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Alberta  Education 

Student  Programs  and  Evaluation  Division 
Curriculum  Support  Branch 












i i 













Erickson  Selman  Kohlberg 

if  Trust 

i i 






( i 

* Differential  or 
^ Taking 

Level  l 


f Self-reflective 
or  Reciprocal 
a Taking 



Third  Person 
or  Mutual 

Level  II 


Indepth  or 

Level  III 







APR  2 71988 



Alberta  Education 
March,  1988 

Curriculum  Support  Branch 
5th  Floor,  Devonian  Bldg. 
11160  Jasper  Avenue 
Edmonton,  Alberta 
T5K  0L2 

ISBN  0-7732-0062-2 

Copyright  1987.  The  Crown  in  Right  of  Alberta,  Minister  of  Education.  All  rights  reserved.  Additional  copies  may  be  obtained 
from  the  Learning  Resources  Distributing  Centre  at  a nominal  cost.  Permission  is  hereby  granted  to  Educational  Institutions 
to  reproduce  this  document  solely  for  use  within  the  Institution. 


This  work  has  gone  forward  under  the  project  management  of  Sandra  Falconer  Pace. 

The  first  draft  was  researched  and  written  by  Donna  Patterson.  Patient  typing  and 
retyping  was  provided  by  Mrs.  Jackie  Rienprecht,  Mrs.  Lise  Wilcox  and  Mrs.  Eileen 

Numerous  Alberta  staff  have  supported,  commented  on  and  encouraged  this  work.  Many 
school  jurisdiction  personnel  took  time  to  review  drafts  and  comment  extensively. 

Alberta  Education  acknowledges  with  thanks  the  Committee  which  has  examined  this 

Mrs.  Diana  Almberg 
Dr.  David  Beatty 
Mr.  Terry  Cooke 
Dr.  Bill  Dever 
Dr.  Glen  Giduk 
Mrs.  Janice  Leonard 
Mr.  Murray  Lind  man 
Mr.  E.W  Smith 
Ms.  Sylvia  Laarhuis 

Alberta  Federation  of  Home  & School  Associations 

Universities  Coordinating  Council 

Northern  Alberta  Institute  of  Technology 

Conference  of  Alberta  School  Superintendents 

Alberta  Teachers’  Association 

Conference  of  Alberta  School  Superintendents 

Alberta  Vocational  Centre 

Alberta  Chamber  of  Commerce 

Alberta  School  Trustees  Association 


Alberta.  Curriculum  Support  Branch. 

Students*  interactions  : developmental  framework  : social  sphere. 

ISBN  0-7732-0062-2 

1.  Child  development.  2.  Social  perception. 

3.  Moral  development.  4.  Emotions  in  children. 

I.  Title. 

BF732.S6  1988  302.22 






Affective  Development 

The  Infant  and  Toddler  (0-2) 5 

The  Young  Child  and  Student  6 

The  Adolescent  (about  12-15)  6 

The  School  as  Context  7 

Focus  on  an  Issue:  Students  and  Stress  9 


Interpersonal  Development 

The  Infant  and  Young  Child  11 

The  Student  12 

The  School  as  Context  14 

Focus  on  an  Issue:  The  Influence  of  Peers  15 


Moral  Development 

The  Young  Child  and  Student  19 

The  Adolescent  and  Adult  21 

The  Classroom  as  Context  21 

Focus  on  an  Issue:  Stereotyping  24 



1.  Modelling  27 

2.  Mediated  Learning 27 

3.  Didactic  Instruction 28 

4.  Experiential  Learning  28 




Dupont  (1979)  Frames  of  Reference  for  Processing  Emotions  31 

Further  Elaboration  of  Selman’s  Stages  32 


Alberta  Education  Documents  Cited  39 




’’The  aim  of  education  is  to  develop  the  knowledge,  the  skills 
and  the  positive  attitudes  of  individuals,  so  that  they  will  be 
self-confident,  capable  and  committed  to  setting  goals, 
making  informed  choices  and  acting  in  ways  that  will 
improve  their  own  lives  and  the  life  of  their  community.” 

(Secondary  Education  in  Alberta , June  1985,  p.7) 

How  children  and  youths  think,  feel  and  grow  affects  how  they  learn  best.  During  the 
past  few  years,  knowledge  about  students'  learning  has  increased  significantly.  This 
knowledge  is  very  important  to  the  development  of  curricula  and  teaching  methods 
aimed  at  helping  students  realize  their  potential.  The  challenge  is  to  use  these  new 
insights  well. 

For  some  time,  Alberta  Education  has  been  incorporating  what  is  known  about  students' 
intellectual,  social/emotional  and  physical  growth  into  the  curriculum.  Many  people 
have  contributed  ideas,  examples,  and  research.  Through  the  careful  consideration 
given  by  professionals  and  parents,  this  work  has  evolved  into  the  Alberta  Education 
Developmental  Framework.  This  framework  will  be  presented  in  a series  of  documents: 

1.  Students'  Thinking:  Cognitive  Domain 

2.  Students'  Interactions:  Social  Sphere 

3.  Students'  Physical  Growth:  Physical  Dimension 

4.  The  Emerging  Student:  Interrelationships  among  Domains 

This  second  paper  addresses  growth  in  the  social  area,  and  describes  the  department's 
position  on  curriculum  and  the  social  sphere.  This  represents  a significant  initiative  on 
the  part  of  Alberta  Education:  to  enable  school  curricula  to  be  developed  to  meet  and 
support  student  development  in  affective,  interpersonal  and  moral  domains.  The 
department  intends  to  incorporate  this  work  into  curricula  as  they  are  developed.  At 
the  school  level,  teachers  and  principals  play  a significant  role  in  assisting  students' 
social  development. 

It  is  intended  that  the  department  will  publish  the  third  and  fourth  papers  in  the 
Developmental  Framework  as  soon  as  possible.  The  Developmental  Framework 
delineates  the  developmental  stages  and  processes  through  which  students  progress.  It 
includes  the  kinds  of  support  students  need  in  order  to  learn  more  effectively  at 
different  stages  of  growth.  The  Framework  will  be  used  to  help  organize  curriculum 
content  so  that  it  anticipates  the  changing  needs  and  abilities  of  students. 



Schools  focus  on  students’  cognitive 
growth  and  acquisition  of  knowledge.  It 
is  right,  perhaps,  that  this  should  be  the 
case.  But  what  is  ’’the  school”  except  a 
collection  of  individuals  — some,  adults; 
some,  children  or  adolescents  --  who 
interact  in  pursuing  the  goals  of 
cognitive  growth  and  knowledge 
acquisition?  If  anything,  we  are  all 
social  beings,  forever  interacting  with 
the  world  around  us.  We  interact  with 
things  directly,  but,  more  frequently,  we 
interact  with  people. 

This  monograph  focuses  on  the  student 
as  a social  being.  It  looks  first  at  the 
student’s  affective  or  emotional  growth. 
Second,  the  monograph  explores 
interpersonal  or  social  growth.  Finally, 
moral  development  is  examined.  These 
three  domains  make  up  the  social 
sphere.  While  there  are  vast  amounts  of 
research  in  each  of  the  domains  in  this 
sphere,  only  a small  portion  of  it  can  be 
examined  here.  Rather,  this  is  then  a 
selective  review  that  seeks  to  draw 
together  the  main  principles  of 
development  in  the  social  sphere.  In  an 
attempt  to  discuss  these  domains  in  a 
concise  and  understandable  way,  the 
research  base  of  this  work  will  not  be 
cited  directly.  A bibliography  is, 
however,  included  for  those  who  wish  to 
read  in  more  detail. 

The  renewed  commitment  to  the  nature 
and  needs  of  the  learner  made  by 
Alberta  Education  arises  from  the  policy 
statement,  Secondary  Education  in 
Alberta  (1985),  which  states: 

The  development  and  implementation  of 
the  instructional  program  must  take  into 
account  the  following  considerations: 

• the  nature  and  needs  of  the  learner 

• the  nature  and  needs  of  a changing 

• the  nature  of  knowledge  in  each 
subject  area 

• the  learning  environment 

The  Goals  of  Secondary  Education  also 
directly  state  the  importance  of 
affective,  interpersonal  and  moral  goals 
when  they  indicate  that  students  should: 

• learn  about  themselves  and  develop 
positive,  realistic  self-images; 

• develop  constructive  relationships 
with  others  based  on  respect,  trust, 
cooperation,  consideration  and  caring 
as  one  aspect  of  moral  and  ethical 

Similarly,  the  Goals  of  Education  refer 
to  affective,  interpersonal  and  moral 
development,  and  the  Purpose  of  the 
Elementary  School  states  explicitly  the 
importance  of  providing  opportunities 
for  students  to  acquire  the  requisite 
social  skills  and  develop  certain 
desirable  attitudes  and  commitments 
toward  themselves,  their  peers  and  the 
world  as  they  know  it. 

The  policy  on  Education  Program 
Continuity  carefully  considers  how 
children  learn  best  in  the  early  years. 
Principles  of  child  development  stated  in 
Philosophy,  Goals  and  Program 
Dimensions  highlight  the  social  sphere 
by  recognizing  the  significance  of  the 
self-concept  and  of  the  role  of  parents 
in  children's  growth. 

This  monograph  will  consider  each  of  the 
three  domains  of  social  development.  In 
each  section,  we  will  examine: 

1.  What  the  domain  covers. 

2.  What  is  known  about  students' 
development  in  that  domain,  and 

3.  A social  issue  that  is  tied  to  that 

Finally,  there  is  a section  on  the  ways  in 
which  the  school,  or  rather  the  people  in 
the  school,  can  foster  students' 



The  affective  domain  is  one  of  emotions: 
it  concerns  how  we  feel.  Our  reactions  - 
positive  or  negative  - to  events,  objects, 
people  or  situations  involve  affective 
behaviours.  Our  reactions  have 
emotional  overtones. 

When  we  meet  others,  we  may  not 
notice  their  hair  or  the  colour  of  their 
eyes,  but  we  know  instinctively  whether 
we  are  drawn  to  them  or  not.  Have  you 
ever  been  repelled  by  someone  on  first 
meeting,  when  you  really  wanted  to  like 
him  or  her?  The  experience  happens 
without  effort  on  your  part,  and  is  not 
really  focused.  You  can  (and  hopefully 
do)  control  the  outward  expression  of 
your  emotion,  but  the  emotion  itself  is 
not  so  easily  controlled.  Such 

- are  immediate,  almost  instantaneous 

- are  often  automatic 

- are  affected  by  the  surrounding 

- are  generally  holistic 

- persist,  even  when  invalidated 

- are  highly  personal,  and 

- are  based  upon  previous  experiences 
and  associations. 

Anything  a person  does  - any  behaviour, 
that  is  - reflects  the  interaction  of  all 
domains:  cognitive,  affective,  inter- 

personal, moral  and  physical.  There  are 
particular  difficulties  if  we  separate 
these  domains  in  an  effort  to  study  the 
affective  domain  alone. 

Hence,  information  about  the  affective 
domain  is  less  abundant  and  clear  than 
we  might  wish.  There  has  been  a recent 
renewal  of  interest  and  research  in  this 
area.  Ironically  though,  the  longest 
discussions  are  about  fear,  anger  and 
aggression.  More  attention  is  given  to 
sorrow,  gloom  and  sadness  than  to 
laughter  and  humour.  And  who  studies 


Eric  Erickson's  Stages  of  Psychosocial  Development 

* Although  Erickson  describes  two  extreme  resolutions  to  each  crisis,  he  recognizes  that  there  is  a wide  range  of 
solutions  between  these  extremes  and  that  most  people  probably  arrive  at  some  middle  course. 

Approximate  Age 


Birth  to  1 year 

Trust  vs.  Mistrust 

Babies  learn  either  to  trust  or  mistrust  that  others  will  care  for  their  basic  needs,  in- 
cluding nourishment,  sucking,  warmth,  cleanliness,  and  physical  contact. 

1-3  years 

Autonomy  vs.  Shame  and  Doubt 

Children  learn  to  be  self-sufficient  in  many  activities,  including  toileting,  feeding, 
walking  and  talking,  or  to  doubt  their  own  abilities. 

3-6  years 

Initiative  vs.  Guilt 

Children  want  to  undertake  many  adultlike  activities,  sometimes  overstepping  the  limits 
set  by  parents  and  feeling  guilty. 


Industry  vs.  Inferiority 

Children  are  busy  learning  to  be  competent  and  productive,  or  feel  inferior  and  unable 
todoanything  well. 


Identity  vs.  Role  Confusion 

Adolescents  try  to  figure  out  "Who  am  1?".  They  establish  sexual,  ethnic,  and  career 
identities  or  are  confused  about  what  future  roles  to  play. 


Intimacy  vs.  Isolation 

Young  adults  seek  companionship  and  love  with  another  person  or  become  isolated 
from  other  people. 

Generativity  vs.  Stagnation 

Adults  are  productive,  performing  meaningful  work  and  raising  a family,  or  become 
stagnant  and  inactive. 

Integrity  vs.  Despair 

People  try  to  make  sense  out  of  their  lives,  either  seeing  life  as  a meaningful  whole  or 
despairing  at  goals  never  reached  and  questions  never  answered. 

Reprinted  with  permission  of  Worth  Publishers,  Inc. 

From  The  Developing  Person  by  Kathleen  Stassen  Berger,  1 980. 

A basis  for  the  study  of  affective 
development  has  been  the  work  of  Eric 
Erikson  (see  chart).  His  Stages  of 
Psychological  Development  were  a use- 
ful guide  in  a stable  society.  For 
example,  Erikson  felt  that  infants 
learned  basic  trust  from  their  parents  in 
the  first  one-and-a-half  years  of  life.  If 
their  needs  were  not  met  then,  the 
babies  would  tend  to  be  mistrustful  in 
new  situations  throughout  life. 

Today,  however,  students  grow  up  in  a 
dynamic,  complex  and  pluralistic  so- 
ciety. Trust/mistrust  may  be  an  issue  to 
which  individuals  must  return  at  several 
points  in  their  lives,  perhaps  when 
encountering  very  different  situations 
from  those  to  which  they  are 
accustomed.  Young  people  encounter  a 
wide  variety  of  experiences  today. 
Their  parents  may  not  have  had  the 
same  experiences.  It  may  be  confusing 
to  children  to  try  to  reconcile  their  own 


experiences  with  those  of  previous 
generations.  The  demands  of  change  are 
constant  and  challenging,  often  resulting 
in  tension,  frustration  and  uncertainty. 
Such  a climate  is  not  necessarily  the 
most  conducive  to  healthy  emotional 

We  know  from  survey  data  that  children 
are  affected  by  changing  times. 
Responding  to  the  Canada  Health 
Attitudes  and  Behaviors  Survey,  more 
than  31  percent  of  Alberta’s  Grade  4 
students  said  they  cannot  sleep  at  night 
because  they  worry  about  things.  (The 
national  average  was  27.5  percent.) 
Adolescents,  too,  may  experience 
tension  and  pressure  from  high  parental 
expectations  and  from  economic  and 
political  uncertainty.  Some  adolescents 
get  too  little  guidance,  and  this,  also, 
can  engender  tension  and  pressure. 

So,  while  we  can  use  Erikson’s 
contribution  to  aid  our  understanding  of 
emotional  growth,  our  framework  must 
also  reflect  the  more  interactive  nature 
of  affective  development. 


The  Infant  and  Toddler  (0-2) 

Babies  are  not  born  as  blank  slates,  on 
which  we  can  write  our  expectations  and 
our  hopes.  When  they  come  into  the 
world,  babies  already  have  many 
different  potentialities.  There  are 
individual  differences  among  children 
right  at  birth.  For  example,  they  may 
be  bold  or  shy,  or  somewhere  in  between 
the  two.  From  birth,  a baby  may  have  a 
high  activity  level  or  may  be 
characteristically  quiet. 

Even  more  important,  though,  babies  are 
born  capable  of  responding  to  other 
people  as  well  as  to  their  own  inner 
needs  (such  as  hunger).  Babies  love  to 
look  at  human  faces  and  can  imitate 

facial  expressions  as  early  as  two  weeks. 
Very  early  on,  they  are  able  to  get 
reactions  from  other  people,  most  often 
their  parents. 

New  babies  (neonates)  are  sensitive  to 
both  positive  and  negative  feelings  in 
the  people  who  take  care  of  them. 
Babies  react  to  caregivers’  fears  and 
anxieties.  A three- month-old  baby  can 
distinguish  between  surprise  and 
happiness,  and  by  seven  months  a baby 
can  tell  whether  an  adult  is  happy  or 
afraid.  By  nine  months,  infants  show  all 
the  basic  human  emotional  expressions: 
interest,  pleasure,  joy,  surprise,  sadness, 
anger,  disgust,  contempt  and  fear.  Some 
of  the  more  complex  social  emotions, 
such  as  love,  also  begin  to  appear  in  the 
relationship  between  parent  and  child. 
These  more  complex  emotions  are 
combinations  and  refinements  of  basic 
emotions.  We  infer  their  presence  from 
the  way  babies  behave  with  other 
people.  Basically,  infants’  and  children's 
emotional  development  proceeds  from 
the  simple  to  the  more  complex. 

In  the  first  two  months  of  life,  babies 
learn  to  calm  themselves  and  to  take  an 
interest  in  their  bright,  new  world.  This 
is  accomplished  with  the  help  of  their 
parents,  and  babies  learn  to  fall  in  love 
with  a person  (usually,  but  not 
necessarily,  or  only,  the  mother).  This 
interaction  and  then  dialogue  between 
baby  and  parent  forms  a secure  base  for 
the  infant.  That  firm  attachment  is  a 
critical  first  step  in  affective  develop- 
ment. Bonding  and  interaction  with  a 
parent  satisfies  the  baby's  need  for 
familiarity  and  predictability.  From  this 
base,  the  child  can  explore  new 
sensations  and  new  things.  The  parents' 
responsiveness  to  their  baby's  temper- 
ament develops  into  an  interaction,  a 
dialogue.  This  interaction,  this  balance, 
allows  parents  to  guide,  support  and 
encourage  their  child's  emotional  growth 
over  the  years. 


The  Young  Child  and  Student 

Whereas  infants  and  toddlers  (about  0-2) 
centre  upon  their  own  sensations  and 
reactions,  children  in  the  preschool  and 
primary  years  are  largely  influenced  by 
the  adults  they  know  - their  parents, 
grandparents,  babysitters  and  teachers. 
Younger  children  have  a less  differ- 
entiated frame  of  reference  than  do 
school  age  children.  They  may  not,  for 
example,  be  able  to  distinguish  sadness 
and  regret. 

Around  the  age  of  two,  children  begin  to 
learn  language.  Language  is  a way  of 
representing  (re-presenting)  other 
things.  As  children  learn  language,  they 
can  tell  us  what  they  are  feeling.  They 
can  label  feelings  and  talk  about  them. 

This  ability  of  children  to  label  certainly 
makes  it  easier  for  adults  to  understand 
their  reactions.  However,  it  is 
important  to  recognize  that  talking 
about  an  emotion  is  not  the  same  thing 
as  the  emotion  itself.  Telling  a child 
that  he  or  she  doesn’t  feel  mad,  for 
example,  won’t  make  the  anger  go  away. 
It  is  better  to  acknowledge  the  emotion 
(’’You’re  mad,  aren’t  you?”)  and  then 
provide  an  acceptable  outlet  for  the 
child  to  deal  with  the  feeling  (’’Here,  you 
can  stomp  in  the  kitchen  rather  than  by 
the  stereo.”). 

In  the  pre-school  years,  children’s 
gestures,  language  and  pretend  play  all 
show  their  growing  ability  to  understand 
and  differentiate  a range  of  emotions. 
As  they  become  more  aware  of  feelings, 
they  become  more  expressive,  empathic 
and  imaginative.  They  can  draw 
inferences  more  and  more  about  their 
own  and  others’  feelings. 

Children's  affective  responses  are 
increasingly  coloured  by  social  expec- 
tations. They  learn  that  while  some 
emotions  can  be  expressed  in  public, 
others  should  be  reserved  for  private 
times.  Thus,  the  link  between  the 
experience  of  the  emotion  (feeling  it) 

and  the  expression  of  the  emotion  can 
become  less  direct. 

Through  the  elementary  years,  children 
spend  a lot  of  their  time  playing  with 
their  friends.  As  children  play  with  each 
other,  they  observe  how  their  peers  deal 
with  emotions  in  a variety  of  circum- 
stances. While  adults  are  still  a major 
influence  in  these  years,  peers  increas- 
ingly become  a source  of  learning  also. 

The  Adolescent  (about  12-15) 

Early  adolescence  is  often  characterized 
as  ’’Sturm  und  Drang”  (storm  and  stress). 
This  impression  may  have  come  about  as 
a result  of  research  that  focused  on 
students  who  had  numerous  difficulties. 
Teachers  may  form  this  impression  from 
seeing  their  students  go  through  many 
interpersonal,  emotional  and  physical 
changes.  In  truth,  however,  most 
adolescents  manage  a fairly  smooth 
transition  from  being  a child  to  being  an 

Also,  what  can  be  seen  as  problematic 
may  simply  be  the  adolescent's  lack  of 
sophistication  in  implementing  new 
behaviours.  While  the  adolescent 
develops  new  expectations,  he  or  she  has 
not  yet  practised  and  become 
accomplished  in  communicating  them. 

Adolescents  are  able  to  cope  by 
managing  one  problem  at  a time:  now 

exams;  now  permission  to  stay  out  late, 
now  achieving  membership  in  the 
current  desirable  peer  group.  They  must 
deal  with  a number  of  issues,  but  these 
issues  come  into  focus  at  different 
times.  Also,  the  issues  are  not  so 
interdependent  that  the  solution  of  one 
of  them  requires  prior  solution  of  others. 
A smooth  conclusion  to  the  resolution 
of  each  issue  contributes  to  greater 
and  more  rapidly  achieved  maturity.  If 
there  are  multiple  problems  which  must 
be  dealt  with  simultaneously,  or  which 
are  chronic,  then  real  stress  and 
breakdown  become  more  likely. 


Varying  Focus  on  Issues 

Each  curve  represents  a different  issue  or 
relationship,  coming  into  focus  at  different  times. 

(adapted  from  Coleman,  1980) 

Emotions  may  be  volatile  in  early 
adolescence,  as  students  undergo  the 
numerous  physical  and  social  changes 
accompanying  puberty.  As  they  progress 
through  adolescence,  students  can 
develop  the  ability  to  reflect  upon  and 
analyze  their  emotions.  They  become 
more  involved  with  ideals,  values  and 
life  plans.  In  times  of  economic  un- 
certainty, they  may  express  a realistic 
fear  and  anxiety  about  their  futures. 
Because  emotional  control  based  on 
reflection  is  not  perfected  at  this  age, 
early  adolescents  can  be  surprising  in 
the  inconsistency  of  their  emotional 
responses.  At  one  moment  they  can  act 
in  an  adult  manner,  and  the  next  revert 
to  relatively  childish  behaviours.  In  a 
sense,  they  are  still  practising  to  be 
adults.  The  adult  behaviours  are  not  yet 
automatic  or  polished. 


The  school  is  a social  institution.  As 
such,  every  school  has  a characteristic 
ethos  or  atmosphere  about  it,  which 
could  be  called  its  culture.  Some 
schools  seem  strict,  some  easygoing. 
Other  schools  seem  orderly  and 

businesslike,  while  still  others  have  a 
feeling  of  warmth,  caring  and  high 
expectation.  Successful  schools  promote 
good  behaviour  and  good  achievement  by 

What  are  the  characteristics  of 
successful  schools?  Successful  schools 
believe  in  their  students.  They  expect 
their  students  to  do  well  and  they  set 
high  standards.  Expectations  are  high, 
firm  and  fair.  These  schools  have  a 
pleasant  and  comfortable  environment. 
For  example,  students  are  free  to  use 
the  building  during  breaks  and  lunches, 
can  use  a telephone  and  have  available 
to  them  hot  or  cold  drinks.  Students  are 
best  able  to  take  some  risks  - to  extend 
their  learning  - in  an  atmosphere  of 
support  and  caring. 

Teachers  model  behaviour  for  students. 
Where  teachers  are  polite  and  respectful 
of  students’  dignity,  students  will 
respond  positively.  Students  can  develop 
positive  attitudes  through  observation  of 
teachers  as  models.  Teachers  also 
model  the  importance  of  school  work  by 
beginning  lessons  promptly,  and  by  being 
efficient  in  classroom  procedures. 
Positive  modelling  by  teachers  includes 
willingness  to  talk  to  students  whenever 
there  is  a need. 

In  successful  schools,  teachers  praise 
students  and  students  are  involved  in  the 
school.  Students  have  responsibilities  to 
discharge:  they  participate  in  student 

government  and  take  care  of  their  own 
school  materials.  Students  are  rewarded 
for  their  academic  achievements,  as 
well  as  for  athletic,  artistic  and 
community  achievements.  Elementary 
schools  develop  students’  feelings  of 
pride  and  competency  in  many  small  but 
significant  ways,  such  as  displaying 
artwork  in  school  hallways  at  the 
children's  height.  At  any  level,  pictures 
of  students  involved  in  positive 
behaviours  can  be  influential. 

The  development  of  the  affective 
domain  can  be  carried  through  curricular 
means  as  well  as  through  the  social 


relations  within  the  school.  Curricula 
frequently  include  affective  objectives. 
These  often  begin  with  the  word 
"appreciate".  Sometimes  it  is  difficult 
to  visualize  what  specific  behaviours 
would  show  that  the  students  have 
attained  the  objective.  In  this  regard, 
standard  taxonomies  of  educational 
objectives  can  be  useful  guides  for 
clarifying  what  students  are  meant  to  do 
or  to  feel. 

The  Junior  High  Health  and  Personal 
Life  Skills  course  (1986  edition)  provides 
some  excellent  examples  of  clear 
objectives  focussed  on  specific  affective 
learnings.  One  example  from  Grade  8 is 
in  Theme  I:  Self-Awareness  and 

Acceptance,  Sub-theme  B:  Feelings: 


1.  Recognizing  the  concepts  of 
feelings  and  their  management. 


The  Student 

1.  Understands  that  variations  in 
moods  are  natural. 

2.  Recognizes  that  there  may  be 
many  ways  of  managing  feelings 
in  self  and  others. 

3.  Identifies  favorable  and  un- 
favorable effects  of  emotions. 

Teaching  a given  content  will  not 
automatically  achieve  a given  affective 
goal.  For  example,  teaching  Shake- 
spearean plays  has  not  uniformly  pro- 
duced generations  of  lovers  of 
Shakespearean  drama.  While  children 
can  repeat  the  knowledge  objective  that 
milk  is  beneficial,  they  still  may  not  like 

On  a more  specific  level,  we  can 
acknowledge  that  students  have 
emotions  as  an  integral  part  of  their 
being  by: 

- accepting  emotions  as  they  occur  in 
day-to-day  classroom  life 

setting  aside  time  for  talking, 
preferably  when  emotions  are  not 

encouraging  students  to  express  their 
opinions  and  feelings 
encouraging  questions  and  answering 
them  fully 

listening  actively  (listening  to  really 
understand  what  the  other  person  is 
saying  and  demonstrating  this  by 
repeating  the  gist  of  their  words 
back  to  them).  Practising  and 
teaching  this  skill 

giving  emotions  a place  in  the 
curriculum.  Encouraging  students  to 
recognize  their  own  and  other 
individuals’  emotional  responses 
examining  emotional  responses  from 
different  frames  of  reference 
modelling  appropriate  emotional 
responses  to  stressful  situations, 
talking  to  students  about  your 
reactions  at  the  time,  or  soon  after 
guiding  students’  reflections  on  their 
own  and  others’  responses 



Today,  we  more  often  see  students  under 
stress  from  a variety  of  sources.  It  is 
important  to  understand  the  nature  of 
stress  and  its  effects  on  students 
because  overly  stressed  students  do  not 
learn  at  optimal  levels.  Until  stress  is 
reduced  or  students  learn  to  manage 
stress  more  effectively,  our  goals  for 
students  will  be  more  difficult  to  reach. 

Stress  occurs  when  there  is  pressure  or 
force  on  a person,  be  it  a physical, 
mental  or  emotional  pressure.  Initially, 
a person  uses  up  ’’clock  energy”  to  deal 
with  stress.  This  is  our  daily  energy, 
replenished  through  adequate  care,  food 
and  rest.  Early  symptoms  of  stress  show 
up  here  in  tiredness,  loss  of  appetite  and 
lowered  efficiency.  A student  may  be 
anxious  or  easily  angered. 

If  a person  is  stressed  beyond  the  limits 
of  daily  energy  to  cope,  he  or  she  draws 
on  "calendar  energy”.  Calendar  energy 
is  the  energy  used  for  growth  and 
development  in  its  broadest  sense.  So, 
long  term  or  chronic  stress  can  affect 
growth  and  development.  Psychoso- 
matic illness  may  result. 

Stress  can  be  caused  by  positive  as  well 
as  negative  events.  We  all  need  some 
stress  in  our  lives  to  challenge  us. 
However,  too  much  stress  for  an 
individual  has  negative  effects.  There 
are  a number  of  life  events  which  are 
potentially  stressful  for  students. 
Taking  a test  is  stressful;  so  is  facing  a 
death  in  the  family. 

Two  factors  in  particular  determine 
whether  a student  can  cope  construc- 
tively. The  first  factor  is  simply  the 
number  of  stresses  the  student  must 
face.  The  more  stresses,  the  more 
difficult  it  is  to  cope.  Stresses  have  an 
interactive  effect;  that  is,  two  stressors 
are  four  times  as  hard  to  deal  with  as 
one  stressor  would  be  by  itself. 

A second  factor  is  the  student’s 
understanding  of  the  event.  This  means 
that  the  student's  previous  experiences, 
coping  skills  and  cognitive  level  must  be 
taken  into  account.  For  example,  a 
major  event  in  students’  lives  is  the  very 
first  day  of  school.  It  is  helpful  to  first 
grade  students  if  parents  talk  through 
the  whole  experience  with  their  children 
ahead  of  time.  It  may  take  several 
talks.  The  school  can  be  described,  as 
can  the  procedures  and  routines.  It  can 
be  helpful  if  parents  have  talked  with 
the  teacher  and  can  describe  things 
first-hand.  Perhaps  walking  the  route  to 
be  taken  or  simulating  the  bus  ride 
would  be  useful.  Knowing  ahead  of  time 
where  the  bathroom  is  can  diffuse 
anxiety.  The  more  the  student  under- 
stands, the  easier  the  day  will  be  for  him 
or  her.  If  the  child  must  later  change 
schools,  this  first  school  day  can  be  an 
example  for  him  or  her  of  what  to 



Stress  and  coping  are  not  events;  in  fact 
they  are  reactions.  These  reactions  are 
transitional  processes.  The  processes 
may  encompass  both  positive  and 
negative  aspects  at  the  same  time.  A 
student  moving  to  a new  neighbourhood 
may  experience  anticipatory  excitement 
and  anxiety  before  the  move.  There  are 
short-term  adjustments  to  be  made  as 
well  as  long-term  coping  skills  to 
develop.  Skills  to  develop  new  friend- 
ships and  to  deal  with  the  sense  of  loss 
of  old  friendships  are  two  types  of  these 
long-term  coping  skills. 

To  deal  with  immediate  stress  more 
effectively  students  need  opportunities 
to  learn  to: 

- see  the  world  from  more  positive 

- become  aware  of  how  they  personally 
contribute  to  and  enhance  their  own 

- learn  skills  for  understanding 

- learn  strategies  for  coping  with 
stressful  situations  (such  as  tests) 

- improve  their  ability  to  relate  to  and 
support  others 

- acquire  good  communication  and 
decision-making  skills 

- develop  a supportive  network  drawn 
from  family,  friends  and  classmates 

- take  and  give  support 

- understand  stress  and  see  the 
opportunity  for  growth  it  can 

We  cannot  expect  childen  to  cope  with 
all  stresses  by  themselves.  As  adults, 
we  need  to  be  alert  to  children  who 
suffer  from  chronic  stress  and  be 
prepared  to  intervene  in  order  to  reduce 


Children  learn  about  their  environments 
directly,  through  interaction  with  things 
in  the  physical  world.  To  learn  about 
people,  though,  children  must  interact 
with  people.  What  we  know  of  our  social 
environment  and  ourselves  we  learn 
through  our  relationships  with  people, 
directly  or  indirectly.  Of  course,  people 
also  help  us  with  our  understandings  of 
the  physical  world.  So  it  is  difficult  to 
exaggerate  the  role  that  other  people 
play  in  determining  what  we  know  about 
the  world,  and  how  we  come  to  know  it. 

The  interpersonal  domain  really  includes 
five  areas  of  skills: 


The  Infant  and  Young  Child 

As  with  emotional  growth,  human  babies 
are  biologically  equipped  for  social 
interaction.  They  begin  life  engaged 
skillfully  in  interpersonal  relationships. 
For  example,  infants  can  establish  and 
maintain  optimal  eye  contact.  At  only 
seven  days  old,  they  can  tell  their  own 
mother  from  others  on  the  basis  of 
scent.  They  prefer  human  voices  to 
other  sounds  and  can  turn  their  heads 
toward  the  speaker.  By  the  age  of 
twelve  months,  babies  sense  and  adopt 
the  feeling  states  of  the  person  who 
cares  for  them. 

1.  Expressing  feelings. 

2.  Dealing  with  tension  in  oneself  and 
in  social  interactions. 

3.  Being  empathic. 

4.  Modifying  one's  own  behaviour. 

5.  Managing  social  interactions. 

The  need  for  these  skills  increases  as  our 
society  becomes  more  pluralistic  and  as 
our  world  becomes  more  interdependent. 
Each  person's  well-being  depends  on  the 
goodwill  and  actions  of  others.  These 
other  people  may  speak  another  lan- 
guage, or  come  from  another  culture. 
An  in-house  survey  by  a major  cor- 
poration found  that  the  main  reason 
workers  were  fired  was  their  inability  to 
get  along  with  their  supervisors  or 
co-workers.  They  could  do  their  jobs, 
but  they  could  not  get  along  with  people. 

We  rarely  give  direct  instruction  in 
knowing  people  and  interacting  effec- 
tively with  them.  In  many  endeavours  in 
schooling,  however,  these  abilities  are 
recognized  and  valued  by-products. 
Much  of  what  happens  in  the  learning 
environment  in  schools  demonstrates  and 
develops  interpersonal  skills.  The 
challenge  is  to  demonstrate  and  promote 
productive  rather  than  maladaptive 
interpersonal  skills. 

Of  course,  interpersonal  competence  is 
not  a static  list  of  skills.  The  behaviour 
a three- month-old  baby  exhibits  is  a 
totally  mature  and  fully  accomplished 
three-month-old  baby  behaviour.  The 
same  is  true  at  two  years,  ten  years,  or 
any  age.  A person's  interpersonal 
competence  warrants  comparison  with 
the  way  a person  of  similar  age  and 
circumstances  behaves.  We  need  to 
develop  the  ability  to  see  ourselves  as 
acting  "with”  rather  than  "on"  the  child, 
to  respect  the  child's  competency. 


The  Student 

Reflecting  this  view  of  successive  levels 
of  maturity,  interpersonal  development 
takes  place  in  the  interaction  of  the 

- with  the  soeial  environment 

- in  particular  situations 

- with  his  or  her  parents 

- with  his  or  her  teachers 

- with  his  or  her  friends 
with  his  or  her  peers. 

A variety  of  interpersonal  skills  have 
been  identified  by  different  researchers, 
but  there  is  no  single,  agreed  upon  and 
defined  set  of  interpersonal  skills 
currently  available.  One  example  of  a 
list  of  skills  that  students  need  to  be 
popular  with  their  peers  is  given  below. 
Of  course,  being  popular  is  tremendously 
important  to  students  of  all  ages. 

Social  Compentencies  Associated  with  Popularity 




Ability  to  "read"  a social  situation  and  adapt  behaviour  accordingly 


Capacity  to  be  receptive  to  and  reinforcing  of  the  social  initiatives  of 

Timing  and  staging 

Capacity  to  pace  relationships:  knowing  what  and  when  to  do  or  say 

Indirect  approaches 

Awareness  that  relationships  and  interactions  are  often  initiated  and 
sustained  by  indirect  means 

Feedback  cues 

Sensitivity  to  negative  and  positive  social  feedback  while  relating 

Resolution  of  conflict 

Aptitude  for  settling  disagreement  without  aggression  or  violence 
(verbal  or  physical) 

Verbal  pragmatic 

Understanding  and  effective  use  of  strategies  language  in  social 

Social  memory 

Recall  and  use  of  prior  interactional  experience 

Social  prediction 

Propensity  to  foresee  the  social  consequences  of  one's  actions  and/or 

Awareness  of  image 

Tendency  to  present  oneself  to  peers  in  such  a way  as  to  be  socially 

Affective  matching 

Ability  to  discern  and  reinforce  the  current  feelings  of  a peer 

Recuperative  strategies 

Ability  to  compensage  for  social  errors 

Reprinted  with  permission  from  Levine,  M.D.  Developmental  variation  and  learninq 
disorders.  Toronto:  Educators  Publishina  Service.  Inc.  1987. 


Research  has  not  really  explored  the 
sequence  in  which  interpersonal  skills 
develop.  Instead  it  has  examined  how 
children  and  adolescents  view  relation- 
ships. Research  has  examined  the  child’s 
ability  to  understand  the  motives, 
feelings  and  intentions  of  another 

In  this  respect,  maturity  is  considered 
the  overcoming  of  egocentrism. 

To  understand  another  person's  point  of 
view  might  be  like  asking  these  five 

What  is  the  other  person  seeing? 

What  is  the  other  person  feeling? 
What  is  the  other  person  thinking? 
What  is  the  other  person  intending? 
What  is  the  other  person  like? 

Selman  has  presented  a model  of 
interpersonal  understanding  which 
considers  how  students  answer  these 
questions.  The  student  progresses 
through  five  stages  (see  chart  and 

In  this  view,  the  student  moves  out  from 
the  self  in  developing  a view  of 
interpersonal  relations.  This  is  a de- 
veloping ability  to  reach  beyond  oneself 
and  see  the  world  from  another's 
viewpoint.  This  understanding  requires 
two  abilities: 

1.  To  be  sensitive  to  interpersonal 
interaction  - context  dependent. 

2.  To  be  able  to  step  back,  suspend 
judgment  and  analyze  those  inter- 
actions - context  independent. 

Selman's  Five  Stages 

Nature  of  Perspective  Taking 

Characteristics  of  the  Child 

Age  Range 

Egocentric  Undifferentiated 

Unable  to  see  that  another 
perspective  may  exist  besides 
his  or  her  own. 

3 to  6 


Realizes  other  people  have 
their  own  perspectives  and 
so  may  interpret  the  same 
situation  differently. 

5 to  9 

Self-reflective  thinking 

Realizes  others  think  about 
his/her  thinking. 

7 to  12 

Can  reflect  on  his/her  own 
behaviour  and  motivation. 

Mutual  or  third  person 

Able  to  see  all  parties  from 
a third  person  perspective. 

lOto  15 

Indepth  or  societal 

Aware  of  relativity  of 
perspectives  held  by  them- 
selves and  by  social  groups. 




Most  of  us  do  not  master  this 
stage  completely. 


There  are  times  when  context 
dependency  is  needed,  when  it  is  best  to 
react  without  analysis.  At  other  times, 
we  need  to  be  detached  from  the 
context,  to  pick  out  the  salient  features. 
Both  of  these  skills  are  essential. 
Children  develop  skills  in  both  areas 
over  time  but,  of  course,  also  differ 
from  one  another  in  the  development  of 
these  two  abilities. 

There  has  been  a tendency  to  emphasize 
the  development  of  a sense  of  self  as 
separating  oneself  from  others. 
However,  all  growth  occurs  within  the 
context  of  our  relations  with  others  - 
parents,  relatives,  teachers,  friends, 
peers  - so  it  seems  logical  to  see 
development  also  in  the  growth  of 
relationships.  In  this  sense,  the  criteria 
for  maturity  are  seen  as  the  abilities  to 
manage  relationships  and  to  think 
creatively  about  them. 

Relationships  grow  through  our  being 
sensitive  to  one  another,  through  our 
learning  about  one  another.  We  need  to 
be  able  to  feel  as  others  do  - to  have 
empathy.  Attending  and  responding  to 
what  happens  in  a relationship  is  also 
part  of  this.  Students  are  always 
involved  in  interpersonal  interaction,  as 
are  we  all.  We  must  all  be  comfortable 
both  in  moving  close  to  and  at  times 
away  from  others.  All  interactions 
revolve  around  these  capacities  for 
closeness  and  for  distance  as  well  as  the 
need  not  to  feel  overwhelmed,  overly 
stressed,  in  either  case. 


Something  we  frequently  overlook  about 
schools  is  that  they  are  a social 
phenomenon.  There  is  not  a teacher 
student  dyad;  each  teacher  has  both  an 
individual  relationship  with  each  student 
and  various  relationships  with  groups  of 
students.  Students  have  relationships 
among  themselves  as  well  as  with 
teachers.  A class  is  a complex  social 
system  in  and  of  itself. 

The  social  relations  in  the  classroom  are 
instrumental  to  instructional  success  (or 
lack  of  success).  Teachers  and  students 
must  develop  "working  agreements"  to 
help  tasks  flow  smoothly  and  to 
understand  the  nature  of  the 
instructional  tasks.  It  is  much  simpler 
to  manage  social  relations  in  clinical  or 
remedial  settings,  where  there  are  fewer 
people  involved,  than  it  is  in  classroom 
settings  where  there  can  be  as  many  as 
forty  people.  This  is  often  an  un- 
recognized factor  when  people  talk 
about  "what  teachers  should  do". 

The  school  is  an  interpersonally  complex 
context.  Furthermore,  the  interpersonal 
skills  and  knowledge  are  rarely 
communicated  explicitly.  Classroom 
life  differs  from  home  life,  and  each 
classroom  differs  from  each  other  one. 
Each  teacher  sets  up  his  or  her  own 
expectations  and  classroom  procedures. 
Again,  these  "working  agreements"  are 
usually  set  up  indirectly  and  the  student 
must  work  through  inference,  figuring 
out  the  implicit  context  of  the 
classroom.  This  type  of  understanding, 
which  is  not  openly  expressed,  is  called 
tacit  knowledge.  We  are  only  vaguely 
aware  of  tacit  knowledge,  if  at  all,  and 
often  acquire  it  through  observing  and 
imitating  model  behaviours,  as  if  by 

It  is  just  this  tacit  nature  of  inter- 
personal skills  and  learnings  which 
makes  them  difficult  to  teach  - or  even 
to  identify.  We  sometimes  see  this  lack 
of  tacit  knowledge  only  when  a student 
exhibits  a skill  that  is  wrong  for  that 
situation.  For  example,  a student  might 
suggest  to  the  class  that  everyone  work 
quietly  so  as  to  be  done  for  the  weekend. 
Now  suppose  this  is  a junior  high  class  on 
a lazy  Friday  afternoon,  with  a concert 
coming  that  evening.  That  student  may 
have  ingratiated  himself  or  herself  with 
the  teacher,  but  has  actively  harmed  his 
or  her  standing  with  classmates. 
Teachers  are  often  at  a loss  to  know 
what  skills  to  teach  a student  such  as 
this.  The  classroom  is  at  least  a 
controlled  arena  for  social  interaction. 


This  is  not  true  of  the  playground  or 
mall  hangout.  Through  all  our  actions, 
we  are  engaged  in  and  implicitly 
teaching  interpersonal  skills. 

Some  students  are  often  described  as 
lacking  in  social  skills.  It  is  clear  that 
this  contributes  to  their  lack  of  success 
in  school  and  with  their  peers.  However, 
it  is  not  so  much  that  these  students  fail 
to  do  what  they  should.  Rather,  it  is 
that  they  actively  do  what  they  should 
not.  Children  who  lack  school  success 
often  work  twice  as  hard  as  do  the 
typical,  successful  middle  class  students 
to  get  and  keep  the  teacher’s  attention. 
Unfortunately,  they  use  strategies  that 
teachers  find  inappropriate.  Some 
children  learn  to  understand,  to 
interpret  and  to  follow  the  mediation 
supplied  by  teachers.  Other  children 
understand  other  modes  of  mediation, 
and  so  miss  what  the  teacher  supplies. 
(Mediated  learning  is  described  on  page 

It  is  important  to  note  that  these 
socially  maladapted  students  do  not  lack 
either  skills  or  social  involvement. 
Rather,  they  use  the  wrong  skills,  or 
maladaptive  skills,  for  that  particular 
context.  The  teacher  can  serve  as  a 
bridge  builder  for  these  students,  so  that 
they  can  learn  skills  others  see  as  more 
appropriate  to  that  context.  Teachers 
can  help  students  learn  which  skills  to 
use  in  differing  contexts. 

Given  the  complexity  and  tacit  nature  of 
classroom  interpersonal  interaction, 
what  is  practical  for  teachers  to  do?  In 
directly  teaching  interpersonal  skills, 
teachers  can: 

1.  Be  as  concrete  as  possible. 

2.  Emphasize  use  of  the  particular 
skill,  such  as  active  listening. 

3.  Link  the  information  supplied  with 
appropriate  actions  and  behaviours 
(the  teacher  as  "bridge  builder"). 

4.  Provide  many  opportunities  for 
practise;  and 

5.  Arrange  instructional  strategies  so 
that  they  correspond  with  the  way 

the  learner  organizes  knowledge 
(not  with  the  way  an  experienced, 
adult  expert  organizes  it). 



It  is  clear  that  children  learn  things 
from  peers.  Peers  help  children  to  learn 
in  many  domains:  cognitive,  emotional 
and  moral  as  well  as  interpersonal. 
Therefore,  it  is  important  that  we 
understand  the  benefits  as  well  as 
occasional  disadvantages  of  peer 

Even  young  preschool  children  play  with 
peers.  When  they  know  the  other 
children  well,  very  young  children  will 
play  with,  rather  than  just  beside, 
others.  In  fact,  at  every  age  after 
infancy,  children  typically  spend  a great 
deal  of  time  with  other  children  their 
age.  Because  the  children  are  similar  in 
age,  they  are  frequently  also  similar  in 
skills,  experiences,  interests  and  status. 

Children,  like  adults,  need  to  be  able  to 
find  and  keep  friends.  Younger  children 
like  to  share  toys  or  play  activities  with 
friends.  As  children  grow  older,  they 
move  to  sharing  thoughts  and  feelings. 
Loyalty  becomes  an  important  quality  in 
friends.  As  students  grow  older,  they 


recognize  the  interdependence  of 
friends,  and  the  mutual  help  friends  can 

From  an  early  age  on,  children  in  our 
society  see  a difference  between  peers 
and  adults.  Usually,  they  expect  to  play 
with  peers,  but  to  get  help  from  adults. 
As  children  grow  older,  they  develop  and 
expand  their  skills  in  peer  interactions, 
generally  becoming  more  positive  and 
cooperative.  Children  learn  techniques 
for  gaining  access  to  other  children’s 
games.  They  also  develop  techniques  to 
exclude  some  children  who  would  like  to 
join  their  games. 

By  as  early  as  six  years  old,  a child  who 
has  not  acquired  minimal  interpersonal 
competence  is  at  risk.  That  child  is 
more  likely  to  be  a school  drop-out,  and 
to  have  difficulties  later  in  life. 

As  students  move  through  the  primary 
school  years,  their  interpersonal  skills 
become  more  sophisticated.  Children 
become  increasingly  able  to  use  dif- 
ferent skills  in  different  settings,  with 
different  people  or  for  different  tasks. 

As  adolescence  blooms,  peers  are  often 
thought  of  as  taking  on  an  unhappy  influ- 
ence. The  influence  of  friends  becomes 
the  issue  of  peer  pressure.  Parents  or 
teachers  often  refer  to  peer  pressure  as 
though  it  were  a single  force  --  a group 
of  teenagers  pressuring  a particular 
student  to  do  something  unhealthy,  such 
as  smoke. 

However,  teenagers  experience  pres- 
sures from  many  sources,  such  as 
parents,  peers,  media,  and  themselves. 
Actually,  peer  pressures  are  largely 
self-generated;  that  is,  it  is  the  way  the 
student  perceives  the  situation  that 
affects  the  pressure  that  the  student 
feels.  If  a girl  believes  that  others  think 
she’s  unattractive,  then  she  may  feel  a 
lot  of  pressure  to  dress  well  and  use 
makeup  skillfully. 

Peer  pressure,  then,  is  really  a complex 
mix  of  indirect  pressures.  In  a group  of 
peers,  teenagers  want  to  see  themselves 
in  a number  of  ways.  For  example,  they 
may  want  to  appear  independent,  to  gain 
recognition,  to  appear  mature  or 
grown-up,  or  to  appear  to  be  having  fun. 

The  pressure  students  feel  to  be 
different,  an  individual,  is  the  pressure 
to  appear  independent.  Students  rebel 
on  occasion.  Schools  can  inadvertently 
play  to  this  pressure  and  to  the 
adolescent  desire  for  recognition  when 
students  are  singled  out  for  rebellious 
behaviour.  They  may  be  undergoing 
punishment,  but  that  punishment  may  be 
worth  it  if  peer  recognition  is  the 

The  pressure  that  students  feel,  to 
appear  grown-up  and  to  be  enjoying 
themselves,  can  also  lead  them  to 
negative  behaviours.  Students  want  to 
appear  older  because  being  older  is 
associated  with  various  privileges. 
Adolescents  may  not  focus  on  the 
responsibilities  associated  with  various 

Peers  are  not  the  sole  source  of  pressure 
for  students  to  appear  mature.  Schools 
can  also  foster  this  situation  by 
encouraging  students  to  ’’act  like 
adults”,  and  parental  pressure  to  act 
responsibly  can  be  inappropriately  high 
for  some  children. 

Peer  pressures  play  across  a background 
of  other  influences  on  teenagers. 
Parents  and  the  media  can  also  be 
identified  as  having  significant  influence 
and  even  pressure.  In  general,  though, 
students  agree  with  their  parents  on 
fundamental  moral  principles.  The 
conflicts  come  on  socially  trivial  issues 
(such  as  taste  in  music).  If  both  parents 
and  peers  approve  of  something,  it  is 
likely  the  student  will  approve  of  it  also. 
If  either  one  of  parents  or  peers  approve 
of  something,  the  student’s  approval  of 
it  will  rise  moderately,  but  not  to  the 
extent  that  it  does  if  both  groups 
approve  of  it. 


In  helping  students  handle  peer  pressure, 
we  must  assist  them  with  some  general 
abilities.  Students  must  gain  sufficient 
reflective  awareness  to  recognize  the 
types  of  pressures  and  their  sources.  It 
is  helpful  to  have  the  independence  to  be 
critical  of  peer  expectations.  If  peer 
pressures  are  largely  self-generated, 
then  they  can  be  self-managed.  Of 
course,  students  also  need  sufficient 
accurate  knowledge  to  develop  an 
adequate  idea  of  the  risks  and  payoffs  of 
a situation.  Knowledge  alone  is  not 
enough,  but  it  is  a necessary  component 

in  counteracting  social  pressure. 
Students'  independence  must  be  nurtured 
by  adults'  attitudes  and  values. 

The  skills,  knowledge  and  reflective 
awareness  required  to  manage  peer 
pressures  are  difficult.  Reflective 
awareness  is  a higher  order  thinking 
skill.  Consider  how  many  adults  suc- 
cumb to  peer  pressures  in  some  sit- 
uations. We  must  nurture  these  skills  in 
students;  they  do  not  develop  by 



Perhaps  because  it  is  so  important  how 
children  develop  (and  the  way  they 
develop),  a moral  sense  is  the  subject  of 
considerable  debate.  Developing  a 
moral  sense  is  becoming  a good  person, 
whether  morality  is  taught  in  the  home, 
the  school  or  a religious  institution.  As 
adults,  we  want  all  kinds  of  things  for 
children:  we  may  want  them  to  be 

smart,  artistic  and/or  popular. 

But  they  are  no  less 
persons,  no  less  human,  if 
they  do  not  possess  these 
qualities.  It’s  a different 
matter,  however,  if  they 
are  not  good  and  decent 
people.  In  that  case,  they 
do  not  stand  tall  as 
persons.  Their  humanity  is 

Lickona,  1983. 

Good  people  are  not  simply  ’’nice" 
people.  They  are  not  soft-headed, 
teary-eyed  or  pushovers  to  the  mach- 
inations of  others.  It  has  been  said  that 
we  ’’catch  morals  like  colds”.  While  it  is 
true  that  we  learn  moral  behaviour 
through  observing  others  act  morally, 
moral  education  is  more  than  learning  by 
osmosis.  We  can  - and  do  - affect  moral 
development  in  our  interactions  with 
children.  This  is  because  we  become 
role  models  and  mediators  of  morality. 
When  our  actions  do  not  match  what  we 
say,  children  detect  the  incongruity.  It 
may  be  difficult  to  teach  our  children  to 
respect  rules  if,  for  the  sake  of 
convenience,  we  park  in  a space 
reserved  for  the  handicapped,  or  if  we 
run  a yellow  light  or  stop  sign. 

It  is  useful  to  distinguish  between  what 
is  proper  and  what  is  moral.  Children 

can  make  this  distinction  even  as  early 
as  three  years  of  age.  Shared 
conventions  determine  what  is  proper. 
Members  of  a social  system,  people  in  a 
school  or  in  a society,  agree  on  a set  of 
conventions.  These  are  important,  but 
they  are  also  arbitrary.  They  are  not 
inherently  right  or  wrong,  and  can 
change  over  time  or  place.  For 
example,  wearing  blue  jeans  in  school 
can  be  allowed  or  prohibited.  In  some 
schools,  it  is  proper  to  wear  school 
uniforms,  in  others,  casual  clothing  is 
permitted.  (See  chart  for  stages  of 
development  in  thinking  about  con- 

In  contrast,  what  is  moral  behaviour  is 
determined  by  factors  intrinsic  to  the 
actions  themselves.  Moral  behaviour  is 
inherent  in  social  relationships.  It  is  not 
moral  to  harm  others,  to  violate  others’ 
rights  or,  on  an  everyday  basis,  to  be 
deliberately  inconsiderate.  Moral 
prescriptions  are  universal  and  un- 
changeable. Moral  transgressions  are 
wrong,  and  must  be  taken  very  seriously. 
So,  for  example,  a young  child  will  see 
hitting  and  stealing  as  wrong.  For  an 
adult,  though,  hitting  an  attacker  in 
self-defense  may  be  morally  defensible. 
Adults  are  more  able  to  understand  the 
impact  and  limitations  of  context  upon 
moral  considerations.  They  can  come  to 
understand  which  moral  principles  are 
fundamental,  and  how  decisions  are  af- 
fected by  them. 

The  moral  domain  is  really  an 
interaction  of  domains:  it  is  the  inter- 

section of  the  emotional  and  inter- 
personal domains  with  the  cognitive 
domain,  manifested  through  actions. 

The  moral  domain  can  be  best  char- 
acterized as  a cycle  of  events: 


a reaction 

an  action 

a commitment 
to  action 


\ a responsibility 


a sense  of  the 
good  thing  to  be 

Kohlberg’s  stages  of  moral  reasoning 
cover  thinking  about  morality  rather 
than  actually  acting  morally.  As  we  all 
recognize,  there  can  be  a gap  between 
what  people  believe  (or  say  they  believe) 
and  what  they  actually  do.  We  know  we 
should  help  others,  but  how  often  are  we 
"too  busy?"  It  may  be,  too,  that 
Kohlberg’s  sequence  is  not  reflective  of 
all  cultures.  It  is  clear  that  Kohlberg's 
sequence,  developed  from  data  about 
males,  does  not  entirely  reflect  every- 
one's experiences. 

This  cycle  repeats  itself  many  times, 
and  any  one  action  is  likely  to  be 
consistent  with  previous  actions  and 

Morality  involves  more  than  a 
perception  that  the  problem  requires  a 
moral  decision.  It  involves  more  than 
knowing  a person  can  be  effective  in 
taking  action  on  an  issue.  Morality 
includes  the  responsibility  of  the  person 
to  take  a personal  action  or  to  avoid 
incorrect  action.  It  is  not  enough  to 
leave  it  to  others.  Individuals  such  as 
Mahatma  Gandhi  and  Mother  Theresa 
have  demonstrated  this  through  their 
selfless  dedication,  but  on  an  everyday 
level,  so  does  the  teacher  who  stays  late 
to  help  a student  or  who  gives  up 
personal  time  for  extra  curricular 
activities  with  students.  A student 
exhibits  moral  behaviour  when  he  or  she 
takes  time  to  study  with  another  student 
who  needs  the  help. 

Much  of  the  research  in  moral 
development  or  ethics  has  focused  on 
one  aspect  of  morality  - moral 
reasoning.  The  most  widely  acknow- 
ledged theorist  in  moral  reasoning  is 
Lawrence  Kohlberg.  He  proposed  a se- 
quence of  three  levels,  each  divided  into 
two  stages  (see  chart).  Kohlberg’s  levels 
represent  a transition  from  self  interest 
to  social  interest.  A person  may  also 
make  another  transition,  from  consid- 
ering the  immediate  society  as  it  is,  to 
considering  wider  social  principles.  For 
Kohlberg,  the  central  moral  principle  is 

Women,  for  instance,  while  they 
understand  and  use  the  principle  of 
justice,  tend  to  prefer  the  principle  of 
caring.  That  is,  women  see  moral  issues 
in  terms  of  care  and  responsibility  in 
relationships.  Women  and  girls  seek  to 
achieve  and  maintain  harmonious 
relationships  while  meting  out  justice. 

In  examining  the  development  of 
morality,  we  have  talked  about  moral 
reasoning.  The  development  of  moral 
action  is  a more  complex  issue.  Some  of 
the  ways  in  which  the  issue  is  accom- 
plished are  dealt  with  in  the  section  on 
the  classroom  as  context. 


The  Young  Child  and  Student 

Since  moral  development  is  in  part  an 
interaction  among  affective,  inter- 
personal and  cognitive  domains,  its  early 
development  rests  to  some  extent  on  the 
child’s  development  in  those  domains. 
Morality  involves  more  than  the  implicit 
learning  of  social  rules  and  conventions. 
It  is  not  automatic. 

Young  children  are  present-bound.  They 
are  not  fully  aware  that  what  is  hap- 
pening now  can  affect  their  lives  later. 
Hence,  they  have  little  idea  of  the 
future  implications  of  any  choice.  They 
may  not  be  aware  of  alternative  ways  of 
dealing  with  a problem  because  they 
cannot  envision  alternative  courses 
of  action.  It  is  too  much  to  ask  a young 


Kohlberg's  Stages  of  Moral  Development 

Level  1 


Stage  1 

Obeys  rules  in  order  to  avoid 

Stage  2 

Conforms  to  obtain  rewards,  to 
have  favours  returned. 

Level  II 

Morality  of  Conventional 
Role  Conformity 

Stage  3 

Conforms  to  avoid 
disapproval/dislike  by  others. 

Stage  4 

Conforms  to  avoid  censure  by 
legitimate  authorities,  with 
resultant  guilt. 

Level  III 

Morality  of  Self-Accepted 
Moral  Principles 

Stage  5 

Conforms  to  maintain  the  respect 
of  the  impartial  spectator  judging 
in  terms  of  community  welfare. 

Stage  6 

Conforms  to  avoid  self- 
condemnation;  defines  the 
principles  by  which  agreements 
will  be  most  just. 

child  to  keep  in  mind  a situation, 
alternative  courses  of  action,  and  the 
various  consequences  of  those  courses  of 
action.  In  fact,  their  orientation  to  the 
here  and  now  may  prevent  their  imag- 
ining even  one  future  consequence  of 
some  present  course  of  action.  Children 
can,  however,  associate  what  they  have 
done  with  what  happened,  and  then  with 
how  they  felt  about  it.  This  memory  of 
action,  consequence  and  feeling  can  help 
them  develop  their  thinking. 

As  with  cognitive  development,  the 
adequate  development  of  complex  emo- 
tions such  as  empathy  and  an  ability  to 
reflect  on  social  interactions  are 
important.  Otherwise,  a child  may  not 
recognize  a problem  in  morality.  Action 
without  empathy  or  reflection  may  not 

lead  to  a satisfying  outcome.  A very 
young  child  may  not  recognize  that 
refusing  to  allow  another  child  to  join  a 
game  may  be  a hurtful  act.  Once 
children  have  hurt  others  and  been  hurt 
by  others,  they  have  concrete  expe- 
rience with  real  consequences.  After 
this,  they  can  be  brought  to  reflection, 
perhaps  through  discussion.  As  they 
grow  older,  this  reflective  capacity  can 
allow  them  to  see  and  deal  with  morality 
more  independently,  in  a more  reasoned 

According  to  Kohlberg,  children  under 
nine  years  of  age  characteristically  do 
not  understand  society’s  rules  and  expec- 
tations. They  consider  only  their  own 
personal  interest  and  advantage.  This  is 
the  pre-conventional  level.  Very  young 


children  obey  in  order  to  avoid 
punishment.  For  example,  they  avoid 
stealing  in  order  to  avoid  punishment. 
Later,  one  is  nice  to  others  so  that 
they'll  return  the  favour.  A child  might 
invite  others  to  his  birthday  party  so 
that  he'll  be  invited  to  their  upcoming 

For  girls,  Carol  Gilligan's  work  suggests 
additional  directions  in  females'  moral 
developments.  The  sequence  in 
Gilligan's  ethic  of  care  begins  with  an 
initial  focus  on  caring  for  the  self  to 
ensure  survival.  This  may  be  similar  to 
Kohlberg's  initial  stage,  viewed  from  a 
different  perspective,  or  through  a 
different  principle. 

The  Adolescent  and  Adult 

The  majority  of  adolescents  and  adults 
are  found  to  be  at  the  conventional  level 
on  Kohlberg's  scale.  Here,  people  are 
preoccupied  with  maintaining  the 
expectations  of  the  social  group.  Good 
behaviour  - being  a good  boy  or  a good 
girl  - wins  praise.  Students  obey  the  law 
because  it  is  the  law  and  the  social 
consensus.  People  should  avoid  stealing 
to  keep  order  in  society. 

In  Gilligan's  view,  women  develop  a new 
understanding  of  the  connection  between 

themselves  and  others.  This  is  seen  as 
the  concept  of  responsibility.  It  is  good 
to  care  for  others,  particularly  those 
who  are  dependent.  For  example,  a girl 
may  feel  responsible  for  a peer  who  is 
less  popular. 

A minority  of  people  move  to  the 
post-conventional  level  on  Kohlberg's 
scale.  At  this  level,  people  begin  to 
reason  from  universal  moral  principles. 
They  become  autonomous  in  their 
reasoning;  that  is,  instead  of  relying  on 
the  general  consensus  of  others,  they 
think  through  dilemmas  independently. 
In  this  stage,  a person  would  consider 
how  another  person's  rights  would  be 
violated  in  a theft. 

In  Gilligan's  sequence,  the  caring  for 
others  at  the  expense  of  caring  for 
oneself  creates  difficulties.  This  is 
resolved  through  women's  understanding 
that  care  becomes  a self-chosen 
principle.  A woman  might  take  time  for 
herself,  for  example,  so  that  she  can  be 
more  relaxed  around  her  children  and 

It  is  unlikely  that  these  stages  operate 
totally  in  isolation  in  men  and  women. 
Certainly,  women  understand  and  use 
principles  of  justice  and  men  understand 
and  use  an  ethic  of  caring.  It  may  help 
to  clarify  an  issue,  however,  if  one 
considers  which  principle  is  central  to  an 
individual  when  dealing  with  a specific 

In  this  section,  we  have  dealt  with  two 
theorists.  It  is  possible  that  diverse 
cultural  groups  deal  with  various  ethical 
principles  in  their  understanding  of 
morality.  It  is  useful  to  recall  again 
that  morality  does  not  begin  and  end 
with  moral  reasoning.  Morality  must 
include  in  its  scope  moral  behaviour. 


There  are  at  least  two  distinctions  which 
it  may  be  useful  to  keep  in  mind  as  we 
consider  moral  development  in  the 


Major  Changes  in  Social-Conventional  Concepts 


Approximate  Ages 


1.  Convention  as  descriptive  of  social  uniformity.Convention  viewed 
as  descriptive  of  uniformities  in  behavior.  Convention  is  not 
conceived  of  structure  or  function  of  social  interaction. 
Conventional  uniformities  are  descriptive  of  what  is  assumed  to 
exist.  Convention  maintained  to  avoid  violation  of  empirical 


2.  Negation  of  convention  as  descriptive  social  uniformity.  Empirical 
uniformity  not  a sufficient  basis  for  maintaining  conventions. 
Conventional  acts  regarded  as  arbitrary.  Convention  is  not 
conceived  as  part  of  structure  or  function  of  social  interaction. 


3.  Convention  as  affirmation  of  rule  system;  early  concrete 

conception  of  social  system.  Convention  seen  as  arbitrary  and 
changeable.  Adherence  to  convention  based  on  concrete  rules  and 
authoritative  expectations.  Conception  of  conventional  acts  not 
coordinated  with  conception  of  rule. 


4.  Negation  of  convention  as  part  of  rule  system.  Convention  now 
seen  as  arbitrary  and  changeable  regardless  of  rules.  Evaluation  of 
rule  pertaining  to  conventional  act  is  coordinated  with  evaluation 
of  the  act.  Conventions  are  "nothing  but"  social  expectations. 

14-  16. 

5 Convention  as  mediated  by  social  system.  The  emergence  of 
systematic  concepts  of  social  structure.  Convention  as  normative 
regulation  in  system  with  uniformity,  fixed  roles,  and  static 
hierarchical  organization. 


6.  Negation  of  convention  as  societal  standards.  Convention 

regarded  as  codified  societal  standards.  Uniformity  in  convention 
is  not  considered  the  function  of  maintaining  social  system. 
Conventions  are  "nothing  but"  societal  standards  that  exist 
through  habitual  use. 


7.  Convention  as  coordinated  social  interactions.  Conventions  as 
uniformities  that  are  functional  in  coordinating  social  interactions. 
Shared  knowledge,  in  the  form  of  conventions,  among  members 
of  social  groups  facilitate  interaction  and  operation  of  the  system. 

school.  The  first  is  the  distinction 
between  those  issues  that  are  matters  of 
convention  and  those  that  deal  with 
morals.  It  is  important  to  respond  to 
students  in  coordination  with  the 
appropriate  area,  whether  of  conven- 
tions or  of  morals. 

Junior  high  students  exhibiting  dis- 
ruptive behaviour  may  see  thearbitra- 
riness  of  social  conventions  and  choose 
to  view  these  conventions  negatively. 
When  they  move  to  affirming  the  social 
system  of  conventions,  they  become  less 
disruptive  in  their  behaviour.  In 


assisting  disruptive  students,  it  may  be 
useful  to  focus  on  the  need  for  a system 
of  shared  conventions,  despite  their 
arbitrariness.  It  would  not  be  helpful  to 
’’moralize”  all  transgressions,  equating 
dress  code  violations  with  stealing  or 
bullying  others. 

Teachers  intuitively  understand  the 
difference  between  moral  and 
conventional  issues.  They  will  often 
tend  to  respond  to  students’  trans- 
gressions differentially,  depending  on 
whether  the  act  was  a transgression  of 
morals  or  conventions.  For  example,  to 
stop  one  child  hitting  another,  the 
teacher  will  refer  to  the  pain  of  the 
second  child  (morality).  A typical 
teacher  response  would  be  ”How  would 
you  feel  if  he  hit  you?”  A child  speaking 
far  too  loudly  may  be  referred  however 
to  the  classroom  rule,  ’’Use  your  inside 
(i.e.  low)  voice.”  Here,  the  teacher  is 
dealing  with  conventions. 

It  may  be  a useful  distinction  for 
teachers  to  keep  in  mind  that  students 
can  see  different  moral  principles  as 
paramount  in  different  situations.  For 

example,  girls  may  not  necessarily 
respond  on  the  basis  of  fairness  or 
justice  as  a central  moral  principle. 
They  may  also  attempt  to  maintain 
social  relationships,  seeing  that  as  the 
central  issue  in  a discussion  over 
behaviour  in  a classroom. 

An  example  of  this  kind  of  conflict 
occurred  in  one  school.  The  penalty  for 
a rule  infraction  was  to  be  denied 
permission  to  attend  the  subsequent 
school  dance.  While  the  students  went 
along  with  this  during  the  year,  the  girls 
banned  from  the  last  dance  of  the  year 
complained  long  and  loudly.  The 
principal  had  difficulty  understanding 
these  sudden  complaints.  Then  he  saw 
that  he  had  neglected  to  take  into 
account  that  the  last  dance  of  the  year 
was  a very  special  occasion  for  the 
students.  The  girls  saw  themselves  as 
being  cut  off  from  their  friends  (and 
beaux).  These  girls  focused  on  the 
punishment  as  a major  one,  based  on  the 
principle  of  caring  for  others.  The 
principal  had  seen  the  punishment  as  a 
minor  one,  based  on  the  principles  of 
justice.  Hence  the  girls  --  but  not  the 
principal  — saw  the  punishment  as 
overly  severe  for  the  infraction. 

Historically,  the  basic  approach  to  moral 
education  was  twofold.  First,  desirable 
ideals,  attitudes,  values  and  behaviours 
were  identified.  These  were  then 
instilled  in  students  through  exhortation 
and  example.  Four  teaching  strategies 
are  characteristic  of  this  type  of 

1.  Precepts:  the  use  of  a saying  or 

proverb  to  promote  a value  or 
behaviour,  such  as  ”a  penny  saved  is 
a penny  earned”  for  thrift. 

2.  Exemplars:  the  use  of  stories  or 

examples  demonstrating  the 
desirable  behaviours.  For  example, 
Wayne  Gretzky's  work  and  actions 
on  behalf  of  the  mentally 
handicapped  promote  social 


3.  Ritual:  the  repeated  use  of  a 

ceremony  or  rite,  such  as  saluting 
the  flag  to  promote  patriotism. 

4«  Environmentalism:  recreating  the 

events  in  miniature  so  that  students 
can  experience  them  within  the 
school  setting.  An  example  of  this 
is  the  use  of  student  government  as 
a means  of  encouraging  later 
participation  in  civic  life,  as  an 

This  approach  works  very  well  in  a 
stable  society.  In  a pluralistic  society 
undergoing  change,  students  also  require 
an  ability  to  reflect  upon  conflicting 
values,  and  a method  of  analysis  for 
resolving  such  conflicts.  While  these 
four  techniques  can  and  should  still  be 
used,  they  are  not  sufficient  by 

The  school  can  further  assist  students  in 
developing  a sound  moral  sense  in  at 
least  two  ways.  First,  students  learn 
through  observing  moral  adult  behaviour. 
Teachers,  like  parents  and  adults  in  the 
community,  serve  as  models  for 
students.  As  with  the  teaching  of 
interpersonal  skills,  much  moral 
behaviour  is  learned  through  observing 
the  moral  actions  of  others. 

The  second  way  that  schools  can  assist 
students  is  in  helping  them  interpret  and 
evaluate  the  competing  moral  positions 
presented  to  them.  This  can  and  should 
be  done  through  the  vehicle  of  the 
regular  curriculum  in  all  classes.  It  is 
not  enough  to  leave  this  to  the  Grade  8 
Ethics  course;  it  is  the  responsibility  of 
all  teachers.  In  class  exercises,  students 
can  explore  how  specific  values  are 
demonstrated  by  specific  behaviours. 
The  following  guidelines  are  helpful  in 
this  regard: 

• Students  move  to  higher  levels  of 
social  and  moral  reasoning  when  they 
are  allowed  to  interact  with  their 
peers  in  considering  social  and  moral 

issues  that  are  real  to  them  - those 
they  face  in  their  own  experience  (as 
opposed  to  problems  adults  think 

• Opportunities  for  open  discussion  are 
essential.  Such  use  of  discussion 
acknowledges  that  moral  develop- 
ment is  not  simply  a process  of 
learning  society's  rules  and  values 
but  a gradual  process  in  which 
students  actively  transform  their 
understanding  of  morality  through 
reflection  and  construction.  In  this 
regard,  the  discussion  of  dilemmas 
and  the  choices  people  must  make 
are  useful. 

• Classroom  management  practices 
and  rules  which  are  known,  upheld, 
evenly  applied,  moderate  in  nature 
and  negotiable,  all  contribute  to 
students'  moral  development. 
Cooperative  goal  structures  and 
learning  techniques  promote  both 
moral  and  academic  growth. 

• Responding  to  the  harmful  or  unjust 
effects/consequences  of  a moral 
transgression  is  more  effective  than 
reference  to  broken  rules  or 
unfulfilled  social  conventions  for 
issues  in  the  moral  arena. 

• If  students  seem  inadequate  as  moral 
agents,  it  may  be  that  adults  need  to 
ensure  that  opportunities  to  take  on 
moral  responsibility  come  their  way. 


In  their  classes,  teachers  must  deal  with 
a wide  variety  of  students.  They  try  to 
deal  equitably  with  all  students,  just  as 
we  wish  society  to  treat  each  one  of  us 
equitably.  Sometimes,  however,  equi- 
table treatment  is  impeded  by  stereo- 
typing. The  prejudice  entailed  in 
stereotyping  reflects  on  the  moral 


A stereotype  is  a kind  of  oversimplified 
mental  picture  of  a certain  person  or 
group  of  people,  usually  based  on 
observable  characteristics  such  as  race, 
ethnic  background,  religion  or  sex. 

Children  develop  stereotypes  in  early 
childhood,  even  as  young  as  two  years 
old.  Until  they  form  stereotypes, 
children  will  play  together  amicably. 

Stereotypes  are  passed  on  not  only  by 
parents  and  teachers,  but  also  by  the 
media,  children’s  books  and  peer 
interactions.  All  the  contextual 
influences  on  situations,  subtle  as  they 
are,  can  contribute  to  stereotyped  views 
of  groups  of  people.  Jokes  are  one 
example  of  a subtle  influence  in  a given 

We  have  the  best  understanding  of  how 
stereotypes  of  sex  roles  develop.  Our 
understanding  of  the  development  of 
other  types  of  stereotyping  in  children  is 
less  clear. 

During  the  elementary  school  years, 
boys  and  girls  tend  to  be  positive  about 
their  own  sex  and  negative  about  the 
opposite  sex.  They  give  higher  ratings 
to  boys  who  do  well  in  mathematics  and 
girls  who  do  well  in  reading.  Boys  who 
are  good  readers  and  girls  who  do  well  in 
mathematics  are  not  rated  as  highly  by 
their  peers. 

Of  course,  parents  have  a lot  of  in- 
fluence on  their  children.  Where 
parents'  behaviour  is  less  stereotypical, 
children's  will  be  less  so  as  well.  In 
particular,  girls'  interests,  activities  and 
aspirations  are  more  balanced  between 
the  typically  masculine  and  feminine  if 
their  mothers  are  career  oriented  or 
employed  outside  the  home. 

Some  people  argue  that  elementary 
schools  are  more  suited  to  girls  than  to 
boys.  In  general,  girls  like  elementary 
school  more  than  do  boys,  whose  active 
natures  can  be  seen  as  disruptive.  In  the 

elementary  years  girls  achieve  well,  are 
praised  more  for  on-task  behaviour  and 
receive  much  less  attention  for  being 

Although  girls  are  reprimanded  less 
frequently  than  boys,  the  negative 
feedback  they  get  pertains  to  the 
accuracy  and  the  intellectual  quality 
of  their  work.  Boys  are  told  they  are 
not  working  hard  enough.  Thus,  boys 
learn  that  achievement  comes  through 
greater  effort.  Girls  learn  to  attribute 
school  failure  to  lack  of  ability.  The 
implications  of  this  are  far  reaching. 
Boys  learn  to  try  harder  or  discount 
criticism  in  the  face  of  failure.  Girls 
learn  to  doubt  themselves,  and  to  give 
up  trying.  By  senior  high  school,  girls 
learn  to  avoid  "hard"  courses  in  order  to 
avoid  failing. 

Early  adolescence  brings  dramatic 
physical  changes.  Where  children  in  the 
upper  elementary  years  are  more 
flexible  in  their  view  of  sex  roles,  early 
adolescents  become  rather  inflexible  in 
playing  out  sex  roles.  Most  fourteen 
year  olds,  for  example,  recognize  that 
male/female  role  differences  are  largely 


socially  defined.  These  same  fourteen 
year  olds,  though,  will  claim  that 
students  must  conform  to  sex  role 
stereotypes.  By  the  beginning  of  late 
adolescence  (about  the  age  of 
seventeen),  students  have  again  devel- 
oped a greater  flexibility  toward  sex 
roles  and  identities. 

A changing  society  demands  increasing 
flexibility.  It  is  advantageous  to  possess 
a wide  range  of  abilities,  skills,  interests 
and  behaviours.  Students  at  the  ages  of 
8,  12,  and  17  or  18  emphasize  the  ability 
of  individuals  to  act  according  to  choice 
and  individual  self-interest  rather  than 

according  to  sex  role  conformity.  These 
age  levels  may  be  critical  in  expanding 
all  students’  range  of  options.  All  too 
often,  stereotypes  narrow  options. 

In  a similar  way,  stereotypes  of  race, 
ethnic  group,  religion  or  physical 
characteristics  can  limit  individuals’ 
potentials.  The  mediation  that  forms 
children’s  attitudes  can  be  very  subtle. 
We  may  not  consciously  intend  to  create 
the  attitudes  we  do  in  children,  but 
through  our  modelling,  framing  and 
verbal  mediation  we  have  very  definite 



There  are  four  major  means  of 
facilitating  students’  affective,  inter- 
personal and  moral  growth: 

1.  Modelling 

2.  Mediated  learning 

3.  Didactic  instruction  (both  direct 
and  indirect) 

4.  Experiential  learning 

1.  Modelling 

Adults  serve  as  models  or  personal 
examples  to  children  and  students. 
Through  observation  of  the  consistency 
of  what  adults  say  and  do,  students 
imitate  and  thereby  implicitly  learn  how 
to  deal  with  emotions,  other  people  and 
moral  issues. 

For  models,  students  will  look  to  those 
who  support  and  control  them:  parents, 
peers,  older  students,  teachers  and  other 
adults.  Those  who  seem  to  be 
competent,  or  of  high  status,  are  more 
powerful  models,  particularly  if  these 
people  have  shown  an  interest  in  the  stu- 
dent. If  many  models  exhibit  a certain 
behaviour,  and  are  rewarded  for  it,  then 
that  behaviour  is  more  likely  to  be 
modelled.  Finally,  if  the  students  see 
the  models  as  people  like  themselves, 
and  if  the  behaviour  is  characteristic  of 
the  group  the  students  belong  to,  then 
the  students  are  more  likely  to  exhibit 
that  kind  of  behaviour.  In  regard  to 
these  characteristics,  teachers  can  and 
do  make  very  effective  models  for 

Positive  models  project  feelings  that 
individuals  would  like  to  experience. 
This  is  one  way  attitudes  are  formed. 

2.  Mediated  Learning 

Besides  learning  directly  through  inter- 
action and  from  unconscious  modelling, 
students  learn  through  the  mediation 

supplied  by  parents  or  peers,  other 
adults  and  more  knowledgeable  or 
skillful  peers.  Mediation,  in  this  sense, 
refers  to  what  is  said  or  deliberately 
shown.  It  is  the  adult's  or  peer's  inter- 
pretation of  the  physical  or  social 
context  for  the  student.  This  person 
intentionally  selects,  frames,  organizes 
and  interprets  events,  objects  and  other 
students'  responses  for  the  student. 

By  the  age  of  three  or  sooner,  children 
ask  lots  of  questions.  They  ask  for  the 
meanings  of  words  or  why  someone  did 
something.  They  ask  for  descriptions  of 
unfamiliar  things  or  why  one  act  is  right 
and  another  is  wrong.  The  ways  that 
parents  and  teachers  respond  to  these 
questions  affect  how  children  learn,  and 
their  attitudes  toward  learning.  These 
responses  affect  how  children  ask  and 
answer  questions;  in  fact,  they  affect 
whether  they  keep  on  asking  questions  at 

An  example  of  different  ways  a parent 
can  mediate  in  a situation  can  be  shown 
in  the  following  incident.  An  eight- 
year-old  girl  managed  to  retrieve  coins 
from  a piggy  bank  through  the  slot 
where  coins  are  normally  fed  into  the 
bank.  Her  father  asked  her  how  she 
managed  to  get  the  coins  out,  as  the 
bank  was  tricky  to  open.  The  girl 
replied  that  when  she  could  not  open  the 
bank,  she  remembered  that  the  coins 
went  into  the  slot,  and  so  must  be  able 
to  come  out  through  that  same  slot. 

Now,  what  comment  will  the  father 
make?  Will  he  say  that  she  figured  that 
out  very  well,  because  she  demonstrated 
reversibility  of  operations  (what  goes  in 
must  come  out)?  Will  he  tell  her  to  ask 
for  help  next  time  to  get  the  money  out 
the  "right"  way?  Will  he  berate  her  for 
not  leaving  the  money  in  the  bank?  Will 
he  explain  why  the  money  needs  to  be 
saved  for  a while  longer?  With  either  of 
the  first  two  comments,  the  father 
would  make  this  a cognitive  issue,  of 
two  very  different  sorts.  The  third  and 
fourth  comments  would  make  this  an 
issue  of  thrift,  again  in  opposing  ways. 


What  the  father  chooses  to  say  about 
events  like  these  helps  the  child  to  learn 
to  interpret  the  world  around  her. 

In  schools,  teachers  have  many  similar 
opportunities  to  help  students  under- 
stand the  things  that  take  place  around 
them.  In  an  elementary  school,  how 
would  teachers  react  to  a primary 
student’s  distress  at  seeing  a cat  injured 
by  a car  on  the  road  in  front  of  the 
school?  In  secondary  schools,  how  are 
students  helped  to  understand  a fellow 
student’s  injury  in  an  accident?  Or  how 
does  the  teaching  staff  share  a student’s 
pride  and  excitement  at  winning  a 
tournament,  academic  or  sporting? 

3.  Didactic  Instruction 

a)  Direct 

There  are  many  programs  that  teach 
directly  about  emotional  growth, 
interpersonal  skill  development  or  moral 
development.  These  programs  take  as 
their  subject  matter  the  knowledge, 
skills  and  attitudes  of  these  domains. 
Often  ’’affective  skills”  programs 
actually  seek  to  teach  interpersonal 
skills,  such  as  empathic  or  active 
listening.  This  knowledge,  these  skills 
and  these  attitudes  are  also  included  as 
objectives  in  many  regular  curricula,  of 
which  the  health,  and  career  and  life 
management  curricula  particularly  stand 

A difficulty  with  much  direct  teaching 
in  these  domains  is  that  we,  ourselves, 
are  so  unaware  of  many  of  our  own 
skills.  For  example,  think  about  walking 
in  the  neighborhood  of  another  ethnic 
group.  In  this  situation  people  tend  to 
lower  their  heads,  curl  their  shoulders  so 
their  chests  do  not  protrude,  keep  their 
hands  in  front  of  or  close  to  their  bodies 
and  keep  their  eyes  down.  How  many 
people  are  aware  that  they  engage  in 
this  ’’posture  of  territorial  behaviour"? 
While  making  us  feel  less  noticeable,  it 
also  inhibits  communication.  Are  we 
aware  of  this?  To  what  or  to  whom  do 
we  usually  ascribe  our  lack  of  commu- 

nication in  these  situations?  How  can 
we  then  teach  about  how  people  act  in 
such  situations,  when  we're  not 
consciously  aware  of  it  ourselves? 

Teachers  may  feel  uncomfortable  with 
direct  teaching  in  the  social,  emotional 
and  moral  domains  without  specific 
training.  It  is  important  to  coordinate 
those  skills  which  are  taught  so  that 
they  do  not  become  a series  of 
techniques  lacking  integration.  Finally, 
it  must  be  kept  in  mind  that  affective, 
interpersonal  and  moral  knowledge  and 
skills  are  closely  linked  to  the  context  of 
their  use.  It  is  not  useful  to  teach  these 
skills  in  isolation  from  the  context  in 
which  they  will  be  needed. 

b)  Indirect 

The  regular  curricula  include  many 
objectives  in  the  emotional,  inter- 
personal and  moral  domains.  Through 
the  use  of  modelling  and  mediated 
learning,  these  affective,  interpersonal 
and  moral  objectives  can  be  taught  when 
using  curricular  content.  Selecting 
appropriate  materials  and  allowing 
sufficient  time  (such  as  time  for 
discussions)  are  important  in  this  regard. 
This  is  easier  to  do  in  some  areas  such  as 
the  social  sciences,  language  arts,  or 
physical  education,  than  in  other  areas, 
such  as  mathematics.  Even  in 
mathematics,  however,  some  of  these 
objectives  can  be  accomplished.  For 
example,  we  send  messages  in 
mathematics  classes  about  how  people 
are  treated  when  they  make  errors,  and 
when  they  do  well. 

4.  Experiential  Learning 

Experiential  learning  is  that  learning 
which  occurs  through  doing,  rather  than 
through  just  listening  or  reading.  This 
approach  is  a particularly  valuable 
component  of  any  effort  to  teach 
interpersonal  skills.  Essentially,  one 
learns  to  live  with  other  people  by  living 
with  other  people.  That  is,  one  learns  by 


Experiential  learning  is  operative  when 
students  are  fully  involved,  through 
lessons  linked  to  their  own  needs, 
experiences  or  interests.  Individuals 
need  to  develop  a sense  of  responsibility 
for  their  own  participation  --  and  for 
facilitating  others'  participation  — in 
the  learning  process.  Cooperative 
learning  techniques  are  especially  useful 
in  achieving  these  ends,  both  in  aca- 
demic and  in  moral  learning. 

Teaching  through  experiential  means  has 
a place  in  the  school  setting.  To  fully 
use  experience  though,  one  must  reflect 
upon  it.  The  classroom  can  be  a safe 
place  to  reflect  on  the  interpersonal 
learning  that  occurs  in  activities  before 
school,  during  the  noon  hour,  or  riding 
the  bus. 


In  developing  curricula,  a traditional  and 
useful  tool  for  developers  has  been  the 
Taxonomy  of  Educational  Objectives. 
For  the  social  sphere,  the  second 
handbook,  dealing  with  the  Affective 
Domain,  by  Krathwolhl,  Bloom  and 
Masia  is  relevant.  This  document  seeks 
to  organize  how  educational  objectives 
are  laid  out,  so  that  there  can  be 
precision  in  the  curriculum  developer's 

The  organization  of  affective  objectives 
is  laid  out  according  to  logical  rather 
than  developmental  principles.  The 
central  principle  used  for  organizing 
affective  objectives  is  internalization. 
By  this,  one  understands  that  lower 
objectives  may  be  imposed  on  students, 
but  at  higher  levels,  students  must 
incorporate  the  values  or  attitudes  as 
their  own.  Developmentally,  students 
often  internalize  values  and  attitudes 
before  they  understand  them 

There  are  three  dimensions  to  the 
stratifications  of  affective  objectives. 

First,  there  is  a continuum  of  awareness. 
The  student  ranges  from  perceiving  an 
event  or  attitude  through  attending  to 
it,  responding  to  it  and,  finally,  avidly 
seeking  it.  Second,  students  gradually 
develop  their  feelings  toward  something 
into  a conception  of  it  and  toward  an 
ability  to  verbalize  the  conception. 
Clearly,  there  is  a cognitive  element  to 
this  as  well.  Third,  students  come  to 
organize  their  attitudes  and  values  into 
more  or  less  coherent  clusters  or 
complexes.  The  goal  of  coherency  of 
values  is  not  equally  achieved  in  all 
areas  by  all  adults. 

Dimensions  to  Consider  When  Generating  Affective  Objectives 
1.  Awareness  Continuum: 

Attending  to,  & 
perceiving  event  or 

Responding  to 
event  or  attitude. 

Avidly  seeking 
event  or 

2.  Conceptualization  Continuum; 
Aware  ot 

feelings  toward 

Conception  of 




of  feelings. 

3.  Organizational  Continuum 






The  value  in  having  a clear  hierarchy  of 
educational  objectives  is  that  curriculum 
developers  are  more  aware  of  the 
intensity  and  complexity  they  are 
requiring  of  students.  It  helps  to  ensure 
the  appropriate  variety  of  objectives  are 
included  in  curriculum.  This  then  allows 
them  to  plan  sufficient  time  for  the 
activities  required  to  bring  students  to 
the  level  prescribed.  Similarly,  in 
evaluating  students,  the  clarity  of 
objectives  contributes  to  knowledgeable 
choice  in  determining  methods  of  eva- 
luation (such  as  the  use  of  observation) 
as  well  as  the  accuracy  of  designing  test 


items  where  objective  testing  is 

Learning  in  the  social  sphere  is  an  often 
implicit  and  complex  business.  We  do 
not  have  all  the  information  and 
research  with  which  we  could  draw  all 
the  definite  conclusions  we  might  wish. 

It  can  be  seen,  though,  that  the 
instructional  approaches  discussed  do 
not  need  to  be  used  in  isolation  from  one 
another.  Good  teachers  will  use  a 
balance  of  approaches  appropriate  to  the 
objectives  being  taught.  Regardless  of 
the  instructional  approaches  chosen, 
four  key  principles  will  best  foster 
affective,  interpersonal  and  moral 

1.  Involvement  - Affective,  inter- 
personal and  moral  learning  are 
maximized  when  students  are 
engaged  in  interactive  processes, 
when  interactive  rather  than 
directive  educational  practices  are 
used  and  when  students  are  actively 
rather  than  passively  engaged. 

2.  Practise  and  Application  - 
Opportunities  must  be  made 
available  to  apply  and  practise  the 
skills  learned. 

3.  Context  - Tasks  need  to  be 
contextualized  and  related  to  the 
learner’s  experiences  or  interests. 

4.  Feedback  - Feedback  should  be 
frequent,  specific,  informative  and 
descriptive  as  well  as  indicate  the 
relationship  between  the  event  and 
the  student's  response. 

This  monograph  has  discussed,  selec- 
tively and  briefly,  an  immense  body  of 
research.  Although  there  are  impli- 
cations here  for  the  development  of 
curricula,  the  larger  role  in  students' 
affective,  interpersonal  and  moral 
growth  lies  with  the  people  directly 
involved  with  those  students.  Schools 
are  not  the  sole  influence  on  students. 
However,  the  staffs  of  schools  have  a 
considerable  effect  on  this  kind  of 
learning;  they  can  make  the  significant 
difference  even  for  students  who  have 
great  personal  difficulties. 




Stage  1:  Impersonal  (ages  0 to  2) 

Affect  is  undifferentiated  and  essentially  unstructured,  children  are  aware  only  of 
their  own  sensations  and  actions. 

Stage  2:  Heteronomous  (ages  2 to  7) 

Affect  largely  influenced  by  significant  adults  in  the  child’s  life. 

Stage  3:  Interpersonal  (approximately  ages  7 to  12) 

Affect  influenced  by  peers  and  the  child’s  interactions  with  them. 

Stage  4;  Psychological  (approximately  ages  12  to  15) 

Affect  determined  by  one’s  own  reflection  and  analysis,  affect  is  increasingly 
invested  in  ideals,  values  and  life  plans. 








The  Egocentric 
Undiffe  r e ntiated 

- the  child  is  not 
aware  that  another 
person  may  interpret 
a situation  differently 

- view  conflict  as  a 
situation  in  which  one 
party  does  not  get  to 
do  what  he  or  she 
wants  because  of  the 
behavior  of  the  other 

- aware  punishment 
follows  misbehaviour 
but  does  not 
understand  parents' 

- the  child  is  becoming 
self-aware,  is  still 
unable  to 

differentiate  between 
inner  psychological 
experiences  and 
concrete  external 

- Conflict  most  often 
resolved  by  physical 
attachment  or 

Perspective  Taking 

- the  distinction 
between  awareness 
and  unawareness  is 
still  quite  vague 

- conflicts  are  resolved 
by  undoing  the 
actions  that  cause  the 
conflict,  or  by 
performing  a positive 
substitute  action 

- trust  in  a friendship 
is  based  on  getting 
the  other  person  to  do 
as  the  child  wishes 

- cooperation  and  co- 
ordination of 
activities  is  not 

- loyalty  is  understood 
as  conforming  to  the 
dictates  of  the  group 
leader  or  other  group 

- children  consider 
their  parents’  motives 
for  punishment 

Perspective  Taking 

- The  preadolescent 
distinguishes  easily 
betwen  outer 
(physical)  and  inner 
(psychological)  reality 
and  is  aware  the  two 
need  not  be  congruent 

- aware  that  both 
parties  contribute  to 
conflict  and  must  co- 
operate in  seeking  an 
effective  solution 

- leadership  is  based 
on  skills  in  mediation, 
organization  and  co- 
ordination efforts 

- punishment  by 
parents  now  may  be 
viewed  as  an 
expression  of  the 
parents’  concern  for 
the  child’s  well-being 

- trust  is  based  on 
reciprocity  - even 
exchange  of  favours  is 
important  as  well  as 
mutual  expressions  of 







Mutual  Perception 

- self-awareness 

- friendship  is  viewed 
as  a series  of 
interactions  over  an 
extended  period  of 

- leaders  are  viewed 
as  encouragers,  co- 
ordinators, catalysts, 
consolidators  for  the 
peer  community 

- punishment  is 
viewed  as  less 
applicable  to  them 
than  to  younger 

- there  is  an 

comprehension  of  the 
relationship  between 
self  as  subject  and  self 
as  object 

- a mutuality  involved 
emotional  support 
and  sharing  of 
common  feelings 

- loyalty  requires  a 
willingness  to 
contribute  to  the 
welfare  of  the  group; 
a kind  of  one-for-all 

- effective  working 
through  a mutual 
problem  seems  to 
strengthen  the 
commitment  to 

- more  personal 
concerns  and 
intimacies  are  shared 

- the  relationship  has 
more  lasting 
consistency  and  one 
friend  will  stand  up 
for  the  other  "through 
thick  and  thin”  even  if 
there  is  no  immediate 

Indepth  and  Societal 

- become  aware  that 
there  are  thoughts, 
feelings  and  motives 
of  which  they  are 
unaware  and  so  are 
not  available  to  self- 

- interdependence  - a 
balance  between  the 
mutuality  of  the 
previous  and  total 
independence  is 
worth  striving  for 

- leadership  is  viewed 
as  created  by  the 

- trust  means 
openness  to  change 
and  growth  as  well  as 

- leader's  role  is  to 
enhance  the  collective 

- loyalty  means 
sacrificing  personal 
goals  for  the  good  of 
the  group 



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Alberta  Education  Documents  Cited 

Education  Program  Continuity:  A Policy  Statement  on  the  Articulation  of  Children’s 
Learning  Experiences,  1988. 

Philosophy,  Goals  and  Program  Dimensions,  1984. 

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These  documents  are  available  through  the  Central  Support  Services  Branch,  Devonian 
Building,  8th  floor  West,  11160  Jasper  Avenue,  Edmonton,  Alberta,  T5K  0L2. 





















Erickson  Selman 

<r  Trust 



u ▲ 



i i 









* Differential  or 

Level  I 



| Self-reflective 
or  Reciprocal 
a Taking 





Third  Person 
or  Mutual 

Level  II 




Indepth  or 

Level  III