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Teachers And The Application Of The Person-Environment Fit Theory Essay Sample

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Teachers And The Application Of The Person-Environment Fit Theory Essay Sample

             Teachers have expectations that gradually each child will become self-directed. Consequently, as children learn and become self-directed, adults simply ease into the background, allowing children to practice their self-direction. When adults understand human development, they avoid doing for children what the children can do for themselves. Throughout life, adults must be good observers of children and, upon observing that their guidance has been effective, be ready to let the child take over. Adults then move on to something new that the child needs help in learning.

Teachers who are really professionals set their own high standards for the children’s programs. They work to improve their teaching everyday, every month, every year. They look constantly for new ideas, new materials, new ways to help children. They read professional journals, which give them new ideas to try—new standards to achieve. They go to school, take courses, read and study so that they can apply these principles in the classroom and know how to identify the skills of their students.

In the classroom set up, when teachers learn when to let go and when to guide their students, then they are able to gauge the interests of their students in the proper direction. Teachers need to evaluate their performance in the classrooms because their children’s lives are at stake. It is the teachers’ human resources—skills and knowledge—that are not being developed if they have a substandard, mediocre way of approaching their guidance of their students.

Guiding children to help them reach their fullest potential requires the pooling of much information on the teacher’s part, their acting with warmth and personal concern for each child. Jacquelynne Eccles and her associates expound of the person-environment fit theory which is a good framework with which to mull on these issues. For example, they cite that there are negative motivational and behavioral consequences of being in an environment that does not match one’s subjective needs (Eccles from Hunt, 1975). In the same manner, positive motivational behavior and actions result because of a good matching of one’s environment. When teachers are aware of this, they are therefore able to gauge their knowledge about how children would respond in a particular environment. A teacher’s basic knowledge about how children grow and develop will serve in many ways as one works with them.

With this information, one can interact with their students and plan for them. This knowledge is derived from research in the sciences of child development to provide basis for sound decisions of teachers. The more one knows about children, how they learn and develop within their environment, the more one would be able to respond. Being a nurturing person is a role that teachers will play in this kind of environment. This is a nurturing role that includes providing needed emotional support—warm, interested, friendly, affectionate, comforting and helpful personal responses to each child. Nurturing is a basic responsibility of the teacher of young children. It is crucial to a child’s development. When children are provided a rich and varied curriculum, the students are kept productively busy. The creative teacher will then be able to plan a program that is highly challenging to every aspect of a child’s development. To do the teaching and care giving job well, teachers must be aware of this theory so that they can adequately adjust their teaching to the best and most effective way their students will learn.


Eccles, J. Control versus Autonomy During Early Adolescence. University of Michigan.

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