I have to write a reflection paper for my human development class. I am working with first graders in an elementary school and our professor wants to know this:
Choose one thing about your practicum site that you think should be different. This can be something procedural, something structural, something related to curriculum or to clients or to personnel. Think about how you would change and improve this thing if you had the power to make it different. Relate the changes you come up with to some area of knowledge in the study of human development. Be concrete, detailed and specific. Is there anything that you can do as an intern to impact this area or to begin the process of change?
I am working with a great teacher and I do not see anything I want to change. She's very creative with her students and she keeps her students engage. The class size is 20. I could talk about making the class size smaller, but I feel I don't have much to write about on that. I have to write a 4 page paper and I do not know if I can stretch that idea out into 4 pages. I need help coming up with ideas to write about. I feel I must make up something big that I can write a lot about, but it is hard when I completely agree with their approach to education compared to other schools. Also, my professor has read my journal about my experience in this practicum site and I have a lot of positive journal entries about the teacher and the school. Can someone please help me come up with ideas I can write a lot about? I'll greatly appreciate it!
The first thing that comes into my mind when thinking about schools is "what could the school do if it had more money?" Nowadays, technology is key to getting ahead in learning, and most schools could use more computers, even for first-graders. However, I don't know if there's any way to relate that back to human development or not. It depends on what you talked about in your human development class.
I do think that you could manage to get four pages out of the class size issue; you just have to approach it the right way. Humans have a need for attention, and particularly children of the age you are working with. They need it not only for their intellectual development, i.e., school subjects like learning to read and write, but also for their emotional and social development. Relating class size "to some area of knowledge in the study of human development" could actually take quite a bit of space.You could devote at least a page to the reasons class size is important. Then, you could discuss the class itself and how the individual children might flourish with more individualized attention. Perhaps you have observed instances where a child was struggling and could have used more help, or where a child had an idea or answer, but the teacher did not notice that the child had something to say. Or maybe there are projects that the children could work on if they weren't too time-intensive for one teacher to manage. As an intern, you can help in this regard, even if the change could not be permanent.
I hope this helps give you some ideas to get started!
Thank you so much for your response. Yesterday I spent time working on my essay. I decided to talk about providing more training programs, resources, and support for teachers, but I could not relate a lot of it to human development. I think I am going to redo my paper and work on my original idea about class sizes and apply the ideas you gave me. I think I can relate more human development to this topic and I can also help make a change by recommending local volunteer groups to include schools in their volunteering agendas.