Related: Continuing Education, Jean Simpson

Biographies: More than a Story — A Teaching Tool

 
 

By Adjunct Faculty Member, Dr. Jean Simpson

I have always loved biographies. It is no wonder that my dissertation consisted of biographical studies of sixteen educators who made significant contributions to the field of early childhood education.

As an adjunct professor at Trinity, I incorporate gathering biographical information about the lives of theorists in the human growth and development course I teach. I find it intriguing to watch my students, who have studied these popular theorist in the past, while in college, come alive with interest as we discuss the stages of development introduced by Eric Erikson, Jean Piaget, Sigmund Freud, and Lawrence Kohlberg. We make a comparison of the theorist’s life to the development of his theory. ¬†Ah-ha’s can be heard throughout the class as the connecting associations are made.

This learning approach assists students in making real connections between theory and practice. They also receive an understanding of how theories are often developed. It is always amazing to watch the students’ expressions as they connect Erik Erikson’s theory on identity crises to his personal search for his on identify that existed for most of his early years, adolescence and adulthood. Biographies give us so much information about our history and how we can predict the future. Amazing!

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