Anyone with young kids knows how bright and curious they are.
But when it comes to learning, their educators’ ongoing training can make a massive difference.
That’s the finding from a world-first study by researchers at the University of Wollongong.
The researchers found access to best-practice professional development and training was one the most effective ways to lift the quality of early childhood education and care.
In a world-first, UOW researcher Cathrine Neilsen-Hewett and her team examined a special teaching program trialled at 38 preschools and day care centres across New South Wales.
She says literacy and numeracy outcomes improved dramatically.
“We also saw increased engagement and a desire for learning among the children, and parents reported increased vocabulary and increased use of questions and curiosity, and an increased passion for learning,” Dr Neilsen-Hewett says.
Not only that, kids also showed marked gains in “socio-emotional development” – which means they had fewer tantrums and behaved better.
“These findings show that effective professional development for early childhood educators has tremendous potential to lift outcomes … in a short time frame.”
UOW was measuring results from its Leadership in Learning course, a staff training program evaluated in partnership with the NSW Department of Education.
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