(3.1) Personal and social development can have a major influence on both individual student learning and the learning environment as a whole. Identify a case from the CSEL guidelines that you would like to address in your paper. Then, examine the possible developmental factors that could be influencing your target student(s) or classroom in the case study. Consider all dimensions of personal and social development, including cognitive, language,social,emotional, and moral development.
You are particularly frustrated with a seventh grade group of students that appears to engage less and less with learning and more and more with one of your highly amusing leaders of the class. Cherie is really funny, but does not show good judgment in choosing appropriate times and ways to be funny. Yesterday she tripped Carmen as she passed her desk on the way to get a chair for a guest in our class. The day before, Cherie made rude noises throughout small group presentations. Today Cherie jumped up while Tommy was reading a poem about a battle, a poem that appeared engaging to the majority of the students; she started pretending she was shooting a gun at other students. Several joined in the pretend battle and disrupted the class to the point that Tommy could not finish reading the poem.
According to Erikson’s statges of psychologic developemnt, students at the adolescent age become curious about who they will be as an adult. This can be a confusing and awkward time period for middle school students. Many are struggling to find their sense of place, personalities, and where they fit in (Ormrod pg. 71). Students who are acting out in the classroom may be doing so in order to gain attention from myself and other students Cherie may have realized that her peers may have mixed feelings about her, and is therefore acting out in order to gain acceptance from them and make herself look better socially. Cherie may be struggling with discovering her sense of self. According to Ormrod, “adolescents tend to behave in ways that mirror their beliefs about themselves” (Ormrod pg. 68). These beliefs and feelings are largely self-constructed at the middle school age. In relation to Ormrod’s text, Cherie may have a negative self-perception and will be less likely to succeed academically, socially, and phsycially (Ormrod pg. 68). She may not see herself as a good student and therefore may pay less attention, cause problems, and avoid following directions. Also during the middle school age, students are beginning to think logically. Cherie clearly understands the behavior and the reactions she expects to receive from her peers based on that behavior.
(3.2) Check out tables 3.1 (p. 75), 3.2 (p. 83) and 3.3 (p. 91) with particular attention to the age ranges you are interested in teaching. Identify your personal favorite ways that an educator can promote a child’s sense of self, perspective taking, and moral reasoning skills.
One strategy that I liked from table 3.3 was "involve students in group projects that will benefit their school or community" (pg 91). I think this is important for many reasons. First, I want to emphasize group work in my classroom so that students have the opportunity to build knowledge off of their peers and also learn from a different perspective. School is also a place to promote and teach social skills to students at this age. It is important that students learn to socially interact with others, as it is an important life skill. They must be able to work and communicate with others throughout their academic careers, and also in their future careers. It would also be an opportunity for students to do something for the community and learn to give back to others. It would be a great way to create well-rounded students.
Another strategy that I would implement in my classroom would be to provide them with a supportive and optimistic community that focuses on their potential and success as stated in table 3.1 (pg. 75). The first day of class would be an opportunity for me to get to know each of my students individuality I would like to know what their goals are, what drives them, what are their strengths and weaknesses, etc. Based on what I learn from my students, I would try to include things that students like in my lessons, and be sure to praise students for their strengths. Helping them build up their weaknesses would also be a part of my role as a teacher in order to maximize student success. I want to be sure to be as positive and encouraging as I can, because those were the type of teachers at my middle school that truly impacted my life in a positive way.