Childhood Education Innovations
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Childhood Education: Innovations is an education magazine that provides unique, stimulating information about educational programs around the world. Articles explore solutions to specific challenges affecting schools, teachers, and learners and showcase the most recent innovations being developed and implemented to address those challenges. Readers will find inspiration for transforming education to better serve children and society. Published 6 times a year, CE Innovations provides a window into the work being done to bring quality, equitable education to all children. It stands alongside the Journal of Research in Childhood Education as one of our signature publications.
“A Curriculum for the New Era of Progressive, Self-Directed Learning”
There is a vast body of research on the neuroscience of learning, conditions that foster learning, how knowledge is acquired, and ultimately what are best practices in education. This work has generated very clear mandates on how to set up schools and how to structure lesson plans for children. Yet education systems worldwide are stuck in a model of education in which the students who most closely follow orders and directions get the highest reward. But the postindustrial world is asking for something more, something different, and actually something better—things like creativity, problem solving, ingenuity, inventiveness, and collaboration.
“Building a Revolution of Student Changemakers: Reimagining Education With Our Students”
The purpose of education must expand to include unleashing students’ potential and the potential of those around them and improving the world we share. Thus, education cannot be limited to academics but instead needs to be holistic and integrated. An excellent education equips us with the consciousness and curiosity to understand ourselves, others, and the world. It fuels us with courage, possibility, and creativity to invent a new reality. It nurtures in us the compassion, collaboration, and critical thinking to reach out, helping those around us and working in partnership with others to bring about positive change in the world. It enables us to raise our voices, to be ourselves, and to communicate effectively with others in an ever-changing world. That education is not just for children, but with children.
“Reimagining Education in India With Dream a Dream”
Dream a Dream was founded by 11 young people who wanted to engage with children who were terminally ill, abandoned, or HIV infected. The idea was to organize activities and games that would provide hope and happiness for these children. Over time, the team realized mere engagement could never be the solution for deep-rooted adversities. Real change would only be possible when young people coming from adverse childhood experiences (ACE) are equipped to meet the challenges and demands of an uncertain world. They came to believe the solution lay in life skill interventions and social-emotional learning (SEL).
“Infant Mental Health Training for Early Years Practitioners”
Amid growing international awareness about the importance of building the competency of those working with young children and their families, a particular concern focuses on increasing understanding of infant mental health. This article outlines the development
and evaluation of a pilot infant mental health (IMH) training program for early years practitioners in Ireland. The program was developed by the Lets Grow Together! Infant and Childhood Partnerships in Cork, Ireland. The project translates and makes accessible IMH and early childhood development science and applies it to a format that will build capacity in the everyday practice of early years practitioners working in an area of high socio-economic deprivation. The training model is guided by the Irish Association for Infant Mental Health (I-AIMH) Competency Framework.®
“Inquiry and Discovery With 2nd-Graders: Cigarettes and Meaningful Learning”
In 2014, the authors’ school was approached by the Professional Development Collaborative at Washington International School to partner with Project Zero, a team of researchers from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, to launch a new project, Children Are Citizens (CAC). The project aimed to support early childhood teachers in amplifying the voices of our youngest learners. The ultimate mission was to empower our students as current—rather than just future—citizens capable of contributing meaningfully to their communities.
“Inspiring Children’s Awe: Mandala-Making With Inner-City Elementary School Students”
During the pandemic, the author learned about the different ways her students and their families were being affected. Numerous parents and caregivers suffered job loss and financial insecurity. Some students were grieving the death of a loved one due to the virus. Many students spoke of feeling lonely, as they were isolated from family members and friends. One practice that became particularly soothing and strengthening for the students was mandala-making, a practice that led to this story about children’s awe and a teacher’s amazement.
“Designing Spaces for Modern Childhood Development”
The philosophy of architecture is about enhancing the quality of the space and designing for the experience within. The work of the Bradley Projects is inspired by creating boundary-pushing concepts that fuel the evolution of built environments, whether it be a residential development, commercial space, or a school. It’s about developing and defining a structure that’s progressive while pushing through constraints. When working on the Linden Waldorf School pavilions, they understood the value of designing with well-being and space-making in mind.
“Democratizing Music: Outdoor Musical Instruments for All”
Percussion Play’s vision is to give all children access to musical instruments in the great outdoors. By placing musical instruments in outside settings, including parks, trails, gardens, library gardens, and hospital grounds, they can provide children with greater access to music and offer them a chance to reap the physical and emotional benefits of creating music.
“Hear Our Voices: Upholding Children’s Education Rights in the United States”
Behind the statistics and trends are stories about the children and families being denied their full right to education. These stories are often hidden, leading to incomplete understanding about the causes of exclusion and a lack of change in schools to help include all children. Exploring the stories of these children and families can illustrate what changes can help to ensure all children are included. This story, about KeiShaun and Easter, an elementary school student and his mother, demonstrates the strength of families and positive outcomes possible when families team up with proactive education rights organizations.
“A Book That Children Need Today”
I Love Being Me! is a story that follows a young girl of mixed-race identity who is taught to have self-compassion and treat others with kindness. It’s a powerful story that promotes racial tolerance, compassion, and true belonging through finding real value and strength within.
Jessica is mixed-race, with a Japanese mother and Argentinian father. Growing up in a small, rural town in Japan, she always knew she was a little different from the other children.
“Facilitating Young Children’s Thinking About Shapes”
A preschool teacher was unsure what 4-year-olds ought to understand about shapes beyond labeling them correctly. Her mentor suggested that she examine fundamental math concepts and look at big ideas relating to the topic of shapes that were developmentally appropriate for children of this age group. She began to study the big ideas relating to the concept of shapes that young children need to understand as a foundation upon which mathematical knowledge and skills could be built, and how to make these ideas clear to young children.