school personnel, parents/caregivers, and the community to support the educational process
g. Understands the implications of major legislation and court decisions relating to students and teachers
Each state sets their own passing score for the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 5-9 exam.
Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 5-9 Practice Questions
1.How can adults support adolescent development in the affective, social, and moral domains?
a. Help teens to plan ahead for situations involving peer pressure and/or risky behaviors.
b. Respect teen needs for privacy by not showing interest in/asking about their activities.
c. Avoid asking about suicidal ideations, which can escalate depression common in teens.
d. Attribute all behavior changes observed to adolescence and do not investigate further.
2. When sixth-graders fail to complete assignments or act out in class, to which of the following are teachers with experience and developmental perspectives more likely to attribute such events accurately, whereas teachers without these assets are more likely to choose one of the others?
b. Mental illnesses
c. Behavioral problems
d. Adjustment problems
3. According to psychologist David Elkind, what he termed “adolescent egocentrism” includes a self-centered hypersensitivity to the perceptions of others. What did he call this?
a. The myth of invincibility
b. The imaginary audience
c. The personal fable
d. None of these
- A: As teens develop affectively, socially, and morally, adults can support their growth by helping them to plan ahead for situations involving peer pressure to engage in risky behaviors and/or involving their friends’ risky behaviors. Helping them anticipate and plan is important as teens often encounter such situations for the first time. While experts advise adults to respect teen needs for privacy, they also advise adults to show interest in teenagers’ activities (b). Although depression is common during adolescence, adults should ask them about any suicidal ideations (c) and other feelings, which can avert rather than precipitate tragedy. While adolescence involves many behavioral changes, adults should not attribute all of these to the life stage, but rather should investigate further (d) any marked changes in behavior causing concern.
2. D: Although Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD (a) certainly includes inattention, short attention span, and impulsive behavior; students with mental illnesses (b) certainly can have difficulty completing assignments and/or exhibit disruptive class behavior; and assignment noncompliance and acting out in class can certainly be symptoms of behavior problems (c), teachers with more experience and developmental perspectives are more likely than those without these assets to realize such behaviors can actually be signs of adjustment problems. Many students begin middle school in sixth grade. Because schools can vary widely and because of change itself, students can have difficulty making transitions to middle school. The same applies to transitions from middle to high school.
3. B: Within his definition of adolescent egocentrism, Elkind described teenagers’ preoccupation with what others think of them as the imaginary audience—i.e., the unrealistic belief that everybody is paying attention to and concerned with them. Elkind described the myth of invincibility (a) as the unrealistic teenage belief that they cannot be harmed, which contributes to risky behavior. He described the personal fable (c) as the unrealistic teenage belief that nobody understands their experiences or feelings because these are unique to them. Since (b) is correct, (d) is incorrect.