Why is Child Development and Educational Psychology Essential for Teaching?

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Schools play the most crucial role in developing a child’s personality. The basic education, as well as emotional growth of a child, is directly proportional to the environment of the child’s educational institution/s. As a result, it is necessary that a child’s complete developmental procedure is effectively administered and comprehended by those around him, especially the educators.

Teaching is a profession that is often mistaken to be centred on the concept of imparting knowledge. In most traditional settings of a school, teachers are often observed to blame the child’s parents or guardians for their developmental drawbacks. It is believed that the teachers would impart knowledge and evaluate the knowledge gained by the children within the school. However, their wholesome development should be the responsibility of the parents. This approach to teaching has resulted in inconsistency among the students between their knowledge acquisition and its application.

If you’re following in this direction or perhaps think of it as the right way to teach, the probability of you affecting the psychological and educational growth of a child is more than his parents playing a role in the process. Child development and educational psychology are extremely crucial to teaching. But, in order to know the importance, it’s necessary to understand the concept and approach of child development and educational psychology.


The development of a child is not just his/her physical growth. Before you establish a synonymous connection between the two terms, it’s best to understand the differences between development and growth.

Growth is a term often wrongly associated with the physical as well as cognitive development of a child. On the other hand, development is often thought to be purely physical changes in the child. However, in simple terms of understanding, growth refers to the changes in the physical appearance of the child which indicates an increase in the size of the organs with the increase of age and the strength of the body. Development is the change in the cognitive abilities of an individual. Child development refers to the sequence of changes that occur in the child from birth to the beginning of adulthood in aspects of the physical, lingual, psychological and emotional.


The development of a child is a combination of skills functioning together to form:

  • Cognition – it is the ability to learn and solve problems
  • Social and Emotional Development – the ability to interact with others or being social, the ability to express what they feel  as well as achieve self-control
  • Language and Speech – the ability to understand and communicate with others
  • Physical and Sensory Skills – the ability to perform physical functions with proper coordination of sensory organs.


Child development is highly influenced by the environmental factors of a child as well as his learning capacity. A teacher, beyond the traditional concept of teaching, requires to monitor the overall performance and development of the child. She needs to judge whether the student has equal strength in all aspects of their development. Child development is directly associated with teaching as it helps the teacher to understand the child’s level of understanding, his ability to grasp the knowledge, his ability to analyse the context, his ability to successfully perform the tasks both cognitive and physical. According to the level of fulfillment of these factors, a teacher would be able to give the most accurate evaluation of a student which would determine the child’s larger role and responsibilities and guide them towards their best.


You may be a great teacher with vast knowledge about your subject, creativity in teaching as well as share a strong bond with your students. But, has it ever occurred to you about the learning process of a child? Did you ever wonder how a child might learn?

Educational psychology is a study of how people study that includes the careful analysis of student outcomes, the instructional process involved in learning, observation of individual differences in learning, the possibility or recognition of gifted learners as well as the learning disabilities that may occur in a child/student. As the name suggests, it is a branch of psychology that also incorporates the study and application of disciplines such as developmental, behavioural and cognitive psychology. Psychologists related to this field of study observe not only the learning process during the early ages of a child but also casts a deep glance on the emotional, social and cognitive development of a child required for their successful learning.


The study of educational psychology often include:

  • Educational Technology – the techy resources suitable for education
  • Curriculum Development – creative curriculums for optimizing learning
  • Instructional Design – learning materials that are designed in a creative and innovative way yet stands as informative
  • Organizational Learning – the learning attitude in organizational settings
  • Special Education – special instructions based on the requirement of the students
  • Gifted Learners – supporting students recognised as gifted learners


The significance of the term has successfully expressed and established. However, for the sake of a clearer understanding, it’s necessary to establish the connection between educational psychology and the teaching process. As has been discussed previously, teaching is not constricted to the sharing of knowledge and is a rather complex phenomenon than it usually appears. The factors included in the application of educational psychology would compel a teacher to delve deeper into the other developmental aspects of a student that are particularly related to their learning process. It would help a teacher to identify the learning difficulties faced by a student that would allow her the chance to aid the student in whichever way required.


However dramatic it may sound, the understanding of child development and educational psychology certainly demands a conclusive decision from you as a teacher. Further studies may help you gain better knowledge on the correlation between the two. Nevertheless, it has been definitively established that teaching without taking into consideration the factors of child development and educational psychology would be like a crowded train without a destination.


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