Lunchroom Observation Paper

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I have been fortunate enough this semester to spend a decent amount of time with middle school students. The one portion of their day that is the most fascinating to me is lunch time. Lunchroom dynamics is always an interesting topic. Adding middle school sixth graders to the equation makes it even more interesting. I chose to observe sixth graders during their lunch period for a number of reasons. Mainly, I know that these students are developmentally at a crossroad. They range from eleven to twelve years old. Even though Erikson’s model doesn’t include age, the model in the text does provide more of an age guideline (Newman & Newman, 2015). Surprisingly enough, I found that most of the students fell into both Erikson’s and text’s middle childhood. What I found to be evident, no matter the age of the student, is that they were all searching for their role in their little community. Exploring social roles and personal identity was an over-arching theme during my observation. I observed a number of different tables, with a number or different behaviors. This is the first time since they have been in school that they have been able to choose their seating during lunch. There were table divided by gender, race, and social groups. It…show more content…
Like I observed in the lunchroom, students begin choosing to spend their time with others who are like them, or those they aspire to share commonalities. So helping students develop their own identity will help them creating those friendships. A study was completed by the Department of Psychology at the University of Buffalo focusing on the quality of friendships in the sixth grade. They found in a longitudinal study that students who created negative friendships in the sixth grade also experienced relational aggression and depressive symptoms later in life (Kamper & Ostroy,

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