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EDU/305-Robert Selman's Five Stages

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Michelle Chacon

on 29 July 2013

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Transcript of EDU/305-Robert Selman's Five Stages

Practical Application of Robert Selman's Five Stages of Perspective Taking

Ana Alvarenga, Michelle Chacon,
Paula Thaler, and Shontel Williams

July 26th, 2013
Faciltator: Terry Rose

Selman's Stages of Perspective Taking
The following activities are based on Robert Selman’s stage theory of “role taking.” Selman’s theory focuses on the development of “role taking.” Role taking is the ability to adapt to another person’s perspective by thinking of another person's point of view. Selman “proposed that role taking is essential to understanding another person’s thoughts, feelings, or motives” (Siegler, DeLaoache, & Eisenberg, 2011, p. 358). Selman’s theory explains “that children go through four complex and abstract stages in their thinking about other people” (Siegler, DeLaoache, & Eisenberg, 2011, p. 358). In stage one, from age six to eight children start to appreciate and understand that someone else can have a perspective that differs from his or her own. Still the child believes that the difference in perspective is that the person does not possess the same information. In stage two from age eight to 10, children realize that he or she can have a different point of view and can also think about the point of view of another person. In stage three from age 10 to 12, children can compare his or her own point of view and the point of view of another person systematically. During stage three children can “take the perspective of a third party and assess the point of view of two other people” (Siegler, DeLaoache, & Eisenberg, 2011, p. 359). Stage four from age 12 to adult, “adolescents attempt to understand another’s perspective by comparing it to that of a generalized other assessing whether the person’s view is the same as that of most people in his or her social group” (Siegler, DeLaoache, & Eisenberg, 2011, p. 359). In Selman’s stage of “role taking,” as children become less egocentric in his or her reasoning he or she becomes increasingly capable of considering multiple perspectives simultaneously. Applying activities, such as “Masquerade your feelings” and “What would you do” fuels student’s social development.
Selman's theory applied: Activity 1
Masquerade your feelings: The teacher will read a story about feelings, for instance “Double-Dip Feelings: Stories to Help Children Understand Emotions” by Barbara S. Cain. Once the teacher arrives to a particular part where feelings are involved, the child pulls up a mask that corresponds to a feeling that the child thinks the character might have. If all children have the same mask up, then the teacher will pick one child to express why he or she put up that particular mask. This will give the child a chance to express his or her sympathy as to why the character might feel a certain way. If there are several different types of mask up, then the teacher will pick each different mask and give the student a chance to express why he or she put up that particular mask. Every response is to be encouraged with positive affirmation. The following video provides an example of a mask that students could use to show angry, grumpy, or tired.
Selman's theory applied: Activity 2
What would you do?: The teacher will read a book containing a scenario that has several different perspective taking solutions and students are asked to write down “what would you do?” explanations for that particular scenario. Once all students have written what he or she would do, the teacher will ask each child to give their response to the scenario and an explanation for his or her response. This activity will stimulate the thought process, creative thinking, and perspective taking. Furthermore, it will encourage students to practice his or her reading, writing, and public speaking skills. The following video contains the kind of story that would work well for this activity. After hearing this story the students should be asked to write down the answers to questions, such as, "what would you do if you had a girl like Zoe in your class" or "what would you do if Zoe or someone in your class was bullying you?"
Support Development
Feral children are children who are raised in the wild and behave like animals. They do not possess, human-like, language or social skills; even after human intervention. They may walk on all fours, bark at people, and have fear in their eyes when in the company of socialized humans. Innate human characteristics may only be developed through language and socialization during the critical periods early in life (McCrone, 2003, para. 10).
Robert Selman’s theory considers several factors that determine how a child processes information. The age of the child and his or her ability to comprehend various emotions is how the theory distinguishes its various levels. Children interacting with each other helps encourage children to view others thoughts and feelings as important. Children engaging in our activities have the opportunity to express their feelings, and to understand how others can feel different emotions than themselves. These lessons ultimately help children become well-adjusted and accepted by peers.
We have created two activities that relate directly to the theory of Robert Selman. The activities are age appropriate, and incorporate the use of props to help children become aware of their and others emotions. The activities also give children the opportunity to use problem solving skills to find an answer, and also incorporate reading, writing, and public speaking.

Teachers give the chance for students to interact and understand each other, and how doing something or saying something without thinking about it can create hurt feelings. This theory takes into account children’s ages and how much information they can comprehend, and how they process the information that is given to them. Following are a description of Selman's theory, two theory based activities, and an explanation of the practical classroom application of the theory.

Masquerade Your Feelings
Masks can also be made out of paper mache, card board, card stock, or other available material. Students can use tissue paper, feathers, sequins, buttons, lace, markers, and any other available materials to embellish his or her masks.
Feral Child
Children need to be trained, taught, and exposed to human language and social skills. If they are not taught early, children risk losing the ability to develop their humanness. Human genetics do seem to support language and social development, however research scientist John McCrone theorizes that they may not activate unless stimulated by early human interaction (McCrone, 2003, para. 10). Elementary teachers have the responsibility of helping his or her students develop social and emotional skills that will enable them to be a productive and well-adjusted member of society. Selman's theory of perspective taking can serve as a guide when teachers create activities and lessons for a particular group of children by shedding light on the present needs of the children. The activities should provide social instruction and peer interaction, and should occur regularly. This will ensure that the students develop to their full potential.
Socialized Child
Practical Application
Teachers can give students the opportunities and practice they need to develop perspective taking ability that promotes prosocial behavior. These and similar activities are tools that teachers can use in the classroom to interactively teach students to consider and understand others perspectives. Teachers can also teach and model interactions that promote perspective taking. For example, Adam yelled at Jen;

Teacher: “Adam and Jen please face each other and look each other in the eye” “Jen, did you like it when Adam yelled at you?”

Jen: “No.”

Teacher: “You need to tell him that.”

Jen: “Adam, I don’t like it when you yell at me.”

Teacher: “Tell him why.”

Jen: “When you yell at me it makes me feel sad and scared, it embarrassed me too because everyone looked at me.”

Adam: “I am sorry, it really upset me when you took my glue stick because you did not ask and I was about to use it, next time I will nicely ask for it back.”

Jen: “You are right Adam, I should have asked first, next time I will ask first, I am sorry I upset you, I did not realize that you would get upset, but now I understand.”

Adam and Jen, through an everyday type of interaction, were able to further their understanding of another’s perspective. When these negative interactions are reduced and students learn to, “walk in other people’s shoes,” they will be more well-liked by their peers.
Berk, L. E. (2012). Infants, Children, and Adolescents. (7th. ed). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

McCrone, J. (2003). Feral children. The Lancet Neurology, 2(2), 132. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/201513872?accountid=458

Siegler, R., DeLoache, J., & Eisenberg, N. (2011). How children Develop (3rd ed.). Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=OUgnEGbgFeYC&pg=PA358&lpg=PA358&dq=robert+selman+theory+of+role +taking&source=bl&ots=JJc3iKvPzc&sig=57xrdiJBzaKoR2KPYra27DvZiM8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=8Ev0UZ2rL5PC9gSH0oDoCg&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=robert%20selman%20theory%20of%20role%20taking&f=false.

Selman's Stages of Perspective Taking
Level 0: Undifferentiated perspective taking
Age range: 3-6

Children recognize that self and other can have different thoughts and feelings, but they frequently confuse the two.
Level 1: Social-informational perspective taking
Age range: 4-9

Children understand that different perspectives may result because people have access to different information.
Level 2: Self-reflective perspective taking
Age range: 7-12

Children can “step into another person’s shoes” and view their own thoughts, feelings, and behavior from the other person’s perspective. They also recognize that others can do the same.
Level 3: Third-part perspective taking
Age range: 10-15

Children can step outside a two-person situation and imagine how the self and other are viewed from the point of view of an impartial third party.
Level 4: Societal perspective taking
Age range: 14-adult

Individuals understand that third-party perspective taking can be influenced by one or more systems of broader societal values.
What would you do?
Sources: Selman, 1976; Selman & Byrne, 1974, as used by Berk, 2012.
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