Using the Levels of Development

Kerry of British Columbia shows how to use the the Levels of Development.

Discussions held with individuals can also be held with entire classes of students. By referring to the levels of development, you can help kids understand the difference between pseudo-self-esteem (an over-inflated ego!) and true self-esteem.

Often it’s the person with the over-inflated ego who causes disruptions in the classroom, and so these kinds of discussions are particularly valuable. Once youngsters can recognize their own behaviour as “show-offish” (as opposed to  clever), they can become inspired to use the hierarchy to help themselves build true feelings of confidence and competence.

In other words, you can teach children that their level of behaviour is a CHOICE they continually make and that there is a “pay off” to operating on the highest level of social development—improved self-esteem, better relationships with others, and a greater sense of self-satisfaction.

Consider leaving a large copy of the hierarchy, such as a poster,  in the classrooms where you work. Plant the seed in the minds of your students that the chart or poster is there to help them make choices and decisions at ALL times. It’s not just something to talk about once a week. You can encourage your pupils to use the hierarchy independently if they want to become more responsible, self-reliant, kindhearted, etc.

Give your students a small version to take home or to keep in a personal notebook. Stress the value of this little reference. Help them to understand that the hierarchy is a powerful tool which they can decide to use and that by doing so they will be CHOOSING to be in control of their own lives.