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Early childhood development – it’s not rocket science, it’s neuroscience! - Kathy Brodie Early Years Training

Early childhood development – it’s not rocket science, it’s neuroscience! - Kathy Brodie Early Years Training
I was introduced to Mine Conkbayir when she contacted me about neuroscience informing early years practice, which I think is such an exciting, and growing, area of study. So I was very enthusiastic when she offered to do a guest post on this subject. Here she discusses how neuroscience can add another dimension to our understanding of child development: Like many individuals in this increasingly frantic world, I’m often busy juggling my responsibilities as a parent while I work and continue my studies – a very exciting journey as I try to achieve my PhD in early childhood education and neuroscience. Having been a lecturer across a range of child care and education qualifications for the past 14 years, I continue to be bewildered by the lack of consistently embedded teaching of neuroscience and early brain development across these qualifications. You may well ask ‘how?’ Here are just a few key messages from neuroscience which can inform how we care for and educate our youngest: References:

http://www.kathybrodie.com/guest-post/neuroscience/

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How young children learn English through play As we release Learning Time with Timmy – our first app for early-years learners of English – Danitza Villarroel, a teacher on our Learning Time with Shaun and Timmy course in Chile, explains the importance of learning through play, and offers a few tips for teachers new to this age group. Teaching English to pre-school children can be daunting for teachers new to this age group. Young children have shorter attention spans than older children and adults, and they're still learning their mother tongue. But teaching these learners can be enormously rewarding once you've taken a few basic principles on board. Listen to Your Mother Young children face a remarkable challenge in learning to use the language of their culture. Toddlers vary widely, however, in the rate at which they learn new words.1 A team of Harvard Graduate School of Education researchers set out to ask whether and how children's language environment can impact vocabulary development. In their study of mother-child pairs from low-income families, they found that mothers who used many different words (not just many words) had toddlers with faster growth in vocabulary use.

You speak with an accent. I don’t. Accents are things that only other people have. They are, by extension, things that you don’t want to have. Accents are, in short, shortcomings. This is why, if someone tells you that “you speak with no accent”, you can be sure of two things: that you have received words of praise indeed; and that you speak with the same accent as that person. FAQ: Raising Bilingual Children Why want bilingual children? There are many reasons, but the two most common are: 1) The parents speak different languages (say, an American woman and a Turkish man). 2) The parents speak the same language, but live in a community where most people speak something else (say, a Korean couple living in the USA).

Importance of play for babies & children Play is more than just fun for babies and children. It’s how they learn best, and how they work out who they are, how the world works and where they fit into it. You can read this article in a selection of languages other than English. The importance of play Playing is one of the most important things you can do with your child, because play is essential for your child’s brain development. Let's Talk What do babies need in order to learn and thrive? One thing they need is conversation — responsive, back-and-forth communication with their parents and caregivers. This interactive engagement is like food for their developing brains, nurturing language acquisition, early literacy, school readiness, and social and emotional well-being. A dispiriting number of children don’t get that kind of brain-fueling communication, research suggests. In early childhood policy (and in the wider media), much attention has been paid to the so-called word gap — findings that show that low-income children hear 30 million fewer words, on average, and have less than half the vocabulary of upper-income peers by age three.

Why does my toddler love repetition? Paediatric speech and language therapist It may test your patience when your toddler demands 'Row, row, row your boat' for the 10th time. But there's a good reason for her insistence. Toddlers love repetition because it helps them to learn, and because it's familiar and comforting. From around the age of two, you will notice your toddler repeating the same words and phrases constantly. By the time she's three, she will also demand her favourite stories and nursery rhymes over and over again. The Power of Evening Routines The word “structure” can evoke less than positive associations. It suggests constraints, which are never a good thing, right? Wrong. It turns out that everyone benefits from a certain amount of daily structure, so long as that structure is pleasant, productive, and meaningful.

Why Movement is Essential in Early Childhood With so few years under their belts, my 3- and 6-year-old daughters are still learning to inhabit their bodies. They are learning how to maneuver themselves physically, how to orient themselves in space. As Vanessa Durand, a pediatrician at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, says, freedom of movement is necessary for children to meet their developmental milestones: “Children learn by experiencing their world using all of their senses. The restriction of movement, especially at a young age, impedes the experiential learning process.”

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