Educational Research (ISSN: 2141-5161) Vol. 2(9) pp. 1438-1444 September 2011 Available online@ http://www.interesjournals.org/ER Copyright © 2011 International Research Journals
Self Concept: The paradigm shift and implications for schools
Program Director (graduate programs in special education), The City College of New York School of Education
Accepted 9 September, 2011
Initial Investigations into the development of self-concept have been largely descriptive and focused primarily on the concept of self-representation, namely, how the me-self evolves across childhood and adolescence. Investigators sought to document developmental differences in self-representation through coding of spontaneously generated descriptions of the self. These efforts identified broad, discontinuous, qualitative skills in how the self was described. However, there was little analysis of the structural organization of self-concept. Interest in self-processes has burgeoned in the past decade within many branches of psychology. Riding on the bandwagon of the cognitive revolution, selftheorists reconceptualized the self as a cognitive construction that is quite functional in bringing organization and meaning to one’s experiences. In addition to psychologists’ emphasis on selfconcept, educators have become interested in the implications of self-concept among special populations within the school setting. Thus, this paper explores the common principles across these newer frameworks. Keywords: Self-Concept, Adolescents, Special Education INTRODUCTION Self-concept has been studied for more than a century, as cited in Marsh and Craven, 2006). However, Interest in self-concept has recently escalated, in part, given increasing emphasis in its functional role in development. Although substantial scholarship of a theoretical and empirical nature has accumulated on the child’s developing self-concept, scholars have not to any great extent examined the child’s...