Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development Applied to Teaching Technology
Erik Erikson believed that individual development takes place in a social context. He believed that development is a lifelong process. His theory contains eight stages of development that occur at different points in an individual’s life. At each stage, the individual has, what he coined as, a developmental crisis. Developmental crises are issues in the stage that must be dealt with in order to move on to the next stage. Each stage offers an outcome as to what will happen if the crisis is not resolved.
Incomplete development of one stage can effect later development. Erikson’s developmental model can be used to determine when it is appropriate for an individual to learn how to use computers. The model can also help determine what computer skills are appropriate for each stage.
Erikson’s first stage of development is trust versus mistrust. This stage occurs from birth until about one year. During the first year of life infants rely on others for their basic needs. Infants must learn to rely and trust their caregivers to provide for them. If the infant’s needs are met, then the he or she will develop a secure attachment to the caregivers and learn to trust his or her environment. If the infants do not pass this stage, then they will likely mistrust others and the things in their environment. The infant will either view the world as supportive or unsupportive. For successful completion of this stage, parents should aid in the developmental process by responding consistently to the needs of the infant. During this stage of development, teaching computers is not a possibility. Children in this stage have not yet reached the ability to use a computer.
Erikson’s second stage of development is autonomy versus shame and doubt. This stage occurs from age one to about age three. The child learns to talk, walk, and do things for him or herself. Self-control and self-confidence begin to develop. Successful passage through this stage results in independence and confidence when relating to others. If the child is not successful in this stage, he or she will doubt him or herself and feel a sense of shame about him or herself. Parents should encourage children to do things for themselves. Parents should allow children to feed themselves, dress themselves, and make choices on their own. They should also give them opportunities to display self-control through toilet training. Overprotective and disapproving parents may cause the child to feel ashamed of him or herself and will likely doubt his or her abilities. Parents must be tolerant of children’s mistakes in this stage of development and parents should reward the child when he or she is successful. It is possible in this stage of development to start teaching children how to use computers. During this stage, parents should introduce the child to the computer. Children in this stage need time to...