Self, social, and moral development

In this reading I learned that early maturation may not be beneficial for girls going into their teen years but for boys it often is. This is something I had not thought of as being an issue because maturing is natural and helps people make good choices whether it be boys or girls. This reading, however, has taught me that boys profit from early-maturation because it makes them more popular and they enjoy the social aspect of school more.  Early-maturing boys also profit from the stereotype ideal male body that they may have before others their age. Another thing I learned is that recess plays a key role in child development. The free time to play that children get during recess actually stimulates their brains’ in ways that will help them in the classroom. Playing helps children learn important social skills and adapt to new situations. Being active outside at recess also helps decline childhood obesity in a healthy and fun way. Chapter 3 also taught me about Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development. Erickson believed that people go through eight life stages each having a crisis that needs to be resolved. He focuses on the relationship between society and the individual. The proper resolution of each crisis is what leads to personal and social competence.

One connection I made with this reading is with the concept of a theory of mind. By having a lot of experiences with young children whether it be through babysitting, coaching dance or volunteering at youth activities I have seen the development of a theory of mind in children. As future educators I feel this is an important concept to understand so that we can relate to what our students are feeling and help them come to understand that they need to take others thoughts and feelings in to consideration.

The second connection I made is with the influence of moral behaviour. Working with kids through my teenage years has taught me to notice the different behaviours children have and to be able to relate them back to their home lives. As educators it is important to understand the influences that student’s have so that we can help them overcome the bad one’s with new and productive behaviours.

One question I still have after reading this chapter is what is the best way for us, as teachers, to help a student whose home life is not ideal without upsetting the student or overstepping the boundaries and risking upsetting their parents?

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