Miseducation of Children in Miseducation David Elkind Essay

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Miseducation of Children

In Miseducation David Elkind (1987) warns that educational programs intended for school age children are being misappropriated for infants and young children causing irreparable damage. This phenomenon is a manifestation of the belief that only a "super kid" can grow up to compete successfully in the modern world. According to Elkind there is considerable evidence that early instruction in academic and athletic skills can do lasting harm that young children subjected to this kind of pressure are at psychological and physical risk. "When we instruct children in academic subjects, or in swimming, gymnastics, or ballet, at too early an age, we mis-educate them; we put them at risk for short-term stress and long-term personality damage for no useful purpose (Elkind, 1987).

The stages of human development concerns the different periods of life that an individual experiences. Psychologist Erik Erikson developed the theory of human development and identified eight stages that an individual experiences during the course of a life time. As each stage is resolved it establishes the person's personality and social behavior influencing the social and cognitive domains. From birth to one year an individual experiences the trust verses mistrust stage. This is a critical period for a child as the presences or absence of a parent or caretaker determines whether or not the child develops trust in his or her self as well as the world at large. Ages one to three are classified as early childhood. This period is known as the autonomy verses shame and doubt stage. It is during this stage of life that children develop new physical skills that enable them to have more choices. It is through these choices that a child develops personal will. Age three to six is middle childhood; this stage involves initiative verses guilt. During this period children are oriented to accomplishing goals through organized activities. Games…

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