EDCO 725 Project Teaching Demonstration Assignment



Your class project is to design a 40-60 minute teaching lesson incorporating the main elements of this class:

  • Emphasis on critical thinking
  • Use of active learning strategies
  • Incorporating andragogy (adult learning theory)

You will not actually present this lesson but will simply design your teaching demonstration.

By now you should have mastered the content for each of these elements. It might help to review class content before you complete this project.

Critical Thinking: As we have emphasized all term, the essence of graduate school should be critical thinking, rather than just adding more knowledge to your understanding. You have read invaluable content on stimulating thought and implementing the highest levels of thought from Bloom’s Taxonomy and the Anderson and Krathwohl revision of Bloom. 

In your class project, you will primarily challenge your students with the highest level of thought –application, analysis, evaluation, creation, etc. Your teaching demonstration is not primarily a lecture, in which you simply impart knowledge, but exercises designed to challenge and stimulate thinking. If you just present a lecture, you will not pass this final project.

Active Learning: the class content had excellent discussion on the concept of active learning. While lecture has a place in higher education, your students are best served in an environment in which they learn actively. You were introduced to numerous active learning strategies through the class content and you will demonstrate several active learning techniques in this final project. For sure, you may need to present some basic information (lecture, video, etc.) but most of your time should be taken up with your active learning strategies. Doing so should make your proposed teaching demonstration exciting, challenging, and even fun.

Adult Learning Theory: you also read a lot about andragogy and you are tasked with incorporating adult learning principles into your proposed teaching demonstration.


Elements of the Final Project

Literature Review

The teaching topic you chose in week one was a narrowed focus in a larger body of research. You may have an interest in a particular therapy technique applied to a specific diagnosis. In your first section, provide a brief overview of the body of research, and then how you narrowed down your focus in order to emphasize higher-order thinking. You will have your students attempt to solve a particular problem in the research on a topic, apply concepts to a new application, come up with a unique treatment plan, etc. 

In this first section, you will lay out the foundation for what you propose to do, by drawing from the research literature on the topic. In essence, you will present a brief literature review and justification for narrowing your focus to your specific teaching topic. Make sure to cite your research correctly per APA. Length: the length of your literature review will vary according to the topic and the depth of the research. Make the literature review of sufficient length to explain the foundation for your active learning activities and HOTS emphasis. Most likely several pages will be necessary.

Learning Objectives (LOs)

A strong teaching demonstration begins with strong learning objectives. Based on the class content on LOs, write at least three learning objectives that primarily include higher order thinking. Follow the suggestions provided in class for writing clear, strong, and valid LOs.

Description of Active Learning Strategies

Thoroughly review the class content on active learning strategies, and in this section, indicate 2-3 different active learning strategies that you will include in your proposed teaching demonstration. Draw from the class sources (cited correctly) and explain why your chosen teaching strategies best fit your LOs. That is, in implementing your learning objectives, explain why the chosen teaching strategies best complete your LOs. Recall that one of the class documents suggested learning activities that fit with each level of thought (Bloom’s Taxonomy and Anderson and Krathwohl’s revision of Bloom).

HOTS to be Implemented

A focus on this class entitled “Teaching and Learning” has been on stimulating thought and integrating higher-order thinking skills (HOTS) in active learning strategies. In this section, briefly review the highest levels of thought that you want to implement in your teaching demonstration. Review what each means as applied in your teaching demonstration, drawing broadly from the class discussion on HOTS. Why does your topic lend itself to the highest levels of thought that you want to demonstrate—that is, what about your teaching topic suggests a need to evaluate, or critique, or create a new way, or apply in a different way, etc.? Again, cite your class sources per APA.

Elements of Andragogy that you will Incorporate

Review the class content on adult learning theory. In this section, determine which elements of andragogy need to be incorporated into your proposed teaching demonstration. Provide solid justification for your conclusion. Draw from the class content on adult learning theory, and cite correctly

Sample Paper

Teaching Demonstration

The proposed teaching demonstration is for a class period in a graduate level trauma counseling course. The lesson focuses on Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, specifically the use of the trauma narrative and crafting an approach to trauma narrative that takes into account the client’s history, cognitive functions and abilities, and social/cultural needs. Students will be assigned a case study to read before the assigned class time. The teaching demonstration will provide a brief overview of the learning outcomes and goals for the class, allow a short time for students to reacquaint themselves with the case study, and then engage in active learning strategies. 

The active learning strategies included in this teaching demonstration include group discussion, a paired trauma narrative proposal, and a low-stakes writing assignment. The group discussion will focus on assessing and evaluating the proposed client’s background and needs. The students will then be paired up and asked to formulate a proposed approach to trauma narration with the client. Finally, the students will be assigned a low stakes writing assignment outside of class reflecting on their proposed idea and defending their rationale.

Literature Review

Overview of Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is an evidenced based family focused treatment created by psychiatrist Judith Cohen and psychologists Anthony Mannarino and Esther Deblinger. The target population is ages 3-18 who remember being exposed to at least one trauma and are experiencing PTSD symptoms, depression, shame, dysfunctional emotion-related thoughts or beliefs, or trauma related behavioral problems. TF-CBT also places a great emphasis on engaging the parents or caregivers of the children. Children as well as parents/caregivers go through three phases of sessions, beginning with parallel individual sessions and ending with several conjoint sessions (Cohen & Mannarino, 2015).

In the first phase of treatment the focus is on psychoeducation, relaxation techniques, affect regulation, and cognitive coping and processing (Cohen & Mannarino, 2015). Parents and children are seen in individual sessions to help each of them learn coping skills, process their reactions to trauma, and learn regulation and relaxation techniques moving forward. The second phase of treatment is the development of a trauma narrative. In the Trauma Narrative phase the child is encouraged by the therapist to create a narrative of their past trauma. 

This can be done in a variety of ways: a written story, a cartoon, a collage or some other form that allows the child to identify a beginning and end to the trauma and discuss the full story. In younger children the child may act out the trauma narrative with puppets or dolls while the therapist writes down the narrative. The narration is then processed with the therapist, such as identifying unhelpful or inaccurate thoughts during the narration, identifying specific trauma triggers, and the importance of being able to share the story (Cohen & Mannarino, 2015).

The final stage of treatment is the integration phase. In the integration and consolidation phase of therapy, the caregiver and child are brought in for conjoint sessions. During this phase the trauma narrative is shared by the child with the caregiver. This would allow the child to “face up” to the trauma as well as give the caregiver the opportunity to hear from the child’s perspective. The caregiver is then able to praise the child and build trust between the two. ]

This phase of treatment allows the opportunity for the two to practice talking about the trauma and allow for any acknowledgement or amends that need to be made. During this phase safety can be enhanced by creating a written safety plan for things such as ongoing dangers (domestic abuse, violent neighborhoods) or risky situations (being home alone, peer pressure, etc.). Techniques used for enhancing safety might be roleplaying, discussion about warning signs of danger, and teaching about appropriate boundaries (Cohen & Marranino, 2015).

The main cause of dysfunction in the theory of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the impact that trauma has on children such as feelings of powerlessness, self-abuse, acting out as well as the impact trauma can have on parents or caregivers such as secondary trauma, grief, and an inability to connect with the child or meet the needs caused by the trauma.

Through TF-CBT, the children relearn or perhaps learn for the first time how to deal with the effects of trauma, create healthy bonds and coping mechanisms, and create a narrative of their trauma that provides a beginning and end. Caregivers are taught how to connect and assist their traumatized child in regulation and processing (Cohen & Mannarino, 2015). 

There have been over 20 longitudinal studies completed on Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to determine its effectiveness on children suffering from trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder. Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been proven to have more benefits and better outcomes with traumatized children and youth than many other forms of therapy including non-directive play therapy and child-centered counseling (Lenz & Hollenbaugh, 2015).

Focus on the Trauma Narrative

Studies have shown that individuals who undergo trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy with the inclusion of the trauma narrative component have lower PTSD symptoms and better affect regulation than those who underwent the treatment without the inclusion of a trauma narrative (Hayes et al., 2017). Additionally, the trauma narrative has proven to be efficiently reducing a child’s trauma specific fears and alleviating parent’s abuse-specific distress (Deblinger et al., 2011). The trauma narrative increases the patient’s ability to decentralize the trauma, decrease overgeneralization, and improve accommodation (Hayes et al., 2017).

From a clinician perspective, many aspects need to be taken into consideration when guiding a client and their caregivers through the Trauma Narrative portion of the TF-CBT treatment. The trauma narrative takes place after the therapist has a strong grasp on the history and biographical information of the child through the intake process and after they have built rapport with the child and taught them basic emotional regulation and relaxation techniques (Cohen, Mannarino, & Deblinger, 2012). 

The therapist must be able to consult with their client and utilize their skills to determine the best format for the narrative. Additionally, they need to be able to take the cultural and developmental aspects of the client into consideration and be able to facilitate the process with these considerations in mind (Cohen, Mannarino, & Deblinger, 2012).


Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an evidenced based tool that clinicians can utilize to help children who have experienced trauma process their emotions, learn emotional regulation, and decentralize their trauma. Additionally, it can help parents and caregivers learn the best tools for helping their child process. The Trauma Narrative portion of therapy is a key tool in helping the child process their trauma and move forward and research proves it significantly improves outcomes in clients. This lesson focuses on helping future clinicians utilize their own knowledge and skills to understand and facilitate the creation of the trauma narrative process, while knowing what needs to be done to individualize the process for their clients.

Learning Objectives

  • Learning Outcome 1. Students will be able to assess and evaluate the developmental, cultural, and spiritual considerations for their clients when creating a trauma narrative.
  • Learning Outcome 2. Students will be able to formulate a proposed approach to trauma narration while taking into consideration individual needs and history of a client.
  • Learning Outcome 3. Students will be able to defend their rationale and rate their proposed approach to trauma narration.

Active Learning Strategies

Case Study

Students will be assigned independent reading of a case study before the class. The use of a case study is a type of experiential, problem based learning. This allows the professor to take on a supportive role while allowing the students to think critically about an issue and be more self-directed learners (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgratner, 2007).

The case study is presented below.

Case Study: Jamal

Jamal is a 10-year-old African American male referred to your counseling organization by his school. He presents for his intake with his 55-year-old aunt Monica who has custody of him. Jamal was placed in her home a year ago and has been exhibiting post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms such as poor sleep, having frequent nightmares, and being afraid that someone is going to hurt his aunt. Jamal states that he sits up late at night thinking about “the things that have happened” to him and where he came from. He reports anxiety and sadness at times as well.

Before coming to his aunt, Jamal was living with his father. His mother disappeared from his life when he was 3 years old and has not been heard from since. Jamal’s father regularly used methamphetamines and would often physically abuse him. Jamal’s aunt stated that Jamal would come visit her on weekends or holidays at times and one day his older cousin found bruises on him. Jamal’s cousin and aunt reported this to CPS and Jamal was placed in the care of his uncle. 

During the year Jamal lived with his uncle he would often sneak out of the house, hang out with teenagers, and smoke marijuana. Jamal’s uncle also physically abused him and would often leave Jamal alone or let him go out at any time without supervision. CPS eventually removed Jamal from that home as well and placed him in the care of his aunt.Jamal’s aunt Monica reports that Jamal is no longer hanging out with teenagers or smoking marijuana but that he is withdrawn. 

Jamal does not talk about what happened in either home and has trouble expressing his feelings. Jamal is doing well in school and has been diagnosed with ADHD and PTSD by the school diagnostician. Jamal also attends church with his aunt every other week and she reports their church is a source of social support for them. Monica reports Jamal’s biggest issues are his anxiety and lack of sleep resulting from thinking too much about the past and his inability to express his feelings.

After evaluating Jamal you determine that he is a good candidate for Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. You explain the process to Jamal and his aunt. You inform them you will meet for roughly 5-6 sessions and that each of these sessions will be 30 minutes with Jamal and 30 minutes with his aunt. During this time you will focus on psychoeducation, parenting skills, relaxation techniques, cognitive coping, and affect regulation. 

After that you will have 3-4 sessions working on a trauma narration to allow Jamal to process through the things in his past so that he doesn’t have to stay up all night thinking about them. You will then have 2-3 conjoint sessions with Jamal and his aunt to process the trauma narration and discuss enhancing safety and continuing the learned skills in the future.

In the initial stage of treatment you educate Jamal and his aunt on physical abuse and neglect, the statistics of this type of abuse, and ways in which these types of abuse may leave lingering issues. You educate Jamal’s aunt on parenting a child who has experienced trauma and work with both Jamal and his aunt on identifying and processing emotions, regulating anxiety, and creating a toolbox of coping skills. 

Throughout this process, Jamal identifies a few specific incidents where his father beat him that he often stays up at night thinking about. He also mentions several incidents of verbal abuse by his father and uncle as well as an incident where he was pressured into using drugs. Jamal struggles to vocalize the details of the event, but you notice that Jamal enjoys art, especially comic books. Jamal is intellectually on par with his peers and is able to give you a neutral narrative story about his school day that has a large amount of detail and recognition of his emotions throughout the day.

Group Discussion

Once the case study has been presented, the professor will open the floor for a group discussion on aspects of the case that need to be taken into consideration during the trauma narrative process such as background, cultural considerations, spiritual considerations, or trauma specific considerations. Questions that will be used to help push discussion deeper include:

  • What are the features of cultural or spiritual background that might be taken into consideration for the trauma narrative process with Jamal?
  • Based on the information presented, what inferences can you make about Jamal’s trauma history that may need to be addressed or worked through in the trauma narration?
  • How are Jamal’s presenting issues related to his trauma history?
  • What evidence can you find to support these ideas?
  • What conclusions can you draw on areas that may be problematic during the trauma narration process for Jamal?

Paired Trauma Narrative Proposal

After the group discussion, students will be paired up to create an approach to the trauma narrative for the case study client. They will be asked to identify key aspects of the trauma that should be processed, questions and techniques that could be used to engage the client in the process, and what approach they would take to creating a trauma narrative with the client.

Additionally, they will be asked what they would do in the case that the client begins exhibiting anxiety or trauma trigger reactions as well as what they would do if the client did not want to progress with the trauma narrative. Pairs will be asked to submit this proposal in a word document at the conclusion of the class.

Low Stakes Writing Assignment

At the end of the class, students will be asked to consider the trauma narration process they proposed. They will be assigned a low-stakes writing assignment and asked to post to the class discussion board a short 400 word justification of their proposed trauma narrative approach before the next class. The post will not be letter graded, merely given a participation grade. Questions to answer in this post would include:

  • Can you defend your position about your trauma narrative approach?
  • Now that you have had more time to think, are there any changes to your approach you would recommend?
  • Do you have any additional thoughts or ideas that have come to mind?

Higher Order Thinking Skills

Graduate level learning focuses on enhancing and cultivating thinking skills beyond the base level of gaining knowledge on topic areas. Bloom’s taxonomy identifies several levels of thinking skills, the highest of which involve the ability to analyze, evaluate, and create. Learner-centered teachers help empower students and enable them to actively engage the content through these higher levels of thinking (Svincki & McKeachie, 2014). For the proposed teaching demonstration, students will be asked to assess (analyze), defend (evaluate), and propose (create) through the presented case study.

The use of a case study in this lesson focuses on experiential problem-based learning. The presented case is a real world problem that many counseling students would encounter in their practices. The application of the case study in the trauma narrative stage does not have one set approach so students will be able to use a diverse range of approaches that reflect their personal styles, strengths, and histories. 

Additionally, the problem-solving approach shifts from instructor-led to student-led with the help of their partner peers (Svincki & McKeachie, 2014). All of these aspects lend themselves to allowing the students to reach the highest level of thinking through the creation of a unique approach to this aspect of the therapy.

Group discussion in this particular learning activity is used primarily to allow the students to think further in depth on the case study besides the base material that has been presented. By engaging each other in the discourse on this case they will gain insight from each other’s viewpoints and be able to evaluate and support their own thoughts on the case material presented (Svincki & McKeachie, 2014). This will also set them up to engage in deeper levels of thought when they move on to creating a trauma narrative approach.

In regards to the low-stakes writing assignment, Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner (2007) discuss the concept of reflection-on-action which occurs after some time has passed from an activity. This concept allows us to look back on decisions we have made and utilize analysis to determine if we made the best choices or if there were alternatives we could have utilized. Reflection-on-action allows the student to continually improve their practice. 

This again hits on a higher level of thought while allowing students to apply this higher level of thinking outside of the classroom environment. As Svincki & McKeachie (2014) state, the goal of low stakes writing is to increase how often student’s think about the content and increase how much of the content they understand.


The lesson is founded on two of the basic assumptions of Knowles andragogy. The first assumption is that as individuals mature they shift towards being more self-directed learners. The second assumption is that the biggest motivations for learning are internal rather than external (Knowles & Associates, 1984). 

The activities in this lesson are centered around the fact that the students will be self-directed learners, giving them ample opportunity to direct the dialogue of the discussion, determine their own course of treatment through the creation of a proposed trauma narrative, and allowing them to reflect on their own actions without the critique of an instructor. Additionally, the student’s own interest in the subject matter is the driving factor for their learning, though the instructor can help foster that motivation through engaging and active learning strategies.

This particular lesson also incorporates the theory of experiential learning. Jarvis’ (1987) model of experiential learning focuses on the fact that each student brings their own biographies into the learning atmosphere. This can be utilized to help each of the students integrate a variety of viewpoints and experiences into how they examine the content of the course. 

The group and paired work in this lesson incorporate this in hopes that student’s will be vulnerable enough to share their own biographical information that shapes their opinions and approaches to trauma focused treatment.


  • Brookfield, S. D. (2013). Powerful Techniques for Teaching Adults. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Cohen, J. A., & Mannarino, A. P. (2015). Trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy for traumatized children and families. Child and adolescent psychiatric clinics of North America, 24(3), 557–570. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chc.2015.02.005
  • Cohen, J.A., Mannarino, A.P., & Deblinger, E. (2012). Trauma-focused CBT for children and adolescents: Treatment applications. Guilford Press.
  • Deblinger, E., Mannarino, A. P., Cohen, J. A., Runyon, M. K., & Steer, R. A. (2011). Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy for children: impact of the trauma narrative and treatment length. Depression and anxiety, 28(1), 67–75. https://doi.org/10.1002/da.20744
  • Hayes, A. M., Yasinski, C., Grasso, D., Ready, C. B., Alpert, E., McCauley, T., Webb, C., & Deblinger, E. (2017). Constructive and Unproductive Processing of Traumatic Experiences in Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Youth. Behavior therapy, 48(2), 166–181. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beth.2016.06.004
  • Tarvis, P. (1987). Adult learning in the social context. London: Croom Helm. Knowles, M. S., & Associates. (1984). Andragogy in action: Applying modern principles of adult learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Lenz, A. S., & Hollenbaugh, K. M. (2015). Meta-analysis of trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy for treating PTSD and co-occurring depression among children and adolescents. Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation, 6, 18–32. doi:10.1177/2150137815573790