Week 3: The Self, Social, and Moral Development

  1. Potential of playing

First thing I learned this week is that playing and physical exercise play a significant role in children’s learning.

I thought that play and physical movement offer few benefits: helping children release their stress while growing an ability to self-regulate, and keeping them healthy. I didn’t realize that when I was in elementary school, I was learning not only in the classroom by listening to what the teacher says, but also by playing with peers. However, as “play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being of children and youth” (Woolfolk, Winne & Perry, 2016, pg. 66), those play time was contributing to my cognitive and social development, while aiding motor skills. Now that I understand the fact that play and physical exercise allow children to be creative and express themselves, as well as enhance in physical, emotional, and cognitive strength that cannot be gained during seated class time, I hope that I can incorporate more physical movement time in my future classroom.

 

  1. Various parenting styles and how it affects children

Second thing I learned is various parenting styles and how it affects children. As discussed during the lecture, there are various different parenting styles, although I remember 4 main styles: Authoritarian, Authoritative, Permissive and Rejecting/Neglecting. Due to spelling, I often got confused with the meanings between authoritarian and authoritative, though now I am able to distinguish them – Authoritarian features controlling parenting style where children often do not have agency; not abusive but not openly affectionate, while authoritative parenting style provides clear limitations/expectations and clearly enforced rules but also affectionate. Different parenting styles would lead children to have different personalities/temperaments. For example, children of authoritative parents tend to be confident, high self-esteem, and have a sense of empathy, while children of authoritarian parents are more likely to be depressed, and shy.  Also, depending on the culture, parenting style may appear in different ways.

 

  1. Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial development

Last thing I would like to mention is Erikson. He proposed a theory of psychosocial development that describes tasks to be accomplished at different stages of life. 8 stages are introduced according to the age. Among those stages, it was quite surprising to me to learn the stage of 6: Intimacy versus isolation (Woolfolk, Winne & Perry, 2016, pg. 83). According to Erikson, the important event of this stage is ‘love relationships’ because “the young adult must develop intimate relationships or suffer feelings of isolation”. However, I think that it would be varied by many factors, such as culture. Depending on the cultures, I have seen cases of people having intimate relationships much earlier than Erikson suggested, whereas some people have not built relationships much later than young adulthood. However, that does not necessarily mean that those people are suffering from feelings of isolation.

 

Connection

Speaking of the importance of play time, I believe that I didn’t have recess as much – or longer – as it is in don’t recall any recess time during my school years. It is possible that some schools in Korea did offer recess, or it has been changed since I graduated so that every school has once in a day now. However, as far as I remember, we did not have a concept of ‘recess’ – we just had 10 minutes of break time between the classes, lunch time, and PE class, and those are the only time when we get to be ‘free’ from the desk and chair. Hence, I did not know what ‘recess’ was until I took ECS 100, which had a practicum that allowed me to experience Grade ½ classroom once a week. Now that I understand how important it is to ensure physical activity for children, I wish I had recess when I was younger, and also hope that the next generation in Korea gets enough opportunity to physically move.

Another connection I made is in regards to peer relationship and peer cultures. When I was younger, I used to hang out with a group of girls all the time. We lived in the same neighbourhood, went to the same elementary school and middle school. We literally spent almost every single moment of our childhood together. As we entered the middle school, we had to wear school uniform, and at some point, all of us started to wear similar shoes and bags, and cut bang hair. Then somehow, these things became a ‘norm’ to us. Now that I look back, I think that the idea of peer cultures is quite common, especially among the adolescents.

 

Question to Think:

How can we more incorporate/ensure ‘playing’ time at school?

Is Erikson’s Eight stages of psychosocial development universal? Or is it overgeneralization?


Reference

Woolfolk, Winne & Perry. (2016). Chapter 3: Self and Social and Moral Development. In Educational Psychology. (6th Ed.). (pp. 66 & 83). Toronto, ON: Pearson.

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