Erikson’s Life Span Development Theories

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The theory of psychosocial development developed by Erik Erikson is one of the best-known theories of personality. Erikson believed that personality develops in a series of stages and described the impact of social experience across the lifespan. Similar to Sigmund Freud, but unlike Piaget, Erikson believed that personality develops in a series of stages that are predetermined. Unlike Freud’s theory of psychosexual stages, Erikson’s theory, that of a psychosocial behavior, describes the impact of social experience across the entire lifespan. At each stage of development, Erikson described conflicts that act as turning points in life. This paper will discuss what Erikson’s theories is sheltered instruction, and how they apply to English Language Learners. The eight stages of development that Erikson suggests are important in teaching an English language learner for success. Without success, the student can develop mistrust, an inferior complex, role confusion, and feel isolated. In this paper, you will learn how these traits develop and how important they are to a student trying to learn a new language. Erikson’s Developmental theories:

Erikson is most famous for his work in refining and expanding Freud's theory of stages. Development, he says, functions by the epigenetic principle. This principle says that we develop through a predetermined unfolding of our personalities in eight stages. Determined by our progress, each stage is considered by our success, or lack of success, in all the previous stages. Each stage involves certain developmental tasks that are psychosocial in nature. Although he follows Freudian tradition by calling them crises, they are more drawn out and less specific than that term implies (www.webspace.ship.edu). The eight stages are as follows. The first stage, infancy or the oral-sensory stage is approximately the first year or year and a half of life. The task is to develop trust without completely eliminating the capacity for mistrust. If mom and dad can give the newborn a degree of familiarity, consistency, and continuity, then the child will develop the feeling that the world -- especially the social world -- is a safe place to be, that people are reliable and loving. Through the parents' responses, the child also learns to trust his or her own body and the biological urges that go with it. If the parents are unreliable and inadequate, if they reject the infant or harm it, if other interests cause both parents to turn away from the infants needs to satisfy their own instead, then the infant will develop mistrust. He or she will be apprehensive and suspicious around people. The second stage is the anal-muscular stage of early childhood, from about eighteen months to three or four years old. The task is to achieve a degree of autonomy while minimizing shame and doubt. If mom and dad permit the child, now a toddler, to explore and manipulate his or her environment, the child will develop a sense of independence. The parents should not discourage the child, but neither should they push. A balance is required. On the other hand, it is rather easy for the child to develop instead a sense of shame and doubt. If the parents come down hard on any attempt to explore and be independent, the child will soon give up with the assumption that cannot and should not act on their own. Stage three is the genital-locomotor stage or play age. From three to six years of age, the task confronting every child is to learn initiative without too much guilt. Initiative means a positive response to the world's challenges, taking on responsibilities, learning new skills, feeling purposeful. Parents can encourage initiative by encouraging children to try out their ideas. However, if children can imagine the future, if they can plan, then they can be responsible as well, and guilty. If a two-year-old flushes a watch down the toilet, one can safely assume that there were no "evil intentions." It was...
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