Socialization: the process involved when young children are becoming aware of society and learning how they are expected
What is the purpose of a school in the development of a child‘s socialization skills? From my research and personal
experience, I see it as being twofold: first, the school setting allows children to develop social relationships with one
another as well as adult authority figures; and two, it provides structure.
The development of social skills is crucial in allowing children to learn to function as members of society. Schools provide
both the place and the means for this process to be accomplished. By their very nature, schools encourage children to mingle
and work with one another, whether it is during free time on the playground, or in more structured group activities. From
this, children learn how to interact with others, what is acceptable and what is not. It also helps children broaden their
understandings of how different people are, from their home lives, to their goals, to the way each individual acts. Children
also learn from the adults around them, expanding upon that which they learned from adult authority figures in the family.
Teachers, librarians, classroom assistants, and administrative faculty all act in some sense as role models for the children
in the school.
Structure is equally important. Through the process of attending school, children learn to meet deadlines, work in group
settings, follow instructions, and abide by rules/guidelines. All of these skills are as necessary in the “real”
world as they are for children - adults too must follow rules in the workplace, meet deadlines at work or in school, work
with a variety of people, and be able to grasp new instructions. School provides a way for children to learn to pay attention
to subjects they might not otherwise be interested in, as well as the subjects they really enjoy. While the home environment
does provide a certain amount of structure for the child, school takes it to a different level, and gives the child a sense
of following guidelines in the adult world as well.
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