SARASOTA, FL, UNITED STATES, July 12, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ — The fact that children learn is something we all know. But exactly how they learn and how their environment can support or restrict them in that, is often much less clear. This is something that education specialist Todd Stockton from Colorado has researched. With his research, he wants to make sure that parents and educators would be able to enrich their children's learning and growth, thereby also helping in the fight against poverty. Best of all, he has found that the best methods of doing so are through cuddling, singing, talking, and playing, and not through complex educational toys.
Todd Stockton Explains His Research on Child Learning
Stockton is particularly interested in how young children learn, with an emphasis on learning a language. Education starts when a child is born and arguably never ends. Education is possible thanks to the human ability to grasp patterns and thanks to the fact that people are interested in certain things. It is when these two elements interact properly that the learning experience can be maximized.
Stockton explains that learning is about patterns, allowing the brain to understand complex information. Young minds are uniquely skilled to recognize those patterns, something they do as soon as they are born. They watch others move their eyes and mouths, offer them food and comfort, and make sounds. And they love that, which is what creates an attachment. With proper support from their carers, they continue to absorb more and more data, identifying more patterns and learning.
Stockton also points out that life experiences are vital to learning. Families with high-quality resources, and thus have good nutrition and education, develop children in whom brain potential is maximized as well. Children born in impoverished circumstances tend to learn more slowly or differently. Indeed, Todd Stockton has been able to demonstrate that poverty affects learning. In fact, children in poverty hear far fewer new words per day on average, often only a third of those heard by wealthier children. Language and learning go hand in hand and are necessary for mathematical and social skills as well.
That does not mean, explains Stockton, that those with a learning delay are doomed. For instance, they can be offered speech therapy. However, poverty has also been shown to slow down key developmental milestones in both the temporal and frontal lobes, which control memory, information processing, emotions, and learning.
Todd Stockton Helps Families Support Learning
Poverty is not a choice but rather an often inevitable circumstance. Stockton points out that it is unfair that children should suffer as a consequence of that. He explains that play is key to learning development, and all children, regardless of the financial resources of their parents, can play. Supporting children in using their imagination, for instance, by going for an adventure in the woods, is something all parents can do.
Young children benefit equally from rolling balls to listening to their parents sing to having a cuddle. Learning is about teaching the enjoyment of social situations and how rewarding communication is. Children learn best when they have live interaction instead of just watching TV.
Todd Stockton Suggests That Parents Need to Play More with Their Children
According to Stockton's research, the key to learning is to play more with children, from an earlier age. At the same time, he understands that this is easier said than done. When families have financial difficulties, they often do not have the energy to be a playful parent as well. They sometimes have to work multiple jobs, they have less access to transportation and health care, and are more likely to suffer from depression or stress. However, even playing with their children occasionally can have a massive impact. Quality is more important than quantity in the grand scheme of things, and parents should focus on building connections as much as they can.
Todd Stockton Explains How Society Can Help
The reality is that, even in this country, many children live in poverty. Thankfully, they are nonprofit organizations and charities out there that want to help. Additionally, scientific advances are being made as well. For instance, the University of Chicago has launched the Thirty Million Words Initiative, through which parents can rapidly learn about child development, gaining an understanding of the scientific perspective on learning. Furthermore, they are shown what they can do to enhance outcomes for their children's learning and education.
Todd Stockton believes that more could and should be done. Particularly, he wants politicians to become more involved in supporting the science of early learning. After all, the more children are educated and given opportunities, the more likely it is that society as a whole will improve on the back of that.
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Source: EIN Presswire