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) Stages of Development
Believing that most human suffering is determined during childhood development, Freud placed emphasis on the
five stages of psychosexual development. As a child passes through these stages unresolved conflicts between physical
drives and social expectation may arise.
These stages are:

 Oral (0 – 1.5 years of age): Fixation on all things oral. If not satisfactorily met there is the likelihood of developing
negative oral habits or behaviors.
 Anal (1.5 to 3 years of age): As indicated this stage is primarily related to developing healthy toilet training habits.
 Phallic (3 – 5 year of age): The development of healthy substitutes for the sexual attraction boys and girls have toward
a parent of the opposite gender.
 Latency (5 – 12 years of age): The development of healthy dormant sexual feelings for the opposite sex.
 Genital (12 – adulthood): All tasks from the previous four stages are integrated into the mind allowing for the onset of
healthy sexual feelings and behaviors.

Super ego

Each stage is processed through Freud’s concept of the human mind as a three tier system consisting of the superego,
the ego, and the id. The super ego functions at a conscious level. It serves as a type of screening center for what is going
on. It is at this level that society and parental guidance is weighed against personal pleasure and gain as directed by ones
id. Obviously, this puts in motion situations ripe for conflict.


Much like a judge in a trial, once experiences are processed through the superego and the id they fall into the ego to
mediate a satisfactory outcome. Originally, Freud used the word ego to mean a sense of self, but later revised it to mean
a set of psychic functions such as judgment, tolerance, reality testing, control, planning, defense, synthesis of information,
intellectual functioning, and memory.


The egocentric center of the human universe, Freud believed that within this one level, the id is constantly fighting to have
our way in everything we undertake.
The Five Systems of The Bio-Ecological Theory of Human Development:
Microsystem, Mesosystem, Exosystem, Macrosystem, and the Chronosystem

Microsystem: The setting in which the individual spends considerable time - e.g. in direct reciprocal interaction with
family, peers, school and neighborhood vs. being a passive recipient

Mesosystem: The linkages between microsystems such as the connections between family experiences and school

Exosystem: The individual does not have any control over what she or her experiences-e.g. a parent's workplace or
school district.

Macrosystem: The broader cultural context, e.g. the roles of ethnicity and socioeconomic factors that impact on the
individual's development

Chronosystem: The socio-historical conditions affecting an individual's development.

Examples: The pervasiveness of technology in society, the breakdown of traditional family model or the impact of urban
city dwelling.


Sigmund Freud is considered to be the father of psychiatry. Among his many accomplishments is, arguably, the most far-
reaching personality schema in psychology: the Freudian theory of personality. It has been the focus of many additions,
modifications, and various interpretations given to its core points. Despite many reincarnations, Freud’s theory is
criticized by many (e.g. for its perceived sexism) and it remains the focus of hot discussions on its relevance today.

Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist who is perhaps most known as the founder of psychoanalysis. Freud's
developed a set of therapeutic techniques centered on talk therapy that involved the use of strategies such as
transference, free association, and dream interpretation.

Psychoanalysis became a dominating school of thought during the early years of psychology and remains quite
influential today. In addition to his influence on psychology, Freud's ideas have permeated popular culture and concepts
such as denial, Freudian slips, the unconscious, wish fulfillment, and the ego are even commonly used in everyday

Erik Eriksons
Lev Vygotsky

Jean Piaget

Laurence Kohlberg
Urie Bronfenbrenner

Urie Bronfenbrenner’s ecosystems educational theory affects how educators view children who are struggling in the
classroom as well as demonstrate the environmental factors that affect a child’s development and learning. If we recall
Bronfenbrenner’s ecosystems theory and apply that to a school: the microsystem would be students and objects with
whom the student directly interacts in the classroom. Another microsystem within which the student exists is at home.
The mesosystem incorporates the multiple microsystems and includes the interactions between those microsystems.
Circumstances in each affect the other. The macrosystem includes the school policies and any cultural contexts and
policies (e.g. Common Core) within which the student lives and of which he or she has no control. The other system that
has effect on the child is chronosystem. This is the cumulative effect of the experiences of the child’s life.

With all of these variables that affect a child’s development and learning, what can an educator do to provide students
with the most opportunities for success? First, an educator must be aware of the fact that there are all of these potential
reasons for student success or challenges. Next the educator must create a safe, nurturing environment in which
students can feel comfortable enough to take risks in learning and feel support when they struggle.