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Why Do We Do What We Do?

by Ruth A. Wilson
July/August 2011
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/why-do-we-do-what-we-do/5020090/

Most of us in the field of early childhood education pour a great deal of thought, energy, and enthusiasm into what we do. If asked why we invest so much in our profession, we’re likely to list a number of reasons: we love children and enjoy being around them; we sincerely care about their welfare; and we feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in helping children grow and develop.

According to a social development theory proposed by Erik Erikson (1950, 1959), we may also be motivated by something called ‘generativity’ " that is, a concern for the next generation. Our work, as early childhood educators, focuses on nurturing and guiding the healthy development of young people. While we certainly enjoy the ‘now’ of being with children, we also realize that our work can help them enjoy a happier and more successful life in the future. We probably realize, as well, that what we do can make the world a better place for future generations.

Stages of psychosocial development

Erikson’s theory is built around the idea that healthy individuals progress through eight different stages of psychosocial development during their lifetime. Five of these stages cover the childhood years " ...

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