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Path to Developing Purpose

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Ci 285 psych present

  1. 1. Helping Children Find Purpose Presentation by Katie Watrous and Cindy Campbell “ Where you are called is “the place where your deepest gladness and the world’s deepest hunger meet” -Frederick Buechner
  2. 2. Learning Objectives <ul><li>As a result of this presentation, CI 285 students will: </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the meaning of “purpose” and “calling” </li></ul><ul><li>Know some obstacles to developing purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Know what parents can do to help children develop purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Apply and expand that knowledge to their work in curriculum and instruction, marriage and family therapy, or school counseling; and discuss that application with the class </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is Purpose? <ul><li>“ A stable and generalized intention to accomplish something that is at the same time meaningful to the self and consequential beyond the self.” </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose is one’s ultimate concern in life </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose gives meaning and direction to life </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose is a desire to make a difference in the world </li></ul><ul><li>(Damon, 2008, p. 33) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Erikson’s Search for Ego Identity <ul><li>“ The Problem of Ego Identity” (1956) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conscious sense of individual identity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unconscious sense striving for continuity of personal character </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ego synthesis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintenance of inner solidarity with group’s ideals and identity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Vondracek) </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Stages of Growth <ul><li>Trust v. Mistrust </li></ul><ul><li>Autonomy v Shame and Doubt </li></ul><ul><li>Initiative v Guilt </li></ul><ul><li>Industry v. Inferiority </li></ul><ul><li>Identity v Identity Diffusion </li></ul><ul><li>Intimacy v Isolation </li></ul><ul><li>Generativity v. Self- Absorption or Stagnation </li></ul><ul><li>Integrity v. Despair </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Vondracek) </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Identity V. Identity Diffusion <ul><li>Identity Diffusion-lack of a well-defined identity. </li></ul><ul><li>Identity Confusion-identity issues an individual is faced with. </li></ul><ul><li>Identity- when identity crisis are resolved and a child finds a clearer path to purpose. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Vondracek) </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Other Purpose Driven Researchers: <ul><li>Marcia (1980) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identity Statuses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identity Achievement: pursuing self-chosen occupation and ideological goals </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Foreclosure: committed to occupational and ideological positions, but are not self-chosen. Show little to no evidence of crisis. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identity Diffusion: no set occupational or ideological direction </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Moratorium: struggling with occupational and or ideological issues. In an identity crisis stage. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Vondracek) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Bordin’s Vocational Identity in Adolescence <ul><li>Ego identity in childhood is unconscious </li></ul><ul><li>Vocational identity is shaped through </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sex-role differentiation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Use of parental love and care in meeting and enjoying the challenges and joys of living” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individuals behaviors related to balancing continuity with discontinuity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Vondracek) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Holland’s Theory of Vocational Personalities and Work Environments <ul><li>Childhood and Adolescence is a time for increase in differentiation of perferred activities, interests, competencies and values </li></ul><ul><li>My Vocational Situation Scale </li></ul><ul><li>(Vondracek) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Victor Frankl <ul><li>Logotherapy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Meaning exists in all cercumstances by is hidden and waiting to be discovered </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Vondracek) </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Questions Regarding Purpose: <ul><li>Why am I doing this? </li></ul><ul><li>Why does it matter? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is it important for me and the world? </li></ul><ul><li>Why am I working to accomplish this? </li></ul><ul><li>(Damon, 2008) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Calling <ul><li>Calling is purposeful work reflecting one’s abilities, the world’s need for what those abilities can provide, and the enjoyment in using one’s abilities to serve society </li></ul><ul><li>Helping students match their abilities and interests with specific career choices guides them to answer questions about what their calling is, what they have to contribute to the world, and what they are here for </li></ul><ul><li>(Damon, 2008) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Obstacles to Developing Purpose <ul><li>Youth are hesitant to make commitments to adult roles </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of realistic plans to pursue their aspirations </li></ul><ul><li>No aspirations at all </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of optimism and self-confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Single-minded desire for financial security and material gain </li></ul><ul><li>Short-horizon thinking in schools (CST) </li></ul><ul><li>Popular culture </li></ul>
  14. 14. Purpose Development in At-Risk Students <ul><li>As identity develops, they are better able to resist peer pressure by identifying and adhering to a personal value system </li></ul><ul><li>Resiliency must be high </li></ul><ul><li>????? </li></ul>
  15. 15. What Parents Can Do To Help Children Find a Life Purpose <ul><li>Adults can help lead children toward promising options without making choices for them by: </li></ul><ul><li>Help child discover and discern among choices </li></ul><ul><li>Reflect together on child’s interests and talents </li></ul><ul><li>Examine how those talents converge with the world’s needs and opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Support the child’s own efforts to explore purposeful directions </li></ul><ul><li>Expose the child to more potential sources of discovery about possible purposes </li></ul><ul><li>“ Whatever we do with young people counts.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Damon, 2008, p. 132) </li></ul>
  16. 16. 1.Listen Closely for the Spark, Then Fan the Flames <ul><li>Every child has a spark of interest </li></ul><ul><li>Adults need to practice conversing with (not instructing or lecturing) children by asking good questions and listening to the answers </li></ul><ul><li>Dialogue with purpose-evoking questions </li></ul><ul><li>Make connections among issues that spark the child’s imagination </li></ul><ul><li>(Damon, 2008) </li></ul>
  17. 17. 2.Take Advantage of Regular Opportunities to Open a Dialogue <ul><li>Ask children their opinions on important matters </li></ul><ul><li>Be an interviewer </li></ul><ul><li>Ask “Why?” to encourage deeper thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Never underestimate the power of Thanksgiving-gratitude exposes purpose, significance, values, desire to pass our blessings on to others (soul of purpose) </li></ul><ul><li>(Damon, 2008) </li></ul>
  18. 18. 3. Be supportive and open-minded of the sparks of interest expressed <ul><li>Express confidence in what the child is trying to do and support their choices </li></ul><ul><li>Pick up on opportunities to encourage purpose immediately without being pushy </li></ul><ul><li>Allow the child’s interest to follow its course, including dwindling out </li></ul><ul><li>(Damon, 2008) </li></ul>
  19. 19. 4. Convey your own sense of purpose and meaning you derive from work <ul><li>Share your goals and sense of purpose, what is meaningful about your work </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss the highest purpose you have for the work you do (helping others, provides a means for personal growth and self-expression, contributes to society, provides a living for one’s family, contributes to the healthy growth of one’s children) </li></ul><ul><li>Examine why are our daily efforts are significant </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate how work fulfills our personal sense of purpose </li></ul><ul><li>(Damon, 2008) </li></ul>
  20. 20. 5. Impart wisdom about the practicalities in life <ul><li>Instill practical idealism-dealing with limits of the possible when reality won’t yield to ambitions </li></ul><ul><li>Tell children about accomplishing goals in the real world of work </li></ul><ul><li>Impart crucial social information (behavioral manners, how to find out about jobs or educational opportunities, introducing them to personal connections) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Our challenge as citizens is to see that all children in our society, whatever the state of their parenting, have access to the kinds of social and practical skills they will need to turn their dreams into reality.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Damon, 2008, p. 149) </li></ul>
  21. 21. 6. Introduce children to potential mentors <ul><li>Other adults might trigger a spark of interest </li></ul><ul><li>Actively introduce children to people, books, ideas, secular or religious organizations that might inspire them </li></ul><ul><li>Mentors can help children discover, define, and pursue their purpose </li></ul><ul><li>(Damon, 2008) </li></ul>
  22. 22. 7. Encourage an Entrepreneurial Attitude <ul><li>The ability to set clear goals and make realistic plans to achieve them </li></ul><ul><li>An optimistic attitude (“You can do it!”) </li></ul><ul><li>Persistence in the face of obstacles </li></ul><ul><li>Tolerance, or even desire, for risk and challenge </li></ul><ul><li>Resilience when failure occurs </li></ul><ul><li>Determination to achieve results </li></ul><ul><li>Resourcefulness in creating means to achieve those results </li></ul><ul><li>(Damon, 2008) </li></ul>
  23. 23. 8. Nurture a Positive Outlook <ul><li>Encourage a sense of optimism and self-confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Interpret experiences in a hopeful, non-catastrophic manner </li></ul><ul><li>We have control over how things turn out </li></ul><ul><li>See problems as a positive challenge </li></ul><ul><li>(Damon, 2008) </li></ul>
  24. 24. 9. Instill in children a feeling of agency, linked to responsibility <ul><li>Teach that whatever you do in this world matters </li></ul><ul><li>Actions have consequences </li></ul><ul><li>Children make a difference in the lives of the people around them (volunteering, tasks) </li></ul><ul><li>They are interesting and capable </li></ul><ul><li>Every moment counts </li></ul><ul><li>(Damon, 2008) </li></ul>
  25. 25. “ All young people deserve a chance for a purposeful life” <ul><li>Present children with clear high expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Promote healthy youth development, including acquisitions of virtues (moral courage, compassion, respect, honesty) and competency in school, work, and life skills </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain a positive vision of youth (not just risks to be avoided like pregnancy, substance abuse, emotional issues; or problems to be solved like LD, problem behaviors and underachievement) and their potential contribution to society </li></ul><ul><li>(Damon, 2008) </li></ul>
  26. 26. What Schools Can Do <ul><li>Discuss the purpose of learning-what one can do with academic knowledge beyond school world </li></ul><ul><li>Inspire purpose beyond test-taking </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage community involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Teach active citizenship in a political democracy-promote political engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Provide positive role models </li></ul><ul><li>Offer imaginative possibilities, give guidance encouraging their highest goals, provide support that helps them realize their aspirations, and create a cultural climate that inspires them </li></ul>
  27. 27. What parents, school professional, and society can do <ul><li>Encourage thinking about how early potentially purposeful activities can contribute to the world and bring meaning to one’s life </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on achievable accomplishments and make realistic plans to reach goals </li></ul><ul><li>Show the rewards of commitment and dangers of disengagement </li></ul><ul><li>Engage students in caring moral relationships that impart a sense of right and wrong </li></ul>
  28. 28. Sample questions from Damon’s Youth Purpose Study <ul><li>1. What kinds of things do you really care about? Why do you care about them? </li></ul><ul><li>2. What’s most important to you in your life? Why? </li></ul><ul><li>3. Do you have any long-term goals? Why are these goals important to you? </li></ul><ul><li>4. What does it mean to have a good life? </li></ul><ul><li>5. What does it mean to be a good person? </li></ul><ul><li>6. What would you say you spend most of your energy on? </li></ul><ul><li>7. What kind of work would you like to do? Why? Are you doing anything now to prepare for your life’s work? </li></ul><ul><li>8. What matters most to you at this time? Will that still matter to you as you get older? Why or why not? </li></ul><ul><li>9. If you were looking back on your life, how would you want to be remembered? </li></ul>
  29. 29. Possible Activity <ul><li>How can you incorporate promoting positive identity development in a school setting in the following age groups: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>0-5 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5-12 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>13-18 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>18-25 </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Online Career Assesments <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  31. 31. References <ul><li>Damon, W. (2008). The path to purpose; Helping our children find their calling in life. Free Press, New York. </li></ul>