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The child that I have chosen to evaluate is a boy named Eric. I chose Eric because I have been following his growth since September of 1998. Eric is a student in my seventh grade social studies class, and he was in my sixth grade social studies/language arts class last year. Because I have known him for a while and have seen his growth for over a year, I thought that he would be a good specimen.

I suppose that Eric also sticks out in my mind because he is big for his age and is noticeably immature compared to many of his classmates. He is twelve years old this year and is fast approaching six feet. He is still somewhat stuck in the stage of cognitive development that Piaget calls “Formal Operations.” The major hurdle for Eric seems to be mastering Hypothetico-deductive reasoning. While Eric can consider hypothetical situations and reason deductively, he can’t seem to enter in to the inductive stage of reasoning. When asked to use inductive reasoning on exams or in class, Eric always goes back to what is concrete and safe for him and therefore can not get beyond his egocentric self. Also he always has difficulty when given different possibilities for different situations. Again I have seen him over and over again go back to what is concrete and already known to him.

As for his emotional development Eric is very low on Erikson’s Psychosocial Development scale. Eric still had difficulty being independent. I believe that part of this is due to his overbearing mother. This has bled over into his inability to take responsibility for his schoolwork. His mother seems to give him just enough rope to hang himself and just when he is about to make some progress, she come racing in to place the blame on someone else. What I mean is, Eric will get really low grades and fail to turn in his assignments and just when he realizes he doesn’t want to fail, his mother will try to bully his teachers and pushes Eric just enough so that he is able to survive the grading period. However, I have seen him, with out the “help” from his mother, start to make changes on his own, but once she bursts onto the scene, he reverts right back to his former self.

Unfortunately I can see that academically Eric is left with the feeling of inferiority and incompetence even though it looks as if he has succeeded. This feeling of real failure is often weakly masked as some kind of very young juvenile humor. Which usually manifests itself as disruptive behavior or total shutting down in class or in the need to help the teacher so that he doesn’t have to be responsible for his work. All of which are unhealthy and is inhibiting his emotional and academic growth.