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Honoring the Essential Self

ITEM #: 4400613

What's In This Kit?
This training kit helps teachers understand the difference between the essential self - a self that reflects the core of our individuality - and the social self, which is the self in relation to others. Balancing the growth of each is important because placing too much emphasis on one over the other represents a misguided approach to a child’s growth and development and is not in his best interest.

This training kit contains the following components:
  • Training research, models, benchmarks
  • Preparation and implementation steps
  • Handouts
  • The article “Honoring the Essential Self” by Ruth A. Wilson
  • References and resources
  • Training Certificate for Learner - Certificate of Attendance and Participation

Who's the Target Audience?
The target audiences for this training kit are beginning, intermediate, and advanced Learners who are working with young children (2 through 5 years).

Teacher Skill Level
beginning intermediate advanced
Children's Age Level
infants toddlers preschoolers school-agers birth to 8

Kit Timeline:
Preparation time for this kit is estimated at 1.5 hours. Implementation and actual training time is 3.0 hours, which includes 1.5 hours of face-to-face training and 1.5 hours of independent study and an applied activity project. There is a bonus activity in the Group Instruction face-to-face training, which can add as much as 1.0 hour to the training time.

Training Outcomes:

By the end of this training, Learners will be able to:
  • differentiate between the essential self (individual interests) and the social self (group interests).
  • describe behaviors of the essential self and the social self.
  • list at least 3 ways to support a child’s essential self and his social self.
  • identify and honor a child’s own essential self so she can honor it in each child.

These training outcomes address the following American Standards:

  • National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) Standards and Accreditation Performance Criteria (2005). (www. naeyc.org).
    • - Teaching staff to evaluate and change their responses based on individual needs. Teaching staff vary their interactions to be sensitive and responsive to differing abilities, temperaments, activity levels, and cognitive and social development. (1.B.07)
      - Teaching staff to support children as they practice social skills and build friendships by helping them enter into play, sustain play, and enhance play. (1.C.03)
    • National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs, National Association of Child Care Professionals (2005). (www. naccp.org).
        - Children’s development of trust and emotional security is promoted with consistent, responsive, and nurturing teachers. (E1)
        - A positive sense of self is promoted through respectful teacher-child interactions. (E2)
        - Cooperative and positive social behaviors are promoted through opportunities for learning reciprocity, empathy, and social skills. (E3)

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