The Self, Social, and Moral Development of Students

Education is affected by so much more than just what is going on in the classroom. Education is made up of friends, feelings, fears, family, physical changes, social develpment, moral development and psychosocial development. How can you, as a new teacher, incorporate all these changes into your classroom and contribute to the self, social and moral development of your students?  This page will give you the basics so you understand what your students are bringing with them when they enter your classroom.
 
Below you will find information on social development, physical develpment, psychosocial development, and moral development.
 
 
Social Development:
 
Urie Bronfenbrenner created a model that shows us what social influences affect our students learning.  This model is called the Bioecological System. Students bring so much into the classroom with them, and seeing the big picture really helped me put it in perspective.
 
When you click on the link, you will see all the factors that affect a students ability to learn:   http://geopolicraticus.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/ecological-systems-theory.jpg
 
Below is a link to a youtube clip that also helps to explain the Bioecological Sytem 
 
 
 
Physical Development:
 
Being in the medical profession, I have always thought that the body was an amazing piece of machinery.  If you think of everything that your body does in only one day to stay alive  it is jaw dropping! Since personally we have all been through school and the stages of physical development, we can not forget that our students are going through some major changes in their bodies. These changes also affect their social development as well as their psychosocial develpment, and must be taken into account when teaching a class. This is not to say that you can adapt to all the individual differences of the class, but lets not forget we all went through this.
 
Since  the physical changes vary from child to child and age to age, this page will not list all the changes. You, as a new teacher, need to be aware of the changes that your students are going through dependednt on the grade you are teaching.
 
For those of you who are teaching children under the age of 5, here is a link that will help you. http://www.sciencenetlinks.com/pdfs/growth1_actsheet.pdf
 
For those of you teaching children 7 to 11 years of age, this link was very in formative. http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/Physical-Development-Age-711.topicArticleId-26831,articleId-26781.html
 
For those of you who are teaching children 11 to 21 years of age, this link was very good.  http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/teaching/eecd/Curriculum/Planning/_34_Stages_of_adolescence1.pdf
 
 
 
  
Psychosocial Development:
 
If you have made it to this web page, then you have heard of Erik Erikson and the stages of Psychosocial Development. Accoording to Erikson, there are eight stages, and they start at birth and continue on until late adulthood.
 
The eight stages are:
  1. Basic trust vs mistrust
  2. Autonomy vs shame/soubt
  3. Initiative vs guilt
  4. Industry vs inferiority
  5. Identity vs role confusion
  6. Intimacy vs isolation
  7. Generativity vs stagnation
  8. Ego integrity vs despair
          
Click on the link and it will take you to a chart with the stages and their descriptions. http://web.cortland.edu/andersmd/erik/sum.html
 
This youtube link was very informative and helped with understanding of the eight stages.
 
 
Moral Develpment:
 
Not only are our students going through, physical, social and emotional changes, they are also learning right from wrong. This is moral development. Lawrence Kohlberg developed a theory on moral develpment, which consisted of 6 stages in three different levels.
 
Level 1. Preconventional Morality
  • Stage 1 - Obedience and Punishment
  • Stage 2 - Individualism and Exchange
Level 2. Conventional Morality
  • Stage 3 - Interpersonal Relationships
  • Stage 4 - Maintaining Social Order
Level 3. Postconventional Morality
  • Stage 5 - Social Contract and Individual Rights
  • Stage 6 - Universal Principles
 
For an explanation of  the levels and stages, please click on the link: http://psychology.about.com/od/developmentalpsychology/a/kohlberg.htm
 
Click on this youtube link for a condensed explanation of Kohlberg's theory.
 
 
 
 
Additional Infomation:
 
 
 
The attached paper below was written by one of the site authors on Moral Reasoning and Education. Please take time to read it as it has some very helpful information in it.
 
Ages and stages of development: http://ohioline.osu.edu/4h-fact/0015.html

                                                Young Children (grades K-3)

Physical development

  • In a period of slow physical growth
  • Learning to master physical skills
  • Lack muscular coordination skills

Emotional development

  • Are egocentric/self-centered (4-H should provide experiences which require sharing/cooperation to help children move beyond self-centeredness).
  • Need and seek approval from adults (By the end of this stage begin to compare themselves with others like to play games, but can't accept losing).
  • Intellectual development
  • More interested in doing things than in the end product (Need practice focusing on one thing at a time to move to the next stage).
  • Thinking is concrete (Learn through senses by touching, seeing, smelling, tasting, and hearing rather than by thinking alone, verbal instruction should be accompanied by demonstration).

Social development

  • Learning to be friends with others.
  • Younger kids enjoy playing together, but by the end of the stage, boys and girls will separate.
  • Fighting occurs but does not have lasting effects.

                                                    School Age Children (grades 4-8)

Physical development

  • Very active and enjoy things which involve movement, cannot sit still for long periods of time.
  • Beginning of adolescence is marked by a growth spurt which occurs across a wide range of ages, with females maturing before males. (Rapid physical changes are often a source of embarrassment for young teens.)

Emotional development

  • Have a weak sense of individual identity (Need to feel accepted and worthwhile, successes should be emphasized and failures kept in perspective as learning opportunities).
  • By the end of the period, begin to demonstrate Kohlberg's post-conventional moral thinking.
  • During puberty, changes in hormones and changes in thinking contribute to mood swings.
  • Begin to test value, (Justice and equality become regarded as important issues).
  • Feel the need to be part of something important.

Intellectual development

  • Until around age 10 or 11, think concretely in absolutes (black/white, right/wrong), but are beginning to think logically (new ideas are best understood if related to previous experiences),
  • Around age 10 or 11 begin to demonstrate formal operational thinking and think abstractly, but still tend to think in all-or-nothing terms.
  • Will intensely explore subjects of interest.
  • Often reject solutions offered by adults in favor of finding their own solutions.

Social development

  • Joining clubs and groups becomes very important around age 9-10, (will form clubs with a group of others similar to themselves).
  • Have difficulty understanding others' thinking, but understand the benefit of making others happy.
  • Satisfaction in completing projects comes more from pleasing adults in their lives than from the value of the activity itself.
  • By the end of this period:
    1. ready to start being responsible for actions;
    2. move away from dependence on parents toward eventual independence;
    3. dependence on opinions of adults shifts to dependence on opinions of peers enjoy doing activities away from home.
                                            High School Age Youth

Physical development

  • Physical changes are accepted by most teens, and most awkwardness is past, although some boys are still growing quickly.
  • Most females reach maximum height by age 14, most males by age 16, males gain muscle, females gain fat. Both sexes are still developing bone mass.

Emotional development

  • Searching for independence and identity, usually achieved around age 16.
  • Seeking emotional autonomy from parents.
  • Younger teens have difficulty with compromise.
  • Unsettled emotions are common.
  • Take pride in responsibility and respect of others.

Intellectual development

  • Continue to gain cognitive and study skills, can adapt language to different contexts.
  • Mastering abstract thinking.
  • Exploring and preparing for future careers and roles.
  • Set goals based on feelings of personal needs and priorities, likely to reject goals set by others.

Social development

  • Generally self-centered, but capable of empathy.
  • Relationship skills are well developed.
  • Dating increases and moves from group dates to double dates to couple only dating and intimacy.
  • Acceptance by opposite sex is of high importance.
  • Want to belong to groups, but be recognized as unique individuals within the groups.
  • Employment and education fill the need for social relationships which were earlier filled by club and group activities
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Jessie Delany,
May 28, 2011, 10:36 AM
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