EDUCATIONAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE PERIOD OF EARLY CHILDHOOD
Early childhood is basically a pre-school period. The formal education of the child begins when he attains the age of five so, sixth year of life of the child is very important from point of view of educating the child. Since success of education of this period will depend on the pre-school education, so, the whole period from 3-6 becomes very important. Following strategies must be adopted by the school to develop the child educationally.
(i) The teacher in the school should first see whether the child has proper physical and motor development. Regular medical and health check up programme should be organized in the school for this purpose. Parents should also be consulted if teacher finds some problem in the physical or motor development of the child.
(iii) It is the teacher who will first notice the physical or motor problems of the child. Hence, he should know the norms of physical and social development of children. On the basis of his very report, the child will be sent to the doctor for further diagnosis and investigation.
(IV) Various types of games and play activities should be organized in the school according to the age of children and they should be motivated to participate in those activities.
(v) The child is very active physically during this period. He mostly takes part in those activities, which involve muscular movement. Seeing this, he should be given rich diet to eat. If child is not getting proper nutrition, he will not gain height or weight properly.
(vi) This is a period of taking shift from dependence to self help, so child should be given more and more freedom to do in whatever manner he likes and to manipulate his environment in his own way.
(vii) This is a period of rapid intellectual growth.Hence, he should be sent to pre-primary school for learning through plays.
(viii) He should also be taught religious and moral principles so that he may become an acceptable member of the society.
(ix) He should be given freedom to manipulate objects so that he may develop his creative potentials.
(x) The teacher should narrate the stories of animals before such children. It will develop their vocabulary and imaginative power.
(xi) The child can concentrate for a longer period. Hence, the teacher can teach him any thing systematically. Even mathematics can be taught to him because he can understand symbols.
(xii) Efforts should be made to increase the vocabulary of the child as much as possible so that he can verbalize all the con that he knows.
(xiii) In order to save the child from frustration,he should not be interfered by the adults or parents.
(xiv) The child can increase his vocabulary mostly by hearing. so, he should be talked more and more. Better environment created at home means better language development.
(xv) Group activities are most suitable for such children. They should be given chance to get involve in such activities. Through these activities they would learn competition, cooperation, sympathy and the like feeling.
(xvi) The child seeks approval of adults. Adults should not be miserly in giving such approvals. They should rather love him.
(xvii) Girls and boys can be educated in a co-setting. This arrangement will create no administrative problem.
(xviii) If the child disobeys the parents they should not mind it. It is a natural phenomenon and will come down in the later childhood.
(xix) Girls should be preferred to be given the role of group leaders.
(xx) A teacher can control intense emotions of the child by his loving behaviour.
(xxi) Since children of this age can not hide their emotions, it is very easier for the teacher to deal these children effectively.
(xxii) Early childhood is a period in which the child can be emotionally attached to any body who loves him. The emotional attachment with parents may be generalized and extended to teachers in the school. A teacher can exploit this tendency and get the students involved in so many types of tasks.
(C) Later childhood and development : This is the period between the age of 6-12 years. At the end of this period, puberty symptoms begin to grow and the period of adolescence starts. This period is marked by pseudo maturity and excellence in different fields. As far as sexual maturity is concerned. it remains completely dormant during this period, but this sex emerges with a great force at the end of this period. Because of the dormant nature of sex, this stage is also called latency period. Various dimensions of development during this period are given below.
1. Physical development :
(i) Steady and slow but uniform growth in the external as well as internal organs are seen.
(ii) Milk teeth are replaced by permanent set.
(iii) Auscification of bones takes place due to increase in height and weight.
(iv) Refinement in motor skills are seen.
(v) The child is physically restless during this period. He finds himself engaged in one activity or the other.
(vi) The brain acquires the size of an adult.
(vii) It is the period of best health of the individual during his whole life. During this period children never get tired. They burn their calories in physical activities and eat to the maximum level possible.
(viii) Girls are ahead of boys by two years in height and weight physiologically. Girls at the age of 11 are ahead of boys by at least one year.
(ix) Shedding of milk teeth and growth of permanent teeth change the shape of mouth, like flattening of forehead, sharpening nose and broadening of the chest.
(x) Important physical characteristics of this period are increased manual dexterity. high muscular strength, increased resistance to fatigue, increased endurance for play activities and so on.
2. Intellectual development :
(i) The child develops the powers of observation, reasoning and abstract thinking.
(ii) He can accumulate huge amount of knowledge in his mind. He can derive information and pleasure from books.
(iii) His perceptual ability memory, and application of mental powers become keener.
(iv) The IQ of the child becomes stable and determines his IQ level in future. In short, it is a period of intellectual maturity.
(v) Boys love adventure and fairy tales and girls love mild form of romance and biographies.
.(vi) The child begins to admire things and people around him and he begins to imitate the behaviour of those people who he likes.
(vii) The child begins to make clear distinction between himself and the outer world. He starts working on reality principles according to Freud.
(viii) The concept of natural laws becomes fully developed at the end of this period.
(ix) Capacity of logical thinking and power of reasoning increases.
(x) Interest in science fictions and stories reaches at its peak by the end of later childhood.
(xi) Courage and loyalty both increase simultaneously.
(xii) The child starts day dreaming and he defeats his rivals in his imaginative plays.
(xiii) The early imaginary fears are disappeared by the end of 12 years.
(xiv) When a child attains the age of ten, he shows high ability of generalization.
(xv) Children of this age are concerned with immediate cause and effect relationship and current happening. They live in the realm of present and don’t care for future.
(xvi) The child begins to understand conceptual problem very well. He can analyse it and can give suggestions for its solutions.
(xvii) The physical growth is slow and steady during this period but intellectual growth and the functioning of mind are very rapid during this period.
(xviii) The child develops clear concepts of length, breath, time and distance.
3. Sexual development :
(i) From this angle this stage of the child is called latency period. Generally sexual energy at this age remains dormant but it becomes very active immediately after the age of 12 years.
(ii) Indifferent and antagonistie attitude towards the opposite sex are seen by the age of 10-11. As a result of this attitude, boys do not like to mix up with girls and girls are antagonistic to mix up with boys. Due to this reason upper primary education (from VIth –VIIIth in co educational setting is not suited in school.
4. Emotional development :
(i) Rapid shift from one type of emotion to another is not seen and the child learns how to control his emotions in a variety of social situations. For example, he avoids
weeping in the company of his friends.
(ii) Emotional responses of the child become less diffused and undifferentiated, ie, intensity of emotions is reduced
(iii) Emotions are expressed even in the absence of concrete inaterials..
(iv) Fear of animals, ghosts, loneliness and high place that was found in the early childhood, no longer persists in the later childhood.
(v) Certain new fear appear during this stage like fear of failing in the attempt such as games examinations, etc, fear of supernatural objects, such as heaven or hell etc and fear of being ridiculed etc.
(vi) The child gets angry if he is thwarted, teased or prejudiced. If he is compared with other children wrongly, he is interfered in his activities or he is ridiculed by elders, all these things will make the child angry.
(vii) If child thinks that some other children are being favoured by elders, he again gets angry. He becomes jealous of those children who are favoured. Emotion of jealousy is found in girls more than in boys.
(viii) All emotions like joy, love, curiosity, grief and affection appear during this stage in a stable manner. The child can hide his emotions. He expresses only those emotions which are approved socially.
(ix) Emotions are structured into sentiments.Various types of sentiments like religious, moral, patriotic and aesthetic sentiments develop during this period. Complex of superiority develops during this period. Boys consider themselves superior to girls.
5. Social development :
(i) He loves to play in groups and shares his toys with other children. Team spirit and group loyalties are commonly seen in such children in a more matured form.
(ii) Social horizon of the child increases to neighbourhood and school and he looses the shackles of his family ties. He becomes independent of his parents and does many things against their wishes.
(iii) He wants to become hero or leader in the group in the same way as we see in the period of early childrenhood.
(iv) He cares himself more than others. His self centred behaviour sometimes gives rise to rivalries and aggression.
(v) He accepts social norms. He feels pride to be ruled by public opinions. He is so much attached with his group that he can defy even the orders of his parents if they do not match with the norms of the group to which the child belongs. This tendency in children continues upto the age of 17-18.
(vi) Social development of the child mostly takes place in the play ground. The child mostly takes interest in those games which require stiff competition like football, hockey, kabaddi and kho kho.
(vii) Girls mostly prefer indoor games but if they are exposed to outdoor games they enjoy more than boys. Badminton, tennis and skipping are their favorite games.
(viii) When something wrong happens, boys indulge into physical combat and girls into verbal fights or pulling each others hairs. The behaviour of the child is largely influenced by the group to which child belongs.
(ix) The age from 10-12 is referred to gang age when children take much interest in gang activities and adhere to gang loyalties. That is why we see that every child in the age group of 10-12 necessarily joins a group and follows its rules and regulations strictly.
(x) Sex differentiation becomes sharp,i.e., girls play with girls only. The child does not like to play with girls during this period. He accepts only those girls in his group which are very energetic and courageous.
(xi) It is the period of peak unruliness in schools and homes especially when child is thwarted by his peers and relatives. Here, the child rejects many of the standards set by the adults or his family members and tries to live an independent life in his own circle.
(xii) Some delinquent acts like bullying, stealing, gang activities etc begin at the end of this period.
(xiii) Boys are more rebellion than girls and their groups or gangs are more organized than girls.
(xiv) Because of the excess involvement of boys and girls in their respective groups. this period is particularly known as gang age period.
6. Moral development:
(i) When the child attains the age of six his capacity to understand relationship increases. He accepts lawful and unlawful social matters, though his concept of right and wrong may be different from his peers.
(ii) At the age of 8 he moves from specific response to generalized response and thus his concepts become more generalized. For example, he comes to realize that stealing of any thing is bad whether it be the matter of money or books.
(iii) During the period of later childhood morality is defined as performing good acts and maintaining the conventional social order. Children of this age are not deficient of this respect in any way.
(iv) At the age of 11-12, moral behaviour is oriented towards authority and maintaining the status quo which is considered to be a primary value. When the child changes his group loyalties, moral values may also change. It is because their conduct is mostly governed by the mores of his group
(v)The development of right and wrong concepts begins at home in the period of early childhood, but it actually matures in the group. That is why we see that the child may float the authority of his parents but he may not go against the wishes of his gang. Such moral behaviour is dangerous only when the group is not following social and moral norms properly.