Lifestyle Preschoolers make amazing gains when educators are well trained

Preschoolers make amazing gains when educators are well trained

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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