The Sequence and Rate of Moral Development from Birth to 19 Years and How Teaching Assistants Can Affect This

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One of the key responsibilities of a Teaching Assistant or TA is to support and guide children while they are going through the different stages of their development.

One of the areas of development, in which a Teaching Assistant can positively affect a child, is in their moral development. This is closely linked to their social, emotional and behavioral development. Regardless of which age group you are working with, you will see changes in children’s self-awareness and in how they relate to others.

If you are working with very young children between the ages of birth and three years old you will observe children becoming gradually aware of their own identities, grow in their confidence at exploring independently and start to play with their peers. Towards the end of this stage, they start to become aware of the needs of others, but will still worry about their own needs first. At this stage they can be frustrated and will quickly display their temper if their needs are not met or they are not able to express themselves. They may want to start doing things for themselves, and will be frustrated and upset if they find their fine or gross motor skills are not quite up to the task they are attempting.

You can support them by:

Giving them chances to develop their independence and later on, encouraging them to think about the needs of their peers, listening to them and encouraging them to communicate, helping them to explore what is considered right and wrong with regards to their behaviour (not in the very early parts of this stage), being aware of their stage of development, at all times being a good role model.

If you are working with young children between the ages of three and seven, you will notice that their sense of identity becomes stronger and their social skills and confidence is growing. They will still be governed by their emotions some of the time, but will begin to appreciate the boundaries that are set for them. Their independent...
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