CHILDHOOD AND GROWING UP

CHILDHOOD AND GROWING UP

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EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY – [GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT]

Psychology deals with not only the behavior of the conscious level, but it also deals with the experiences of sub-conscious and unconscious levels of the human mind.

The word Psychology is derived from two Greek words Psyche and Logus. ‘Psyche’ means soul, ‘logus’ means science. So psychology, in the beginning, was meant to be the science of the soul. Later people began to question the existence of the soul.

So Psychology was defined as the science of mind. The activity of the mind cannot be externally observable, so Psychology was defined later as the science of human behavior.

WHAT IS EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY?

Educational psychology will help the teacher to get answers to the following questions.
  1. Who is to be educated?
  2. Why should one be educated?
  3. Where should education be given?
  4. When it should be given?
  5. How should it be given?

and many other questions relating to the teaching and learning process.

Educational psychology has different dimensions. It deals with the
  • Characteristics of students
  • Teaching-learning context
  • Methods of teaching-learning strategies
  • The mentality of the students
  • Mental hygiene and
  • Other aspects of education

GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

As far as the human being is concerned, life starts with the conception in the mother’s womb as a result of the process of fertilization of the ovum (egg cell) of the mother by the sperm cell of the father.

The mother’s womb then becomes the site and the meaning for the growth and development of the new life and it is only after nine months that the baby is able to come into the world as a newborn.

The period spent in the mother’s womb is termed as prenatal period and is usually not included in the computation of one’s chronological age.


DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

Growth Development
The term growth may be limited to the changes in the quantitative aspect i.e

- increase in size,
- length,
- height and weight and
- expansion of vocabulary etc.
The term development implies the overall changes occurring in both the quantitative as well as qualitative aspects.

Therefore, development as a term carries a wider and more comprehensive meaning than the term growth.
The term “growth” carries a limited and narrower meaning.

It is a sub-system of the development as it is concerned merely with the quantitative changes in comparison to the overall changes described and explained by the process of development.

This does not continue throughout one’s life.

It stops when maturity has been attained.

Development is a continuous process.

Starting right from conception it does not end with the attainment of maturity but continuous throughout the entire life span of an individual.
The results of growth in terms of quantitative changes are very

- specific,
- fairly easy to observe and measure.
Development is said to be a complex process in comparison to the process of growth.

The results of development, in comparison, are quite complex and difficult as far as their actual assessment & measurement is concerned.

INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES

Every child grows and develops in a different environment. According to the environment and experience, they differ.

Psychology will help the teacher to understand student’s characteristics, behavior, and individual differences and accordingly design teaching-learning activities in the classroom to suit the requirements of the students.

Psychology will also help the teachers to develop and use appropriate methods and teaching aids based on the technology of teaching evaluation.


ADOLESCENT LEARNER

The word ‘adolescence’ comes from the Latin Verb “adolescere” which means ‘to grow’. So, the essence of the word adolescence is growth and it is in the sense that adolescence represents a period of intensive growth and change, in nearly all aspects of a child’s physical, mental, social, and emotional life.

Adolescence begins with the onset of puberty and lasts until the beginning of adulthood. Several Physiological and psychological changes occur during this period.

According to Cole, adolescence is a period of growth in all systems of the body. In the course of a few years, the individual undergoes both in size and in his internal body chemistry. The rapidity, variety, and force of these developments are amazing. The changes are so extensive that some people call this a second birth.

ADOLESCENT PERIOD (APPROXIMATELY AGES BETWEEN 10 AND 19 YEARS)

Adolescence is commonly defined as the stage of life that begins at the onset of puberty when sexual maturity or the ability to reproduce is attained. It has been regarded as a period of rapid change, both biologically and psychologically.


Growth and Development During the Adolescent Period

Physical Development

At the adolescent stage, marked changes take place in the following domain:
  • Height and Weight
  • Bodily Proportion
  • Change in Voice
  • Increase in motor performance
  • Sexual changes

Cognitive Development

  • The adolescent learns to reason and seeks answers to how and why of everything rationally and scientifically.
  • The power of critical thinking and observation in much developed.
  • They are more creative and inquisitive.
  • They are almost critical of everything.
  • They develop a lot of imagination.
  • This becomes the beginning of the artist, inventor, philosopher, poet, and writer, etc. in the adolescent.

Social Development

  • Adolescence is marked with too much sex consciousness resulting in sexual social relationships.
  • Loyalty becomes very much pronounced.
  • Adolescence is in a mood to sacrifice their selfish interests for the greater cause of the group, society, and nation.
  • Increased friendly relationships.
  • The emotional behavior of the adolescent dominates his social characteristics and qualities.
  • There is too much diversity in adolescents regarding their social interests.

Emotional Development

  • Emotional development is one of the major aspects of adolescent’s growth and development.
  • Not only adolescent physical growth and development are linked with his emotional make-up but his aesthetic, intellectual, moral, and social development is also controlled by his emotional development.
  • To keep one’s emotions under control and be able to conceal them is considered a mark of a strong and balanced personality.
  • Therefore, adolescents must be trained to control their emotions and achieve a mental balance and stability which will lead to individual happiness and social efficiency.

LEARNING

Learning takes place in many ways. There are some methods that are used in the acquisition of simple responses while other methods are used in the acquisition of complex responses. The simplest kind of learning is conditioning.

Two types of conditioning have been identified.
  1. Classical conditioning
  2. Instrumental/ Operant conditioning

In addition, we have (Trial and Error learning and insight learning) observational learning, cognitive learning, verbal learning, concept learning, and skill learning.

TYPES OF LEARNING

Learning is explained in terms of stimulus and response by a group of psychologists. Two types of learning based on stimulus-response bonds are described by Pavlov and skinner.

  • Pavlov called this classical conditioning and
  • Skinner operant conditioning

Trial and Error Theory of Learning Learning (Edward Lee Thorndike)

The famous psychologist Edward Lee Thorndike (1834 – 1949) was the initiator of the theory of trial and error learning based on the findings of his experiment on the cat.

THORNDIKE’S LAWS OF LEARNING
Thorndike’s propounded the following laws of learning on the basis of his theoretical notion about the learning process.
  1. The Law of Readiness
  2. The Law of Exercise
  3. The Law of Effect

Classical Conditioning (Ivan Pavlov) Theory of Learning

This type of learning was first investigated by Ivan P. Pavlov. He was primarily interested in the physiology of digestion.

During his studies, he noticed that dogs, on whom he was doing his experiments, started secreting saliva as soon as they saw the empty plate in which food was served. As you must be aware, saliva secretion is a reflexive response to food or something in the mouth. Pavlov designed an experiment to understand this process in detail in which dogs were used once again.

PRINCIPLES OF CLASSICAL CONDITIONING THEORY
  1. Extinction
  2. Spontaneous Recovery
  3. Stimulus Generalization
  4. Stimulus Discrimination

Operant Conditioning (Skinner) Theory of Learning

This type of conditioning was first investigated by B.F. Skinner. Skinner studied the occurrence of voluntary responses when an organism operates on the environment. He called the Operants.

Operants are that behavior or responses, which are emitted by animals and human beings voluntarily and are under their control. The term operant is used because the organism operates on the environment; Conditioning of operant behavior is called operant conditioning.

Skinner experimented with white rats.


Gestalt Theory

Cognitive psychologists tried to see learning as a more deliberate and conscious effect of the individual rather than a product of mere habit formation or a stimulus-response machine-like mechanism.

Gestalt Psychology is primarily concerned with the nature of perception. According to it, an individual perceives a thing as a whole while the behavior and stimulus-response theorists define perception so as to make it analogous with the taking of a photograph. They hold that sometime comes prior to the meaning and considers these two acts as separate.

Kohler (1925) used the term insight, first of all, to describe the learning of his apes. During the period 1913-1917, he conducted many experiments on chimpanzees in the Canary Islands and embodied his findings in his book (ibid).

  • In one experiment, Kohler put the chimpanzee sultan, inside a cage and a banana was hung from the roof of the cage.
  • A box was placed inside the cage, The Chimpanzee tried to reach the banana by jumping but could not succeed.
  • Suddenly he got an idea and used the box as a jumping platform by placing it just below the hanging banana.
Though Kohler seemed to see insightful learning in turn of a sudden’ aha’ or a bolt of lightning, it is found to depend upon factors such as
  1. Experience
  2. Intelligence
  3. Learning Situation
  4. Individual Efforts
  5. Reception and Generalisation

THEORIES OF DEVELOPMENT

Cognitive Theory of Development

Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget is well known for his theory which describes how humans gather and organize information and how this process changes developmentally.

Basic Cognitive Concepts according to Piaget are:
  1. Schema
  2. Assimilation
  3. Accommodation
  4. Equilibration

Piaget’s Stages to Cognitive Development

According to Piaget, cognitive development unfolds as the child passes through these four stages
  1. The Sensorimotor period (birth to 18-24 months)
  2. The Pre-operational period (2 to 7 years)
  3. The Concrete operational period (7 to 11 years)
  4. The Formal operational period (over 11 years)

Psycho-Social Theory of Development (Erikson)

Erik Erickson, the famous psychoanalyst is considered with developing the theory of psycho-social development which covers normal development over the entire life span of human beings.

Erickson discovered eight such issues or crises of life arising at different ages or periods of one’s development and linked them with the eight stages of one’s psychosocial development covering one’s entire life span.


Stages of psycho-social development

Stage of psycho-social development Specific age or period
Trust vs mistrust Birth to One year
Autonomy Vs Shame & Doubt One to Three Years
Initiative Vs Guilt Three to five years
Industry Vs Inferiority Five to Eleven years
Identity Vs Role Confusion Eleven to Eighteen Years
Intimacy Vs Isolation Eighteen to Thirty-Five Years
Generativity Vs Stagnation Thirty-Five to Sixty-Five Years
Integrity Vs Despair Over Sixty-Five Years

Theory of Moral Development (Kohlberg)

Lawrence Kohlberg a Psychologist belonging to the university of Harvard is known for putting forward a theory of the development of moral judgment in the individual right from the years of early childhood.

He has based his theory of moral development on the findings of his studies conducted on hundreds of children from different cultures.


Kohlberg’s six stages of Moral Development

Level I Pre- moral (age 4 to 10 years)
Stage 1: The stage of obedience for avoiding punishment
Stage 2: The stage of conforming to obtain rewards and favors in return.

Level II Conventional Morality (Age 10 to 13 years
Stage 3: The stage of maintaining mutual relations and approval of others
Stage 4: The stage of obedience for avoiding censure by higher authority or social systems.

Level III Self – accepted moral principles (Age 13 or not until middle or later adulthood)
Stage 5: Stage of conforming to the democratically accepted law and mores of community welfare
Stage 6: Stage of conforming to the universal ethical principles and the call of one’s conscience

MOTIVATION

Motivation in the force that energies, and directs behavior towards a goal. Typically, the concept of motivation is applied when a person is energized to satisfy some need or desire.

The person will engage in or be attracted to, activities that are perceived as having the potential to meet this need or desire.

Kinds of Motives

  1. Biological Motives
  2. Psycho social Motives

INTELLIGENCE

Intelligence is an important ability and it is closely associated with the educational achievement of an individual. Among the qualities that are needed for an individual to lead a happy and contented life, the most important one is intelligence.

Intelligence is generally guessed from the way a person appears to understand a fact or a group of facts, and the manner in which he/she responds to those facts


THEORIES OF INTELLIGENCE

The theories of intelligence propagated by psychologists from time to time have explained the meaning and nature of intelligence.

The Major Theories of Intelligence are:
  • Single Factor Theory
  • Two Factor Theory
  • Multi-Factor Theory
  • Guilford’s Theory

The factor theories of intelligence try to throw light on the structure of intelligence by pointing out the number of factors or constituents (e.g.) the unitary theory holds that intelligence consists of only one factor. i.e. a fund of intellectual competence.

Spearman’s two-factor theory advocates the presence of two factors general intelligence ‘g’ and specific intelligence ‘s’.

The multifactor theory considers intelligence to be a combination of numerous separate elements or factors, each of which is a minute element of ability.

Guilford’s s theory lays down a model of the intellect involving three interrelated and interacted basic parameters –operations, contents, and products for explaining the structure of human intelligence.


INTELLIGENCE TESTS

Some of the Major Intelligence Tests are:
  1. Individual tests
  2. Group tests
  3. Verbal test
  4. Non- Verbal
  5. Performance test
  6. Stanford -Binet test
  7. The Wechsler scale of Intelligence

USES OF INTELLIGENCE TESTS

  • Intelligence Tests are used to Understand the capacity of a child
  • It is used for Homogenous grouping
  • Intelligence tests are also used for the purpose of admission and selection to various courses

CREATIVITY

Creativity is creating something innovative and unique. Creativity as the capacity or ability of an individual to create, discover or produce a new or novel idea or object including the rearrangement or reshaping of what is already known to him which proves to be a uniquely personal experience.

Guilford defines “creativity involves divergent thinking with respect to the traits of fluency, flexibility and originality of thought processes.”

HOW TO IDENTITY CREATIVITY?

  1. By observation of behavior
  2. Through rating scale and attitude scales
  3. By the help of interview or asking questions informally
  4. With the help of situational tests, interest inventories, aptitude test, projective techniques, personality test, etc
  5. By studying the cumulative record, if maintained about the individual, and
  6. With the help of standardized tests along with creativity tests.

PROCESS AND STAGES OF CREATIVITY

  1. Stage of Preparation
  2. The Stage of Incubation
  3. The Stage of Illumination
  4. Revision

CREATIVITY TESTS

Creativity tests may be used in the identification of the creative in the same way as intelligence tests are used for the assessment of intelligence. There are many standardized tests available for this purpose in India.

Some Creativity tests standardized in India are:
  • Baquer Mehdi’s tests of creative thinking (Hindi/English)
  • Passi’s tests of creativity
  • Sharmas divergent production abilities test
  • Sexena’s tests of creativity

HOW TO FOSTER CREATIVITY?

Some of the methods or techniques that can be useful in fostering creativity among the students are:
  • Freedom to respond
  • Encouraging originality and flexibility
  • Removal of hesitation and fear
  • Providing appropriate opportunities and atmosphere for creative expression
  • Developing healthy habits among children
  • Reform in the evaluation system
  • Use of special techniques like the brainstorming method
  • Teaching by example

PERSONALITY

Personality is something unique and specific. Each one of us is a unique person in oneself.

DETERMINANTS OF PERSONALITY

  • Genetic Determinants
  • Social Determinants
  • Cultural determinants – Home, School, and teachers

THEORIES OF PERSONALITY

Psychologists have developed several theories of personality
  1. Type approach
  2. Trait approach
  3. Type-cum Trait approach
  4. Psychoanalytic approach
  5. Humanistic approach

ASSESSMENT OF PERSONALITY

The methods used for the assessment of personality may be termed as subjective, objective, and projective.

Some methods which are used in the assessment of personality are:
  • Observation
  • Situational tests
  • Questionnaire
  • Personality inventory
  • Rating scale
  • Interview
  • Rorschach Ink-Blot Test
  • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
Further References:

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