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Chapter Eight: Middle Childhood

Section 1:  Basic Principles


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Mexican Dance by Los Lupenos at the San Jose America Festival, July 4, 1998.


Middle childhood roughly spans the ages six through eleven. In the U.S, children of these ages attend primary and elementary schools. Most children spend the largest fraction of this time in what Piaget calls the stage of concrete operations. This means that the child's thought is much more systematized than in the prior stage; furthermore, the child has attained significantly greater mastery of logical, mathematical, physical and social concepts. Children are more able to assume and coordinate a variety of perspectives -- aiding communication and cooperation. Psychoanalytic theory asserts that the child has resolved one's attachment to the family and is ready to meet the greater world. The child is challenged to discover one's place among peers in this Industry v. Inferiority stage of Erik Erikson's eight ages of man (Childhood and Society).



As at any level of development, there are great differences among individuals. A teacher is always challenged to avoid boring the advanced and losing the stragglers. A sound knowledge of developmental psychology coupled with a clinical sensitivity to each child is of great advantage in this regard.







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Transcultural Friendship: Our Political Future


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