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Theory of Robert Selman

Robert Selman, Ph.D., is the Larsen Professor of Human Development and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is a Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. SelmanÆs research extends PiagetÆs stage development theory, focusing on methods to help adolescents develop social interaction skills as a means of reducing risks to their health and promoting successful social relationships. At the present time he is engaged in practice-based research, studying interpersonal and intergroup development in children from preschool through high school. Over his career, Selman has focused on treating psychological disorders in children in day school and residential facilities. According to the Harvard Graduate School of Education, his recent focus is on the ôpromotion of social awareness and engagement through literacy and language arts curricula at the elementary level, in school-based programs at the middle grades level of public schools, and in the social studies, literature, and history curriculum at the high school levelö (Faculty 2003, 1).

The focus of SelmanÆs work has been to study adolescent conflict resolution and social interaction through social institutions and moral reasoning. The underlying premise is that such behaviors are representative of a more individual reasoning process. SelmanÆs work primarily focuses on interpersonal relationships. For the past decade Selman has been focusing on the ôintegration of social awareness and literacyö (Potier 2003, 1). Selman believes that children can learn basic competencies like hearing other points of view along with reading skills. SelmanÆs laboratory is the real classroom, an environment that provides useful results.

While other theorists have explored a broad group of social skills, Selman believes there is one main skill, the coordination of social perspectives. He believes that the development of socia...

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Theory of Robert Selman. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:26, February 26, 2017, from