Sunday, September 15, 2013

Facilitating Learning: Children's Social Interaction

    This is my second post on my discussion about elementary school children and this time, I would like to explain about their social interactions and how are these important in their development as children.
Scouting is one way in molding social interactions among children...
    Social interaction is a dynamic, changing sequence of social actions between individuals or groups who modify their actions and reactions according to the actions by their interaction partners. In other words, they are events in which people attach meaning to a situation, interpret what others are meaning and respond accordingly.
    It may also refer to the acts, actions or practices of two or more people mutually oriented towards each other's selves, that is, any behavior that tries to affect or take account of each other's subjective experiences or intentions. This means that the parties in social interaction must be aware of each other, or have each other's self in mind. This does not mean being in sight of or directly behaving toward each other. Social interaction is not defined by type of physical relation or behavior, or by physical distance. It is a matter of mutual subjective orientation toward each other. Thus, even with no physical behavior is involved, there is social interaction.
    It is seen that humans by nature are social being. They have innate drive or motive for affiliation, or the need to be with other people and to have personal relationship (Larey, 2001).
    (What an introduction about social interaction..hehehe)

    Now going to the my point, social interaction among children plays an important factor in their development. Interactions with parents, teachers and other adults introduce children to important social standards and rules. These interactions produce knowledge and respect for the social order, including its principles of organizations and legitimate authority. Furthermore, learning is influenced by social interactions, interpersonal relationships and communications with other people.
    Albert Bandura's reciprocal determinism describes the view that human development reflects an interaction between the person, the person's behavior, and the environment which includes other persons. This sees that development is a continuous reciprocal interaction between children and their environment. The situation or environment that a child experiences will surely affect him, but his behavior is thought to affect his environment as well. The implication of this is that children are actively involved in shaping the very environment that will influence their growth and development.
    Being appropriately social requires children to interact with others, and these interactions are more likely to be harmonious if they know what their social partners are thinking and feeling and can predict how these partners will likely to behave. This links to the idea of sociability that describes the child willing to engage other in social interaction and to seek attention and approval.
    In the middle childhood stage of development, sociability among peers is the most common and noticeable social interaction that children do. Also, peer interaction may be especially important for learning to regulate aggression and for understanding principles of loyalty, equity and important foundations of moral developement (Hartup, 1992; Keller and Edelstin, 1993). It introduces children to norms that direct reciprocity, and to standards of sharing, cooperation and fairness.
     Another reason middle childhood peer groups are important is because they challenge children to develop their interaction skills. Elementary school children must work to make the peer group understand what they are thinking and feeling. They must also struggle to see the points of view that other children hold. Through such efforts toward mutual understanding, children gain in social competence, that is, their ability to achieve personal goals in social interaction, while continuing to maintain positive relationship with others throughout elementary school years.
   Moreover, social scripts or special rules about particular form of social interactions change with age, not just because the children's cognitive skills change but also simply because that these rules change from social setting to another.


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