The child’s personality begins to form from early childhood. At this age, they begin to know the world around them, learn a variety of actions with objects, master speech and acquire experience of emotional communication with adults. There is rapid physical, psychological, and mental development, and the acquired qualities become the basis on which their entire future life is based. At grade 6-8, a child develops motivational (human interests, basic needs, and motives of behavior), instrumental (means of achieving compliance with goals that meet current needs and motives of behavior), and stylistic personality traits (character, abilities, temperament, manners). The fundamental importance of preschool childhood lies in the fact that it is the initial formation of personality, the period of formation of personal mechanisms of activity. In the school years of the child’s development, the first connections and relationships are established, which form a new, higher unity of the subject – the unity of personality.
It is crucial because school childhood is the period of forming a personality’s psychological mechanisms. The state educational standard considers school childhood as a valuable, qualitatively peculiar stage of the life path, a unique period of human life (“English Language”, n.d.). Grade 6-8 is a period of active development of social space. Children discover the world of human interactions and learns their specifics through communication with close adults and peers through relationships (Smith et al., 2019). In childhood, the foundation is laid for further development, and there is an introduction to knowledge about the world around them, the formation of moral and ethical norms, and the assimilation of universally valid values. There are several criteria for the formation of personality (Perkins et al., 2018):
- The existence of a child within the framework of social relations
- The development of children in the context of mental relationships to themselves and the world around them
- The manifestation of the ability to self-esteem, subordination of motives, the dynamics of the development of feelings, the development of will, a particular orientation of personality
- The formation of all links of self-consciousness
- Assimilation of fundamental norms and rules of behavior.
In the older age, the content and motives of communication change, and communicative skills and abilities are acquired. Therefore, one of the components of psychological readiness for school is communication (Smith et al., 2019). It is necessary to distinguish three main structures within the framework of the communicative interaction of preschoolers of the children’s group:
- The actometric structure includes objective relationships that arise through joint activities in free communication.
- The sociometric structure assumes the circle of preferred communication of a schoolchild with other children.
- The perceptual structure includes mutual evaluations existing in the group.
Grade 6-8 is a period of mastering the social space of human relations during communication with close adults and in the play and genuine relationships with other children. At this age, they receive such fundamental types of activity for children’s development as communication with an adult and creative play. The personal, mental, and emotional development of younger children occurs in the process and due to the development of the communicative sphere. At this age, at the level of verbal behavior, the boundaries between the ordinary and non-ordinary reality of consciousness arise, which are strengthened at the beginning of primary school age (Perkins et al., 2018). At grade 6-8 stage, the “stratification” of the everyday reality of children’s consciousness (dependent and independent, controlled by arbitrary efforts and uncontrolled) is carried out. The most fundamental characteristics of the individual child’s consciousness are formed at the verbal level: ideas about the stability of the object, magical and physical causality, which the child uses to explain events and phenomena of the surrounding world, rational ideas about time, and space.
Interaction with Adults
The children selectively treat adults, gradually beginning to realize their relationship with them. The specificity of communication with peers is that communication with them is more diverse than contact with adults. In the interaction of children, those qualities and personal characteristics that do not manifest themselves in communication with adults, for example, the ability to invent new games, can manifest themselves (Perkins et al., 2018). When communicating with peers, all activities are characterized by vivid emotional saturation. A child acquires the ability to empathize with another, experience other people’s joys and sorrows as their own, and can take a different point of view.
All forms of addressing peers are less regulated, and the child has more opportunities to take the initiative. By the end of this stage, the highest achievement of communicative activity is formed, which is an extra-situational-personal form of communication, replacing situational-business and extra-situational-cognitive. The interests of schoolchildren are no longer limited to surrounding objects and phenomena but extend to the world of people, their actions, human qualities, and relationships. A distinctive feature of communication at this stage is the desire for mutual understanding and empathy with adults, the need for them.
Communicative competence implies the possession of socio-cultural norms and stereotypes of speech communication. This means knowledge of speech dialogization: the ability to use the address in various forms, the ability to express their assessment of a fact or event sincerely, usually causing a response, reciprocal empathy; the ability to predict the emotional reactions of interlocutors. The most important for children are the following communication skills (Perkins et al., 2018):
- related to perception: the ability to listen and consider the emotional state of the partner
- in orientation in a communication situation: the ability to take into account the characteristics of the interlocutor in the communication situation
- related to reproduction: considering the emotional state of the partner in one’s speech, the ability to coordinate actions and opinions with the needs of partners and adjust them
- related to participation in a conversation: the ability to maintain a conversation both with adults and with children, select material that is interesting for the interlocutor
Communicative competence is rightfully considered the leading one since it serves as the basis for forming other socially significant competencies and is considered the fundamental characteristic of a preschooler’s personality, the essential prerequisite for their further well-being in intellectual and socio-cultural development in the development of various types of activities. The communicative competence of children is determined by the social framework, their gender, age and individual characteristics, subject-practical activities, educational work organization, and the communication space’s specifics (Morris et al., 2021). The social situation of the child’s development, the emerging need for communication with adults and peers, joint activities, and training can be considered conditions for the development of communicative competence of grade 6-8, which create a zone of the child’s closest development.
Within the framework of the modern socio-cultural situation, the communicative development of children is primarily mediated by information and communication technologies. Technology has taken an important place in the life, and its presence continues to grow rapidly. At the moment, they have such significance that the competent support of this interaction by parents becomes a fundamentally important task. The early use of computers by preschoolers significantly impacts the formation of their individual and personal characteristics. The organization of the game and the development of the game activity as a leading one at preschool age becomes a complex and vital problem.
The solution to this problem involves not only the search for ways to deploy gaming activities but also a deeper analysis of the structure and its features at this stage of childhood in the context of the processes of socialization and individualization in new conditions. Researchers note that modern children, like their peers of the last century, assimilate such norms of relationships as mutual assistance and willingness to help a friend (Morris et al., 2021). Differences were revealed in the manifestation of kindness and selflessness. Such transformations in children, in their assessments of the actions of their peers, in determining their line of behavior are explained by social changes.
School and Family
The reasons for the formation of negative personality traits of a modern children are justified mainly not only by the influence of socio-economic factors in general. It is also manifested by the extensive employment of modern adults who spend much time at work and often do not communicate with their children at home, offering them to watch cartoons or find something to do on a tablet or computer (Smith et al., 2019). The family contributes to the formation of human dignity, provides a person with the primary foundations of spirituality and love of life based on love, and it is here that the person being formed receives genuine protection and actual spiritual and moral values. Many parents do not realize the full significance of the fact that it is in childhood that the formation of social norms, moral requirements, and: models based on the imitation of children by parents takes place.
Here teachers of educational institutions come to the aid of students. They are faced with the need to bring to the parents’ consciousness that the moral values and customs created by numerous ancestors are formed, preserved, and transmitted in the family (Smith et al., 2019). The upbringing of a spiritual personality is possible only under the unified interaction of family and school. Relying on children’ emotional responsiveness, impressionability, imagination, and desire to imitate, teachers bring up qualities: caring, attentiveness, and benevolence. Based on this, friendship, camaraderie, and a sense of collectivism are formed, leading to the education of eternal values: mercy, compassion, truthfulness, the desire to do good, and rejection of evil.
Family and Community
In the family, as a social institution of childhood, it is necessary to develop spiritual traditions. This contributes to the formation of positive ideas about family traditions and values. Family education is a consistent and systematic activity of all family members and society to form spiritual and moral values in preparing children for independent adulthood, educating full-fledged and adequate fellow citizens of modern society. The children’s awareness of their role in the family and understanding of the connection with close people, belonging to their family, knowledge of the pedigree, and family traditions help them to know themselves (Perkins et al., 2018). Such awareness contributes to the development of the individual’s emotional stability and the education of self-confidence and self-esteem. Thus, they learn CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.6 – “Analyze the author’s purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text” (“English Language”, n.d., para. 7). Therefore, it is possible to successfully solve the tasks of educating grade 6-8 children about pride, developing ideas about the individual identity of families, and fostering a culture of behavior and traditions only with the interaction of the school, family, and community.
School and Culture
The upbringing of a communicative culture includes not only the development of communicative qualities of a person but also the formation of consciousness and a tolerant attitude towards others. In a multiethnic region, this is especially important since the child is surrounded by people of other nationalities who profess other religions (Anca, 2018). The task of parents, the school, and the community is to form a child’s friendly attitude towards representatives of other nationalities and religions (Smith et al., 2019). An important area of work on forming the communicative culture of a child’s personality is the organization of the experience of communicative activity.
When a preschool child enters school, the circle of communication expands, and the child participates in various intra-class and school-wide activities. Their joint activities experience is enriched, and their communication skills are developed. However, parents should not consider that now only the school should be responsible for developing the child’s personality (Perkins et al., 2018). They should not withdraw from the upbringing of children. Their active participation in the life of the children’s collective, joint activities with children, communication with the child, friends, and teachers, their knowledge, experience, authority, and personal example will help children learn to understand the interlocutor’s position and communicate without conflict, that is, to master the basics of communicative culture.
The expansion of cultural boundaries and the creation of a single educational space dictate the need to educate the younger generation on the ability to intercultural communication, readiness to accept multicultural diversity, and the proficiency to navigate new socio-cultural conditions. Transformations in the economic and political sphere, intensification in the development of science, information, and communication technologies, and acceleration of the pace of life, all these cardinal social changes indicate a change in social reality that has caused value-normative shifts in the life of society (Anca, 2018). This is reflected in CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.8 – “Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text” (“English Language”, n.d., para. 9). Grade 6-8 childhood is a period of mastering the social space of relationships with adults (Perkins et al., 2018). The system of socio-cultural development assumes that the younger generation has respect for their native language, their original culture and values, and national history. The family acts as the primary institution for the formation of the socio-cultural orientations of the individual, but more profound development is carried out at the stages of school education.
Psychosocial and Cognitive Development
Childhood is understood as a period of socio-cultural preparation of a person for adulthood as a full member of society. The child’s introduction to social reality contributes to the emergence of the social and moral orientation of the child’s personality. This is the period of the actual initial formation of personality, the development of unique mechanisms of behavior (Cross & Cross, 2018). At this stage, there is a gradual restructuring of the child’s consciousness, which depends on the social situation of development. It is the primary condition for personal development, which is expressed in the child’s attitude to the surrounding social reality. Activity and communication with other people play a crucial role in a child’s mental development. The main mechanisms of social development of preschool children are social experience, social orientation, reflex regulation, imitation, emotional identification, normative regulation, inductive regulation, cultural creation, control, reflection, and evaluation (Cross & Cross, 2018). In the grade 6-8 stage, the nature of interaction with peers is transformed.
The child’s understanding of the skills and knowledge of the partner in the game and activity expands. In socialization, a person’s personality is formed as a carrier of social relations, which is an important methodological point. During this period, the initial links of self-consciousness are formed. A child masters normative activity and behavior, the first ethical concepts. Heightened sensitivity to moral and psychological norms and rules of behavior is an essential feature of the mental development of them (Cross & Cross, 2018). The child develops a specific moral position; there is a desire for recognition and approval from adults and peers, there is purposefulness, the need to achieve success, a sense of self-confidence, and independence (Morris et al., 2021). The socialization process of them is accompanied by the appearance of personal neoplasms that make up the complex of readiness for school education: new forms of memory, attention, perception, representations, arbitrary regulation of the emotional sphere, and other psychophysiological formations.
Summing up, it should be noted that within the framework of the current socio-cultural situation, preschoolers’ communicative sphere is characterized by several features. First of all, this is the implementation of interaction not only within the framework of direct communication but also with the help of information and technologies. The family and the school are oriented towards meeting communication needs. All this is reflected in the strengthening of pragmatism, the social conditionality of specific actions. Definitely, the influence of society on the formation of the communicative sphere is an objective fact that largely determines the formation and development of a child’s individual psychological characteristics. At the same time, methodically based psychological and pedagogical influence on a grade 6-8 can effectively correct the shortcomings of the communicative sphere. In addition, it is advisable to conduct this impact on modern children taking into account, on the one hand, their individual and personal characteristics and the basis of technologies that ensure the child’s full development.
Thus, social and personal development occurs throughout life. Personality qualities and properties are acquired in the process of formation and upbringing. Personality is impossible outside of social activity and communication. An individual manifests his social essence, forms his social qualities, and develops value orientations only by engaging in the process of social practice. Heightened sensitivity to moral and psychological norms and rules of behavior is an essential feature of a student’s mental development. The status of a personality, its social roles, needs and motives, attitudes and value orientations are transformed into a system of stable personality traits that express attitudes towards people and themselves.
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Cross, T. L., & Cross, J. R. (2018). Maximizing potential: A school-based conception of psychosocial development. High Ability Studies, 28(1), 43–58.
English language arts standards, science & technical subjects, grade 6–8. (n.d.). Common Core State Standarts Initiative. Web.
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