ERIC Number: ED409976
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
School-Age Care from the Perspective of Social Role Theory.
Ollhoff, Jim; Ollhoff, Laurie
Within the literature of social psychology, there exists a body of information that deals with role theory, defined as the expectations persons have at any given time and the norms that govern their behavior. This paper discusses role theory as it applies to school-age child caregivers and as part of the process of professionalism. "Role" is defined as a set of expectations that vary depending on the situation, with role norms indicating what actions and words are appropriate in different situations. When the role of school-age caregivers is considered that of a facilitator of positive development, every activity, game, or interaction is an opportunity to further children's development. The many different ways caregivers carry out this role are called functional tasks, and those include being a programmer, teacher, nurturer, discipliner, community worker, and administrator. Sub-roles define the expectations within each of the environments of the functional tasks. Roles are learned through a process called role acquisition, with effective contact and attentive observation of a model key to developing a new role. Role consensus occurs when a new role is acquired and others agree that behaviors are consistent with that role. Occasionally, role strain can occur. This is any felt difficulty meeting the requirements and expectations of a particular role. Several kinds of role strain are: role transition, role dissensus, role ambiguity, role overload, role conflict, and role-person merger. Social role theory can help school-age caregivers with role clarification. As this understanding grows, so will caregivers' proficiency. (TJQ)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Minnesota State Dept. of Children, Families, and Learning, St. Paul.