“There is in every child at every stage a new miracle of vigorous unfolding” – Erik Erikson.
Childhood is a very tender age group, most of the learning occurs at this stage of life through various informal and formal processes. It has been found in various studies that the mental growth at this stage is unparalleled and most of life long cognitive and moral learning is engraved in their life experiences.
Childhood seems a stage of joyfulness and carelessness but the underlying factors affecting them can’t be ignored. They face many challenges such as the need of establishing a self-identity, getting recognition, finding a suitable peer group and parental support for their overall development, and here Child Psychology comes into action. It tries to find the most suitable and innovative ways of enhancing their level of adjustment by devising various scientific ways of promoting their learning capacity and understanding.
Education of children in formal and informal settings plays an important role in their overall development so assessment of their strengths and weaknesses, and factors affecting their learning is considered very important.
The main focus of Child Psychology is to understand challenges in their development and methods to eliminate those challenges. Home and classroom environments are two major sources of pro-curation of knowledge and figuring out efficient ways of promoting learning requires rigorous empirical studies.
Child Psychology presents a detailed view of various aspects of learning and development which have wide application in education. It gives a microscopic understanding of factors underlying learning which are otherwise ignored. For example, imitation is one of the most frequently used methods by children to learn a new behavior but generally, parents and schools act as wrong models themselves and wonder how the child learned bad behavior.
We can find various studies and theories focusing on factors affecting the development of children in educational settings such as Vygotsky’s theory offers new sight in methods of teaching and learning that emphasize the importance of social context and collaboration.
Vygotsky focused on ‘assisted discovery’ rather than independent discovery which promotes the value of support and cooperation. Similarly works on the moral and cognitive development of children show that most of the developmental milestones are achieved during this stage which continues throughout life.
Education, on the other hand, acts either as a substitute in attaining those milestones or as a barrier. Sometimes Non-supporting environment can sabotage any chance of development and result in a foundation for acquiring socially undesirable behaviors. So, constructive and destructive factors are to be handled appropriately. Once these factors are clearly understood and applied efficiently, can bring a constructive change in the performance of children.
Child Psychology can be used as a tool in academics to promote a healthy environment and develop a cooperative culture in homes and schools, and more effective ways of teaching and learning can be adopted. The mind of a child is complex and overlooking these complexities may not be good for a society’s future. So, as a society, we should incorporate psychological methods and techniques established in educational settings and ensure the overall development of our country.
The Article is written by Rupesh Ojha.