Sunday, February 22, 2009

Erikson's Contributions to Early Childhood Education

Erikson's influence is seen in preschool through the initiative stage (three). It is the exertion of independence that identifies this stage. The goal of ECE is to help children find their independence apart from parents. They begin to discover themselves and assert their new found abilities. The challenge of this stage is to maintain a zest for activity and at the same time understand that not every impulse can be acted on. Teachers and parents must tread a fine line, providing supervision without interference. Much of this discovery is made through role playing. The children need to pretend to be others in order to find their own independence and identity. The following are suggestions for encouraging initiative in the preschool child.

1. Encourage children to make and to act on choices, such as allowing free choice time when the children can select an activity or game.

2. Encourage make-believe with a wide variety of roles by having costumes and props available in the classroom. Monitor the children's play to be sure no one monopolizes the role of teacher, Mommy, Daddy or other heroes.

3. Be tolerant of accidents and mistakes, especially when children are attempting to do something on their own.

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  1. I really did not know that teachers used this theory like they did. I really found it interesting how he believed to be tolerant of a child's mistakes. I don't think many people are. I would apply these ideas in my classroom, expecially when talking about making mistakes, because that is the only way we can learn and that is by making mistakes and growing from them. Great Job! =)-Caitlyn Treusch

  2. Good blog. It's hard to let children make mistakes. I think we forget how much we learn through our own mistakes. Erikson reminds us that it is okay to let them play, explore and learn from their mistakes.
    Good Job
    -Kelly Geerdes

  3. I agree that teacher and parents should supervise the children, but without interfering in what they do. Also that we need to be tolerant of any mistakes students do. We have to see to effort they put in everything they do.

    Nubia Nelson

  4. I really enjoyed reading aboout your theorist Erikson. His beliefs and theories are right on, I too firmly believe that a child should be allowed to express his/her self through play. It is important to instill in all kids that self-expression is crucial not only to establish his/her own identity but to gain independence as well..Good info Norma

  5. Erikson's theory is a basis for discussion and analysis of personality and behavior and also for understanding and facilitating personal development of self and other. I will be very careful in not judging students when they make a mistake. Unfortunately kids and adults learn from mistakes. Very interesting... Esperanza

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