Early childhood is considered to be “an ideal period for learning.” Watson thinks, ‘the scope and intensity of learning during this period exceeds that of any other period of development.” The following points should be kept in view by the educator while planning the education of the child at this stage.
1. Proper Atmosphere
A healthy, peaceful and secure atmosphere should be provided for the child. This is necessary both at home and the school.
2. Proper Treatment
The child has to depend on others for the satisfaction of his requirements. Hence he should always receive an affectionate, sympathetic, and courteous treatment from others an atmosphere of fear and repression will not allow the child to develop properly.
3. Developing the Endowments of the Child.
A child takes birth with certain natural endowments. The educator should try to locate them and plan for their maximum development.
4. Satisfaction of Curiosity
Every child is curious to know the details of his social environment. The parents and the teachers should try to pacify this need of the child by answering the questions asked by him.
5. Developing Self-Sufficiency
The infant depends on others for the satisfaction of his needs. The child has to do everything himself. The educator should try to develop a spirit of self-sufficiency in the child and should provide him opportunities so that the child is able to do most of the things himself.
6. Developing a Social Sense
7. Efforts should be made by the teacher to develop a rational social séances in the child. The Child starts developing a social sense by the end of this stage.
8. Encouraging the Instinctive Development of the Child.
The child at this stage is guided by his instincts. The teacher should not try to suppress the instinctive development of the child. It should be sublimated in the best interests of the personality development of the child.
9. Formation of Good Habits
This is considered to be the most flexible age of the child. Steps should be taken towards the formation of good habits by the child.
10. Learning by Doing
The child is active by nature. This ought to be satisfied through the use of activity method which advocates learning by doing.
11. Use of the Play-Way
Play is natural to the child. Let him play and learn. This will make learning easier and acceptable to the child.
12. Sensory Training
There are five senses of the child. These should be properly developed at this stage. This sensory training was also emphasized by Madam Montessori.
13. Use of Stories and Pictures
Children at this stage are interested in stories and multi-coloured pictures. They should be made to learn by using story telling method and with the help of multi-coloured pictures and charts.
Later Childhood-(from 7 to 12 years)
(a) Physical Development
The development is slow and uniform. The child at the age of 12 it about 55 inches in height, which means an annual increase of 2 to 3 inches Boys are slightly taller than girls. Body proportions change considerably and the overall appearance of the child also alters. The nose becomes larger and the lower jaw also increases in size. Arms, legs and trunk increase in length and look thinner.
This rather gives ‘an ugly look’ to the child. He also builds up fine muscular co-ordinations and improves many muscular and mother skills. Boys show superiority to girls and special interest in games and skills requiring physical strength, while girls are superior to body in skills involving the use of finer muscles, such as drawing, painting, sewing, etc.
(b) Emotional Development
The child now comes to have a control over his emotions. His emotional behaviour is guided by a rational expression. He is still jealous, may be of his younger brothers or his class-fellows. He may tease and make fun of those children who are the objects of his jealousy.
He may be afraid of things but tries to look brave. His expression of joy is expressed by a smile. He satisfies his curiosity by asking questions from the teacher and by studying books.
(c) Social Development
At this stage the child is engaged in social give and take. Sometimes he is teased and bullied by others and he also teases and bullies others. He attaches great value to friendship and takes part in games and excursions. Now he is fairly independent in his behaviour.
He moves with his friends and comes to have a ‘group’ spirit. Sometimes he may assume the leadership of the group as well. Boys and girls make their separate groups. The children also come to have knowledge about their caste, religion bias and prejudices.
(d) Mental Development
Children develop their mental power by studying in the schools, reading books, and by visiting places. They develop their reasoning power, memory, attention and sensory discrimination during this period.
Children also judge their own actions and criticise the actions of others and in this way they come to have their own opinions. In religious and racial matters they take up the opinions of their elders. They also take up the aesthetic standards of their elders.
Their vocabulary increases by leaps and bounds. Now they are able to speak and write sentences of more than average length.
(e) Moral Development
To him the moral code is now determined by the group to which she belongs. He considers that
Stealing is generally bad. He judges the actions of others accordingly. He has a strong sense of fair-play and justice. Sometimes conditions in the family play a very important role in determining these attitudes.
Educational Importance of Later Childhood
This period of childhood is the time when the basic outlook, values and ideals of the child are finally shaped. Hence it is duty of the parents, teachers and the society to plan for their proper development. The School, however, has a very important role to play. The following points should be kept in view by the teacher.
(1) Proper Physical Development
Well-organised evening games and sports should be provided for children so that they are able to have a proper physical development. The teacher should see that every child takes part in these games. Morning physical training may also be organized for resident students. In the new educational pattern of 10+2+3, physical development is being highly emphasised by educators.
(2) Provision for Excursions and Scouting
Children start developing surplus energy at this stage. They are interested in adventure and roaming about here and there. It is, therefore, necessary that suitable provision should be made for excursions and outings for them. The scouting should be organized in the school to satisfy this need of the child.
(3) Proper Provision of Extra-Mural Activities
Hidden qualities have to be found out and properly developed. This is possible only if a large number of extra-mural activities are provided in the
‘School this will enable the child to choose those activities in which he is interested. In the organisation of these activities democratic ways should be adopted.
(4) Planning for Proper Social Development
Children develop the ‘group spirit’ at this stage. In order to direct it in the right channels it is necessary that group games on a group competition basis should be arranged. It is a period of competitive socialization. It is through these group competitions that the child will develop various qualities like discipline, self-control, sympathy and co-operation.
(5) Developing the Creative Instinct
Children want to create something new. This creative trend should be properly utilised for educational ends. The teacher should provide opportunities where children are in a position to satisfy their creative instinct.
(6) Proper Emotional Outlet
This stage, however, is considered to be a unique stage in the emotional development of the child. It is possible only if proper outlets for the emotional expressions of children are provided. The teacher should not try to suppress these outlets. He should try to redirect them in the right channels. He should place examples of great men of the world before them.
(7) Satisfying the Acquisitive Instinct
Children want to acquire those things which they like. If it is not properly directed they start
Stealing they should, therefore, be encouraged to collect those things which have an educational value.
(8) Moral Training
The child at the age of eight years starts accepting the moral values of the society in which he lives. Therefore, it is necessary that some moral training should be provided. Instructions may be provided which have a moral value for the child. A democratic approach should be followed as morality is something which springs from the heart of the child.
(9) Learning Though Self-Activity
Children like activity. It comes to occupy a more important place in the educational system when it originates from the children themselves. Self-activity leads to self-expression, thus leading to self-realisation.
(10) Teacher’s Role in Academic Development
The teacher has a very important role to play in the mental development of the child. His role may be in the following directions:
(a) Children are interested in language learning. They may learn two or three languages at this stage.
(b) Children should be encouraged to choose those subjects which have a functional value. Preference should be given to those subjects who are useful in life.
(c) Interests of children differ and change. Hence, it is necessary that their text-books should have different types of lessons. They may include adventurous stories, biographies of great men, drama, dialogue, etc.
(d) It is the duty of the teacher to make necessary changes in the curriculum and methods of teaching.
Adolescence Stage (Period from 12 to 16/17 Years)
The term ‘Adolescence’ is derived from the Latin word ‘Adolescence’ which means ‘to grow to maturity?’ This is a period lying between childhood and maturity. Thus, it is a period of change, when the individual is neither a child nor an adult. The changes which take place are physical, sexual, emotional, social, mental and moral.
A harmonious development of adolescence means full adult height, weight, stature and strength, and complete sexual maturity; the proper adjustment of the adolescent in the society; he also takes up his duties and responsibilities; the complete development of his mental powers and emotional stability and economic independence and professional competence.
Height and Weight
Growth is rapid just before and during the early years of adolescence. Both boys and girls develop their height and weight.
Different parts of the body grow at different rates and reach their final size. Arms and legs grow longer and hands and feet grow much bigger.
This stage is the development of sex maturity. The pituitary glands secrete ‘gonad tropic’ hormone which finally stops bodily growth and leads to sex maturity. The sex glands of male produce spermatozoa which lead to the development of sexual growth. In the same way, female sex glands are called the ovaries which produce ‘Ova’ sex hormones.
This is the period of increased and charged emotions as the instincts of the child attain maturity. His feeling also undergoes a great change. He is sensitive and easily offended. He feels he is all alone, unloved, and in a world which is hostile.
He is required himself to adjust to the new situations and behave as the new adult. He may face emotional difficulties. He is not able to control his emotions and this leads to temper outbursts. Sometimes he is happy and sometimes he is sad, sometimes he also suffers from emotional moods. He may also indulge in day-dreaming.
Love is also predominant feeling in this period. This is due to the development of sex instinct. This love may be of most selfless kind. Adolescents are prepared to sacrifice everything simply to gain the love of another child. In the later period of adolescence this is directed to the opposite sex. The adolescents also direct love towards great men, which is known as hero worship.
At this stage the adolescent is self conscious and lacks confidence and is very modest. He wants seclusion. All these things disappear as he develops. He starts choosing his own friends and chooses them on the qualities they possess. Gradually he forms small group. He takes part in various social groups as a member of these groups. Thus he gains experiences which are valuable to him in adult life.
In this period adolescents also come in conflict with parental demands. They demand independence of action whereas their parents treat them as children and hence they come in conflict with them.
At this stage the child develops his critical ability and judgment. He also comes across various individuals and thus he does not accept religious principles without criticism. He becomes conscious of the idea of right and wrong.
At this stage the span of attention increases. Memory, reasoning and judgment also increase. He understands and appreciates poetry, music, art, literature and mathematics.
Adulthood Stage (Period after 18 Years of Age)
Adulthood period is the longest of all the periods or stages of life. It is characterized by an all round maturity physical, intellectual, emotional and social. At this stage the individual develops into a functioning member of the society and acts according to social and moral standards. He is self-reliant and accepts responsibility for this decisions and actions. He develops ability to think rationally and intelligently, ability to understand the world and to make maximum adjustments.
Old Stage (Period after 58 Years of Age)
This stage starts from 58 years till death. At this stage one spends one’s most of time in worshipping social service and excursions.