Ordinary emotional development in the primary school years

Benjamin, Dexter and Benjamin, Francesca (2021) Ordinary emotional development in the primary school years. In: Child Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in Primary Schools: Tavistock Approaches. Tavistock Clinic Series . Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 13-29. ISBN 9781032023182

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In this chapter, we draw on psychoanalytic concepts in order to explore emotional development across the primary school years. We begin with some thoughts about the impact of early experience and relationships on starting school, before moving on to consider some of the factors at play in school transitions and relationships, and in the formation of individual and group identities. In particular we focus on the importance of individual and group identity formation as key aspects of developing the capacity to contain oneself, which, in turn, is intrinsic to learning and emotional life. Although the complexity of the emotional task of development in the primary school years can look less tumultuous than that in the child’s early years and adolescence, it is of paramount importance in terms of social identity and relationships. The mastery of conflicting senses of self as an individual, and as a group member is a fine balancing act, and we present the maze of issues for children in negotiating this challenge for the first time, in preparation for secondary school. With these themes in mind, we draw together an overview of the emotional development context for primary school children’s thinking and learning, including the supportive function of the imagination and reflectiveness of teachers in relation to children’s social development and academic achievement.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Development
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
URI: https://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2486

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