Archive for the ‘Children’ Category
Although there have been a number of studies with children in the age-range of 4 to 9 years of age performing joint planning tasks with adults and sometimes peers, ours is the first experimental study of young children’s planning prior to action in a collaborative problem-solving context. The finding suggests that by age 3 children are able to learn, under certain circumstances, to take account of what a partner is doing in a collaborative problem-solving context. By age 5 they are already quite skillful at attending to and even anticipating a partner’s actions. Future research should focus on comparing children’s individual problem solving and planning skills with those they show in collaborative problem-solving contexts. Our study thus raises questions about the relation between individual and collaborative problem solving. Although not designed to directly address this question, our results suggest that young children do not have additional difficulties employing their planning abilities in problem-solving tasks requiring collaboration. In fact, it raises the possibility that children employ similar cognitive representations when they reason about two complementary actions (in terms of means-end relationships) as when they reason about two complementary roles (in terms of social partners executing these actions).
Current explanations of social class gaps in children’s early academic skills tend to focus on non-cognitive skills that more advantaged children acquire in the family. Accordingly, social class matters because the cultural resources more abundant in advantaged families cultivate children’s repertories and tool kits, which allow them to more easily navigate social institutions, such as schools. Within these accounts, parenting practices matter for children’s academic success, but for seemingly arbitrary reasons. Alternatively, findings from current neuroscience research indicate that family context matters for children because it cultivates neural networks that assist in learning and the development of academic skills. That is, children’s exposure to particular parenting practices and stimulating home environments contribute to the growth in neurocognitive skills that affect later academic performance. We synthesize sociological and neuroscience accounts of developmental inequality by focusing on one such skill—fine motor skills—to illustrate how family context alters children’s early academic performance. Our findings support an interdisciplinary account of academic inequality, and extend current accounts of the family’s role in the transmission of social inequality. Our results push sociological theory to incorporate more encompassing accounts of how and why social context and process matter for children’s development, and how the social and biological combine in the emergence of inequality.
It is increasingly popular to ‘teach’ thinking skills in schools. A diverse variety of programmes exist to support practitioners in this task, and some research has been gathered on the effectiveness of individual approaches. However, the difficulties when assessing the development of thinking skills are widely documented. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of teaching thinking skills explicitly to 11/12-year olds by infusing thinking skills into the curriculum (i.e., teaching thinking skills simultaneously with subject content). There were three intervention conditions: collaborative, individual and control. The effectiveness of the intervention was evaluated with a combination of standardised and study-specific pre- and post-tests. Results demonstrated statistically significant gains for both the individual and collaborative learning conditions in a range of thinking skills. The greatest increase in performance was seen in the collaborative learning condition. Educational implications for policy and practice are discussed.
Working with children, our job is one of setting the kindling for the wonderful sparks of curiosity and deep interest to spring forth. We wait for the “ah-has.” It is up to the students, alone or collectively, to do the work of the synapses – to make those links, to leap the gaps between ideas towards a holistic understanding of everything around and within them. There is a way of knowing that comes from being genuinely part of what you are attempting to understand. That is, an authentic knowledge rooted in sensorial experiences that tickle and surprise. When we venture forth into nature with children our intention is to make connections, becoming so familiar with the natural world that we receive it as a source of deep insight and practical wisdom. When given the chance to explore a nature-space many children can barely contain themselves – the urge to run, jump, sneak, creep, climb, crawl, sit quietly, sing madly resonates within them so strongly. Let’s all remember to have fun out there – maybe even for the sake of pure joy itself!
Free, unstructured playtime gives kids a chance to discover their interests and tap into their creativity. It’s a crucial element for building resilience in children, an attribute they’ll need in order to become happy, productive adults. That’s Kenneth Ginsburg’s thesis and the core of his book Building Resilience in Children and Teens. Ginsburg, a pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia who also works with homeless children, has spent a lot of time trying to help young people build tools they’ll need to succeed — even when trauma has marred early lives.
Read also: Building Resilience in Children and Teens
Harvard academic Robert Putnam – ‘America is moving toward a caste society’ – Basically all parts of American society are failing these kids. Poor kids in America now, compared to 30 years ago, have been ignored and isolated by every major social institution. They’re no longer as connected to their family. They’re no longer as connected to the schools. They’re no longer as connected to the community institutions, the churches, the Scouts. They have fewer mentors and friends. You can see the number of people they say that they trust and they can talk to is declining. It’s not that this is an adolescent epidemic of paranoia. If you talk to these kids it’s perfectly clear that it would be nuts for them to say that you could trust other people because everybody in their lives has failed them. There used to be a whole dense civil society who worried about all the kids in the neighbourhood. Most parts of that fabric have disappeared over the last 20 years. So if a chick falls from a nest in a working-class neighbourhood it used to be there was a net there to catch them. Now if a chick falls out of the nest — real people in real neighbourhoods that we’ve talked to — there is just nothing down there to catch the kids except gangs. I’m not talking about just ethnic minorities; I’m talking about white kids.
Water just may be as thick as blood for children growing up with parents of the same sex. In a study of 25, they all reported a childhood that resembles any other childhood – where close family ties are established through mutual love and understanding. Concerns surrounding children that grow up with two mothers or two fathers have been under debate when considering these families. Will other children be able to accept them? Will the children have difficulties? Jorid Krane Hanssen at the University of Nordland, Norway, has conducted in-depth interviews with 25 individuals between 15 and 45 years of age. All these of which grew up with homosexual parents. Substantial research on people growing up in rainbow-families has primarily been based on comparisons between them and people from so-called normal families.
To protect our children we must allow them to play in ways deemed “risky.” Fear, you would think, is a negative experience, to be avoided whenever possible. Yet, as everyone who has a child or once was one knows, children love to play in risky ways—ways that combine the joy of freedom with just the right measure of fear to produce the exhilarating blend known as thrill. So, we prevent children from their own, self-chosen, thrilling play, believing it dangerous when in fact it is not so dangerous and has benefits that outweigh the dangers, and then we encourage children to specialize in a competitive sport, where the dangers of injury are really quite large. It’s time to reexamine our priorities. Such findings have contributed to the emotion regulation theory of play—the theory that one of play’s major functions is to teach young mammals how to regulate fear and anger. In risky play, youngsters dose themselves with manageable quantities of fear and practice keeping their heads and behaving adaptively while experiencing that fear. They learn that they can manage their fear, overcome it, and come out alive. In rough and tumble play they may also experience anger, as one player may accidentally hurt another. But to continue playing, to continue the fun, they must overcome that anger. If they lash out, the play is over. Thus, according to the emotion regulation theory, play is, among other things, the way that young mammals learn to control their fear and anger so they can encounter real-life dangers, and interact in close quarters with others, without succumbing to negative emotions.