One model of healthy development, attachment theory, is a concept of psychology regarding how attachment relates to personal development and growth. Originating with the psychologist John Bowlby's work in the 1960s, the theory seeks to establish the claim that someone's ability to develop physical and emotional attachments to another person or people, provides him or her with the confidence, stability and security needed to grow and take risks in life.
Bowlby's work lead him to conclude that when a child develops a strong bond with at least one caregiver, he or she is more likely to try new experiences and be adventurous on both a small and larger scale in life, Saul McLeod wrote at Simply Psychology. Meanwhile, for children who do not develop these secure attachments early in life, Bowlby found that these children tend to be more fearful or spend a lot of effort seeking stability in life.
Certain criticisms of attachment theory tend to draw from specific non-Western cultures, where the concept of children being close to a caregiver is relatively foreign. Within many of these cultures, children grow up well-adjusted, just as with many children raised in societies that place heavy emphasis on attachment parenting techniques or creating a special bond between the caregiver and child.
A growing pool of studies suggests that incorporating valuable attachment theory principles into your classroom has the potential to benefit your young students' development. Recognizing when children seem to have difficulties developing peer and teacher bonds and making them feel welcome and confident in your classroom are great ways to encourage your students' healthy development.