The Medgar Evers College standard under knowledge requires teacher candidates to possess a comprehensive understanding of the Liberal Arts and Sciences and Education foundations content, concepts and modes of inquiry and make connections among disciplines.Since I plan to pursue my Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Special Education, my concentration will be Psychology.
The evidence I have chosen for this standard is an essay assignment given in my Child Development (Psychology 209) course. This particular assignment required all students to choose a specific children’s book and argue whether or not the book was age appropriate by making connections between the message of the book and theories of child development made by developmental psychologists. My choice was Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes, because it is highly relatable to the social, moral, and overall emotional development of children as they enter a new environment and face new challenges.
I used the theories of four developmental psychologists, Bronfenbrenner, Cook, Kohblerg, and Vygotsky, in order to prove the book to be age appropriate, as well as beneficial to the development of children. For example, Bronfenbrenner ecological systems theory entails that there are four types of nested environmental systems, which have bi-directional influences within and between the systems that interact with one another in a child’s development. The Microsystem is the immediate environments, such as daycare, home, and school. Home and school would also fall under the Mesosystem, for it is a system comprising connection between two immediate environments. The Exosystem, such as the parent’s workplace, are environmental settings that indirectly affect development. Lastly, the Macrosystem is the larger cultural context (ex. Eastern Culture vs. Western Culture and subculture) that affects a child’s development.
This assignment has taught me that there are numerous factors that play a part in child development, as well as different forms of activities that enhance the psychological growth of all children. For example, books have been shown to have both intellectual and emotional merits in the lives of young children. I would say that my knowledge of the numerous developmental theories, results in research, and the overall aspects within the social, emotional, physiological, and intellectual development of children has increased. Moreover, I look forward to learning and incorporating new information and ideas into my teaching, for I have gained a better understanding and attraction to the way Psychology interplays with Education. I believe that in order to effectively teach, influence, and guide our students, we must have some knowledge of the systematic psychological changes that are occurring within each child.