The Developmental Stages of Children—Erikson’s Model of Emotional, Intellectual, Physiological and Social Domains

Length: 5 Pages 1237 Words

Rather than purely focusing on a child’s sexual or neurological stages of development, like Freud and Piaget, Erik Erikson attempted to present a more holistic model for analyzing childhood development (“Piaget’s Stages of Social-Emotional Development In Children and Teenagers,”1998, Child Development Institute). Erkison’s approach is uniquely helpful for educators today. Erikson “describes the physical, emotional and psychological stages of development and relates specific issues, or developmental work or tasks, to each stage” (Patient Teaching, Loose Leaf Library: Springhouse Corporation, 1990). Ultimately childhood education is about setting tasks—setting tasks for the student to complete to facilitate understanding, and setting tasks for the teacher to become a quality educator. Erikson called the full range of his stages “eight stages of man” (or human being), taking his cue from Shakespeare’s famous “All the world’s a stage” speech, which reflects the many roles and conflicts human beings engage in over the course of their individual lives. Erikson’s literary bent shows that his theories were formulated, not through experimental work like Piaget, but through his wide - ranging experience in ps Continue...


"These stages are conceived in an almost architectural sense: satisfactory learning and resolution of each crisis is necessary if the child is to manage the next and subsequent ones satisfactorily, just as the foundation of a house is essential to the first floor, which in turn must be structurally sound to support and the second story, and so on ("Stages of Social-Emotional Development In Children and Teenagers,1998, Child Development Institute). When the child has finally entered preschool or kindergarten, the child will have entered the "Learning Initiative Versus Guilt stage, which Erikson calls "the play age, when healthily developing child learn "to imagine, to broaden his skills through active play of all sorts, including fantasy ("Stages of Social-Emotional Development In Children and Teenagers,1998, Child Development Institute). Children may not be as fully self - possessed, controlled and independent as adults, but this stage lays the foundation for these developments. For instance, if a toddler is not allowed to learn by doing, the toddler develops a sense of doubt in his or her abilities, which may complicate later attempts at independence. However, the mistrusting child will doubt the future. The first stage is called: "Learning Basic Trust Versus Basic Mistrust (Hope) and chronologically, this is the period of infancy through the first one or two years of life. The Industry Versus Inferiority (Competence), the fourth psychosocial crisis, begins during the formative, or middle school years, up to junior high school and the cusp of adolescence. Crafts, acting or simply asking a child to imagine what is happening to characters in a book are all ways to reinforce the positive aspects and learning needed to successfully move through this stage of development. The child learns to master the more formal skills of life, hence the stress upon industry. Many children may resort to negative methods of asserting themselves, such as tantrums hence the phrase the 'terrible twos' (Patient Teaching, Loose Leaf Library: Springhouse Corporation, 1990). During this phase, the child who successfully experiences and endures this stage of crisis will gain a sense of autonomy, self-esteem and assuredness. Like Freud, Erikson viewed each stage of development as a crisis, but not a purely psychological or personal crisis confined to the family environment or pertaining to sexuality (Wagner, 2007). A child may progress to the next developmental stage, but insufficient resolution means that the next phase will likely be problematic as well (Harder, 2002).