Course: Educational Psychology (671)
Level: MA M.Ed. Special Education Semester: Autumn, 2022
ASSIGNMENT No. 1
- 1 What are the main theories which educational psychologists used to explain learning?
- There are five primary educational learning theories: behaviorism, cognitive, constructivism, humanism, and connectivism.
- Additional learning theories include transformative, social, and experiential.
- Understanding learning theories can result in a variety of outcomes, from improving communication between students and teachers to determining what students learn.
How educational learning theories can impact your education
Teaching and learning may appear to be a universal experience. After all, everyone goes to school and learns more or less the same thing, right? Well, not quite.
As the prolific number of educational theorists in learning suggests, there’s actually an impressive variety of educational approaches to the art and science of teaching. Many of them have been pioneered by educational theorists who’ve studied the science of learning to determine what works best and for whom.
“Learning is defined as a process that brings together personal and environmental experiences and influences for acquiring, enriching or modifying one’s knowledge, skills, values, attitudes, behavior and worldviews,” notes the International Bureau of Education. “Learning theories develop hypotheses that describe how this process takes place.”
Generally, there are five widely accepted learning theories teachers rely on:
- Behaviorism learning theory
- Cognitive learning theory
- Constructivism learning theory
- Humanism learning theory
- Connectivism learning theory
Educational theorists, teachers, and experts believe these theories can inform successful approaches for teaching and serve as a foundation for developing lesson plans and curriculum.
Theories in education didn’t begin in earnest until the early 20th century, but curiosity about how humans learn dates back to the ancient Greek philosophers Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. They explored whether knowledge and truth could be found within oneself (rationalism) or through external observation (empiricism).
By the 19th century, psychologists began to answer this question with scientific studies. The goal was to understand objectively how people learn and then develop teaching approaches accordingly.
In the 20th century, the debate among educational theorists centered on behaviorist theory versus cognitive psychology. Or, in other words, do people learn by responding to external stimuli or by using their brains to construct knowledge from external data?
The five educational learning theories
Today, much research, study, and debate have given rise to the following five learning theories:
|Behaviorism||As Simply Psychology puts it: “Behaviorism is only concerned with observable stimulus-response behaviors, as they can be studied in a systematic and observable manner.”||Learning is based on a system of routines that “drill” information into a student’s memory bank, as well as positive feedback from teachers and an educational institution itself. If students do an excellent job, they receive positive reinforcement and are signaled out for recognition.|
|Cognitivism||Learning relies on both external factors (like information or data) and the internal thought process.||Developed in the 1950s, this theory moves away from behaviorism to focus on the mind’s role in learning. According to the International Bureau of Education: “In cognitive psychology, learning is understood as the acquisition of knowledge: the learner is an information-processor who absorbs information, undertakes cognitive operations on it and stocks it in memory.”|
|Constructivism||The learner builds upon his or her previous experience and understanding to “construct” a new understanding.||“The passive view of teaching views the learner as ‘an empty vessel’ to be filled with knowledge,” explains Simply Psychology, “whereas constructivism states that learners construct meaning only through active engagement with the world (such as experiments or real-world problem solving).”|
|Humanism||A “learner-centric approach” in which the potential is the focus rather than the method or materials.||With the understanding that people are inherently good, humanism focuses on creating an environment conducive to self-actualization. In doing so, learners’ needs are met and they are then free to determine their own goals while the teacher assists in meeting those learning goals.|
|Connectivism||Informed by the digital age, connectivism departs from constructivism by identifying and remediating gaps in knowledge.||Strongly influenced by technology, connectivism focuses on a learner’s ability to frequently source and update accurate information. Knowing how and where to find the best information is as important as the information itself.|
Why are learning theories important
It is part of the human condition to crave knowledge. Consequently, numerous scientists, psychologists, and thought leaders have devoted their careers to studying learning theories. Understanding how people learn is a critical step in optimizing the learning process.
It is for this reason that teacher colleges or educator preparation programs spend so much time having teacher candidates study human development and multiple learning theories. Foundational knowledge of how humans learn, and specifically how a child learns and develops cognitively, is essential for all educators to be their most effective instructors in the classroom.
Pamela Roggeman, EdD, dean of University of Phoenix’s College of Education, explains her take on the role learning theory plays in preparing teachers:
“Just as no two people are the same, no two students learn in the exact the same way or at the exact same rate. Effective educators need to be able to pivot and craft instruction that meets the needs of the individual student to address the needs of the ‘whole child.’ Sound knowledge in multiple learning theories is a first step to this and another reason why great teachers work their entire careers to master both the art and the science of teaching.”
Although espousing a particular learning theory isn’t necessarily required in most teaching roles, online learning author and consultant Tony Bates points out that most teachers tend to follow one or another theory, even if it’s done unconsciously.
So, whether you’re an aspiring or experienced teacher, a student, or a parent of a student (or some combination thereof), knowing more about each theory can make you more effective in the pursuit of knowledge.
- 2 Write the effects of various disabilities and impairments in early development of a child Support your answer with relevant examples for each developmental stage.
ECD and disability
Children with disabilities are often excluded or overlooked in mainstream ECD programmes, therefore missing out on important opportunities to receive the specialist support and services they need to meet their rights and needs. Without the appropriate early interventions, support and protection, their impairment or disability could become more severe or complex, potentially leading to long-term consequences, increased poverty and marginalisation. Studies have demonstrated that parents of children with intellectual disabilities experience more distress and higher rates of depression compared with families of typically developing children. Much of this distress is related to stigma and cultural misconceptions about disability and its causes. Other studies have also reported negative impacts including physical health problems for parents as well as physical, social, and financial distress for the whole family. This often leads to marital breakdowns and divorce. Despite the increasingly recognised burden of childhood disability on individuals, families and populations, research in this area (especially from low-income countries) has been described as ‘woefully inadequate.
More positively, global attention on child health has been shifting from ‘child survival’ alone to inclusive early childhood development strategies that enable all children to thrive and develop healthily. This serves as a foundation for a diverse and fair society, and is in line with the guiding principles laid down in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) of establishing a universal standard and a general principle of the UN Convention for the Rights of People with Disabilities (2006) of ‘respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities’. Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) has made early identification of children with disabilities a high priority especially as early support may reduce the impact of the impairment (Durkin et al., 1994). This is particularly true for those with vision and hearing impairments, many of which can be treated, as well as for cerebral palsy and other neuro-disabilities where support in terms of feeding and postural management can make a big difference.
One of the biggest problems for organisations and agencies providing essential healthcare and other key services for children with disabilities is accessing precise, robust and reliable disability data. Limitations of census and general household surveys to capture childhood disability, the absence of registries in many low and middle income countries (LMICs) and poor access to culturally appropriate clinical and diagnostic services contribute to poor estimates of disability. Unfortunately, children with less obvious or what are commonly called ‘hidden disabilities’ (e.g. mild to moderate intellectual impairments) are not always identified until children reach school age. Developmental screening tools (short tests to tell if a child is learning basic skills when he or she should, or if there are delays) used in isolation are not helpful in identifying disability, but if used for training of community workers (e.g. health) to provide an outline of what is ‘typical’ child development, then, this in itself is useful and enables them to think about it more, identify cases and consider referrals to clinics.
Many children with developmental delays are not being identified as early as possible. As a result, these children often have to wait till they start going to school before they receive help. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be screened for developmental delays and disabilities at nine months, 18 months and 24 or 30 months. Additional screening is needed if a child is at high risk for developmental problems due to preterm birth, low birthweight, or other reasons.
It is important for stakeholders working in ECD and disability to be given pertinent data about childhood developmental delay disability to promote better levels of access to healthcare and to prevent impairment at the primary and rehabilitative levels. The following tools and methods are showing positive benefits for young children with disabilities in low-resource settings:
- Washington Group Questionsis a tool comprising 16 questions which helps to pick up potential developmental delays or impairments in children and young people (child functioning and disability, age 2 – 4). The questions help to identify persons with similar types and levels of limitations in basic activity functioning regardless of nationality or culture. These questions can be routinely included in other data collecting exercises, e.g. household surveys.
- Key Informant Method (KIM)is an approach where knowledgeable members of the community (key informants) are trained to effectively identify children with moderate-severe physical impairments, sensory impairments and epilepsy. KIM allows for a pre-emptive mapping of referral services by collating information on service availability and affordability (ICED, 2013). The KIM has had an impact on the of Hambisela programme in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, by increasing referrals of children with cerebral palsy for therapeutically-correct care and enabling them to realise their maximum life potential.
- The Malawi Development Assessment Tool (MDAT)is a validated tool used in Africa to measure developmental delay. The tool has been made into an app for use as part of a community health worker project in Kenya. Future use of the MDAT could be in supporting training packages more directly (e.g. WHO/UNICEF Care for Child Development).
Agreement on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) signals that ECD is a priority focus for 2030, but SDG commitments to ECD and disability require careful planning to ensure no child is left behind. Multi-sectoral approaches with effective coordinating mechanisms between such sectors as education, health and social welfare are required to ensure early identification efforts, promote holistic responses and link school-based learning with home and community interventions.
Inclusive pre-school and early primary schooling offers children with disabilities a vital space in which to ensure optimal development through child-focused learning, play, participation, peer interaction and the development of friendships. More work is required to create inclusive ECD curricula which look at ways of ensuring all children are able to participate in indoor and outdoor activities (including toileting and feeding). Centres and schools need to be completely accessible, as well as accessible and safe latrines and toilets for children with disabilities. WaterAid, in its response to WASH and disability, has been addressing the barriers to accessible water and sanitation facilities to ensure that children with disabilities, especially girls, are able to attend school.
Some children with disabilities and their families may require more specialist support at home. In Malawi, a system called ‘portage’ is being used to help families with early educational home-based support in the north part of the country. The focus is on family involvement, in partnership with the home visitor, and the use of structured teaching methods. As a result of visits from community home visitors, there was greater acceptance of the child as an individual, first as part of the family, and second as part of the community. Greater efforts were also made in developing a supportive village culture aimed at promoting the respect and rights of the child as a citizen of that community . INGOs supporting children with disabilities (e.g. CBM, Handicap International, Sightsavers) as well as disabled persons’ organisations that provide networks of support, can provide help in setting up links between the home and early childhood centres. Inclusive early childhood systems have the potential to serve as foundations for a diverse and fair society.
- 3 How a teacher can evaluate the extent of deviation from normal development if not sure about the level of disability?
Numerous studies have shown that students with special needs (SN students) do not reach the level of academic performance of regular students, since their behavioral or emotional problems interfere with their ability to use their cognitive skills at an optimal level. The focus of these studies is primarily on academic achievement, measured with summative assessment methods or standardized tests. However, do we obtain a valid picture of the capabilities,skills, and talents of students if we measure these with standardized tests, mostly referring to specific domains such as arithmetic and spelling? Instead,research should also focus on other domains, measures, and conditions of performance in order to identify skills, and capabilities that would otherwise be missed. This paper aims to contribute to this matter by examining 31 regular and SN students’ understanding of scientific concepts by using a microgenetic design and an alternative method of measuring understanding. The students explored two scientific tasks under a condition of optimal scaffolding, meaning that they were encouraged and assisted by an adult while working on the tasks. The aim of this study is to examine whether differences between SN and regular students will be revealed in the process of building their understanding of scientific concepts, under the guidance of an experienced adult who provides adaptive scaffolding.
Children’s Understanding of Scientific Concepts
Children’s understanding of scientific concepts develops from a very young age on. Recently, researchers have argued the importance of studying the development of young children’s understanding of scientific concepts. Young children’s cognitive skills in the domain of science are the foundations of later literacy in this area and assist children in developing their reasoning about complex relationships. The degree of understanding scientific concepts reflects the level of scientific thinking skills children can use while working on a problem solving task. Scientific thinking skills can be defined as the skills needed for describing a problem-solving situation, for forming hypotheses, testing hypotheses, and explaining as well as evaluating outcomes. In the last decades, children’s understanding of various scientific concepts has been studied. These studies predominantly focused on specific outcomes of individual learning processes, such as pre- and posttest scores on questionnaires. In order to study students’ understanding of scientific concepts, it is important to look not only at their achievements under a condition of individual performance, but also—even more importantly—under a condition in which they are supported.
The concept of scaffolding comprises the temporary support of a child’s learning process by an adult or more capable peer. The support is only temporary, since it is gradually reduced when the child reaches higher levels of competence and is capable of independent problem-solving. Scaffolding unfolds dynamically in that it describes not only how a particular level of knowledge or skill in a student changes as a result of the scaffolding process, but also how the scaffolding shifts as a result of the change in the student’s performance. Teacher and student are engaged in a mutual process, in which the level of the student influences the level of the scaffold (which should be ahead of the first), while the level of the scaffold influences the level of the student. Given this definition of scaffolding as a dynamic mechanism of coupled teaching-learning processes, optimal scaffolding implies a student’s optimal understanding as well as optimal teaching at the same time.
Researchers have pointed out the existence of a gap between children’s task performance under conditions of individual performance (also referred to as the functional level) and performance under a condition of support. This dichotomy dates back to the work of Vygotsky. The general idea behind this dichotomy is that children do not show a single competence level, but instead vary across a range of possible levels. With help and guidance under a condition of scaffolding, students show an increase in understanding (or an increase in certain capacities), compared to a condition in which they work without receiving support. In educational testing, unfortunately, emphasis is put on the functional level, meaning that what a student can do alone (an exception are dynamic testing methods, in which repeated testing is alternated with specific forms of feedback). The problem with these standardized methods of individual testing is twofold. First, it does not give us an idea of the student’s learning potential, meaning the levels the student can reach with support, which will soon be mastered individually. Second, student’s difficulties that interfere with scoring optimally on these tests, such as problems with focusing attention, or understanding the wording of questions, remain unnoticed. Hence, the scores of students with special needs might not only reflect their understanding of a particular concept, but also to a great extent the problems they encounter in an individual testing situation. Under a condition of scaffolding, a teacher (or researcher) can not only attend to the student’s needs in a testing situation, but also observe the capabilities of the student when receiving adequate support.
In this study, students were presented with two scientific tasks, while a researcher provided a variety of scaffolding techniques depending on the student’s needs. This condition of optimal scaffolding differs from a dynamic testing (or assessment) method, which aims to measure students’ learning potential in a particular domain by testing repeatedly and giving feedback after each test. Even though dynamic testing methods are used to unravel the process of learning, they are generally standardized, meaning that the questions, the moments of feedback, and the types of feedback are defined beforehand. In our condition of optimal scaffolding, we tried to create a naturalistic context somewhat similar to science classes in primary schools. That is, adult and student were constantly talking and working on the task; there were no longlasting monologues, and they did not take turns in manipulating the task. Moreover, feedback was not given at fixed intervals, but continuously during the interaction, mostly in the form of follow-up questions adapted to the student’s answer, such as “Can you explain that?” or “How do you think we should figure that out?”
Special Needs Students
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) defines students with special educational needs as those students who require “additional public and/or private resources to support their education”. Since this definition is quite broad, the OECD has defined three cross-national subcategories in which special needs students can be divided: students with disabilities (e.g., sensory, motor, or neurological disabilities), students with difficulties (e.g., emotional and/or behavioral difficulties that have a negative effect on learning), and students with disadvantages (e.g., disadvantages due to socio-economic or linguistic factors). Depending on the country and the student’s condition, students with special needs receive extra resources within regular educational facilities, or are placed in special classrooms or schools. In the current research project, we visited special needs students with emotional and/or behavioral difficulties who were enrolled in special educational facilities. Most of these students were officially diagnosed with ADHD or mild forms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), such as pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). A literature search showed that SN students with difficulties usually perform below the level of regular students on academic achievement tests that are usually standardized. This leads to the question whether a condition of optimal scaffolding would yield the same results.
In general, children diagnosed with ADHD show inattention (e.g., difficulty staying focused, often distracted and unorganized), hyperactivity (e.g., motoric restlessness, excessive talking), and impulsivity (e.g., cannot wait for his/her turn, doing before thinking), which seem to impair their ability to learn. Luo and Li found that the memory capacity (including short-term and working memory) of children with ADHD was impaired compared to that of typically developing children. Moreover, studies examining the processing level of children and adults with ADHD indicated that they have deficits in higher-level processing and that they use different brain areas to encode complex or low-salient stimuli.
Children diagnosed with ASD are impaired in initiating and sustaining appropriate social interactions (e.g., maintaining relationships, limited social or emotional reciprocity) and communication (e.g., stereotyped use of language, impaired Theory of Mind). In addition, they often show limited and repetitive behavioral patterns. Barnes et al. stated that ASD students are not able to learn as easily as regular students, since they do not make deliberate use of their (social) environment, even though their implicit learning processes seem to be intact. Studies on higher-level processing of children with ASD showed that they exhibit difficulties when higher-level language processing (the use of meaning and context of a word) is needed to encode information.
Many SN students with difficulties (in our sample as well as in the broader population) have a combined diagnosis, such as pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) with hyperactivity symptoms, or ADHD with symptoms of oppositional deviant disorder (ODD). While there are differences with regard to the specific difficulties that students with different diagnoses encounter in learning situations, they do resemble each other in that SN students with difficulties generally display significant academic delays across all placements, which do not seem to improve over time.
Measuring Children’s Understanding of Scientific Concepts
In this study, the levels of understanding were operationalized by using a scale related to the 10 levels of Skill Theory, developed by Fischer. Skill Theory focuses on the complexity and variability of children’s skills, which consist of actions, verbalizations, and thinking abilities and the way these are constructed. One of the most powerful characteristics of Skill Theory is that it extracts complexity from content, resulting in a content-independent measure of understanding. Because of this content-independent nature, Skill Theory enables researchers to compare understandings across multiple time points, contexts, persons, and age ranges.
According to Fischer, development in a particular domain goes through 10 levels of skills, hierarchically grouped into three tiers, that develop between 3 months and adulthood. The first tier consists of sensorimotor skills: simple connections of perceptions to actions or utterances. For example, the child states that two syringes are attached to one another by a tube. Any statements or actions going beyond the observation of elements, or observable mechanisms, fall in the second and third tiers. The second tier is constituted of representational skills, understandings that go beyond current simple perception-action couplings, but are still based on them. That is, the term representation refers to the coordination of several sensorimotor skills at the same time. Within the context of the two connected syringes, for example, the child can predict what happens if one of the pistons is pushed in, without literally touching or manipulating the syringe. Nonetheless, what he or she predicts depends not only on the context, but also on the sensorimotor skills mastered before. The third tier consists of abstractions, general rules that also apply to other situations. This would be an explanation about the relationship between pressure and volume inside a syringe. Earlier (basic) skills form the basis of the more advanced skills across all tiers, that is, they are the building blocks of the higher levels.
Within each tier, sensorimotor, representational or abstract, three levels can be distinguished, each one is more complex than the previous one. The first one can be characterized as a single set, (e.g., a single representation or a single abstraction). The second level is a relation between two of these sets, which is referred to as a mapping. The third level is a system of sets, which is a relation between two mappings, in which each mapping consists of a relation between single sets. After this level, a new tier starts, which is divided in single sets, mappings, and systems as well.
Fischer and colleagues showed that Skill Theory can not only describe and explain the development of skills on the long term, but also describe the microgenesis of problem solving. When facing a new task or problem, even highly skilled adults go through the same cycles of skills. At the beginning they show skill levels that are mostly sensorimotor, which later build up to more elaborate levels. During a task, people do not go through the skill cycles in an orderly linear fashion. Instead, they repeatedly build up skill levels and regress before they obtain their highest possible level. This variation between their highest and lowest possible complexity levels is also known as the developmental range. The highest levels within this range (reflecting the student’s optimal level) are only reachable when the environment provides sufficient support
Given that students constantly vary within their developmental range (and given that we used a condition in which scaffolding was provided), it is important to measure understanding repeatedly during a task and capture the full range of skills students master in this context. Measuring students’ understanding in a microgenetical way enables us to closely examine variations in students’ understanding which reflect their thinking processes and prevents us from losing that information if we were measuring understanding at one point in time. We therefore decided to register the skill theory levels of all task-related utterances. By looking not only at students’ mean understanding level, but also at the distribution of their understanding levels, a more complete picture of their understanding can be revealed.
- 4 Explain the importance of play and social interaction with the peers in school.
Peer relationships are one of the biggest influences on students in school. While parents and teachers obviously play large roles in child development and morals, interactions with peers are just as important. Kids spend a great deal of time with their classmates, both inside and outside of the classroom. These interactions teach children valuable social skills and help them define their place in the world.
How Peers Influence Children
Children in public school are constantly surrounded by others of their own age. There is a wide range of possible relationships among children, and children learn about social behavior from them all, including friends, classmates, teammates and enemies. On the positive side, peer interaction teaches kids how to make and keep friends and how to work, learn, and play together. On the negative side, a peer can be a bully or can lead a child towards destructive behavior. Peer relationships are essential for teaching children how to function in society. One of the most commonly cited objections to home schooling is that children who are home-schooled don’t have sufficient opportunities to be properly socialized with their peers. Learning how to live with other kids is the precursor to forming adult relationships. The processes that children go through when learning how to get along with other children lead to the same skills they’ll need as adults to get along with co-workers and others in the community.
Peers influence children in a number of ways.
• Socialization. Kids learn to talk and play with other kids. Peer interaction also helps them
grow into their future roles in society.
• Cognition and learning. Kids learn in a group environment.
• Children learn about morals, ethics and a sense of right and wrong from peer interactions.
• During games and sports, children learn to cooperate and work together toward joint goals.
Child psychologists and educators have long recognized the significance of these factors. The Russian child psychologist Lev Vygotsky, for example, was instrumental in creating social development theory, which studies the relationship between socialization and cognitive development. It has been shown that children who are not properly socialized are likely to have difficulties in other areas, such as learning.
Helping Students Develop Healthy Relationships
Because peer interactions play such a large role in socialization, it’s important for parents and teachers to keep a watchful eye on children and observe how they get along with their classmates. Some kids are naturally shy and have difficulty fitting in. Others are overly aggressive and try to dominate social situations. Adults cannot supervise every interaction. Indeed, this would not be healthy, as kids need to develop their own social skills, including learning how to deal with conflict. However, kids can and should be monitored and given help when necessary. This is as true on the playground, in organized sports, and in play dates as it is at school. Kids who are having problems can be taught socialization skills.
Peers have a profound influence on children of all ages. The ability to develop healthy peer
relationships is just as important as academics in school.
- 5 How values can guide the children to follow the laws customs and rules in life?
A huge chunk of your day is spent at work. But for many people, most of their time outside of work is spent with their families.
How that time is spent — and the quality of that time — is often informed by family values.
Not all families consciously instill values in their members. Often, family values get passed down from generation to generation implicitly. Those values don’t ever get questioned, even if they’re not the right fit for the current generation.
But family values have the power to shape the people you, your partner, your children, and anyone else who is part of your family unit. Whether you’ve explicitly outlined those values or not, they’re present. And once you take ownership of those values, you can shape them to be in line with what you envision your family to be.
Let’s define family values, why they’re important, and how you can instill them into your family starting today.
Family values are similar to personal values or work values, but they include the entire family. Regardless of what your family looks like, how many parents and children it may (or may not include), these values inform family life and how you deal with challenges as a unit.
They also establish the value system under which children grow up and everyone (old and young) mature and develop as individuals. Family values can guide your entire family to become the kind of people you want to be. And ultimately, if your family includes children, family values can have a huge influence on child-rearing.
These values don’t necessarily have to be focused on child-rearing. They can be aligned with whatever your family most believes in. For example, a family can prioritize quality time together instead of pursuing careers that consume most of your time. This is valid even without children to care for. Family members of all ages are worthy of quality time.
Whenever someone in your family goes through a teachable moment, your family values will shine through. This is true whether those values are intentional or not.
Here’s how family values contribute to your loved ones and relationships.
1. They guide family decisions
Family values define what you and the other people in your family consider to be right or wrong. These values can help you stay consistent when making decisions in everyday life. They can also guide those decisions in moments of uncertainty.
This is especially true when you’re tempted to make rash decisions based on an emotional reaction. When you have clearly established family values, you can take a step back. Instead of acting impulsively, what do your values suggest is the right course of action?
For instance, how do you deal with someone who has lied to another family member? How do you set boundaries with your partner and with younger children in the family unit?
2. They provide clarity and structure
Children learn by modeling what the people around them do. Because of the plasticity of their brains, they can adapt and change depending on what environment they grow up in.
When their parents or guardians follow a set of clear values, they have clarity on what is right and wrong. Values give them structure and boundaries within which they can thrive.
On the other hand, unclear values can create inconsistencies for children. They may struggle to figure out right from wrong if their family values constantly change.
And while you may have clear personal values, other adults in the family may have completely different values. When those values clash, it can be confusing for the children involved.
Defining your family values helps avoid confusion and creates a clear definition of right and wrong.
3. They help your family achieve a sense of identity
Growing up is difficult. Children are constantly trying to figure out who they are and who they want to be. And because their brains aren’t fully developed yet, this process can be grueling on its own.
When you add in the other challenges that life can throw at them, you can imagine how hard it is to grow up.
Clear family values can help children build a sense of identity. While the rest of the world around them is uncertain, they know they can rely on their family values to identify themselves.
Family values can also give the family its own sense of identity as a family unit.
4. They improve communication among family members
When values are clear, communication is easier. Everyone is on the same page. All family members are working with the same definition of right and wrong.
It’s much easier to have productive conversations when there isn’t any ambiguity in values. This can help maintain a healthy family dynamic.