Early Childhood Journal

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  Your Journal has to be written entirely in your own words and reflect your thoughts. It must be at least 150 words (8-10 sentences). 

To prepare for this Journal, read the information below on Erik Erikson’s “Initiative vs. Guilt Stage” theory that applies to preschool children. Watch the two videos and relate the theory to the concept of Natural Play. 

Erik Erikson was a psychoanalyst born in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1902 and died in 1994. He is best known for his theory on psychological development and identity crisis. According to his theory, each individual’s psyche (spirit/mind/personality) is shaped through a series of conflicts called developmental crises. The first four stages pertain to early childhood. They are 1) infancy (birth to 18 months), 2) early childhood (ages 2-3), 3) preschool (ages 3-5), and 4) School Age (6-11). Erikson believed that parents and teachers should be aware of the stages and use appropriate strategies to help children resolve the crises of each stage so they can develop healthy identities. For more information about Erik Erikson and psychological development, click here: https://www.verywellmind.com/erik-erikson-biography-1902-1994-2795538This Journal assignment focuses on the preschool stage, which Erikson named the “Initiative vs. Guilt Stage” or the “Play Stage.”  The “crisis’ children must resolve at this stage is the need to develop a sense of independence from their parents and learn to assert themselves and test their abilities. At this stage, children should have opportunities to make choices and decisions. Otherwise, they can learn to associate self-directed behavior with punishment and feel guilty if they act on their choices if denied such opportunities.Respond to the following:

  • Why do teachers need to accept mistakes that result from children attempting activities on their own, and how do you handle a situation when a student damages something or makes a mistake that requires correction?
  • Why do children need the freedom to explore independently and learn through play?
  • In your own opinion, what are some of the benefits of “Natural Play”? How might Natural Play contribute to healthy social relationships and a child’s development?



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