Examples of work – categories – characteristics of the school age
The school age (6 – 15) represents the last phase of the child’s development that is followed by adulthood. According to Zdeněk Matějček, we can divide it to three shorter periods: younger school age (6 – 8), middle school age (8 – 12) and older school age (12 – 15). According to Josef Langmeier, the school age is an age of continuous growth and development while before and after it, you can observe bigger or smaller acceleration of development of body. After this temporary period of disproportion, the child in school age seems to be evolving harmoniously. During the whole period, the gross and fine motor skills, speed of movement and muscle strength, coordination of the whole body improve continuously. The motor skill performance is not only influenced by the age of the child but also on other aspects and conditions: it the child’s development is supported enough, it develops quicker and better.
Similarly, the second component of the sensorimotor (cognitive development) activities – perception of yourself through your senses – improves and develops in this age. The perception, however, is not a mere sum of elementary senses that originate when the senses have to process the impulses. It is a complex mental act that all components of the personality participate on – his attitude, expectations, ability to focus, his persistence, former experience, interest and already acquired skills. In all aspects of perception (particularly visual and aural), the child undergoes massive changes and progress in the school age period.
The language and speech skills also develop in this period the most as well as improving memory. The ability to learn gets to a new level, the intellect grows and so does creative thinking. A big role is played here by motivating the child adequately (by expressing recognition, admiring his progress etc.) but later also to providing adequate inner motivation.
The school age is also important from the point of view of placing the child in a group of other people, a small society outside family. The school and groups outside school improve the development of all three fundamental components of process of socialization: 1. Manners of social reactivity, 2. Development of social controls and value orientation and development of moral consciousness and behavior, 3. Acquiring social roles.
Considering the nature of dance education that works with children in groups that cannot be made strictly according to the age, and conditions of dance national festivals that operate with average age of dance groups, the examples of the work for and with children of school age were divided into three groups according to age: younger group until 9, middle group from 10 to 12 and the older group from 13 to 15 years of age.