Independence and Responsibility in First and Second Grade

Throughout each year children, in my combined first and second grade, were told our class was like one big family within our school community with respect, thoughtfulness, and support for one another. Sometimes they had choices with freedom to be unique when it didn’t interfere with the rights of others. Children should have rights and independence as long as it’s with an equal amount of responsibility. They must coexist. A teacher once told about believing that developing independence in young children was a mistake. He told about a child who thought he could do anything at all causing great problems in the class. He said he was totally independent resulting in such negative results. Well, that child did not have an equal amount of responsibility. The same thing is true with freedom. Great freedom in a class without responsibility creates chaos – but such harmony when blended.

Read more about programs, including a section on Personal Development and Social Interaction, in my book, Early Childhood Programs: Opportunities for Academic, Cognitive, and Personal Success. Included is a web site where programs and activities can be downloaded for use in a classroom. Also, see 7 reviews on

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   Teaching Young Children © Peggy Broadbent 2011 - All Rights Reserved