BEd 2nd Year What do you mean by Backward Children
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The children, who fall at the lower extreme of the normal distribution of educational attainment traits, are known as backward. The causes of backwardness may be due to heredity and environmental factors. The backward children are classified into two categories-mental retardation and educational retardation.
The degree of backwardness can be understood with help of intelligence tests and achievement tests. In the classroom, they deviate from their classmates in school achievement. They are not benefited from the normal teaching in school.
The teacher can easily locate them on basis of their participation in classroom activities. These children are a great liability for the society and nation as well. (BEd 2nd Year What do you mean by Backward Children)
Meaning and Definition
Cyril Burt has discussed the term ‘Backwardness” in the book. The causes and treatments of backwardness.” The term ‘backwardness’ may be defined arbitrarily but it is difficult to define comprehensively.
According to Cyril Burt-
“The backward child is one who is unable to do the work of the class next below that which is normal of his age”
The term backwardness can be explained in terms of the education quotient. (E.Q.). The backward child is one whose educational quotient is 85 or below’s. (BEd 2nd Year What do you mean by Backward Children)
The word E.Q. or “educational quotient indicates, presumably pupil’s knowledge of a group of school subjects is commensurate chronological age, or whether it is above or below the level to be expected his age”. The simple formula, therefore, is:
E.Q. = E. A./C.A. x 100
Where: E.Q. = Educational Quotient
E.A. = Education Age
C.A. = Chronological Age
In this formula, “Educational Age (E.A.) represents a pupil’s average level of achievement in a group of school subjects, measured by means of standardized tests, and in terms of the average for various chronological ages in school” (Freeman, 1976). For example, if a student’s performance on the test is at the average 8-year level, his educational age will be 8 only.
‘In the Indian situation a backward child is one who being more than one year oldest than the average age of his class.’ – T.K.A. Menon
These children can not keep pace with the class. They are weak in-class assignments, studies, and examinations. The backward child has backwardness either in all the subjects or in a particular subject.
“The backward child is one who is unable to do the work of the cases where their educational attainments are lower than what they are capable of”. -Barton Hart
Schonell has defined and explained the term ‘Backwardness’ and ‘Retardation’ with help of educational attainment and the mental age of the child.
According to Schonell-
Backwardness refers to the educational age relative to the chronological age of a child.
Retardation refers to the educational age relative to the mental age of a child.
It is evident from the above statement that backwardness and retardation are related to the educational age of the children. Schonell has prepared a table to illustrate these terms.
|B||10||100||10||8||Backward and Retarded||Require remedy|
|C||10||80||8||8||Backward only||Un remediable|
|D||10||80||8||6||Backward and Retarded||Retardation is remediable|
|F||10||70||7||8||Backward or dull||Un remediable|
|G||10||120||12||8||Backward and Retarded||Both are remediable|
The table indicates that the mental age (M. A.) is less than chronological age (C.A.) is known as a mentally backward child as subjects C and F. If educational age is less than mental age is called a mentally retarded child.
Dull children are those children who have an intelligent quotient (I.Q.) between 70 and 85. The dullness may be one of the causes of backwardness in intelligence, but all backwardness is not the outcome of dullness.
A child remains weak in all the school subjects, it may be known as ‘general backwardness’. If a child is weak in one subject only this may be termed specific backwardness. (BEd 2nd Year What do you mean by Backward Children)
Characteristics of Backward Children
Cyril Burt and Schonell have statistical characterized with help of mental age and chronological age of the child:
- The backward child’s mental age is smaller than his chronological age.
- A backward child may be retarded as well but not always.
- The dullness of a child may be one of the causes of his backwardness.
- A backward child has low educational attainment than what he is capable of.
- He can not keep pace with the class even in one subject or in all subjects.
- A backward child is unable to do the work of the class next below. Who is normal for the age, weak in-class assignments and examination or class tests. (BEd 2nd Year What do you mean by Backward Children)
A backward child has certain general characteristics. These are classified into four main categories.
- Physical Characteristics: Physically backward children are slow or inferior in physical or health development. They have certain physical defects and deficiencies or deformities of eyes, nose, and speech defects, and their muscular coordination may be poor or slow. (BEd 2nd Year What do you mean by Backward Children)
- Mental Characteristics: The major area of backwardness is intelligence, their I.Q. is less than average. They lack reasoning, and abstract thinking to see the relationship abilities. They are unable to correlate their various experiences.
- Social and Moral Characteristics: Social development is slow as compared with normal children. The maturity age is higher than the average. He may be isolated in this class. They may develop some anti-social or undesirable traits. They have a poor adjustment in class as well as with their peers.
- Educational Characteristics: Education attainment and participation in school programmes are the basic qualities of backward children. They can not pace with class in academic progress. They are poor in one subject or may be poor in all subjects.
They are also poor in doing the home assignments or class assignments. They have poor interaction with teachers and poor participation in classroom activities. They are low achievers and weak in examinations and class tests.
Identification of Backward Children
Backwardness may be identified by employing formal and informal methods. The observation technique is most commonly used by teachers and parents or guides, counsellors, and researchers. The following are the four methods that are used for this purpose:
- Observation method, 2. Mental Tests, 3. Achievement test and 4. Personality, adjustment inventory, and Case study.
- Observation Method: It is both a formal and informal method of identifying backward children. Teachers and parents use this method. They observe their wards and pupils daily at home and in the classroom.
- Mental Tests: Their group tests of intelligence, verbal and non-verbal are used to measure the mental age of the students. By comparing mental age with chronological, the backwardness can be identified. This is a statistical method.
- Achievement Tests: Achievement tests in school subjects can be used to, assess the level of achievement. If the child is poor in all subjects, it will be considered as general backwardness. If the child is poor in one subject it will be treated as specific backwardness. (BEd 2nd Year What do you mean by Backward Children)
- Personality Inventory and Case Study: The adjustment inventory is used for identifying the area of maladjustment. The school maladjustment indicates backwardness. The school records or conducting case studies of the child can also be used for locating the backwardness. (BEd 2nd Year What do you mean by Backward Children)
The etymology of Backwardness (Causes)
There are several causes of backwardness, some important causes have been listed here:
- Low intelligence,
- Physical cause,
- The poor environment of family
- Poor conditions of the school.
- Postural defects
Educational Provision of Backward Children
The following methods to prevent backwardness, if it is not due to lack of intelligence. The cure for backward students having low intelligence is very difficult and complex. They will remain always backward in studies than the average students. The following are some suggestions for the education of backward children:
- Administrative and 2. Academic provisions, 1. Administrative provisions are of three types:
(a) Backward child in a regular class or mainstream
(b) The Special class for backward children, and
(c) The Special schools of backward children.
Medical examinations should be arranged periodically to find out the physical status of the children, If the child suffers from some disease, the remedies should be applied for that and the education should also be arranged accordingly.
(a) It has been observed that backward children study in regular classes with the average children, The regular teaching is adequate for them because they can not pace with the regular class. It is the responsibility of the teacher he should help to deal with them.
There should be a provision for tutorial classes for the backward student. Teachers should have help and sympathetic treatment. They require sufficient individual attention in the classroom.
(b) The special class for backward children should be arranged in the school to remove their difficulties. Teachers should appropriate methods and techniques for one such special class. The teacher should have special qualifications and training in teaching, He should understand their needs and problems. (BEd 2nd Year What do you mean by Backward Children)
The class size especially for backward students should be small 15 to 20 students. Their parents may have some objections. They should be taken in confidence that the class has been formed for their betterment.
(c) The special schools for backward children: There are separate schools for blind, deaf, and dumb children. Similarly, Separate schools may be established for such students, The curricular, objectives. methods of teaching and teachers are to be managed according to their needs and problems, (BEd 2nd Year What do you mean by Backward Children)
The parents of such children may not like such isolation of the children from regular schools, Such school may be expensive and costly for children. (BEd 2nd Year What do you mean by Backward Children)
Method of Teaching Backward Children
In classroom teaching, the backward children should be treated psychologically:
- A healthy atmosphere should be created at school and also in the community. It should be conducive to learning.
- Teaching should be arranged according to the interests of these children. Their needs and problems should be considered.
- Backward children should not be assigned a heavy load of work. They should be assigned easy schoolwork.
- Teachers should be serious and should take classes regularly. He should pay individual attention.
- Use of A. V aids should be emphasized for illustrating.
- Parents should be informed regarding students’ abilities and should request to treat accordingly. They should be given a progress report. (BEd 2nd Year What do you mean by Backward Children)
- Practical activities should be organized for their participation. They should be assigned some practical work.
- Teachers should not use harsh treatment on them. Their responses should be immediately reinforced.
- Good methods of teaching are employed in class.