Learning Change

Learning Change Project: 8 Blogs, +7300 Readings

Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

Social Class and Educational Inequality: The Impact of Parents and Schools

Social class is often seen as an intractable barrier to success, yet a number of children from disadvantaged backgrounds still manage to show resilience and succeed against the odds. This book presents the findings from fifty Child and Family Case Studies (CFCS) conducted with 13-16 year olds. The authors look specifically at the roles that people and experiences – at home, in schools and in the wider community – have played in the learning life-courses of these children; how these factors have affected their achievement; and explanations and meanings given by respondents to the unique characteristics, experiences and events in their lives. Featuring the voices of real parents and children, and backed up by a decade of quantitative data, this is a compelling record that will help readers to understand the complex nature of social disadvantage and the interplay between risk and protective factors in homes and schools that can make for a transformational educational experience.

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Read also: Review

Written by Giorgio Bertini

June 10, 2015 at 2:36 pm

Young Children’s Planning Collaborative Problem-solving

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).

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

November 18, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Family, Neuroscience and Academic Skills: Children’s Social Class Gaps

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.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

August 29, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Developing Young Thinkers – Enhancing children’s Thinking Skills

It is increasingly popular to ‘teachthinking 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.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

July 9, 2014 at 7:35 pm

Posted in Children, Skill, Thinking

Tagged with , ,

Role of Play in Social Skills and Intelligence of Children

Need to play in the living of children is accounted as their deepest and most fundamental natures that can be considered same as its physical needs. According to Mariana Monteh Souri, Italian trainer in the field of education and training, one can nurture and promote the self- confidence of a healthy personality and self- training by playing. She also believes that ethical and social disadvantages of children may be removed or reduced by play and bases for loving the job and social activity will be stabilized by playing. This study aims to investigate the role of play in the development of social skills of children in three groups, kindergarten (3- 5 years old), pre-school (6-7 years), and school (8 – 12 years). The sample size of this study was 720 pupils obtained using stratified random sampling from 5 districts of Teheran. According to the subject of this study, besides the type of play, with type of toys and time of play, this study investigated the development of social skills of children focusing on two factors, intelligence profile and social skill and its data analyzed using MANOVA Two Way analysis of variance statistical model. The test of hypotheses indicated that there is significant difference between dependent variables, “social skill” focusing on the group (kindergarten, pre-school and school), and finally by comparing the results of this study with related history in and out of the country, it has been concluded that play, play therapy and even type of toy will increase the social skills of children.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

June 12, 2014 at 1:27 pm

A Classroom Without Walls – Deepening Children’s Connections With Nature

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!

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

May 6, 2014 at 10:41 am

Posted in Children, Curiosity, Nature

Tagged with , ,

Free Play can define Kids’ Success

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.

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Read also: Building Resilience in Children and Teens

Written by Giorgio Bertini

April 12, 2014 at 11:17 pm

On the Children Misery Gap

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 neighbourhoodMost 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.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

April 12, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Posted in Children, Misery, Poverty

Tagged with , ,

Love matters more than genes for Children with same-sex Parents

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.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

April 9, 2014 at 10:20 am

Risky Play: Why Children Love It and Need It

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.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

April 8, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Posted in Children, Fear, Play, Risk, Sudbury

Tagged with , , , ,

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