The Importance of Infancy Development

A human takes birth in the form of a progressive creature, and from the beginning till the end he keeps on developing. When he enters in this world, he is not developed physically and mentally. In Educational Psychology the developing child is studied. From the point of view of Educational Psychology, dividing the child-development into various stages is considered important, and each stage is studied separately. Psychologists, from the educational point of view, have divided the child-development into three groups:

  1. Infancy
  2. Childhood
  3. Adolescence 

Importance of Infancy

Infancy is one of the most important stages among all the stages in the Human life. According to Psychologist J. Newman—‘’The stage till five years is very receptive for the body and the brain.’’ 

Whatever is taught and done at this time, have an immediate effect. Psycho-analysists have also compelled for paying special attention to infancy. Freud has said, “The little human being is frequently a finished product in his fourth or fifth year.”.

The Psychologists have proved this very well on the basis of their tests. Adler has said, ‘’the whole sequence of life is decided by infancy.”

In the twentieth century Psychologists have studied, seriously and widely, the child and the stages of his development. Crow and Crow has said, ‘’the twentieth century has come to be designed as the century of child.’’

Due to this thinking of Psychologists, ‘’this stage can be called the basis of life, on which the future life of child is developed.’’

Meaning of Infancy

After the birth of child, the first six years age is called infancy. Some psychologists have defined it in the following way:

Hurlock-‘’this extends till two weeks from the time of birth. After two weeks babyhood begins. And extends till two years. Early childhood extends from two to six years of age.’’

Above thoughts, Hurlock, the woman psychologist has expressed, that indicates towards the micro and extended meaning, in relation to infancy. Generally, all the Psychologists have considered the infancy, extendes from birth to four or five years. As Crow and Crow has written-‘’Infancy on the average from the birth to five six years of age, during which the sensory channel begins to function and child learns to creep, walk and speak.”

According to the result of the above discussion, infancy has been studied here, considering from the birth to five or six years age.

Chief Characteristics of Infancy

In relation to the development of physical, mental, social and emotional development, infancy has some important qualities:

  1. Rapidity in physical growth—In the first three years of child life, there is rapidity in physical growth. In the first years there is rapidity in length and weight growth. His action senses, internal parts, and muscles also develop gradually.
  2. Immaturity—child is physically and intellectually immature at this time. And slowly and naturally he develops into maturity by upbringing.
  3. Dependency—After birth, he lives a very miserable life till some time. He has to depend on others, to get affection and sympathy, and for the fulfillment of  food and other physical needs.
  4. Instinctive behavior—At this time child’s behavior is depended on instinct. Being hungry, he cries and becomes angry. And whatever things is kept by him, he puts it in his mouth.
  5. Rapidity in mental process—During the mental process of child, his concentration, memory, imagination, emotion, representation etc, are rapidly grown. About this time Good. N.F has said—‘’One half of an individual’s ultimate mental status has been attained by the age of three years.’’
  6. Rapidity in Learning Process—At this time there is rapidity in learning process. Gessell has said-‘’In the first of six years he learns more rapidly than that of Later twelve years.
  7. Imaginativeness—There is more quantity of imagination at this time in the child. And he sets up moving in imaginative world. Thorndike has considered—‘’From three to six, child is often in the stage of half vision.’’ And does not know the difference between truth and false. And consequently, due to the abundance of imagination he used o tell a lie. Ross has said—‘’child himself becomes hero in the imagination, and dispels the strictness of life through imagination.’’ In this age child has special capability of repeating actions and words.
  8. Attitude of repetition—he takes enjoy in doing it. On the basis of this, by the children of Kinder garten and minatory school, singing and creating repetition is done.
  9. Attitude of Learning Imitation—Child, mostly learns sooner by the imitating method. He imitates the behavior of parents, brother-sister, and other family members in family, and learns.
  10. Learning perceptual Experience—Due to not being matured he learns through the perception and subtle things. Gifts and educational equipment are used in the system of montationary and kindergarten school. He observes it and experiences it through sense organs.
  11. Emotional expression—From the time of his birth, he expresses his emotions. Weeping, crying,  thrashing about with the limbs are the emotional activities. According to the child psychologists- four emotions are found in the child in beginning–fear, resentment, love and pain.
  12. Feeling of self love—child has dominant feeling of self love. He wants at this time, to get the affection of his parents and brother and sister. It being impossible, he jealousies his other brothers and sisters. Whatever toys or things are given to him, giving not to others he wants to keep it.
  13. Sexual instinct—Freud and other Psycho-analysists have said that in this stage child’s love is depended on sex instinct, and this desire is dominant, It does not highlight like young one. Child’s  to love his organ, to suck his toe, to suck the breast of his mother, are the indicator of his sex-instinct.
  14. Absence of Moral Feeling—At this time child is not developed morally. He does have the knowledge of right and wrong. He does, in what he takes enjoy, even if, it may undesirable morally. By which work he get suffered, let them. Ross has said, “Later on the social environment reinforces this pleasure pain motive by administrating reward and punishment more or less systematically.
  15. Tendency of playing alone and together—If we observe the behavior of child closely we can know that earlier he has a tendency to play alone, and Later to play with others. Crow and Crow has described this tendency thus, “the youngest child plays lonely, sooner he passes through the stage of playing with other children. At last, he experiences a great joy in playing with the same age children.’’
  16. Development of Social feeling—In the last years of infancy, social feeling is developed in him. It is the thinking of Velentine-‘’In the age of four or five, child has a tendency of protecting his brother and sister  or companion. He likes to play with, from two to five years children. He makes others partner in his own things. And protect the rights of others, and tries to give them consolation in the time of their suffering. In human life from the point of view infancy has its great importance. Velentine has told it, “the ideal period of learning” Watson has also presented his opinion, “The scope and intensity of learning during infancy exceeded that of any other period of development.”
In this age it is necessary, to pay attention, in terms of child’s education, on the following things:

  1. Upbringing—Firstly caution should be taken in child’s up bringing. Nutritious food should be arranged for the development of child.
  2. Clean environment—For the healthy development of child, the environment of house and school should be calm and clean.
  3. Attention on the personal cleanliness—after the development of thinking they should be given the education of personal cleanliness.
  4. Affectionate behavior—Parents should handle his child with love and affection. The effect of love and affection on his nerves and senses is good. It helps him in his development of proper direction.
  5. Encourage the main tendency—the main tendency should not be suppressed, rather they should be guided.  The effect, of the suppression of the main tendency, on the physical and mental development is bad.
  6. Satisfaction of Curiosity—It is always tried to satisfy the curiosity of child. All his questions should be responded with satisfaction. 
  7. Opportunity for the self assertion—child has a self assertion tendency. So parents, teachers, and guardians should give him such work to be done, by which they get the opportunity of self assertion.
  8. Learning by doing and playing—Child is progressive from his birth. So he should be given proper chance of, by play and learning by doing. Strange has said, “child learns a lot of things on his own, of the world, by the game.”
  9. Training of action and sense organ— In the house and school, the education of development of sense organ and action organ of child should be arranged. In kindergarten and montationary school’s system, attention is paid on the training of sense organ, action organ and muscles. According to them, ‘’sense organ is the gate of knowledge.’’ Confirming this Psychologist Russo has also accepted, ‘’the limbs of child and eyes are the first teacher of him by these organs he can recognize, think, and remember in the age of five.’’
  10. Opportunity for self expression—The  native language is the best way of self expression. Hence the guardians and teachers should tell them short stories, poetry and should recite them. And talk to them in easy language.
  11. The place of music in Education—From the child is fond of music. He sleeps early to hear lullaby. Songs are used in child’s school for educational function. There is a mental and physical development with the help of songs.
  12. Opportunity for the mental development—Child should be given more opportunity to think. For this, it is necessary to pay attention on the development of chatting, observation, emotion, representation, imagination memorization.
  13. Pay attention on personality integration—At the time of educating child, it is necessary to pay attention on Physical integration.
  14. Syllabus should be interesting—Syllabus should be based on the principles of playing, action, and interest, so the system of Kindergarten and montationary school should be followed.
  15. The method of education may be creative—At this time attention should be paid on the process of learning. Child should be educated by the medium of playing, doing and objects. 
  16. Development of Social feeling—This feeling yields within the last days of infancy. Hence the guardians and teachers should give them opportunity to visit and play with other children so that, the social feeling may develop in them very well.
  17. Opportunity for the development of good habits—Guardians and teachers, from the beginning try to develop in them the good habits of speaking the truth, doing work on the correct time, keeping cleanliness, because these habits create our future. As Dryden has said-First we create our habits then our habits create us.
  18. Education for the moral and character development—For this, parents and teachers should present in front of children, good ideals and conduct, because children are followers. Besides them they should be told the short stories of the ideal character, braves, politician and great men.
  19. Keep away from them punishment and fear—A child should neither fear nor be punished on a trivial matter. Fear and punishment affect on the physical, mental, emotional, and social development.  To keep him in discipline, the harmful ways of punishment should not be adopted; rather reward and punishment may be used properly.
  20. Emotional security—The most important factor in the development of child is affection, which he gets from others, and he tries to give it to others. Besides society and guardians, even teachers should behave with the children affectionately, so that the child may also develop the feeling of love to others. Affection is greatly needed for the mental health.

Paying attention on the above discussions, the nature of child-education should be arranged.

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