Importance Of Child Study

Why is it important for teachers to study child development?

It is important for teachers to study child development because they must understand the minds of their students to educate them effectively. Understanding their students can help educators be more empathetic to their students.

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Imagine standing in front of a classroom full of children knowing little or nothing about how their brains function, or how they communicate, or how they grow. Imagine trying to teach these children without knowing how to present the information at their level in a way they will understand. This...

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Imagine standing in front of a classroom full of children knowing little or nothing about how their brains function, or how they communicate, or how they grow. Imagine trying to teach these children without knowing how to present the information at their level in a way they will understand. This is why teachers need to study child development: so they know how to interact with children while they are in the process of growth.

Child development classes present information about how children change and grow physically, intellectually, and behaviorally. Students of child development learn about children's acquisition of motor skills, cognitive development, communication, adaptation, and social and emotional growth. We can see how all of these would be helpful to teachers.

Knowing how children develop motor skills, for instance, is important for guiding children in playing games or even in learning to write. Knowing about their cognitive progression is absolutely essential so teachers can meet their students where they are and help them develop further. Knowing how children communicate helps avoid misunderstandings and allows teachers to adapt their lessons to the abilities of their students while at the same time guide their to clearer and more meaningful communication.

Knowing how children respond to new experiences and adapt to their environment helps teachers set up an inviting classroom that is conducive to learning and assist children who are frightened and shy to become more comfortable at school. Knowing how children socialize helps teachers guide students into engaging, healthy social experiences, and knowing how children grow emotionally allows teachers to provide the support and comfort their students need.

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I think that it is very important for teachers to know how a student 'works'. Sometimes it simply takes knowing how to relate to a student and the mind of a student to know how to reach them intellectually.

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I wish that all teachers held on to the child development aspect of their courses throughout teaching, as I see some jaded individuals genuinely confused as to why students play up in their classes.These have forgotten that what they are teaching is CHILDREN rather than their subject. A continued appreciation of child development is what helps us differentiate our courses to suit the individuals in front of us. Knowledge of child development and applying that knowledge to our classrooms gives us a better understanding of the individuals we work with.

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There are many scenarios that will come up in the classroom where it will certainly be beneficial for a teacher to have a basic understanding of child development. Children are not "little adults." Their emotional, physical, mental, and intellectual foundations are still forming. The disciplinary apporach that a teacher takes for kindergartners should differ from that of 5th graders. I can say that from experience my assertive discipline approach and having students take ownership and reflect on their behavior doesn't work well for the younger students as it does for the older ones. I prefer to work with older students.

And there are definitely intellectual stages of development as well. As someone mentioned, abstract thinking and other concepts take time to develop. Now it would be great if 'the powers that be' would realize the importance of developmentally appropriate curriculum and not have teachers teaching material that is too advanced for the age group to grasp.

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Education is, in and of itself, a form of child development, and an important one, so for a teacher to be well versed in the study of child development is key to their effectiveness.  This knowledge, if for no other reason, helps a teacher to appropriately plan and develop content and complexity of the lessons and curriculum he/she is going to bring to a classroom.  There are physical, mental and social differences, stark ones, actually, between a 9th grader and a 12th grader, not to mention differences in general ability  and vocabulary, which is still very much in development at the 9th grade level.  
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To teach effectively child development is a necessity, not an optional extra. Of course, whilst every child does develop at their own pace, there are general guidelines and stages that we can use to inform our knowledge, that come in great use in terms of teachers knowing what students are ready for and also to provide some kind of basis which can be used to measure the progress of children.

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Children do not all develop at the same rate, but they do tend to follow stages.  A teacher needs to understand what a child at a certain age should developmentally be able to do.  A big mistake teachers often make is to try to teach students something they are not developmentally ready for.  The biggest example of this is algebra in 7th or 8th grade.  Many adolescents are not really capable of the abstract thinking that algebra requires, so they won't do well no matter what.

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All teachers (at least in the state where I live) are required to study child psychology, which includes child development.  The reason for this is that we need to understand the ways in which children's attitudes and abilities develop so that we may have a better chance of understanding the children and how to teach them.

As an example of this, it can be important for a teacher of history and social sciences to know what sorts of things (like fairness) are important to children at any given time in their lives.  If you teach students who are at an age where fairness is a paramount concern, you can interest them in your subject matter by highlighting issues of fairness in (for example) different historical periods or in different types of societies.

By understanding child development, we are better able to teach and manage our students.

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