Educational Psychology: What are some of the educational determinants of personality?



9b iii). Examine the educational determinants of personality

Educational Determinants of Personality

Educational institutions play a significant role in personality development.

      • Schools rank second to the home as their influence comes early in life when the self-concept is being formed.
      • In fact, once children join school they spend more time there than in any other place outside the home.
      • The school has different influences and challenges on the child.
      • It is the first place that provides the child with a challenge. At school, the child is no longer a baby.
      • When he is an equal among peers.
      • When he cries they laugh at him and tease him as a crybaby.
      • When he wets or soils himself and they break into laughter.
      • School provides the child with the opportunity to measure himself against the peers in terms of intellectual, social and physical abilities.

Readiness For School

The purpose of the following activity is to point out some difficulties experienced by children when they enter school.

        • Some little boys and girls are traumatized by the school experience and there is nowhere they can run to escape the torture that school can be.
        • The mother or father beats them without wanting to find out why they are unhappy with school,
        • When they get to school the teacher continues the tormenting ordeals while other children laugh at and taunt the poor child.
        • We should ensure that the ordeals children go through in an attempt to go to school are minimized by ensuring that first and foremost, the child is physically and psychologically ready for school. That is,
        • He has control of his bowel movement.
        • He can control his urination.
        • He has the ability to communicate his needs and he possesses the social skills to ask the teacher for permission to go to the toilet.
        • The social skills must extend to the child’s ability to live with other children with the degree of harmony that his age permits.
        • At least the child’s should be able to share materials and to control his aggression to a certain extent so that he earns peer acceptance.
        • The child should also possess competencies that other children have and is able to meet other demands of the school.
        • The parents and the teacher should try to find out the problems the child is experiencing early and alleviate them instead of aggravating them as happens many a time.
        • If the child’s problems are dealt with early enough adjustment to school becomes possible.
        • A child fails to adjust to school if they encounter ego-deflating experiences. They wet or soil their clothes and other children laugh at them,
        • The teacher beats them,
        • The person who washes their soiled clothes shows open disgust and hostility.

The emotional climate of the school

The emotional climate of the school is very important to the child. This is where the teacher’s role becomes very critical, as she is normally responsible for setting the emotional climate.

        • The teacher’s influence on personality development is second only to that of the parents.
        • She is the mother of many children, all of them the same age. They look up to her
        • for love,
        • acceptance and
        • fair play.

The teacher should be seen to treat all children equally, avoiding favourism. She should be seen to have a keen interest in children and

        • Always remember that children are very sensitive. They want to be assured of love, acceptance and unconditional positive regard.
        • Indeed the teacher sets the foundation for the child’s adjustment or maladjustment to school.
        • The teacher should use the enormous powers she possesses to put children on the right footing in the direction of psychological health, the direction towards self- actualization.

Academic success

The degree of academic success that the child achieves affects personality development. If a child is getting good grades in schoolwork he enjoys inner satisfaction which boosts his ego.

        • Good grades not only lead to praise and commendation from teachers and parents, they also attract envy from peers.
        • They promise a good future as well as adjustment to school.
        • A child who is performing well will most likely steer away from any disciplinary problems.
        • This is the child you ask what he wants to become when he grows up and he has a clear vision of it: a pilot, a lawyer, a surgeon, an engineer, they will say.

Success in extra curriculum activities

Some children may not show excellent performance in class but when they are in the field they hold their own very well. Some run for the school at district or national levels.

        • Others are on the school teams: football, volleyball, basketball, rugby, tennis, netball and so on.
        • There are those who have talent in leadership while others shine in drama, choir, or dance.
        • These activities influence the amount of peer acceptance the student enjoys. They also boost the ego and are good recipes for positive development.

School Type

Schools differ just like the homes. Some schools are well endowed with physical and human resources while others could do with a lot more than currently available in both types of resources. Schools also differ in terms of culture. Some schools have established cultures of hard work and success while other schools have a culture of complacency and failure. This means that a child’s personality will be shaped according to what the school has to offer. The unfortunate bit here is that a child’s success in school and in life may be determined solely by the school factor.



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