Emotional Development Steph Pollock
Overview • Brainstorm!! What do you already know about Emotional Development? • What is emotional development? • Who are the theorists? • What are the implications for us as teachers?
What is emotional development? • At birth an infant’s limbic system is only partially mature, it takes about two years before the synapses show maximum density and connectivity. • Cortical connections that allow greater control only begin to appear around 6-8 months, systems for expressing feeling emerge some time after that. • Regular social interaction is critical. • Contributes to both adult health and academic achievement/school success.
What is emotional development? • The first five years of a child’s life are vital for creating a positive environment and social relationships • Attachment is an important aspect of emotional development as it is the primary source of a child’s security, self-esteem, self-control and social skills. • Temperament are unique personality traits from birth; tends to be more biologically based and influenced over time by genes, environment and experience. This can also be greatly influenced by serotonin and dopamine.
Early theories of emotion • Darwin. Darwin believed that body movements and facial expressions (body language, or nonverbal communication) are used by members of a species to communicate meaning. He suggested that although emotional expressions are initially learned behaviour, they eventually evolve to become innate in a species because they have survival value. Recognition by one animal that a second animal is afraid rather than angry, for example, allows appropriate survival actions to be undertaken. • The James-Lange theory. Two theorists, William James in 1884 and Carl Lange in 1885, independently proposed that emotions do not immediately follow the perception of an event but rather occur after the body has responded to the event. Their ideas were combined into the James-Lange theory of emotion. According to the theory, the perception of an environmental stimulus (such as a growling dog) causes bodily changes (such as rapid heart beat and fast breathing). The brain perceives those changes in behaviour and identifies them as the emotion. http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/Early-Theories-of-Emotion.topicArticleId-25438,articleId-25365.html
Who are the theorists? • Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial development. • Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development.
What are the implications for teachers? • Limbic System does not operate in isolation, independent studies have evidenced a link between cognition and emotion. • A child’s behaviour is not fixed as a constant through life. Some children may require guidance and assistance in coping with their emotions and temperament. • Well regulated emotions often support higher-order thinking, while poorly controlled emotions interfere with attention and decision making! • The most consistent finding indicate the importance of the environment on developing positive emotional regulation.
Reference List • Brain Builders; You Tube Clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQTfmnYB7I0 • Growing an emotional brain; You Tube Clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzn9OuBqKYs • Ahola, D. & Kovacik, A., (2007), Observing and Understanding Child Development, Delmar, Cengage Learning, USA. • CliffsNotes.com. Early Theories of Emotion. 20 Sep 2012<http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/topicArticleId-25438,articleId-25365.html>. • Krause, K., Bochner, S. & Duchesne, S., (2003), Educational Psychology for learning and teaching, Cengage Learning, Victoria. • Nagel, M. (2012). In the beginning, Acer Press, Victoria. • Woolfolk, A. & Margetts, K., (2010), Educational Psychology, 2nd Ed, Pearson Australia, NSW.