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Chapter Eight: Middle Childhood

Section 13: Conclusion


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The education process should emulate as far as possible the social aspirations of the society at large. While the teacher must provide structure, especially for the younger children, students should be given the opportunity to determine the direction of their education to the extent they can do so responsibly. This approach will increase the student's commitment to the learning process. No matter what the subject matter at hand, such democratic methods will concurrently teach the skills required for the participation in a democracy.



Middle childhood is a pivotal time in education. The child can now think systematically and can coordinate perspectives. However, the abstract reasoning abilities required for participation in the society at large are not yet developed. Social competence is then best developed in small group interactions.


Exposure to different political forms, conflict resolving skills, and competition all promote the development of system competencies. Communication skills and conflict resolving methods are refined with increasing pressure of cooperative and competitive demands made by peers. Competition, when used appropriately, can contribute to a positive identity and increase one's confidence. Peer interaction generally forces one to justify one's intellectual and moral beliefs, and this process fosters the integration and refinement of cognitive systems. Cross-cultural competencies can be deepened by continuing and elaborating on the cultural exposures begun in early childhood. Finally, an incipient sense of purpose can be nurtured by exposing the child to the heroes and myths through such media as television, comics, fairy tales, and probably many others.







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Transcultural Friendship: Our Political Future


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Education in Early Childhood

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