Education (Elementary and Secondary)

Second Major



Hersey, Nicole

Advisor Department





elementary; drama; psychology; industry; self-confidence


Elementary-aged students o en struggle with self-image and self-con dence as they grow and develop a sense of identity. According to psychologist Erik Erikson, children aged ve to twelve will either develop a sense of industry or inferiority. In order to feel industrious, they need to be placed in an environment that reinforces their e orts to achieve goals (McLeod, 2008). A school drama club exempli es such an environment, where students are encouraged to step out of their comfort zones and work together to put on a play. is study created an a er-school drama club and followed forty-three public elementary school students in grades two, three, four, and ve through their experiences in the program. Students were selected for this program on a rst come, rst serve basis. All students were involved in the nal production, with roles ranging from lead soloists to backstage crewmembers. roughout the three-month program, students were observed to determine how they compared to Erik Erikson’s fourth stage of development: industry vs. inferiority. Students’ comments, concerns, and changes in attitude were all collected as data, as well as comments from parents and/or teachers. e program was found to help build industry by granting students personal roles and helping them to see how their contributions can lead to the success of a group. If the school decides to continue this program, more students of this age will have the opportunity to further develop self-con dence and a sense of identity.

McLeod, S. (2008). Erik Erikson | Psychosocial Stages. Simply Psychology. Retrieved from

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