The Importance of Early Childhood Development

The second stage of human development is childhood. Child enters in childhood after infancy. Child is unfamiliar to his surrounded conditions in his infancy. His body and mind are both under undeveloped condition. While entering in the childhood he is well developed. He begins to familiarize with his atmosphere. In this stage he begins to learn education related things, as personal and social behavior that is the basis of his future, so, it is necessary to pay attention to the main qualities of child, related to physical, mental, emotional and mental development.

Importance of Childhood

Childhood begins after infancy. Upon entering into the childhood, child has been so developed that he begins to familiarize with the conditions of environment.

Psychologists have called this stage as “the creator of child’’. In this stage child develops the pattern of personal, social, and education related habits, like behavior, interests, and desires, it is not easy to transform them. Throwing light on the importance of childhood, the opinion of Blair, Jones and Simpson are thus-no period during the life-cycle is more important than childhood from an educational point of view. Teachers who work at this level should understand the children, their fundamental needs, their problems, and the forces which modify and produce behavior changes. 

It is clear from the above discussion of educational point of view, that childhood is an important stage of life. So for the personal development of this stage, guardians and teachers, being cautious should use all the ways and methods that may prove helpful in his natural and balanced development.

Meaning of Childhood

Generally all the Psychologists have considered from six to twelve years’ age as childhood. Stability comes in the life of a child in this stage. And he prepares for further life. In the words of Hurlock-‘’Late childhood extends from the age of six years to the onset puberty, between eleven and twelve.

It is clear that childhood extends from six to twelve. In this stage, many changes take place in the child this age has been considered the best for the beginning of education. So, many Psychologists have said it ‘Elementary school Age’. In this stage, the feeling of establishing social relationship is predominantly seen in boys and girls. They make their different community. So the Psychologists have said this ‘Gang Age’.

Chief Characteristics of Childhood

Infancy in terms of development of the following attributes:

  1. Stability in physical and mental growth—Stability comes in the physical and mental growth in the childhood. This stage can be divided between two groups from the point of development view-six to nine, as Conservation period and ten to twelve as Consolidation period. In infancy and pre-childhood (6 to 9) whatever is developed naturally in the child, in late childhood (10 to 12) begins to be more determined. Their fickleness becomes less than that of infancy, and he is seen behaving like an adolescent. Ross has said childhood calling childhood as ‘Pseudo Maturity’—‘’Physical and mental stability is the most important quality of Childhood.’’
  2. Growth in Mental ability—At this time, there is growth in the mental ability of the child. The development of Emotional expression and memory is swift. There is growth in stable memory. The interest and distraction towards the things also grows.
  3. Intensity of curiosity—Child wants to know all about the things that he is close to. At this time he does not ask, ‘’what is this?’’ but ask ‘’Why is such so?’’Ross has said about the tendency of child at this time. ‘In Late childhood child becomes so much curious towards such things. How do these things happen, how do these things work etc, he collects a lot of information on different subjects, seeing him his elders become surprised.
  4. Feeling of Self Dependence—At this time child is not depended on others like infancy for his daily activities. He himself does his personal activities as bathing, wearing clothes, preparing for the school.
  5. Interest in construction work—children get a lot of joy in creative activities, as doing work in the orchard, preparing some things with the help of paper and wood. Girls also want to do some work in house as knitting, sewing and embroidering.
  6. Development of Acquisition Instincts—Along with the creativity works, acquisition instinct is also developed. Boys are seen collecting especially, old marbles, toys, the parts of machines and the pieces of stones, and the girls are seen collecting toys, dolls, the piece of clothes etc.
  7. Intensity of gregariousness—At this time child tries to spend his almost time with others children. Due to the intensity of gregariousness, he begins to understand, the physical and moral conditions, by which his conduct is controlled. Ross has said –‘’child often compulsorily, become the member any one of the community, who are regularly gathered to play good games, to do such these things, and about them elders are not to be told any things.
  8. Development of Extrovert Tendency—In infancy child is introvert. He takes interest within himself and lover of nature. But at this time he takes interest in going outside, looking external things, in knowing about other persons. Being an extrovert, he adjusts himself in the society.
  9. Social and Moral Development—At this time child spends most of the times with his group members. And always ready to obey commands obtained from the group. His behavior is depended on the appreciation and criticism of others. There are many social virtues developed in them, as-obedience, co-corporation, good feeling, and patience. The opinion of Strange related to this is thus- ‘’ In the age six, seven and eight, the knowledge of good and bad, impartial behavior, honesty and the feelings of social values begin to develop in children.’’
  10. Dormant Sex Impulse—According to the Psychologist, since birth the sex instinct begins to develop in the child, but at this time the feelings of self love, and hatred towards parents diminish and the feeling of homo sexual love is arisen. The feeling of companionship is developed among boys and boys and girls and girls.

Nature of Education in Childhood

Childhood is the basis of child’s life. So it is necessary to keep in mind the qualities of all sides of the development of child, then the nature of education may be decided. There is a close relationship between education and development. Education is a process of development, that is cleared by the meaning and different definitions of education. The responsibility of child’s education is on the parents, teachers and society. So it is necessary to pay attention on the following points in deciding the nature of his education.

  1. Attention on the Physical Development—It has been said that Healthy brain is developed in healthy body. So from this point of view, it is necessary to pay attention on the physical development of child. Nutritious food and the opportunity of playing game should be given to them to keep them healthy.
  2. Children Psychology—Parents, Guardians, and teachers should have the knowledge of Children-Psychology, so that they may give them proper education.
  3. Attention on the Language—Attention should be paid on the knowledge of the language of the child, for this we should talk to them on the proper matter, tell them stories, give them magazines to read, should encourage them to take part in speech, debates and short stories competition in the school. 
  4. Syllabus—Such subjects should be kept in the syllabus that are according to the interest of child, and related to his life. Syllabus should not be uninteresting and mechanical, he should not be loaded with the burden of many subjects and books, otherwise he manages to pass the exams by mugging up however it does not help him in this mental development.
  5. Education Method—In childhood education method should be interesting and based on the work and play method. Changes should take place in the educational method according to the interest of child. In modern Education system include kindergarten, Montessori basic project, Dalten etc activities and the education systems based on the work and play method. 
  6. Education by Work and play—Playing is the natural and easy tendency of child. Educational-Psychologists have given importance to work and play in the education. The work is done by game helps in the physical, mental and social development of child. Playing method gives the child, the capability of learning with excitement and pleasure.
  7. Attention on the mental condition—Intellectual environment should be given for the mental development of children. At home and school they should be given all the needed ways and material, which could help them in mental progress. Child learns soon by following. For this, parents and teachers should present the behavior of good ideals and conduct. Under the mental development, intellectual capabilities of mind, the development of memorization, imagination, rumination, discussion, decision etc are included. They should be given the proper opportunity for the development of mind, that should encourage their curiosity and present new problem in front of them, so that they could use their memory, imagination, rumination, discussion and decision power. 
  8. Attention on the emotional expression—It is necessary to give proper attention to their main instinct for the emotional development of children in childhood. There is an effect of emotion on physical and mental development. From this time education should be given to control undesirable emotions as-jealousy, resentment, hatred. For this, parents, teachers should behave with them with love and full of sympathy. Their emotion should not be suppressed which produce complexity in them. According to Strang— ‘’Child should be helped in completing his emotion obtained by social acceptance instead of suppressing them. Emotional feelings and their expression are the basis of whole of their life.’’
  9. Encourage the tendency of curiosity—At this time child has predominant tendency of curiosity. He excites to know about each new thing. And ‘how’ etc, ask many questions. Hence Parents, teachers should give proper and appropriate responses to each of his things, so that his curiosity may be satisfied. After igniting up his zeal, new useful things can be taught. Thus, he himself gains knowledge.
  10. Pay attention on the creative instincts—This instinct can be seen clearly in the child from the beginning. As constructing the house with the help of sands and dust, create new things with the help of pieces of wood etc. So, different kinds of creativity acts should be arranged in the school, as under the creativity work, preparing any new things with paper, woods, dust, and to give the education of home science and craft in the reading subjects.
  11. Encourage the tendency of collection—In children the tendency of collection is found. Whatever things does he like, he collects them, so parents and teachers should inspire him to collect education related things, late tickets, coins, toys, pictures, books and other natural things etc.
  12. Satisfaction of community tendency—The tendency to live in the group is predominant in childhood. He does not like to live alone. He likes more to visit and to do work with other children and companions. And he also lives pleasantly with it. So for the development of community tendency he should be provided the opportunity and order of becoming the member of child convention, in the social activities, to take part in the scout boys and girls. In the school community activities’ games should be properly arranged.
  13. The arrangement of complementary syllabus activities—For the development of mental and social abilities extra curricular activities should be arranged. Under this, nature expedition, wandering, sarasvati travelling, and other cultural program should be arranged time to time.
  14. Development of social qualities—In childhood, after family, the socialization of child happens in the school. So it is the duty of teacher that he creates such an environment in the class, school and play ground, which makes the child develop socially healthy. In school, such activities should be arranged, which help in the development of the social qualities in the child like discipline, self confidence, responsibility, obedience, humility, corporation, sympathy, and competition etc.
  15. Moral education—Moral education should be arranged regularly to give the knowledge of rules, limitation  and moral values of society. 

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