School and Child Development

Child psychology has brought a revolution in modern educational methods. It has put an end to the role of the rod and the whip. Children are taught to be disciplined by psychological methods, not by force. Such new innovations as the Montessori and the Kindergarten methods are based on the Child psychology. Teaching has become more scientific, easier and goal oriented. Child psychology gives the teacher’s information about the processes of learning, methods of teaching, important factors, conditions which help or impede the process of learning, allowing the teacher to make use of this information in his teaching.

1. Understanding the student: The teacher must know the student better than he knows the subject he is to teach. Pestalozzi was of the opinion that education should be based on a realistic and accurate knowledge of the student’s mental processes. A teacher must be equipped with detailed information concerning the student’s needs, the bases of his behavior, mental level, interests, abilities and personality etc. Any successful education must be based on these fundamental forces that control behavior.

2. Improvement in the curriculum: Child psychology has led to important improvements in the curriculum for teaching children. It has laid stress on such activities as games, scouting, picnics, camps, dancing and other extracurricular activities which supplement rather than supplant class room teaching of academic subjects. Education has become an interesting process and develops various facets of the child’s personality which remain untouched under more formal teaching conditions. The curriculum of a school should be based on the individual differences of children, their motives, the values and principles of learning, all of which can be known only through the study of psychology. In deciding the subjects to be taught, such things as the student’s ages, their individual and social needs and the responsibility they are expected to shoulder in later life must be taken into consideration. Besides, the methods of presenting teaching material should be based on psychological facts.

3. Diagnosis and solution of classroom problems: Many problems are faced in the classroom by the relationship between individual students and the teacher, the mental abilities of the students, the fact of their being backward etc. These problems can be solved only by psychological methods. Basically, all such problems are behavior issues of children which require psychological knowledge in order to be solved. Child psychology can assist the teacher in tackling such problems as the backwardness of children, maladjustment, indiscipline, juvenile delinquency, sexual crimes, defects in the child’s progress, mental defects of mentally challenged children etc.

4. Experiment and Research: Knowledge of child psychology encourages the teacher to make experiments in the field of education. By this research he can bring new facts to light and improve education.

“Child psychology is a positive science which studies the behavior of the child in the context of its environment treating the child as an individual.”

It is apparent from the above definition that knowledge of child psychology helps in teaching and is of immense importance and value to the teachers.

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