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James Okaka is a teenage boy aged fifteen years. He is an African boy who lives with his family in the neighborhood. As a teenager, he likes visiting the nearest public games field at least once in a day. The observations were carried out one Wednesday evening, as his behavior was watched from a distance. Immediately after school, he takes off the school uniform and neatly replaces it on a plastic hunger in his small wardrobe. Then, after a while, in the house he runs to the field with much zeal, as one who had hidden something precious in the heart of the playground.
That evening, James was dressed in a navy blue track suit ready to perform his daily exercises. He has an approximate height of one meter and a weight of 35 kilograms. His dark complexion fitted very well with his usual simple, but well-structured body structure. The well balanced weight and height was as a result of diet, but was also sustained by the daily exercises he did in the public playground.
James was now in the formal operational stage, according to the Piaget’s stages of cognitive development. Piaget mentions this to be the last stage in which adolescents develop to adulthood. James, like the normal adolescents, was able to make decisions and discipline himself to daily hard practice, although no one was monitoring him. In this stage, people deduce ways of solving challenges using logic, as well as trial and error. It is also in this stage that people establish their unique abilities and work on perfecting them, in order to improve their future. It seems that James was working on his talent of being a marathon runner.
James had already realized his talent, and was working towards becoming globally competent. However, according to Erickson, James was in asocial stage where he was to establish loyalty. Observations from the natural study show that he was working towards establishing the right peers, acquiring the role models. This would help him know how exactly he was to become from the various social relationships.
Generally, from the natural observations, James was taking an upright curve of development through the stages. He had met most of the milestones in developing through the physical, cognitive, social and emotional stages. The unusual giftedness he posses was running. He commented after disclosure that he aimed to be the global splinter. He realized his running ability, when he won four consecutive races nationally at his school. The concentration he had given to the field practices had, however, affected his performance in the class.
The observations made were at least 90% true when compared to what James comments were after disclosing to him the intention of the study. The development theories allow a normal child who is not affected by the peer influence or poor parental upbringing to grow well in all stages.
The application of the various stages in the life of a human being depends on the knowledge the parents have regarding the diversity in creation. This happens in places, where the children in a family are very different and respond to various challenges in diverse ways. Parents should understand the stages, in order to monitor the children, so that none skips any milestones. In case one is skipped, it becomes a problem in the successive stages.