Workers like Gesell, Hurlock, Buhler, Shirley, Breckenridge, Vincent, Blatz, Issacs, Valentine, Melarie, Klire, Barbara Low and others have made valuable contributions to our psychological knowledge of young children their findings may be said to refer to certain fundamental needs of children.
Some of the more important ones of these may be briefly enumerated as follows:
1. All children need security.
2. All of them need opportunities for various kinds of games.
3. They want to develop contacts with other children for their social, emotional and intellectual development.
4. All children want that their questions should be listened to and answered within the limits of their intelligence.
5. They want that others should recognize their ability to reason, and so they want the opportunity for using their reasoning power.
6. They want that their fears should be handled sympathetically and with due consideration.
7. They want to develop a power of self-confidence, initiative and independence in themselves, and for this they crave for suitable opportunities.
Besides the above needs, most of them evince some other characteristics as well. For example, all children want opportunities for self-expression. They feel a need for physical and mental activity because of developing social sense, imaginative power and intellectual curiosity.
All normal children have a passion for constructing and collecting things. During adolescence, most of them feel an urge for adventure.
In our educational system, the curriculum and teaching methods are not so organized as to develop imagination, satisfy intellectual curiosity, and feed the ever-widening interests of children. Subjects are still kept apart and an attempt towards correlation is seldom made.
The whole method is still characterized by formal teaching. Activities, visits, excursions, group-studies and free expressions are seldom used as methods of educating children.
Recent researches in the fields of child and adolescent psychology have revolutionized the whole conception of personal relationship between parents or teachers and children. But still, we find many things in our schools, colleges and homes which do not rest on a sound psychological foundation.