A child’s eyes sparkles and he intently listens to his favorite teacher in his class at the school. In another period another teacher comes in and the same child no longer shows an intention or attention to listen to the subject of the teacher’s lecture. What makes the boy react differently? It is his interest in the subject.
The children have the sense of awe and wonder, feeling of joy and curiosity to certain subject if it interests him.
Every child has a unique set of interests that defines his individuality. Observation on individual difference in interest date back to as early as Plato’s comment that “no two people are born exactly alike and each differs from another in natural endowment on being suited for one occupation and another for other”.
Psychologists and neurologists regard interest as a fundamental type of emotion which motivates and guides our engagement in the world. Interest is vital to emotional health in childhood. Interest makes children favor some situations and react to them in a very selective manner. Interest makes a child give special attention to a situation and lack of it makes his attention fluctuate.
Interest plays an important role in a person’s life and has a prominent impact on the person’s behaviors and attitude. It plays a more important role in the childhood. He will be the person he has interest on in his future life because interest has a major role in his motivation to learn. Children put more effort to the work or play they are interested. It adds joy and satisfaction to the work.
Interest influences a child’s aspiration for his future vacation. He sets the goal of his life when he is interested in certain vocation. Their achievement level is also increased if they are interested in the vocation.
How can we know the interest of children?
Elizabeth Hurlock in her 1982 work suggested some techniques. We can observe the children while they are playing. We can observe the objects they select, buy or like to play with. In this way, his behavior can show his interest. We can also assess his interest by observing his questions.
A child has questioning nature. So these questions can easily reveal his interest. Analysis of the reading materials also reveals a child’s interest. We can see the books he reads from the libraries. In this way, reading materials are really good indicators of interest of a child. Drawing also shows his interest. Another way is by asking the child’s wishes. These wishes are his interests. In this way, we can know the interest of the children.
As all the development tasks interest is not inborn. It is gained through learning. Children accumulate interest in three ways. In the first process, a child is interested in a task through trial and error. That’s how a child discover that something interest them. If he is satisfied, he will keep on being interested and if he is hot, he will let it pass. In the second way the child adopts an interest because he learns it through identification. Identification with people they love or admire inspires children to take their interest and the patterns of their behavior. For example, if a boy’s father is a doctor, the child may aspire to become a doctor as well.
Another important way we can make a child adopt an interest is through guidance and direction. In their method, a child’s ability is assessed by a specialist. Then the parents can encourage him to have certain interest by providing with special books, movie or special videos to encourage him to certain subject.
The significance of the selection of vocational choice is a matter of utmost importance to the parents as well because the occupation of the child’s future life depends on it. The child may be prosperous if he chooses the right vocation. In this way, a parent should be very careful to motivate him to select particular interest. This is the most important fact many parents don’t know. Thus we, as parents, have failed in encouraging him to select a useful interest.