October 13th, 2009 by Jashodhara Purkayastha

Attention means fixing the mind or thoughts on something. Attention is the basic need for all successful teaching. Attention is always present in conscious life and is common to all types of mental activity. It is a necessary condition for all types of mental activities. It is the concentration of consciousness upon one object or other. According to Ross,” Attention is the process of getting an object of thought clearly before the mind”

Domville has defined attention as—“It is the concentration of consciousness upon one object rather than upon another”. It is the weapon of the teaching-learning process. It is the duty of a teacher to create interest so that the child should be attentive in the class. If the child is attentive in the class, the teacher can motivate him to study well.

Involuntary Attention: It is spontaneous attention. It does not require any effort on the part of an individual. E.g. sudden loud noise, a bright flash of light, mosquito bite, painful stimulation of any kind.

Voluntary or volitional attention: There is a conscious effort on our part. If a child takes pain to understand difficult sums, he voluntarily pays attention to the sums. In the examination hall, a student concentrates on the answer to a question and keeps away the mind from distraction elements like the movement of the supervisor.

Non-volitional or Enforced attention: This type lasts as long as there is a stimulus. It is sustained because it appeals to our instinct. This type of attention is very common in small children. Curiosity attracts attention.

Spontaneous non-volitional attention: This type of attention develops on interest. The teacher has to just develop the desirable sentiments for things in the children.

Implicit volitional attention: This type of attention is obtained by introducing some motives such as rewards or punishments.

Explicit volitional attention: Repeated efforts are made to obtain the types of attention. E.g. preparing for an examination, a student makes repeated efforts to learn the portion.

Habitual Attention

During the course of our experience with several things, we are conditioned to attend to certain stimuli. This type of attention is seen when one develops an interest in the subject. His attention is always attracted towards the subject of his interest. A person who is having an interest in singing will be attracted to the concert. A naturalist is habituated to look for plants.

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