Erikson showed developmental stages that seamlessly integrate into a comprehensive theory of personality based on self-organization. Each stage corresponds to access to a structural level. Our maturation is discontinuous. The trouble is that every child will not access them the same age and with the same ease. A chance for our diversity? This complicates the task of educators. Easier to teach a class of children at the same stage than a heterogeneous class, especially if these children are given the same social status because they belong to the same generation. Prioritization is pejorative. Things were better in rural classrooms mixing different generations and different scholar levels: the social position of tall and little ones was clear, and mutual support could be exercised easily. In a classroom of the same age, the least developed are “drags” and the most advanced « pretentious”.
Since identical educational prerequisites are asked to all students, their different potentials clearly come, early, from the innate. Of course difficult social ambience complicated life of some. But it is not insurmountable for a teacher. Method affair. By cons, when confronted with a real misunderstanding, because the mind circuits are not mature, stress leads to destroy the confidence of the student.
The construction of personality is the interaction of two streams of solicitations: instinctive intentions and requests of the environment. It slowly raised the psychic building, floor by floor, with a structure and means deeply tattooed by innate. When requests far exceed the capabilities, the simplest protection is to ignore them. Various possible methods, from introversion to the construction of an illusory universe. Appear neurosis, which are construction defects related to non-compliance to the specification: the plan ceases to be interactive between the two streams, instinct and environment. Neurosis is an overly instinctive behavior. The reverse abuse is equally pathological: an omnipotent, colonialist environment for the child psyche produces colorless personalities: excessive right-thinking.
So must see Erikson theory not as a series of steps to achieve in order and on time, but as benchmarks for educators to analyze the personality of their students and adapt their requests. They can also encourage their flock to be aware of their shortcomings. All this takes time, energy, is rarely profitable (except empathy from kids). With both parents at work and no increase in the social budget that would allow a customized education, young minds continue to bump along on a road full of ruts of life, and produce the great diversity of adults we know . The society seen by our self-organizational theory can only be a dynamic of conflicts and never equilibrium.