In this paper I will discuss a variety of philosophers and their contributions to the study of human development. There are a numerous amount of philosophers whose ideas overlap, and their views are similar. In some instances the views and ideas were not the same. It was in fact, interesting to compare and contrast the various philosophers. In researching different areas of development I was able to relate some of my own experiences as an educator.
Erik Erikson has made a large contribution to psychology with his developmental theory. He believed human development occurred in stages. Erikson developed eight psychological stages. The stages are Trust vs. Mistrust, Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt, Initiative vs. Guilt, Industry vs. Inferiority, Identity vs. Role Confusion, Intimacy vs. Isolation, Generativity vs. Stagnation, and Integrity vs. Despair. In the first stage he felt that an infant who gets fed when he is hungry and comforted when he needs comforting will develop trust. He also said that some mistrust is necessary to learn to trust. The second stage, Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt, occurs between ages two and three. During this period it is important that the parents create a supportive atmosphere in which the child can develop a sense of self-control without a loss of self-esteem. Erikson said the child encounters rules, such as which areas of the house he is allowed to explore. The third stage, Initiative vs. Guilt, occurs between ages four and five. This is the stage in which the child must find out what kind of person he/she is going to be. The child develops a sense of responsibility. Erikson's fourth stage, Industry vs. Inferiority, occurs between six years and puberty. This si the period in which the child wants to enter the larger world of knowledge and work. One of the great events of this time is the chid's entry into school. This is where he is exposed to the technology of his society, books, multiplication tables, arts and crafts, maps, microscopes, films and tape recorders.