ERIC Number: EJ867903
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 8
Transforming Self-Control through Peer Relationships
Nakkula, Michael J.
Reclaiming Children and Youth, v17 n4 p35-40 2009
As people consider the critical importance of inner control in the development of human functioning, it might be wise to reexamine a fundamental insight from cultural psychology: from the very beginnings of life the growth of the individual mind is a reflection of and response to the minds around people, including the stimuli to which those surrounding minds are responding. In other words, what people come to recognize as the inner life is a unique synthesis of external influences. In general, the closer and more important those social and cultural influences, the more they contribute to the great mystery of human individuality. The pioneering Russian developmentalist Lev Vygotsky inspired generations of theory, research, and practice through these insights. His notions of scaffolding and the zone of proximal development, for example, have helped teachers, counselors, and youth workers of all stripes consider how best to support growth through the building of key bridges to meaningful activities, challenges, and, most importantly, human relationships. Work that has evolved from Vygotsky's original insights shows how to use the extraordinary scaffolding of friendship and peer relationships to foster and better understand the cultivation of inner controls, particularly for youth who find them most elusive. This article discusses the use of peer relationships as a promising method to foster positive growth.
Descriptors: Sociocultural Patterns, Social Development, Developmental Psychology, Cultural Influences, Social Influences, Teaching Methods, Peer Relationship, Self Control, Individual Development
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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