Aurora aims to provide a holistic environment for our children that is constantly evolving to suit their learning and behavioural changes as they develop. We stay updated with new information and research and consider its application in our daily practice. Doing so helps us enhance our approaches towards our children and give them the best treatment they need to successfully develop. 

Each month, we explore studies that have been published over the past month that reveal significant findings that could help parents and the early education community. The most recent studies explored the benefits of reading at the earliest stage, preventing childhood obesity, and the importance of helping children based on needs rather than following data-driven assessments. 

The importance of reading print-based/hardcopy books

The Sector reports the findings of a study by the University of Michigan which reveal that traditional print-based books form higher-quality interactions between adults and children. The researchers compared toddlers reading age-appropriate books traditionally versus through devices and found that they responded more to parents while reading print-based books. This means they expressed more emotions and showed stronger language development whilst reading books on hard copy. 

At Aurora, we strive to give our children everything they need to develop in the best way. Although we employ electronic devices and applications for certain learning activities in the centre and more so in home-learning settings, we always prefer using traditional books and tools to teach our children important values and skills that will help them as they physically and mentally develop. 

How we prevent childhood obesity and implement good food habits 

An article published by The Sector reveals that researchers from the University of Queensland are teaming up with many health professionals in the state to further enhance the current strategies in place for childhood obesity prevention. They have collectively created the PRECISE program to help health professionals prevent and manage obesity in children effectively. The researchers saw that obesity is extremely tough to undo which is why they are honing in on enhancing prevention methods in the early years. 

At our centres, we ensure all our children have the best nutritional meals and are aware of what goes into their bodies so they can perform at their full potential. We also actively participate in nutritional campaigns like Nutrition Australia’s “Try for 5” for Nutrition Week in October which encourages more fruit and vegetable intake. Our educators encourage our children to learn more about nutrition and the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables so they can understand why they need them in their daily diet. Increased vegetable intake also gives our children stronger energy to be productive and helps their immune systems grow stronger to keep illnesses from intruding. Therefore, we encourage families to get creative and help their children reach their full potential by fuelling up on nutrients from a range of vegetables. Creating more awareness about the benefits of exercise and nutritional diets in early childhood, both at home and at our centres will aid in preventing childhood obesity.

Data-driven assessments do not aid learning development for early childhood

A recent study explores how data-driven assessments in early learning environments ultimately do not improve children’s educational development. The Conversation reports on how different studies conducted over the years in different parts of the world depict that many early education centres follow data-driven assessments which essentially refers to excessive use of assessments on children based on previous research to generate data. 

Aurora focuses on helping each child develop according to their needs rather than following data-driven assessments. We believe in basing our methods this way as they bring out the best results in the way our children progress and move up the academic scale at their own pace. This is why we employ a child-centred approach to learning such as play-based, STEM-based teachings through the Montessori and Regio-Emilia methods. Our centres follow a heartfelt philosophy enriched with theoretical knowledge, culture, devotion, and innovation. This allows us to see each child as capable beings who can communicate their strengths and weaknesses in their own way. 

Sources:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34841433/ 

https://thesector.com.au/2021/12/08/tree-books-beat-ebooks-every-time-for-toddler-development/ 

https://thesector.com.au/2021/12/02/uq-collaborates-with-health-professionals-to-redesign-childhood-obesity-fighting-measures/  

https://theconversation.com/a-failure-at-6-data-driven-assessment-isnt-helping-young-childrens-learning-169463