The initial point of teaching and learning is the biological equipment of the learner. The child's original nature, or what he inherits is the capital with which education must work. His intelligence, attitudes, interests, and desires underlie the educative process.. His acquisition of knowledge, his formation of habits and skills, and his development of abilities and attitudes are conditioned and limited by his biological equipment. The innate tendencies become available as a drive to teaching or stimulus to learning. It is the function of the school to provide the necessary conditions and opportunities by which these innate tendencies or biological equipment can be developed and applied. In other words, the school sets the teaching-learning situations which will be favourable to the child's growth and development.
The teacher may know many things and be ready to touch them, but he will have little success unless he has knowledge of the mind of his students and of what goes on there, which knowledge he can only learn by patient observation. The teacher becomes a learner, for he has to study the minds of the young, their ways of looking at things, their habits, their difficulties, likes and dislikes. He learns how these things are stimulated to exertion, how they are discouraged, and how one mood succeeds another. The primary concern of his innate tendencies, not the knowledge of child's specialty, but knowledge of the laws and principles of child growth and development.
There are many facts concerning the psychology of these inborn tendencies that are important and interesting from a purely theoretical point of view, but only those of primary importance to teaching and to learning will be considered. Some of the innate tendencies are intelligence, emotions, curiosity, interest and attention.
Intelligence and ability to learn are very important. Teaching and learning processes are conditioned by intelligence. Both activities must meet certain conditions if they are to take place successfully. Learning is impossible without intelligence. In other words, intelligence is the basis of learning. The effectiveness of learning is conditioned by the degree of intelligence. It is an accepted fact that students with high intelligence are easier to teach or to direct and guide than students with low intelligence.
The importance of emotions in teaching and in learning cannot be ignored. Teaching depends upon emotions for the motivation of learning. In teaching, the emotions of fear, anger, and love can be used as drives to greater activity on the part of the learner. They can also be used as checks on the students' behaviour, in or outside the classroom.
Curiosity is a valuable agent in education when it is rigidly valued and employed. Curiosity is highly important because it is a starting point of interest. Attention can be held only by arousing the interest of the students. Curiosity enlarges also the circle of interest. When rightly valued and utilized, curiosity and attention can be made valuable agents in education.
The problem of interest and attention, from the point of view of teaching, is not simply to arouse curiosity and to secure attention, but rather to have the attention fixed upon these activities which are desirable from the standpoint of teaching and learning; to give attention and to engage in mental activity or reflective thinking. We seek, in our work as teachers, not only to secure a maximum of attention to the field of work in which the students are engaged, but also to arouse interest and enthusiasm which will last after school days are over.