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Kasper Zülow

Lewin’s Three-Step Model

Lewin’s Three-Step Model, also known as Lewin’s Change Model or Lewin’s Change Management Model, is a widely used framework for understanding and implementing change in various settings, including child development. Developed by Kurt Lewin, a pioneering psychologist, this model has based on the premise that change involves a process that unfolds in three distinct stages: unfreezing, changing, and refreezing. Lewin’s Three-Step Model provides a structured approach to understanding how children can successfully adapt to and internalize changes in their behavior, attitudes, or beliefs.

The first step in Lewin’s model is unfreezing. This stage involves breaking down the existing mindset, beliefs, or patterns of behavior that a child has become accustomed to. It requires creating an awareness in the child that the current state is no longer effective or desirable, and that change is necessary. Unfreezing can be achieved through various methods, such as providing information, challenging existing beliefs, or creating a sense of dissatisfaction with the current state. For example, a child may need to “unfreeze” their existing beliefs about unhealthy eating habits in order to embrace a new, healthier approach to food.

The second step is changing. Once the child has become aware of the need for change, this stage involves implementing new behaviors, attitudes, or beliefs. It requires learning and practicing new skills, adopting new perspectives, or engaging in different behaviors. This stage can be challenging and may require support, guidance, and reinforcement from caregivers, teachers, or other influential figures in the child’s life. For example, a child may need to learn and practice new study habits to improve their academic performance.

The final step is refreezing. In this stage, the new behaviors, attitudes, or beliefs are internalized and become the child’s new norm. The changes become a part of their identity and are consistently reinforced over time. Refreezing helps to solidify the changes and ensure that they are maintained in the long term. For example, a child who has adopted a new exercise routine may need to consistently practice and reinforce this behavior in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

It is important to note that Lewin’s Three-Step Model is not a linear process, and it may not always follow a strict sequence. Children may go back and forth between the stages, and the process of change may require time, effort, and patience. Additionally, the level of complexity and difficulty of the change may vary depending on the child’s age, developmental stage, and individual characteristics. Caregivers, teachers, and other stakeholders involved in supporting the child’s development can use Lewin’s Three-Step Model as a framework to better understand the process of change and provide appropriate support to help children successfully navigate through it.

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