I conducted this study on a female friend who I have given the name Jane for confidentiality and privacy purposes. The resource persons who gave me the information have also been given other names for the same purpose. The aim of the case study was to use the Piaget theory of development to explain the development of Jane, socially, morally and mentally. I also wanted to know if there could be a link between this theory and Jane’s character as an adult. I also sought to find out if there are stages in the course of her development that did not fit in with Piaget’s theories. Case study
My study depended a lot on information from Jane, her mother and a close friend of hers. . For statistical information, the mother was very helpful as she gave me access to Jane’s birth certificate, medical records and vital point cases, episodes and experiences in Jane’s development to adulthood. Her former and current teachers also gave crucial information on her work in school. Other friends also assisted to get information especially those who grew up with. Her long term friend Heidi was also crucial in giving details of how they grew up. This is because i have not known Jane since her childhood.
I have only known her since 2001 when she was 14 years old. Her boss, Mr Bradford was also instrumental in giving out information on her possible manner of conduct in employment. Jane was born on May 17th 1987 in Santa Cruz, California at the Dominican Hospital. She has been successful in class since she started schooling. She was a normal child born with no physical or mental disabilities. By the age of one she could walk and understand her environment and knew her mother very well. She could also sense when her mum was angry by refusing to be carried. She could only be happy when her mother was.
Her reports from early stages in schooling show excellent performance. This is is as far back as kindergarten. Her teachers always had glowing comments about her during performance evaluations. She was top of her elementary school class until she completed. Her adolescent ages between 11 and 17 were very not really challenging as the norm with almost every teenager. She did not have an “experience with boys” as is the case with teenage girls. Her mother says that apart from one day when she sneaked to Heidi’s house for a sleep over, she has not had any serious case of indiscipline from her.
She believes, this is because of the strong attachment that is there between Heidi and her. This attachment has created trust and confidence and as a result Jane has not been a deviant child. Also, since she is the only parent available for Jane, she has been able to instill discipline and morals without conflict of interest. Socially, Jane has always been a social person. She is an extrovert and always goes out of her way to meet people. She does her best to help no matter how hard the situation is. Her mum recalls the day when she came home with a schoolmate who she had spotted crying at the school gate.
On inquiry, the girl said that she was scared to go home because her mother would beat her. Jane decided to go home with her and ask for her mother’s help. It is an attribute that has sometimes landed her in trouble. Some peers felt that she can be a little bit too concerned about things that should not concern her and labeled her as a nosy person. However most of her friends feel that this shows that she is a caring person. Jane was brought up by a single parent this being the mother. Her mum and dad separated when she was young. As such she has always been an independent person who depends only on herself to get things done.
Her friends believe that her mother has been the biggest influence in this regard. She saw how much she worked hard to bring her up. She believes strongly that a woman can make it without a man’s help and for this some male schoolmates have labelled her a feminist. This passion about women is seen when she is articulating women issues in school organized workshops and seminars. She believes that women should not be judged on the basis of their gender but on their ability. Jane’s ability strongly lies in her excellence in academic field as she is always on top of her class.
She represents her class in many Maths and Science congresses. She has the potential of becoming a great academician and her teachers say that it will be long before any student in her school matches her academic abilities. Her other strength lies in the ability to also excel in extra curriculum activities. She is the captain and one of the best players of her school’s basketball team. She is also a member of the swimming and tennis teams. Together with these activities, she is also a good chess player which implies she is very intelligent.
Her abilities to balance her class and out of class work shows she is a good time manager. Over the holidays, she works as a waitress in a hometown hotel. Within just two holidays of working, the manager put her in charge of other waitresses. According to the manager, Mr. Bradford, she is a very hardworking young lady and is very pleasant to the customers. Most of the customers normally request to be attended to by her. This position is usually reserved for her and she takes it up immediately she closes school. Jane like any other normal human being has weaknesses.
Growing up with a single mother has had some effect on her social life. She does not relate well with the opposite sex. Her close friends are all female. She does not have any significant male friends. Her friend Heidi believes that she cannot relate well with them as she has never had a father figure in her life and does not know exactly how to relate to men in general. The only two relationships she has been in with men have ended up breaking up. According to Heidi, the ex-boyfriends complain that she is too domineering in a relationships and always believes she is right during quarrels.