Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The impact of Neuroscience on our practice

What an absolute pleasure it was to have Neuroscience Educator; Nathan Wallis, join us in Hamilton to present a seminar: The impact of Neuroscience on our practice.  This was a Ministry of Education sponsored seminar, organised by ELP.

An extremely informative presentation covering many vital topics of neuroscience and child development. 
Some of the key concepts Nathan covered were:  
-  The four parts of the brain, and their role in learning – neurosequential development
-  The importance of the first 1000 days
-  The dyad relationship
-  Social/emotional learning
-  Reinforcement of dispositional learning
-  Risk and protective factors

Here is a sample of some of the feedback we received from the participating ECE teachers; covering what new insights/useful strategies etc. they gained from this seminar; and how it will impact/change their practice.

“Importance of the dyad. 4 areas of the brain. Fundamental importance of the first 1000 days.”

“The key importance of relationships in the first three years for brain development”
“Looking at how our team works - using key teacher practice correctly rather than sticking to rosters. Understanding the brain and what needs to happen to support healthy brain development.  Realizing that the brain is moulded by the environment and the implications of this on our children.”

“Understanding the ‘calmness’ approach to learning. Going back to the basics of human relationships.”

“The children in our centre need love and encouragement for their interests to show. This will then help us plan for interests. The new information reminds me to remember what brain they are in to help them develop. Also helps re-think our rosters and mat times.”

“The importance of neuroscience knowledge in ECE. The importance of the first 1000 days – Wow! So very interesting and informative.

“I have a better understanding of how our two year old children find it difficult to be part of a programme set up for 3 and 4 years old. To develop a way for our two year olds to have more of a relationship with one teacher. I will share this information with other teachers and parents. I will consider more where the two year old children fit in our programme.”

“I will continue to practice with respect and by building strong dyadic relationships with my primary care children. I have always believed that they are important but I do have a better understanding of why.”

“By documenting with my educators about planning for children where they are at, not where I think they should be.”

“Doing further research and reviewing dyad relationships.”

“Reinforced a lot of what I already know. Reinforced not to ‘push’ cognitive learning in the early years even though that is often what parents ask for especially around age 4½.”

“I have gained more knowledge about what children actually need rather than preparing them for the next stage. This will support my evaluation and curriculum documentation as I will be able to look at what children need now to inform how we provide the curriculum.”

“It will enable me to write [learning stories] with more assurance about the importance of dispositional learning and enable me to disseminate current research to both colleagues and parents.”

If you would like more information on these research findings, please follow this link to resources that will provide more information and detail on these topics.