Pedagogical Conditions Of Emotional Self-Regulation Development At Older Preschool Age

Abstract

The present article considers the development of 6-7-year-old children's ability to regulate emotions as the subject of the theoretical and empirical analysis. Three aspects of the problem focus on the following: approaches to defining the concept of "emotional self-regulation" in relation to the preschool child, diagnostics of emotional self-regulation components at older preschool age and ways of developing emotional self-regulation in 6-7-year-old children. The article presents the findings of this study aimed at assessing the effectiveness of integrating of the pedagogical conditions complex, stimulating older preschoolers' emotional self-regulation development in the educational process of preschool institutions. The method is chosen to conduct a pedagogical experiment on the basis of a pre-school institution, including assessment, development and control assessment stages. At the assessment experiment stage, the main problems of emotional regulation development in 6-7-year-old children's are detected by means of the diagnostics of cognitive, behavioral and attitudinal components. At the development stage, we put forward the following assumption: senior preschoolers can learn to regulate their emotions in the situation of communication and joint activity with adults and peers if a complex of pedagogical conditions has been integrated in the educational process of kindergarten. These conditions ensure the children's accumulation of ideas of people's emotional diversity and the ways of emotional regulation, also contributing to the transfer of this knowledge into the life experience of the child. At the control assessment stage, positive changes are detected in all the three components, and the most dynamics reveal themselves in the behavioral component.

Keywords: Emotional self-regulationself-regulation development

Introduction

A modern system of preschool education considers the child to be a developing personality. One of the central directions of preschool children development is the emotional regulation of behavior and activity.

The problems of self-regulation development in preschool children, as prerequisites for educational activities are highlighted by Wenger, Zaporozhets and Poddyakov. A number of works are devoted to the study of the problem of emotional self-regulation in preschool activities (Vygotsky, Zaporozhets, Belkin, Verkhoturov, Danilin, Dubrovin, Karelina, Neverovitch, Oshkina, Tsygankova and others).

The researchers note that recently emotional disturbances related to non-pathological forms of borderline nature manifest in children's behavior in the forms of unstable emotional state of the child and syndrome of emotional disadvantage (Oshkina et al., 2015). In addition, the pre-school education system clearly traces the trend towards early intellectualization. At the same time, little attention is paid to the development of the emotional sphere and effective training of behavior control. According to L.S. Vygotsky, only a coordinated functioning of the two systems - the emotional sphere and intellect, their unity, can ensure a successful performance of all kinds of activities (Vygotsky, 1984).

Problem Statement

There is an objective need to find effective means of emotional self-regulation development in pre-school children.

Specific Provisions Defining the Research Aim

The research aim is conditioned by the following specific provisions:

  • a social demand for a pre-school educational establishment graduate, capable of emotional regulation, which is necessary against the background of growing emotional disturbances in the behavior of children (anxiety, aggression, fears, phobias, etc.);

  • there are difficulties in the practice of preschool institutions regarding the formation of emotional self-regulation in children, lack of methodological support (diagnostics, programs and recommendations) in the process of emotional self-regulation development through various types of activities for children.

Research Questions

The contradiction between the need for the formation of a person's readiness for emotional self-regulation, starting at preschool age, and lack of methodological development of this aspect in the educational process in pre-school educational establishments, determine the essence of the research question: what are the pedagogical conditions for emotional self-regulation development in older preschool children's?

Content of the Research Question

Three aspects of the stated problem arouse the researches' interest. First, what are the approaches to the "emotional self-regulation" concept definition in relation to a preschool child? Secondly, what is the level of the formation of emotional self-regulation components in older preschoolers'? Thirdly, what are the ways of developing emotional self-regulation in older preschoolers?

Purpose of the Study

The aim of this study is to determine the effectiveness of a complex of pedagogical conditions that stimulate the process of emotional self-regulation development in older preschoolers.

Research Methods

The study was conducted from 2014 to 2017 and included three stages:

  • the first stage –поисково-теоретическаяsearch and theoretical- was devoted to the phenomenological analysis of emotional self-regulation and features of its manifestation and development at preschool age;

  • the second stage - experimental - was devoted to arranging and carrying out an experimental work on emotional self-regulation development in older preschoolers;

  • the third stage –final - was aimed at summarizing the research findings.

Research Base

The study involved 56 children aged 6-7 years old and the pedagogical staff of one of the Cherepovets pre-school educational establishments.

Findings

The most significant findings of the study are as follows.

Data of the search and theoretical stage of the study

The leading theoretical provision, which has laid the foundation for this study, is the statement that the ability to regulate emotions is an important feature at older preschool age (Bozhovich, Vygotsky, Granovskaya, Davydov, Dubrovin, Rubinshtein, El'konin, and others). According to the authors, emotional self-regulation is the result of social and historical development, and is referred to the processes of internal regulation and control over behavior and activity (Vygotsky, 1984). The main characteristic of emotional self-regulation at preschool age is children's ability to control their emotional manifestations in various life situations (Zaporozhets, 1986; Verkhoturova, 2011). This emotional self-regulation ability is developed and improved as the child's psychological, physical, cognitive and personal development progresses, and as a result of accumulating a diverse experience of interaction with the surrounding world, all of theseis the essence of the activity approach to emotional self-regulation development (Karelina, 2009).

In the subject approach, emotional self-regulation is determined by an active personal position of the child (Ivanova et.al., 2014). Older preschoolers' onto genetic capabilities, sensitive to the voluntariness and awareness of activity performance, stimulate the development of emotional and regulatory skills (Vygotsky, 1984).

Interacting on the principle of complementarity, the both approaches consider emotional self-regulation from the point of view of control as the processes by means of which children control and regulate their emotional states, and also as a means of expressing these states when adapting to various social situations (Neverovich, 1986).

In ontogeny emotional self-regulation development can be described as a process evolving from simple affective forms of emotional response to higher socially-mediated and consciously controlled forms of regulation of one's behavior and activity (Neverovich, 1986). So, the first attempts to control emotions, mainly their external manifestations - tears, can be observed in a3-4-year-oldchild. An older preschooler begins to control emotions by means of words, which indicates the voluntariness of emotional processes (Belkina, 2003). Comprehension of moral concepts and the emergence of moral feelings also becomes a powerful source of emotional self-regulation development in older preschoolers.

The analysis of the studies (Belkina, 2003; Verkhoturova, 2011; Karelina, 2009; Neverovich, 1986; Oshkina et al., 2015) makes it possible to state that emotional self-regulation development in older preschoolers is a process of qualitative transformations ensuring the development of the skills of self-control of emotional states and the ways of expressing them, due to both systematic, consistent pedagogical support and the activity of the child. Hence it follows that it is possible and even necessary to purposefully develop emotional self-regulation at preschool age in the framework of a holistic educational process of pre-school establishments in the context of interaction between the adult and child as well as in the course of joint activities of preschool children with their peers.

Data of the experimental stage of the study

In the course of theoretical analysis, it is assumed that the development of emotional self-regulation at senior preschool age is due to the following psychological mechanisms: the differentiation of the quality of emotions, complication of objects that cause emotional response, change of a functional role of emotional processes, recognition of one's own emotional reactions, understanding of the emotional responses of others and development of the ability to regulate emotions and their manifestations.

To verify this hypothesis, a validating experiment has been conducted aimed to determining the qualitative characteristics and level of emotional self-regulation development in older preschoolers.

When designing the assessment experiment, we have faced the following problem. The works of psychologists and educators represent the diagnostic techniques that separately study the components of emotional development of the child:

  • the study of the ability to identify emotions and representations of emotions;

  • the study of socialization of emotions;

  • the definition of differentiated indicators of emotional distress: anxiety, aggressiveness, etc. (Rosenzweig test, Rorschach test, Luscher test, etc.).

However, complex psychological and pedagogical diagnostics aimed at studying the formation of emotional self-regulation components in preschool children (cognitive, behavioral and attitudinal) has not got any theoretical coverage. Therefore, at the first stage of the assessment experiment, a comprehensive methodology is developed for studying the components of emotional self-regulation development in older preschoolers. The complex methodology includes talking to children, diagnostic tasks, monitoring children in natural conditions in the situation of interaction with adults and peers.

At the stage of the assessment experiment, the main problems of emotional self-regulation development in the older preschoolers were found:

  • the quality of emotions is poorly expressed;

  • difficulties in verbalizing their emotional states;

  • a better understanding of the emotional state of other roles in some game story;

  • discrepancies between verbal and real behavior in the situations related to the ability to adapt behavior depending on a partner's emotional state;

  • the lack of understanding of the dependence of emotional self-regulation on constructive interaction with peers;

  • the lack of independence in the use of means and methods of emotional self-regulation.

As it can be seen from Table 1 , the children's cognitive component of emotional self-regulation is better developed, and the behavioral component is less formed.

Table 1 -
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At the stage of the development experiment, it is assumed that the children of older preschool age can learn to regulate their emotional state in the situation of communication and joint activities with adults and peers, if the complex of pedagogical conditions that stimulate the development of emotional self-regulation is integrated in the kindergarten educational process.

Some psychological and pedagogical studies state that emotional self-regulation development begins with the differentiation of the quality of emotions and understanding of emotional states and the ways to regulate them; further development proceeds along the path of ideas accumulation and their transfer into the child's life experience (Zaporozhets, 1986; Oshkina et al., 2015).

To develop emotional self-regulation, the following pedagogical conditions were integrated in the educational process of the preschool establishment:

  • the use of emotionally developing games to generate the interest to emotional states and need to regulate behavior in different emotional states;

  • ethical talks with the use of multimedia presentations to form ideas of external manifestations of emotions, their causes and ways to regulate emotional states;

  • the use of active games with certain rules to develop the skill of emotional manifestation control;

  • modeling of life situations as well as involving children in games with peers for practicing and application of emotional self-regulation ways in the behavior and activity.

To develop children's ability to understand their emotional state and the emotional state of other people, the ability to manage their emotional state and to help the peers in the regulation of their emotional state, it is advisable to involve children in playing activities with peers, during which the child's social experience is expanding (Vinogradova et.al., 2013). The presence of a special emotional game background attracts the attention of Leontiev, Kolesnikova, Nikolaeva, Strelkova, Royak, etc. They emphasize that the main purpose of the game is to get various experience that is significant for the child, and that the game gives the opportunity for effective emotional world study (Leontiev, 1981).

At older preschool age, ethical talks with the use of multimedia presentations are appropriate for the forming of children's representations of the external manifestations of emotions, their causes and the ways of emotional state regulation. Through ethical talks the teacher forms the basis of the future system of moral values in the child's mind. They regulate behavioral actions, including the models of emotional response. Using multimedia presentations allows making the content of an ethical talk more emotionally colored and attractive, arouses the child's interest, which increases the effectiveness of the conversation. Accompanied by multimedia presentations, ethical talks contribute to understanding the meaning of various emotions. And, in its turn, it helps the children consciously control their behavior, emotions, and independently regulate them in different life situations.

Another important pedagogical condition for emotional self-regulation development in older preschoolers is the use of active games with certain rules aimed at the development of children's self-control of emotional manifestations. At older preschool age, the development of self-control skills through active game with special rules occurs as follows: initially preschool children control the actions of other children, noticing what is right and what is wrong, and only after that they begin to control their own behavior in the game, including emotional manifestations.

For the formation of children's ability to independently use the methods of emotional self-regulation in the behavior and activity, it is necessary to transfer children's representations into their life experience by modeling various emotional states, for example, in a conflict situation. So, when discussing such an emotional reaction as anger, children can share their assumptions about how to express the emotion of anger without making harm to others and themselves. By game simulation of this or that situation, children understand the failure of responsive forms of interaction. In its turn, the value of a positive response is consolidated. Thus, the prerequisites for transferring children's representations into their actual behavior are created.

Data of the Final, Control Assessment, Stage of the Study

To assess the effectiveness of the pedagogical conditions for emotional self-regulation development in the pre-school children, the data of the repeated diagnosticsof the emotional self-regulation components were used.

According to the results of the study presented in Table 2 , there were positive changes in all the components of emotional self-regulation.

Table 2 -
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Comparison of the diagnostic results by the three components of emotional self-regulation showed that the most dynamics revealed themselves in the behavioral component.

Conclusion

The integration of the complex of pedagogical conditions in the educational process of the pre-school establishment resulted in the following changes in the emotional development of the children:

  • differentiation of the ideas of external emotional manifestations and their reasons;

  • verbalization of the representations of their own emotions;

  • understanding the relationship between emotional states and the nature of the actions;

  • the ideas of ​​the different means and ways of regulating emotional state;

  • the desire to regulate their behavior in different emotional states;

  • development and application of the ways of emotional self-regulation in the children's behavior and activity.

Thus, emotional self-regulation development in older preschool children is stimulated by the complex of pedagogical conditions. The allocated conditions promote the children's accumulation of representations of the emotional states of a person and the ways of their regulation, and ensure their transfer into the child's life experience.

Acknowledgments

This study was carried out owing to the participation of the pedagogical staff of the pre-school educational establishment, on the basis of which the experimental work was carried out.

References

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Publication Date

18 December 2019

eBook ISBN

978-1-80296-042-6

Publisher

Future Academy

Volume

43

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1st Edition

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Subjects

Child psychology, developmental psychology, child care, child upbringing, family psychology

Cite this article as:

Pershina, T. (2019). Pedagogical Conditions Of Emotional Self-Regulation Development At Older Preschool Age. In S. Sheridan, & N. Veraksa (Eds.), Early Childhood Care and Education, vol 43. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 559-566). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.07.74