In the Bhagvad Gita Krishna advised Arjuna to perform duties without it!
Buddha said that it is the origin of suffering!
Guru Nanak referred to it as “Moh” – a vice!
The Online Etymological Dictionary says this about the word “Attachment”:
Attachment: c.1400, “arrest of a person on judicial warrant” (mid-13c. in Anglo-Latin), from Fr. attachement, from attacher (see attach). Application to property (including, later, wages) dates from 1590s; meaning “sympathy, devotion” is recorded from 1704; that of “something that is attached to something else” dates from 1797 and has become perhaps the most common use since the rise of e-mail.
In the teacher’s world, the word gets a different connotation altogether!!!
In the 1960s, psychoanalyst John Bowlby (1907 – 1990), while coming up with the Attachment Theory used the word to describe the affective bond between a baby and his/her primary caregiver. Through this evolutionary theory, he said that attachment is innate in human beings. Children come into this world biologically pre-programmed to form attachments with others. He called it a survival value. He postulated four things according to this theory.
- The child has an innate need to attach to one main attachment figure.
- The child should receive the continuous care of this single and most important attachment figure for approximately the first two years of life.
- Calling it maternal deprivation, he says that disruption in this attachment can cause long term effects in the child like delinquency, reduced intelligence, increased aggression, depression and affection-less psychopathy (inability to show care and concern for others)
- The child’s attachment relationship with the primary caregiver leads to the development of an internal working model.
Today, there is a growing body of research based on the attachment theory. Researchers have successfully connected the positive impact of attachment, climate and learning – the vital life giving oxygen in a classroom! They vow that when a child experiences a secure sense of attachment in the classroom, it will impact his/her learning and behaviour.
What is it that we need to understand from all this? Where does this leave us, teachers??
Be mindful in the classroom and observe students. Is there anyone with attachment difficulties? Researchers also point out that distrust in the classroom which leads to lack of concentration through either constant talking or difficulty in handling unstructured situations are sure shot signs of it. The teacher who is the central figure in the classroom can ill afford to neglect / not observe such children. With keen observation, alert & intelligent intervention and sustained validation a teacher can make a meaningful difference to today’s apathetic child; tomorrow’s indifferent adult! Once vulnerable students experience trust & faith, hope is rekindled, there is a greater sense of emotional well being, successful learning – all nurturing wholesome personalities.
Henry Brooks Adams must have said
“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops”
with this kind of an educator in mind!