Respond to two classmates’ postings.

Guided response: Respond to  two classmates.  Think back to the learning module you interacted with pertaining to Paul and Elder’s essential elements of thought and apply some of what you learned in this discussion. For example, when you respond to a peer’s analysis of this case study ask him or her to clarify the purpose behind what he or she wrote, consider alternative perspectives, examine assumptions, and support thinking with evidence, facts, and research.  


Which approach – Constructivism, Cognitivism, or Behaviorism – would you take? Why?

I would think that all approaches would be necessary.  A primary concern is Michael’s behavior, which is detrimental to learning environment of everyone.  Cognitivism in the form of cognitive behavioral intervention (CBI) could shed light on Michael’s issues.  Constructivism could show him how he is part of the group and responsible for his learning.   He may be outside of his ZPD.

What strategies would you use to improve Michael’s classroom behavior and participation?

I would have a counselling session with Michael and an additional faculty member.  We would detail his behavioral and academic problems in writing and come to an understanding as to why it cannot continue.  Together, we would write a contract that outlines possible repercussions for infractions.  I would place him in an ability group at the peak of his ZPD.  I would instruct the other ELL students to refrain from any language other than English unless requested.  I would request assistance from administrators in contacting the parents.

How would you encourage him to complete and submit assignments on time as well as to establish personal learning goals?

I would use positive reinforcement and thoroughly explain the assessment process.  I might require his work be signed by a parent, if they could be reached, or use something akin to Edmodo.

Can you name some ways you would involve Michael’s parents and siblings in supporting these learning goals?

 If I could reach his parents, I would request a conference along with a student counselor to discuss the issues and possible solutions.  Involving his siblings might be suggested to the parents if the counselor deems appropriate.


I would take a constructivism approach with Michael. Kajitani et. al (2012) says that constructivist teachers focus on building new concepts on top of previous schemas, as well as clearing up misconceptions with respect and understanding (Ch. 3.1). This seems to be exactly what Michael needs. His needs differ greatly from younger ELL’s, such as his younger siblings, because of the fact that he has already passed the point in his public education where he would learn how to read and write English with his peers. It will take great understanding and a mutual respect to be able to get through to this student.

With only the information provided in the case study, I assume that Michael’s behavior and participation issues stem from his lack of academic English proficiency. Honigsfeld & Cohan (2015) state that it typically takes around seven years for ELL’s to develop academic langauge proficiency; hence, his ELL teacher should provide extra differentation for his CALP (cognitive academic language proficiency) needs (Ch. 1.4). I suggest having Michael moved to his ELL teacher’s advanced placement English Language class. While he may not be proficient in reading and writing English, his ideas and cognitive understanding of the literature may be further advanced due to his previous education from his home land (assumed, since lack of previous education was not mentioned in the case study). The fact that he is much older than his other ELL peers means that they are most likely learning things that he already knows. He has no room for improvement, which means he is no longer anywhere near his Zone of Proximal Development. As far as his participation is concerned, I would help Michael set some short-term goals to improve his grades (and overall understanding as a result). Completing homework and classwork will be one of the short-term goals. Michael will not do homework because of his lack of English writing and reading skills. Providing extra differentation for his CALP needs will help with that quite a bit. As his teacher, I would build a relationship with him to build trust and a common goal of his academic success. I would also create a behavior chart that coincides with his behavior and participation goals alike. This way, he can self-regulate himself based on his own self-awareness throughout the day.

I think that it would be a good idea to invite Michael’s parents to the school, even going so far as to provide a third-party translator so that they can speak freely with his teachers. Asking Michael’s siblings to help him will only wound his pride, since they are so much younger than him. They could, however, be encouraged to check Michael’s homework for English proficiency prior to turning it in.


Honigsfeld, A & Cohan, A. (2015). Serving English language learners. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education.

Kajitani, A., Lehew, E., Lopez, D., Wahab, N., & Walton, N. (2012). The final step: A capstone in education. A. Shean (Ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

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