In this essay we will discuss about the importance of Mental Hygiene in Education. After reading this essay to learn about:- 1. Meaning of Mental Health 2. Foundations of Mental Health 3. Defence or Adjustment Mechanisms 4. Meaning and Purposes of Mental Hygiene 5. Mental Hygiene Concept in Education 6. Mental Health of the Classroom Teacher and Other Details.
- Essay on the Meaning of Mental Health
- Essay on the Foundations of Mental Health
- Essay on the Defence or Adjustment Mechanisms
- Essay on the Meaning and Purposes of Mental Hygiene
- Essay on the Mental Hygiene Concept in Education
- Essay on the Mental Health of the Classroom Teacher
- Essay on Mental Health and the Curriculum
- Essay on the Mental Health and the Methods of Teaching and Classroom Practices
- Essay on Mental Health and School Administration
- Essay on Mental Health and Discipline
1. Essay on the Meaning of Mental Health:
Mental health which today is recognised as an important aspect of one’s total health status, is a basic factor that contributes to the maintenance of physical health as well as social effectiveness.
It is a normal state of well-being, and in the words of Johns, Sutton and Webster, “is a positive bat relative quality of life. It is a condition which is characteristic of the average person who meets the demands of life on the basis of his own capacities and limitations”. By the word ‘relative’ we imply that the degree of mental health which an individual enjoys at a time is continuously changing. According to Hadfield ‘mental health is the full and harmonious’ functioning of the whole personality.
It is a positive, active quality of the individual’s daily living. This quality of living is manifest in the behaviour of an individual whose body and mind are working together in the same direction. His thoughts, feelings and actions function harmoniously towards the common end.
It means the ability to balance feelings, desires, ambitions and ideals in one’s daily living as well as ability to face and accept the realities of life. It connotes such habits of work and attitudes towards people and things that bring maximum satisfaction and happiness to the individual. But the individual gets this satisfaction and happiness without any function with the social order or group to which he or she belongs.
From this one can conclude that mental health has two important aspects. It is both individual and social. The individual aspect connotes that the individual is internally adjusted. He is self-confident, adequate and free from internal conflicts and tensions or inconsistencies. He is able to adapt himself to the new situations. But he achieves this internal adjustments in a social set up.
Society has certain value systems, customs and traditions by which it governs itself and promotes the general welfare of its members. It is within this social framework that the internal adjustment has to be built up. Only then, the individual becomes a person who is acceptable as a member of society.
It is an undesirable fact that social forces are in a constant flux. They are constantly moving and changing. Similarly, our internal adjustment is also affected by various stresses. As such, mental health is a process of adjustment which involves compromise and adaptation, growth and continuity. Because of the significance of individual and social aspects, some psychologists have defined mental health as the ability of the individual to make personal and social adjustments.
It will be pertinent here to explain the word “adjustment”. If one can establish a satisfactory relationship between himself and his environment, between his needs, desires and those of other people, or if one can meet the demands of a situation. He has achieved adjustment. Adjustment results in happiness because it implies that emotional conflicts and tensions have been resolved and relieved.
Other definitions of mental health refer to such abilities as of making decisions of assuming responsibilities in accordance with one’s capacities, of finding satisfaction, success and happiness in the accomplishment of everyday tasks, of living effectively with other and of showing considerate behaviour.
Generally, a mentally healthy individual has some insight into and an understanding of his motives and desires, his weaknesses and strong points. He can evaluate his behaviour objectively, and can accept his short-comings and weaknesses. He can give and accept love, can form friendships which are satisfying and lasting and which give him a feeling of belongingness.
He has developed a philosophy of life that gives meaning and purpose to his daily activities. This philosophy belongs to this world and discourages the tendency to withdraw or escape from the world. It makes him do something concrete about his problems as they arise. He does not evade responsibility or duty.
Such a person has developed a capacity to tolerate frustrations and disappointments in his daily life. He shows emotional maturity in his behaviour. This means that he is able to regulate such emotions as fear, aggression love, jealously and expresses them in a socially desirable manner. “He does not go to pieces as a result of this fears, anger and worries”. He has a variety of interests and generally lives a well-balanced life of work, rest and recreation.
2. Essay on the Foundations of Mental Health:
Foundations of mental health refer to a few basic and significant factors on which mental health of any individual depends.
These factors are as follows:
(a) Heredity or hereditary factors.
(b) Physical factors.
(c) Fundamental social forces as the home, the school, the neighbourhood and the community.
(d) Satisfaction of basic or fundamental needs in childhood.
It provides the raw material, or the potentialities of the individual. It sets the limits for his mental health. What the individual inherits is the potentialities in relation to growth appearance, intelligence and the like. The development and utilisation of these potentialities is determined, to a large extent, by the environmental opportunities. Investigations have shown that heredity may predispose a person to the development of a particular type of mental illness when he is placed under excessive stress.
Even in psychoneuroses and psychopathic personality trends, heredity factors may play some role. In the production of a number of the mentally defective and feeble-minded hereditary factors are quite prominent. In the words of Wallin, “defective heredity may furnish a fertile soil for the development of mental and nervous diseases but so far as minor personality maladjustments are concerned, heredity supplies only a predisposing conditions”.
(b) Physical Factors:
Physical factors make a significant contribution to mental health. An erect posture, a winning smile, colour in the cheeks, a feeling of exhilaration promote a sense of personality security and have a marked influence on other people. People with greater strength, better looks and robust health enjoy a social advantage in the development of personality characteristics.
An individual with a feeling of physical well-bring ordinarily enjoys a good disposition and is enthusiastic and intellectually alert. He has a desire to live, to achieve and to be happy. Nobody can deny that physical health improves mental vitality in as much as it increases motivation and drive.
It has been observed that continued hunger, over work or sleeplessness produce fatigue, and that may affect our mental health adversely. Sick people find it more difficult to make adjustments to new situations than healthy people. Vitamin deficiencies have been found to be the causative factors in many personality difficulties. In pernicious anaemia, For example, there occurs a deficiency of red corpuscles and this produces characteristic symptoms of apathy, irritability, depression and anxiety.
Again, person suffering from serious defects may have problems of adjustment, on account of interiority feelings which they have not been able to deal with adequately. Positively speaking, the individual who follows a hygienic regimen, pertaining to food, drink, elimination, bathing, physical activity, work, sleep, rest, relaxation, prevention of disease and correction of defects, is more likely to have good mental health.
(c) Social Factors:
Social factors pertain to the individual’s society in which he lives, the interactional processes, and his social functioning with other persons. The social environment shapes the knowledge, the skills, interests, attitudes, habits, values and goals that he acquires. Every individual is born into a society which influences the content of his behaviour.
Of the social factors, the most important are the home, the school and the community. Let us consider the home first. Parents who give affection and security to their children contribute to their mental health. Parents who are nervous, tense or self-centred, over-protective rejecting, domineering or inconsistent in disciplinary practices or who are partial in dealing with their children are laying the foundations of mental inadequacy or ill-health. On the other hand, parents who share their life and time with their family and children, who show interest in the development of their children, play with them or work with them, help them to develop mentally healthy attitudes.
Broken homes or unstable homes where parents are in constant conflict produce a large percentage of children with adjustment problems. A good home, on the other hand, where there is a harmonious relationship between parents, where parents understand the needs and interests of their children and where there is an atmosphere of happiness and freedom, contributes greatly to the mental health of every member.
The school can also develop a sense of personal worth, social growth and social competence, if its experiences are satisfying and if they evoke affectional responses. A good school provides an atmosphere in which each pupil is respected as an individual. It provides a curriculum enriched by activities, meeting and needs and interests of pupils co-curricular activities such as dramatics, athletics, debates which promote the physical and emotional development of its pupils. Such a school is a positive factor in the development of sound mental health.
The community provides the framework and climate within which the family lives and develops. It ought to provide, therefore, a healthy atmosphere and a well-organised network of public and private community services of the highest possible quality. These services, will satisfy such needs as those of love and affection, will give to its members a feeling of belongingness, and will provide opportunities for group anticipation and for emotional release.
Some of these community services could be libraries and reading-rooms for the general public, social education centres, well round recreational programmes, vocational and educational guidance bureaus for youth, child-guidance clinics, Bal-bhavans, hospitals for the mentally and physically ill, arrangements for family counselling like family-life institutes, maternity and child welfare centres in the urban and rural areas.
(d) Satisfaction of Fundamental or Basic Needs:
Mental health in childhood and later depends very much on the adequate satisfaction of our fundamental or basic needs. These are physical as well as emotional or psychological. The organic of physical needs are to be satisfied for maintaining physical well-being “Hunger, thirst, fatigue, lack of sleep, physical pain, exercise, heat or cold and the like set up certain tensions in the individual which must be relieved.”
Psychological or emotional needs are also called ‘ego needs’ which must be satisfied to maintain ‘self’. They are as important as the organic needs. There are two main ego needs. Firstly, we have the need for a sense of security thought love and affection of those who are important to us — our parents, our friends and our fellow men. We wish to have a warm and satisfying relationship with other people.
This feeling of security mostly comes through love which consists of such elements as understanding, trust, cooperation and overt affection. The child feels secure when, he is assured that his parents care for him, want him and accept him as he is. Accepted in this way and the child can establish healthy relationship with the world outside. To the person with a feeling of security, the world is a friendly and safe place. Such a person likes people and feels comfortable with them.
The second ego need is for recognition or regard as a person of worth and importance. The adequate satisfaction of this need gives a sense of adequacy, a feeling of self-enhancement. In order that this need is satisfied in the child, parents and others have to demonstrate their affection and their approval and evince in what the child does. Once the child has a feeling of adequacy and importance, he will be able to cope with, and if possible, solve the problem which confronts him.
Other needs besides these two are the need to grow independently, the need to play and the need to belong to a group. The need to grow independently is often not properly satisfied in our homes. Our parents are mostly over- protective. They find satisfaction in their children remaining dependent on them forever. Generally, the youngsters are not allowed to think and decide for themselves.
3. Essay on the Defence or Adjustment Mechanisms:
We have seen, that our needs cannot always be adequately satisfied on account of several obstacles and difficulties. These obstructions cause frustration and produce tension. Continuous frustrations of air basic needs lead to serious maladjustments or conditions of mental ill- health. All frustrations imply mental conflicts. These frustrations and mental conflicts threaten the individual’s psychological balance.
But the human individual is equipped with mental capacities to protect himself against such psychological dangers as much as his body is equipped with powers to protect against physical dangers or distress. These mental mechanisms or protective devices are known as ‘ego defences’ or defence mechanisms or adjustment mechanisms. They are protective in that they help the individual in overcoming threats to his ego.
They reduce the distress caused by frustrations and conflicts. They soften one’s failure, preserve inner harmony and enable the individual to make adaptation or adjustment to distressing experiences. That is why, they also called adjustment mechanisms. Some of the important defence mechanisms are compensation, rationalisation, projection, identification, substitution and sublimation, repression, negativism, sympathism, withdrawal and day-dreaming or phantasy.
When we are trying to make up for a deficiency by directing our energies to some other aspect of personality in which no deficiency exists, we are using mechanism of compensation. We try to overcome a failure or deficiency in one area through achieving recognition to another area. For example, an academically weak student may work hard and may show his abilities in dramatics at times we may ‘overcompensate’.
Demosthenese, one of the greatest orators of all times, was a stutterer, but he overcome his defect by hard work and determination. This illustrates over-compensation. A boy who is physically weak and deficient may turn into a bully. This is an example of socially undesirable compensation.
In rationalisation we tend to give reasons which are plausible rather than real and true for our behaviour and this justify it. A student who does not know how to play badminton well, may not participate in the game, and may justify his non-participation by saying, “I do not want to play badminton, it is not any fun.” Rationalisation amounts to giving justification or excuse-making.
Rationalisation takes the form of “sour grapism” when we insist that the things we cannot have or achieve are not worth having. A student who has failed in an examination twice or thrice too may argue, “Only creamers pass such an examination.” This is called ‘sour-grape’ mechanism, on the basis of the fable ‘grapes are sour’.
Rationalisation takes the form known as “the sweet-lemon mechanism.” It is illustrated in the example of a house-wife who lives in a small house because of limited financial means but who exists the virtues of small houses by saying they are cosier and more comfortable.
Attributing to others our own shortcomings, desires or moral defects as a means of lessening our own sense of guilt or inadequacy, is called projection. In this way, we deflect attention of others from our own shortcomings. A student who has cheated in an examination may satisfy himself by saying that others also have cheated, it is a regular practice with all.
Identification is an adjustment mechanism which enables one to achieve satisfaction from the success of other people, groups or organisations. Students often identify themselves with their favourite teachers. Hero-worshipping is a form of identification. As a result of this mechanism we adopt the mannerisms and habits of our favourite artists, teachers, friends and film-stars, in dress, in speech and in other styles of living.
In substitution, the original goals or desires are substituted by others. The original goals are difficult to achieve to an attempt at achieving them may end in failure. A student who has not been accepted for admission by a medical college may satisfy herself by becoming a nurse.
By sublimation is implied a mechanism in which our unacceptable desires or activities are redirected in socially desirable channels. An unmarried women interested in children may give expression to her repressed maternal urge by engaging herself in orphanage work or in any child welfare institution.
By redirection of the impulses, the individual not only gives expression to his impulses in socially desirable channels, but also gets personal satisfaction. Great works of art, music, science and literature, are often described as the sublimated art-pourings of our primitive impulses i.e., Dante’s poetry.
In repression our strong emotional ideas and unpleasant memories which do not fit in with our social values and norms, are split off from consciousness and thrown into the unconscious. It is a process of unconscious forgetfulness of our unpleasant and conflict producing emotions and desires. These emotions and desires threaten our ‘ego, or our well-being hence, the protective device of repression.
Regression means reversion or retreating to an infantile or childish level of behaviour when a problem confronts us. Instead of facing it and coping with it in a mature manner, we go back or regress. As such, we will not be expected to meet the demands of any problematic situation. A five year old child may regress when a sibling is born and he feels neglected, unloved and depressed.
Feeling miscure, he may resort to behaviour patterns of earlier years. He may start bed-wetting or he may experience difficulty in feeding himself. Negativism consists in becoming contradictory, stubborn or rebellious when a problem confronts us reacting to frustrating situation by becoming negative.
In sympathism, the individual avoids the necessity of solving his problems by obtaining the sympathy of others. A students, For example, who is not doing well in studies, instead of finding out the cause realistically and making an effort to improve himself may be satisfied with other’s sympathy which he may evoke by telling them how his family is in great trouble. Refusal to face the problem, may be expressed sometime in the withdrawal behaviour.
Failure and critism makes many people timid, exclusive and retiring. They fear failure so much that they avoid coping with their responsibilities. In reposing to face their problems, there is no danger of failure in connection with them. Withdrawing into a work of phantasy or daydreaming is a type of withdrawal behaviour.
In this world of phantasy, all our desires and ambitions are fulfilled without any effort; here we succeed in every undertaking of ours. A habit of daydreaming may accustom us to this so much that phantasy life might become more desirable, more sought after than real life.
These adjustment mechanisms are used by both well-adjusted and maladjusted people. The difference is that whereas the former use them sparingly, the latter use them frequently and in socially undersirable channels. The psychoneurotic or the psychotic individual depends on them constantly.
It is to be noted that these mechanisms usually represent unconscious attempts on the part of an individual to solve his problem and to preserve the integrity of his personality. But if these mechanism are used again and again, there is a likelihood of our personality undergoing change for the horse, leading to a persistent state of maladjustment or some form of mental illness or mental disorder i.e., psychoneuroses or psychoses or psychosomatic complaints.
4. Essay on the Meaning and Purposes of Mental Hygiene:
With the advance of scientific knowledge and research, we have now a better understanding of mental illness as it emerges in various forms, of its symptoms, its causes and treatment. As a result of these advances, we have a knowledge of certain principles which, if practised correctly, will save us from developing mental illness or suffer from maladjustments. In other words, these principles will help individuals retain their emotional balance.
Definitions of Mental Hygiene:
“Menial hygiene is a set of conditions which enables a person to live at peace with himself and others”.
2. A.J. Rosanoff:
“Mental hygiene endeavours to aid people toward off troubles as well as to furnish ways of handling troubles.”
3. S.K. Dani:
“Mental hygiene is the science of the principles of mental health derived mostly, from our understanding of the causation and pathology of mental illness”.
4. Crow & Crow:
“Mental Hygiene is a science that deals with human welfare and pervades all fields of human relationship”.
“Mental Hygiene means investigation of the laws of mental health and the taking or advocacy of measures for its preservation”.
Aims of Mental Hygiene:
Doctors treating mental disorders have determined the three aims of mental hygiene:
1. Prevention of mental ill-health.
2. Preservation of the mental health.
3. Cure of individuals suffering from mental disorders.
Elements of Mental Hygiene:
Generally mental hygiene has the following elements:
(i) Physical health.
(ii) Intellectual health.
(iii) Emotional health.
(iv) Interest and aptitude.
(v) Good environment.
Mental hygiene deals with these principles of living which would serve as a guide to human adjustments. It consists of those patterns of living which promote the development of wholesome and socially adequate personalities.
These patterns of living help an individual to get along with himself and with his fellowmen, to cultivate desirable attitudes, to avoid conflicts that bring about maladjustments, and to pursue intelligent, rational behaviour. These principles have been drawn from philosophy, psychology, religion, ethics, sociology, biology, physiology, medicine, psychiatry and common-tense.
The three purposes of mental hygiene are:
(i) The prevention of mental disorders through an understanding of the relationship that exists between wholesome personality development and life experiences;
(ii) The preservation of the mental health of the individual and of the group, and
(iii) The discovery and utilisation of therapeutic measures to cure mental illness.
Of these three approaches, preventive, preservative and curative, the most significant and modern approach is the preventive approach. This approach is very much influenced by principles of public health. According to Kaplan and Baron, this approach ” is based on the principle that the best way to insure well-adjusted individuals is to surround them with environmental influences which will enable each person to develop his full potentialities, to attain emotional stability, and to achieve personal and social adequacy”. Preventive mental hygiene begins in the home, and its principles are important even in the school and other areas.
5. Essay on the Mental Hygiene Concept in Education:
It is being realised by all progressive educators that the goal of mental health and education are similar. The aim of education is an all-round development to human personality. It is to help every individual become a well-adjusted being in his society. Mental health is also concerned with the harmonious development of personality. This is clear from Hadfield’s definition of mental health.
He says, “Mental health is the full and harmonious functioning of the whole personality.”
That education can contribute to the attainment of mental health is being increasingly accepted in all quarters. There are forces, movements and trends in modern educational practice which are indicative of this belief.
These are the increased importance being given to feelings and emotions as a factor in growth and development including learning, recognition that all behaviour is complex and its causes be deep with, in the emotions, recognition that all behaviour has causes, the increased importance being attached to personal and human factors in education i.e., the significance of inter-personal relationship in day-to-day teaching, sensitiveness to modern teachers to individual differences of students in interest and ability.
Another evidence of this standpoint is the assumption that expression and release, through worthy creative endeavour, are demanded by growing minds and bodies and that consideration must be given to basic human needs in the development of curricula and the selection of subject- matter and experiences for children.
6. Essay on the Mental Health of the Classroom Teacher:
A menially healthy and well-adjusted teacher plays a vital role in promoting the mental health of school children and in attaining the mental health objective of education. If the mental health of the teacher is inadequate, it is bound to affect adversely the mental health of school children. In order to be mentally healthy, a teacher has to develop and cultivate certain personal professional qualities.
Of the desirable personal qualities, alertness, enthusiasm and interest in pupils and classroom activities, the ability to maintain natural and pleasant person to person relationships, cordiality and friendship, recognition of one’s own mistakes ; patience, sympathy, sincerity, fairness in dealing with pupils, democracy and courtesy in relation with pupils good disposition and consistent behaviour; flexibility in opinions, beliefs and attitudes, a good sense of humour, and width of interests, are often mentioned in various studies on the subject.
On the other hand, the undesirable qualities or traits are bad temper, intolerance, unreasonableness in demands, tendency to be gloomy and unfriendly, sarcasm and the tendency to use ridicule, tendency to talk excessively and to talk down to pupils, apathy, rigidity of procedure and perfectionistics attitudes.
The professional qualities which are conducive to the mental health goals in education are the good knowledge of subject matter in which he has specialised capacity and willingness to teach effectively and mastery if communication skills, ability and desire to improve professional skills, achieve competence through the study of professional books and magazines, ability to work together and to share experience with others, acceptance and understanding of children, realistic perception of the social expectations and an understanding of his social role as well as respect for oneself and one’s profession.
It must be noted that the mental health of the teacher, reflected in these personal and professional qualities depends on various factors including his personal striving, other factors being his upbringing, educational, and culture. This means the mental health of the teacher is closely associated with the mental health of his family community and socio-economic and cultural conditions that obtain in the latter. This loads us to the discussion of some “possible hazards” to his mental health.
These are his personality factors or difficulties resulting from biological or early environmental influences, in sufficient preparation for teaching, unhygienic supervision, insufficient and substandard salary, other economic difficulties in terms of uncertain tenure, overcrowded classes, heavy work load, particularly in primary classes, undesirable community attitudes amounting to lack of status and appreciations, lack of purpose or purposes in-education, greater attention to minor details of techniques and methodology.
Another source of tension and anxiety as well as conflict is that he is expected to be an ideal person, a paragon of ascetic-living, possessing all virtues and having no failings. Finding himself all the time under public examinations and scrutiny, he is likely to develop anxiety and tension.
Of course one important anti-dote to these hazards is respect for oneself and one’s profession, which the teacher should develop. This implies the development of a positive attitude towards profession reviewing and evaluating the advantages of the teaching profession in terms of opportunities for professional achievement, intellectual stimulation and personnel satisfaction is very much needed for mental health.
Regarding the importance of the mental health status of the teacher as a basic factor in mental health of school children, Townsend wants greater attention to be paid to the selection of students to teacher training college. According to him mere “credit gatherers” or those who are merely scholastically high won’t be suitable candidates.
Similarly, persons who are lonely, who are in need to friendship, who are victims of worries, emotional up-sets and defects of immaturity or uncongenial home surroundings who have no strong motivation are most clearly unstinted to the work of modern teaching.
7. Essay on the Mental Health of Students:
Mental health of students, to a great extent results from the day-to-day functioning of mentally healthy teachers. These teachers know that the problem mental health of school-going children is rooted in their needs and their satisfaction. Conditions in the school, which satisfy their fundamental emotional and social needs, have to be provided.
These needs are for security, for manipulation, for expanding cultural and social contacts, for a sense of recognition and achievement, for acceptance and approval. It is to be noted that these needs should be satisfied at first by their parents at home.
Children who are rejected, over-protected or over-indulged or those who are treated indifferently by their parents who are severe and perfectionist are note emotionally equipped to withstand the frustrations which the school life may entail for them.
The child goes to the school from the protective environment of the home. There is exposed to new people, new authority figures, to new ideas, to new experience of being are of the group. Let the child not have the failing that he is being sent to the school just as a punishment for his being naughty in the home.
If teachers are encouraging and they understand his needs, if their discipline is not sympathetic and too rigid or harsh, if they allow children to behave as children rather than as young adults, if the school provides a member of interesting group activities instead of negative rules, adaptations which the child has to make will be facilitated and no complications will arise.
It is necessary that the child develops a feeling of belongingness to the school. This will be possible if the atmosphere in the school, as in the home, is that of love and understanding, free from favouritism and invidious comparisons.
Other principles and practices that will conduce to mental health of students during the early school period which ranges from 6 to 12 years are as follows:
(a) Helping the child to gain control of his developing body through constant physical care, attention, and opportunities to exercise his muscles through games and play activities.
(b) Respect for individual differences among students, by providing instruction according to their abilities and interests.
(c) Provision of such activities as dramatics, art and painting, handicraft and games for emotional expansion and self-expression.
(d) Provision of group activities in the school to satisfy their desire for group-making towards the later period of this period (6 to 12 years), by organising scout-groups, guides, squads of clubs and other clubs.
(e) Attempts should be made by teachers to see that children do not develop feelings of inferiority and worthlessness. Hence let not the child’s attention be fixed on his limitations, his failure and handicaps alone. Provision of tasks which give them a sense of adequacy and success, is an important principle that ought to be practised in this stage.
The period between 6 to 12 years is followed by adolescence (13 to 19 years). It is a period of transition from childhood to maturity – a “between age”. An adolescent is no longer a child and yet not a man. Being in a period of transition, he has problems peculiar to transition having lost an established and accustomed status. He has not yet acquired the new status towards which the factors impelling developmental changes are driving him. He may suffer from the transitional difficulties of insecurity, disorientation and anxiety.
The mental health of the adolescent requires an understanding and satisfaction of the special needs of this period.
(i) The need for status,
(ii) The need for independence,
(iii) The need for a satisfying philosophy of life,
(iv) The need for a proper orientation to the opposite sex, and
(v) The need for guidance in selecting a vocation and in preparing himself for a vocation.
These special needs will be satisfied if the following suggestions are considered and carried out:
(i) The adolescent should be helped to accept his body with all the changes and instabilities.
(ii) Provision of suitable games and exercises in schools.
(iii) Sex education, to be given in a scientific and objective manners, emphasising the values of healthy sex life.
(iv) Emotional emancipation from parents and teachers by allowing them to differ from adults and by encouraging them to think to decide for themselves to take responsibilities.
(v) Increasing their sense of adequacy by providing tasks which they can perform successfully.
(vi) Provision of proper vocational guidance and counselling facilities in the school set-up.
(vii) Providing them with a healthy philosophy of life through lectures, discussions, suitable readings and contacts with men of ideas.
(viii) Helping the adolescent develop healthy peer age, relationships and friendships through suitable opportunities and an attitude of respect for their friends, gangs, groups, as well as for their opinions and judgements of these relationships.
8. Essay on Mental Health and the Curriculum:
What will be the form of curriculum from the mental health point of view? This is another significant aspect of education that needs consideration in the context of ‘mental health’ goals through education.
The objectives of mental health in education can be achieved if the following principles are observed in the curriculum construction:
(i) The child’s needs, interest and experiences,, individual differences in learning capacity should form the central factor.
(ii) The curriculum should give importance to the activities that are of real worth and interest and which have a definite relation to the life of the child and community.
(iii) It should be flexible and adjustable to the need of pupils at every stage.
(iv) It should be dynamic and possible of revision so that it may be in harmony with changing social conditions and should reflects the latest developments in educational philosophy and psychology, ft should befit the student for competent participation in home and in social and vocational activities.
(v) It should incorporate the so-called extra-curriculum activities such as dramatics, writing, games, hobbies etc. in the very fabric of the school programme.
(vi) An important principle of curriculum-construction should be its ‘totality’ or ‘integration’, rather than traditional compartmentalisation of the subject-matter. This will be possible if it is an activity and curriculum and presents the human experience as a whole.
9. Essay on the Mental Health and the Methods of Teaching and Classroom Practices:
The methods of teaching and classroom practices which afford pupils the satisfaction of being successful in their school work and which reduce the emotional shock of failure are instrumental in achieving mental health. The underlying principles of such methods are many. Teachers should regard the failure of pupil as a challenge, not as an offence or as a defeat or humiliation.
They should encourage in students the habit of independence and a spirit of adventure. All learning activities should be properly motivated by the teacher by and through the use of various social urges and acquired interests of students.
The principles of learning by doing which is the corner-stone of such methods of teaching as the Project method and the Dalton Plan is another significant principle. The teacher should try to increase the purposefulness of school work by making goals clear, desirable and attainable.
Fragmentation of learning, the tendency to make learning isolated and remote from the life situations, the tendency towards authoritanianism and restriction of freedom, the over-emphasis on speed in learning and the confusion of ignorance of students with their misconduct are some of the questionable practices in our schools that are inimical to the mental health of school children.
10. Essay on Mental Health and School Administration:
The school administration conducive to mental health would re-organise the educational policy and practices in terms of the happiness and welfare of students. It would view the machinery of management primarily as the means for carrying out an educational programme designed to meet human needs.
It would make effort in making human relationships within the school system more satisfying and wholesome. In order to ensure teacher morale and efficiency, school administration has to become more concerned with the human aspects of education.
Maintenance of democratic relations with teachers, encouraging not only verbal communication but also the communication of feelings, are other high lights of administration geared to the goals of mental health through education.
11. Essay on Mental Health and Discipline:
The concept of discipline has to change if the objectives of mental health have to be achieved. The order which results from compulsion is not necessarily good discipline. It consists in the hearty performance of duties as well as freely chosen activities. Good discipline has to encourage the development of each individuals’ unique personality.
It comes through self-direction a personal direction of actions that are purposeful and self-determined. It implies an under-standing of the child’s behaviour and how it is influenced by various environmental factors.
The teacher direction has its place in effective discipline but it is not to be authoritarian in anyway. Nor can it be obtained through sarcasm and ridicule. A very important means of good discipline is to keep the pupils busy and useful!’ occupied. Other means are the rewards which are inherent in the work on hand, the recognition of the group moves, teacher’s confidence in pupils and the ability to exercise a positive authority, enjoyable classroom atmosphere as w I as alteration to the individual child, the time and the total situation.