Early Childhood Studies
The Early Childhood Studies Department is concerned with the various ways in which young children develop and what is most essential when it comes to their education and parenting. The Department carries out applied research on a variety of subjects related to educational theory and then shares this knowledge with others in the professional field. In this way, the Department highlights all the various forms of early child development without necessarily labelling children’s behaviour.
Children aged 3 to 7 require a different educational and teaching approach than older children; this essentially involves fitting their brain with the ‘hardware’ they need, so as to prime it for the ‘software’ (language and arithmetic) to be installed at a later stage. We aim to train professionals in supporting young children in their development, so that we can treat different children differently in the classroom, depending on their needs. An important aspect of this is: how much can a child handle independently, and what can it do when supported by an adult or age peer? Another pertinent question is: how much help does a child need in order to successfully perform a task without assistance from others? Other research areas in our Department include maintaining continuity between lower and upper primary school and professional (educational) observation by specially trained teachers.