There are five stages in psychosexual development that, according to Freud, must be successfully completed in order to achieve a balanced and stable adult personality. If someone, however, does not complete a stage successfully, part of their libido can become fixated at that stage and not allow progression. This can lead to abnormalities within their personality, where the child will continue to seek satisfaction at this stage. The libido is the unconscious sexual pleasure drive and is the focus for each of the five stages. A normal personality will occur only if no libido is fixated within a stage. Examining what people do is a vital component of psychology. Hence this write up seeks to assess the relevance of Sigmund Freud’s theory on personality assessment in an ECD B class. Relevance is going to be assessed mainly on oral, anal, phallic and latent stages. Prior to the assessment, key terms personality and assessment will be defined.
Asmolov (1990) defined personality as an organized combination of attributes, motives, value, and behaviours unique to each individual. According to Wolff (2014) personality is an individual’s unique pattern of thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Therefore one can deduce that personality is someone’s set of characteristics thus the totality of attitudes, interests, behavioural patterns, emotional responses, social roles, and other individual traits that endure over long periods of time. According to Cattell (2000) assessment is the systematic process of documenting and using empirical data on the knowledge, skill, attitudes, and beliefs to refine programs and improve student learning. Allport (1997) states that assessment is an end result of gathering information intended to advance psychological theory and research and to increase the probability that wise decisions will be made in applied settings.
In an ECD B classroom, some learners seem to be very spoiled and they tend to portray a personality that is highly dependent, hence they seem not to be able to cope with the world around them that is the school environment without getting things done for them. Basing on Freud’s theory these children might have been over fed during their oral stage. According to Freud, children at this stage seek pleasure through the mouth thus sucking and eating. Carducci (2009) states that, “at this stage for children to be able to move to the next stage, they need to have parents or caregivers who properly feeds them especially the mother figure is crucial at this stage”. Hence they should not be under fed or over fed. If the children are over fed at this stage they will tend to portray a personality that is highly dependent on others and fail to cope with the world around them without having thing done for them. As being assessed, it can be clearly noted how Sigmund Freud’s psychosexual theory is relevant in personality assessment at ECD B level.
As the ECD facilitator assesses the different personalities of the ECD B learners, one of the other personalities that he or she might notice is that of being disorganised and always making a messy. Referring to the psychosexual stages by Freud, the ECD facilitator will be well informed by the anal stage as explained by Freud. He believed that the anal stage is directly related to child’s awareness of bowel control and gaining pleasure through the act of eliminating or retaining faeces. Freud’s theory puts the anal stage between 18 months and three years. Shaffer and Kipp (2010) supports that, “when a child becomes fixated on receiving pleasure through controlling and eliminating faeces, a child can become obsessed with control, perfection and cleanliness”. Therefore this can be referred to as anal retentive, while anal expulsive may be extreme disorganised, live in chaos and are known for making messes. For example the EC learner will always be in a mess, not able to go to the toilet in time and sometimes being not able to handle his or her portfolio and worksheets in a nice smart way as other learners do. Hence the assessment has fully highlighted the relevance of Sigmund Freud’s theory on personality assessment in an ECD B class.
In addition some of the young learners thus ECD B learner tends to show a confused sexual identity personality. For example the ECD facilitator might observe a learner who is always wanting to be with the girls and even going to the toilet with the girls instead of going with the boys. As the ECD facilitator is well informed by Freud’s psychosexual stage namely the phallic stage. Reppen (1995) postulates that, “If a child becomes fixated during this phase the result could be sexual deviance or a confused sexual identity”. Freud believed this stage occurs when a child is three to six years of age. The belief is that male children harbour unconscious, sexual attraction to their father. Freud taught that young boys also deal with feelings of rivalry with their father. These feelings naturally resolve once the child begins to identify with their same sex parent, the child continues with normal, healthy sexual development. Hence the facilitator will be able to get an insight of what happened to the learners’ development as far as the phallic stage, relevance of the theory in ECD B class has been fully assessed and can be noted.
More so in ECD B the ECD facilitator my also observe that some learner will like to play so much that they show a playful personality. This kind of personality will be best explained to the ECD facilitator when he or she refers to the latent stage of the psychosexual theory by Freud. No further psychosexual development takes place during the stage as explained by Freud. The libido is dormant. Freud thought that most sexual impulses are repressed during the latent stage, and sexual energy can be sublimated to defence mechanisms towards school work, hobbies, and friendships. Grunbaum (2004) states that, “Much of the child’s energy is channelled into developing new skills and acquiring new knowledge, and play becomes largely confined to other children of the same gender”. Hence the write up has clearly assessed the relevance of the theory on personality assessment in ECD B classroom situation.
In conclusion to the assessment, Freud’s theory has been fully assessed while its relevance to personality assessment in ECD was highlighted. As the ECD facilitator assesses the different personalities in a classroom situation, he or she is well informed on how some personalities of the learners are formed, hence he or she will know how to handle or help these learners. Though Freud’s theory as not scientifically proven the write up concludes that to a greater extent it is of great relevance.
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