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Self -concept, Self-esteem and Identity Development

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1 Self -concept, Self-esteem and Identity Development
Self-concept development from infancy to adolescence Self-esteem: its development, social contributors and importance Identity development Role of teachers and parents in identity development.

2 Self Concept and Self Esteem
Who am I? Do you think newborns have a sense of self? Newborns have no sense of self (Freud & Piaget) Infants have a “psychological birth” (Margaret Mahler). Subjective and Objective Self Subjective self or the inner sense that, “I am” or “I exist”. Objective self or the set of properties or qualities that are objectively known or knowable about a person, (E.g. physical characteristics, temperament, skills etc.)

3 Self-concept refers to the “me” aspect, which is a collection of ideas or beliefs each of us have about our own qualities. It is one’s perception of one’s unique combination of attributes. It is the “I” that creates the self-concept. In answering the question, “Who am I?” it is “me” you are describing, and “I” who is doing the describing. Self-Concept Development Infancy - Develop a sense of personal agency (9-12 mth) - Self-recognition (15-18 mth) (Eg. interact with mirror, insists on doing things themselves, show behavioural changes, etc)

4 Early Childhood Definitions are very concrete, mention observable characteristics & things they can do. see themselves in global terms especially before age 7. Example: You are likely to hear something like this from a 3-5 year old when describing themselves: “I’m Tashi. See I got this new red T-shirt. I’m 4 years old. I can brush my teeth and wash my face on my own. I can build towers with these blocks.”  

5 Middle Childhood organize internal states and behaviours into dispositions that they can verbalize to others. a major developmental shift multiple concepts of the self come into play mention personality traits in both positive and negative aspects. (Eg. Truthful but not pretty, good flutest but only average in studies)

6 Adolescence there may be a re-evaluation of the self social pressures to display different selves in different relationships result in disparities. As adolescents’ social world expands, contradictory self-descriptions increase, and teenagers frequently agonize over “which is the real me.”

7 Identity Development “Who are you?“ said the caterpillar. “I – I hardly knew, Sir, just at present – at least I knew who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I‘ve changed several times since then.“ -Lewis Carrol, English Writer, 19th Century. Identity development involves—searching for answers to questions such as: Who am I? What am I all about? What am I going to do with my life? How can I make it my own?

8 Identity Statuses Elaborating on Erikson’s work, James Marcia and his colleagues have suggested four possible statuses for adolescent identity. Identity Achievement: Identity Diffusion: Identity Foreclosure: Identity Moratorium:

9 Self-esteem –what is it?
On a scale of “0 to 10”, (where “0” no self-esteem and “10” very high self-esteem), where would you rate yourself? Have we ever had Self-esteem? If we have had Self-esteem, what has happened to it now? Sometimes this is a really hard concept to grasp, as one of the problems with having a low self esteem is a lack of knowledge of who we really are, so we don‘t know how to be real. Remember, if you are real, you can‘t be ugly.

10 One self-esteem or many?
By 6 to 7 years, children develop at least three separate self-esteems—academic, physical, and social—that become more refined with age. For example: academic self-worth divides into performance in different school subjects social self-worth into peer and parental relationships physical self-worth into physical abilities and appeaances.

11 Educational Implications: Strategies in Dealing with Low Self-Esteem Students
When students have low self-esteem, what can schools and teachers do to improve their self-evaluations? Research on this question suggests that there are four keys to improving students’ self-esteem (Bednar, Wells, & Peterson, 1995; Harter, 1990, 1998, as cited in Santrock, 2001, p. 105). Identify the causes of low self-esteem and the areas of competence important to the self. Provide emotional support and social approval. Develop children’s coping skills.

12 Suggestions for teachers for encouraging Self-Esteem:
Value & accept all pupils, for their attempts as well as their accomplishments. Create a climate that is physically & psychologically safe for students. Make standards of evaluation clear; help students learn to evaluate their own accomplishments. Model appropriate methods of self-criticism, perseverance, & self-reward.

13 Accept a student even when you must reject a particular
behavior or outcome. Students should feel confident, for example, that failing a test or being reprimanded in class does not make them “bad” people. Remember that positive self-concept grows from success in operating in the world & from being valued by important people in the environment. Set up support groups or “study buddies” in school & teach students how to encourage each other. Help students set clear goals & objectives; brainstorm about resources they have for reaching their goals.

14 Reference Santrock, J.W. (2001). Educational Psychology. Boston: McGraw Hill Companies.

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