Self Image Overview

pkp_ms_sb_ten_little_monkey.jpgA child expresses self-image in all behavior. Disturbances or limits in a child’s self-concept are a fabric with normal function and often are difficult to differentiate. Because of this interweaving, a teacher should make the support of a child’s self-concept part of all activities and conversation.The growth and self-concept is one of many processes of physical and psychological development which follows sequences well documented in child development studies. During the growth process, these sequences produce natural, striking changes which may introduce an entirely new array of behaviors and skills in a relatively short time. Constructive change occurs when non-constructive, maladaptive behavior is disrupted, not permitted to continue, and when developmentally appropriate behavior is substituted. Utilize change and new behavior: recognize it and build on it.The normal process of change is uniquely individual, yet predictable, and occurs in relation to environmental conditions, biological constituents, and the foundation laid in prior experience. Connect your planning for each child to (a) maturation—the general sequence of normal development; and (b) the individual patterns of development, strengths, and weaknesses.

The young child’s knowledge of themselves, their confidence in themselves and the willingness to risk themselves in new situations grows out of significant pleasurable experiences. The classroom must provide a way for the child to succeed and the teacher must be able to mirror this success for the child to see. If experiences are frightening, confusing, complicated, meaningless, or failure-producing, the child may tend to avoid another attempt. If classroom experiences are pleasurable, the child will learn. The young child learns and grows by experience. What they do is more significant that what they hear. Meaning comes through activity. Teaching children implies as essentially participatory emphasis. The classroom experiences must connect the child to a world beyond family interactions. Because we feel self-image is an integral part of the on-going daily activities rather than a separate curriculum unit, we have included here a few lesson plans and an extensive cross reference index. These projects and the ones listed in the index are good get-acquainted activities and bear repeating during the year.