Monday, March 14, 2016

Week 2 McGuire Theories of Development

In the readings for week two, there are multiple people whose theories are very prominent in the studies of development. Freud and Erikson's theories are the two that really stood out to me though. With Freud's psychosexual stages and Erikson's eight stages, there is a lot to reflect on.

Freud believed that each person went though certain stages and if one failed to properly develop in a certain stage, they would be stuck in it such as the oral stage or the latent. Then you have Erikson who believed that each person went though eight developmental stages which are marked by a life crisis to move forward.

From an educator's standpoint, I agree with Freud's theory due to the fact that as an early childhood educator, I get to experience multiple children going through every stage from infant to the beginning to junior high. There are many who are in the oral stage or the phallic stage but it seems to me to be more obvious in boys than in little girls. For instance, I've observed that most of the boys in preschool are learning about potty training and how to go to the bathroom in the class around girls and have noticed (quite loudly at times) the differences between them. Obviously we try to curb that behavior and do our best to separate the potty times but with one bathroom and the door open its challenging.

But from a personal viewpoint, I agree with a few of Erikson's points in that there has to be a life crisis that marks each stage. I actually have a few that I can recall off the top of my head. Unfortunately one in particular stands out to me and I have since turned to behavior that many would consider unhealthy or inappropriate. It has taken me over a decade to realize that that event was merely one in many and I can still be the person I was supposed to be had that not happened. But sometimes I slip back into old habits especially if I'm stressed or scared and were it not for a loving family and an EXTREMELY patient spouse, I would continue down that spiral of negativity and self doubt. Returning to college has also helped push me to be the me I should have been and that is a huge blessing as well.


  1. Hi Molly,

    Very interesting blog post! I agree with your thoughts on Freud. I have heard a lot about him in the past but I never realized how detailed his theory was. I can relate to watching children go through the stages of Freud's theory. I have been babysitting young children for years and I now realize the same observation you made about boys and girls potty training. I can imagine it would be hard to teach them with one bathroom and the door open.

    I also like the point you made about Erikson's views on life crisis marking at stage. Reading about his theory at first did not really interest me, but after reading your perspective on it I want to study his theory further. I hope that you can continue on a positive path and try not to get into old habits. Best of Luck. Stay positive!

  2. Hey Molly,
    After reading your post I agree with you on Freuds theory of the oral fixation with children at a young age. I see it in my nephews all the time and other children at that age. And I agree with you about the combination of the oral stage and phallic stage. Kids are in the age bracket but are not set in stone, they can dip into the oral stage while showing signs of the phallic stage.
    As for the Erikson's theory I would also agree that certain situations happen as turning points in ones life. During those big decisions you are given a choice and choosing one path no matter what you are going to change the way you live everyday. Sometimes slipping into old habits because they are comforting and safe. I am around high school students all say so I see the identity vs identity confusion. Students becoming adults and learning who they are sometimes in crisis events that we may call minor crisis events but for them at the time it's the world.
    Great post,

  3. Molly,
    I really enjoyed your post. I must admit, I have never really cared for Freud's theories, but after having read your comments regarding the applicability of his theories to you as an educator, I think I will have to give him a second look! Also, I really liked that you referenced Erickson's view of the crises which determine our passage through each stage. I think upon examination, everyone can see the crisis at each stage in their own lives, though perhaps for many of us, those crises may be painful ones. I think the tendency to slip backwards is one which every person faces, and our students face them as well. Point of commonality like this can help us to establish common understanding with our students and hopefully make us more effective teachers, but also better people as well.