Children begin elementary school around the age of five years old. Erik Erikson has developed a theory broken down into several different stages representing different stages of a persons life, and one of his stages is directly associated with the age of children who enter the school scene for the first time. This stage is commonly referred to as Industry Vs. Inferiority. Research has proven that this stage in children’s lives is a critical stage that will determine how they look at themselves and others for many years to come.
Erikson’s fourth stage of personality development, Industry Vs. Inferiority, can be defined as the stage in which a child determines their self worth and skills. ...view middle of the document...
Another example, class activities, is a very important way to allow students to strengthen their self worth. If students continue to not produce the grades they, and their families want, they will feel like they are incapable of succeeding at anything they do. A moving quote by Einstein states, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid,” (A Quote by Albert Einstein). This level of Erikson’s theory is molded around this concept. Students have the ability to succeed, but depending on their encounters in school, their potential may never be revealed.
Another example of how a classroom can strengthen or inhibit a students self worth is through their interests. This also applies to student’s relationships with their peers, but as Jones, Burks, and Jones (1936) state, there is value in students who share the same interests. They observed that students who enjoyed the same things seems to communicate more frequently to each other, and this increased there self worth (Jones et al., 1936).
Finally, research from Jones, Burks, and Jones (1936) observed that students who had similar personalities spent more time together during recess and other free times during the school day. Based on their observations, the students wanted to spend time together because they felt wanted and enjoyed each other’s company (Jones et al., 1936). This relates back to the students self worth and their potential to be successful students in the future.
Erikson identifies this stage of development into two extreme levels. The goal is for students to find themselves as valuable members of society, but through unfortunate instances, many children do not think they will ever amount to anything. This is the most dangerous part of this stage, as Erikson discusses, students may find themselves as inadequate or have a sense of inferiority (Erikson, 1980, p. 91). He also determined that this could be due to students not finding a solution to the pervious problem, meaning, they still want to be with their mom more than they want to learn (Erikson, 1980, p. 91). Overcoming every stage of Erikson’s Psychosocial Development is very important for students to begin to learn and feel successful.