Let's say you've been given the following prompt:
"Developmentally appropriate practices: How do Developmentally Appropriate Practices help close the achievement Gap in the classroom?"
Here's what I would do to start researching on this topic
A lot of the time in education, we'll start to describe a concept with a phrase, and it'll get used so often in the literature that it'll become entrenched in the literature.
When I'm searching in an education database with an education specific concept like this, I like to see if there's a subject designated for the topic. The advantage here is that they automatically assign this subject to articles so that if you know the subject you can find all the articles using it even if the authors are using different words.
In these databases, you can find subjects at the top of the screen where it says Thesaurus or Subjects or Descriptors (Varies from database to database).
For Developmentally Appropriate Practices, both ERIC and Education source have terms that cover this.
From there, you can start to add additional pieces to your search to narrow down your results.
For example, with this class, age group is important, so I would be adding some search terms for early childhood or prekindergarten to the search. And either term will work, so I'm going to add both to another box in my search and separate them with 'or' so the database will find either. I can add any term that covers the age range I'm interested in.
You can even add a line to explore the other part of the question you've been given, the Achievement Gap.
There are a number of different ways you could include the achievement gap. This often refers to differences in achievement found in different minority groups, so you can include terms related to that to get the concept included. Such as achievement gap or racial differences or minorities or disadvantaged
Of course, you can make further adjustments to a search like this. You may discover additional terms as you keep reading more that would enhance your search, or a term you included might not be working the way you wanted.
In other databases, you might not find subject terms for your education concept and need to think of other ways to describe DAP.
But this is a good start!