How much of child development do a parent or teachers need to know? If you are a mother, you seem to instinctively know your child - I think it's a God-given intuition. Thank God. Even if you are not the mother of the preschool kid you are teaching, by spending adequate time with him, you too would know his moods, and his likes.
But do you really know your child (your own, or your preschool kids)?
Are teachers meeting your child's overall needs or are they just stuffing him with knowledge ?
Here I will briefly describe the psychology of the child and I will draw out some concepts and guidelines for the preschool teacher and parents to be aware of. These are the basics that all teachers and parents need to know when nurturing kids.
THE CONCEPT OF CHILD DEVELOPMENT
-adapted from the Montessori Philosophy
|THE CHILD||THE CONCEPT||THE TEACHER||There is a kind of intrinsic power within a child, and therefore motivation does not really come from the teacher but the child himself. His inherent curiosity can sometimes be damaged by rewards or punishments||Motivation - The joy of completing a task is the real motivator and rewarder. This is the ultimate goal of all teachers involved in child development- preschoolers.||The teacher must not be an obstacle by giving too many restrictions and unnecessary instructions. Instead, she should be serving and guiding.||..||..||..||Respect for peers comes from the enjoyment of one's work||Attitude - Attitudes are caught and taught||Self-respect, respect for environment if shown consistently can be easily caught on by the child. The teachers' humility is of great value.||..||..||..||When a child is granted freedom within a structure, he will gain independence over a period of repeated trials. He will discover the joy of work, the pleasure of success on completion of task unhindered. This leads him to a cycle of greater independence||Independence- embodies (P.I.E.S.) Physical care of self, Intellectual decision making, Emotional confidence and Social grace and courtesy; these all encompasses the child development-preschoolers.||To achieve independence, child-sized furniture should be provided. Also, didactic materials which has control of error (self-guide) should be used. A more child-centered rather than teacher / curriculum centered approach should be applied.||..||..||..||A child has great love for order and cleanliness. It is the older kids who look messy and ill-disciplined because he has caught on the laserfaire attitude from his sphere of influence.||Self-discipline - This is achieved from the powers of concentration. This is an important aspect of child development-preschoolers age group.||The teacher should not interfere or interrupt unnecessarily when the child is at work, knowing that self-discipline is something the child has to learn for himself. She has to be active, calm, firm, and patient, not allowing disorder in the class.||..||..||..||Below age 5, fantasy causes intellectual confusion in a child because he craves for understanding of the real world in which he lives||Imagination - has to do with the real world, whilst fantasy has to do with things unreal.||Imagination should be based upon the positive researches of science. Use of real objects are preferable.|
Understanding the universal characteristics of the child is to understand the basics of child development. It will help you know your child. It is one move in the direction of meeting his needs.
However, each child carries a certain uniqueness that can only be recognized with close observations. Therefore, a good teacher observes each child individually and then draw conclusions from his response before formulating her teaching plan. She observes and recognize the child who has attained the power to concentrate and to absorb lessons learned.
Consider Homeschooling Pros and Cons
Click here to read about the Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education
Child Intellectual Development – Nature vs Nurture etc
Piaget's stages of child development
How a child's play can be a part of his preschool curriculum
Child Development Guide - includes special needs children
There are many views of childhood development propounded by different child psychology and philosophy. What's yours? In a practical, non-professional approach, share your own story here.