Notebook, 1993-

Return to - Notes for a Perspective on Art Education -- Child Development -- Human Development

Motor Development 0-18 Months -- Ainsworth's Phases of Attachment -- The Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale -- Drawing Sequence / Evolution of Spontaneous Abilities -- Erick Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Dilemma -- Selman's Role-Taking Levels -- Kohlbergs Stages of Moral Development -- Language Development -- Parten's Play Stages -- Piaget's Cognitive Stages -- Piaget's - Cognitive Operations -- Contrasting Characteristics of Prenatal and Postnatal Life -- Stages of Prenatal Development

Notes below from: Zigler, Edward F. and Matia Finn-Stevensen, Yale University. Children, Development and Social Issues, D.C. Heath and Company, Lexington, MA & Toronto, 1987. -- Cognitive Development -- Physical Development -- Social and Emotional Development

Social and Emotional
Development During
Middle Childhood

Ages 6 - 12 years

The Social World of the School-Age Child. It is in the context of family life that the child learns how she is expected to behave. Expanding horizons expose the child to new information and important, new adult models as well as increased contact with peers. Schools and peers become powerful agents of socialization. Having the family, school, and peers as socialization agents, the child often encounters conflicting messages about how he is expected to behave.

The School. Schools have norms of behavior that define the children's and teachers' roles.

Academic Curriculum. Includes all the tasks the child is expected to master.

Hidden Curriculum. The mechanisms that maintain order and control in the classroom (i.e., stationed at desks, raising of hands--which takes time to connect with having an answer to a specific question--no cutting in lines, line-up according to height, etc.). Learning the role of the pupil. Learning which things are important to which teacher--learning there are different approaches to things. Meeting peers and adults from different backgrounds.

Teacher and Pupil roles. These curricula define the teacher's role as an instructor, evaluator, and manager of the classroom, and they define the child's role as a pupil who is expected not only to learn what is presented to her but also to behave in an orderly and obedient manner, to respect authority, and to conform to rules.

The Influence of Teachers. Attitude important as the teacher assume a central role in child's life, determining to a large extent how the child feels about being in school and about herself. Children's experiences of success or failure are defined more by their interactions with their teachers than by the children's actual academic performance; as long as the children had a friendly and positively reinforcing teacher, they felt successful and good about themselves in school. Teachers who have a positive influence on their students are the teachers who rely heavily on praise and reasoning, and who create a warm and nurturant environment in the classroom. Teacher's influence on child's self-esteem. Each teacher has own personality--not one standard personality. There are different approaches within the system. The teacher's attitude toward children is particularly important as nurturer in lst two years of primary school. A warm, calm and supportive influence more effective than "I've got control." Tendency of teachers to equate behavior and intellect as same thing. Teacher's belief in the child's abilities essential. This is most important in how children will do and how the children will feel about themselves. Important for the teacher to be aware of certain students that one is easily drawn towards and certain students who are annoying but may be trying to help or just need some positive response. However, some kids just don't discriminate between positive and negative attention--it's attention.

Irrelevant influences on teacher's expectations tend to be names, races and genders.

Two weeks of a child's life is not a long time to wait something out or let the child work something out or work him- or herself into a class --this can be extremely important. "Let me know when you want to do something." It is a matter of seeking a way to get the child involved --not a question of control. And, it takes time for some kids to learn that they're playing their "own" game alone.

NOTE: Idea of devoting the first month of school year in getting to know the children in the class.

Teachers' Expectations. Belief that the children are capable. Children will begin to behave in ways that validate those expectations, setting into motion a self-fulfilling prophecy. Tone of voice, facial expression, and posture--words not essential in conveying an attitude.

A Society of Children. Age-mates. The gang. Own rituals, traditions, activities, social rules--songs, games that are handed down from one generation of children to another. Own vocabulary. Independence from adults. The older the child becomes the more difficult it becomes to obtain any information from her about her interactions with her friends. 'Out!" "Nothing." Preparing for eventual independence from family life--learning at the same time about other people's perspectives, opinions, and values and about herself and how others view her. They have started to see adult perspective, and they may be embarrassed to say they have been "playing" or imagining or dreaming of things.... These are general trends--there are different patterns in different environments.

Forming Groups. Common goals, aims, and rules of social conduct, include a hierarchical structure that identifies each member's relationship to the other members in the group, with one member usually designated as the leader.

Transitioning to adolescence. They are really looking at themselves--combing their hair, etc. They become interested in the opposite sex. Sports becomes a big thing. They latch onto very concrete things to be identified by--and to show they are "teenagers." They have multiple teachers as well as multiple subjects at school--Jr. High. Teacher models displaying a particular identification and interest in a subject. And this is a time of conforming--to really want to be like everyone else.

The awareness or another's perspective and other's values before accepting these as well as one's own as both being valid may inhibit one's self-confidence.

Close Friends. Intense friendships. A system of sticking up for eachother in times of need. Sharing of inner thoughts and feelings. Important criterion for friendship is the sharing of personal information--facts and feelings that are not known to other people. Failure to do so is viewed by children this age as a violation of the obligations inherent in friendship. Trust as a basic tenet of friendship.

Peer Acceptance. Status hierarchies are evident as leaders usually come to the fore, and they dominate much of what goes on within the groups. Leaders are usually the children who are outgoing and energetic, who are witty and sociable, or who have some specific skill--basketball or art.

Popular Children. Tend to be more outgoing, sociable, and friendly--more socially sensitive and accepting of others, and more likely to cooperate with others--and moderately achieving children.

Sociometry. In this technique, children within an organized setting (for example, a classroom) are typically asked to name the child or children who fit categories such as "best friend," "best liked by other children," or "least liked."

Sociogram. Drawn up on basis of sociometry--tabulating choices to determine which children are accepted by other children and which by few or no children.

Gender. Boys form relatively large groups. Girls are happy functioning in groups of about two--a tendency that persist in both sexes through adolescence.

Conformity. Another characteristic of children during the middle childhood years is their inclination to imitate one another and to conform to the behaviors of other children. 93% of children between 7 and 10 conformed to the judgment of the majority of their classmates rather than to that of their teacher in one study. Increasingly likely to yield to per pressure. "If everyone in my group is doing it, it must be right." Highly concerned with being accepted. And. A variety of different group standards are often set from various circumstances: "Being tough" a norm originated when the group leader accidentally hurt himself; "Consideration of others" might be the prevailing factor in another group, etc.

THE FAMILY: Changes in Parent-Child Interactions - Spend about half as much time in caretaking, reading, talking to, and playing with children ages 5-12 years as they do with children younger than 5 years of age. Different concerns that arise. New issues. Including children's responsibilities for several household chores and whether or not they should be paid for such chores. Parents exert an enormous influence on the emerging self-esteem of their children--guidance, support, allowing them to do things on their own and to think for themselves. And, a warm and nurturant relationship between the child and the parents is similarly important and helps the child achieve independence and social competence.

Realities of Work and Family Life may interfere with effective parenting.

Mental Overload. Can occur when the demands of the job and the family are contradictory and excessive, leading to psychological strain. They also found that often the spouses in two-provider families have difficulty meeting the expectations of and their obligations to family and friends. They have to attempt to integrate and schedule child rearing in such a way that it is in harmony with the demands and expectation of their work. Domestic tasks usually remain the principal responsibility of the wife who does most of the remembering for groceries and needs for new shoes and school supplies, etc.

The Effects on Children. Varies according to ages of children. Though children become more self-reliant and busy with school friends and activities, they still need the love, guidance, and support from their parents. Female professional roles provide models for girls. No mention is made about whether the mother is working full-or part-time. Satisfied mothers, whether they work or not seem to have happy and well-adjusted children. Sometimes the father is looked down upon by the son if it is perceived that the mother works to make up for father's failure to meet obligations.

Latchkey Children. Between 2 and 4 million children aged 6 to 13 years come home from school each day to an empty house. They are left to their own resources and suffer neglect at critical hours of the day. Many of them often feel isolated, lonely, and afraid.

School-Age Day Care. Fore- and after-school care programs. A logical place is the school.

Single-Parent Families. One out of every 5 children is living in a single-parent family (among blacks, it is l child out of every 2). Families exist in all social classes, among all racial and ethnic groups, and in age groups ranging from 15 to 50. About 90% are headed by women. Boys sometimes compete with the mother for the leadership role--often challenging her authority over them and their siblings.

Poverty. About 13.8 million children, representing 22.2% of Americans under age 18, are from poor families. Economic growth appears to have become less effective in reducing poverty. This means that the children and adults in these families often go without food, health care, and other basic necessities. Who? The poor child tends to come from a single-parent family, and she is likely to be Hispanic or black. Malnutrition, poor health, assaults on the child's emerging self-esteem. Less opportunity to develop skills and abilities. Believe that they have little control over their future. Often blame their poor performance in school on external factors. Parents feel they have no control over their situation--are unable to effectively rear their children. Helping Children Cope with Stress. Most children manage to survive these stresses. They find ways of compensating for the problems they experience and they seem to be happy in spite of their hardships. Psychologists do not yet understand the sources of invulnerable children's strengths. Usually a caring adult, whether this be a parent, other relative, teacher, or neighbor, can help offset the negative effects of stress, as can the children's ability to understand some of the problems that they and their parents are facing.


[Notes from: Zigler, Edward F. and Matia Finn-Stevensen, Yale University. Children, Development and Social Issues. Lexington, MA & Toronto:]



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