Reflection: Kids Are Different Today

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What was your favorite childhood toy? When my mother and I were asked that question, our responses were considerably different. My mother stated that her favorite childhood toy was her softball glove and softball, while I said that mine was my Nintendo Gameboy, circa 1989. If you were to ask a child today what their favorite childhood toy is, I would venture to guess that their answer would be quite different from those two already mentioned. Today, technology is not the only element that has affected change on children in today’s world. The article, “Kids Really Are Different These Days,” discusses how “Upper elementary children today, while retaining many of the characteristics ascribed to them generations ago by theorists such as Piaget, Erikson, and Kohlberg, are different” (Coyl, 2009, p.404). Diana D. Coyle discusses how physical development, media and technology, self-understanding, and emotional competence impact students and make them different from previous generations; even differentiating by just a few years. According to Coyl (2009), “Culture, personal experiences, and relationships affect children’s development as children’s development affects their personal relationships and experiences. Increasingly, peers play a role in shaping social and emotional development, as well as children’s academic and physical self-concepts, though adults continue to serve as important sources of information, support, and positive role models” (p. 404). This information correlates with Erik Erikson’s theory of psychological development. By reflecting on Coyl’s article, and analyzing the different theories of development; I am able to apply this information to my future classroom and gain an understanding of students by supporting intellectual, social, and physical development and enhance future opportunities to plan effectively for a positive learning environment. Erikson’s theory explains occurring changes in self-understanding and social relationships through his...
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