|The Effect of Mobile and Information Technologies on the Language Development Design of Preschool Children: A Meta-Analysis and Meta-Synthesis Study
Preschool teachers’ use of mobile and information technologies supported language development across different cultures, according to results of a mixed-method study that combined a meta-analysis and a meta-synthesis of research conducted in various countries.
The researchers examined a total of 37 studies spanning nearly 20 years, finding “mobile and IT supported education had a high positive effect on the language development of preschool children in different cultures,” they wrote.
More experienced teachers were less likely to use technology. The researchers suggested educators receive support and have experience in the use of digital media. “It is necessary to arrange trainings for adults to use mobile and IT by direct interaction and indirect planning, and to teach correct information about how to support children’s language and other development in these trainings,” wrote Duygu Mavi and Filiz Erbay of Near East University in Turkey. Read the study here.
A Scoping Review of the Knowledge Base, Landscape, and Trends in Leadership Literature in Early Intervention, Early Childhood, and Early Childhood Special Education
Little research exists on the impact of leadership in early childhood education, early intervention and early childhood special education, a review of literature confirmed. Sarah Movahedazarhouligh of the University of North Carolina Wilmington reviewed 1,416 articles written between 2000 and 2018, 106 of which met the criteria for her research. Read the abstract here.
Preschool Children, Robots, and Computational Thinking: A Systematic Review
Computational thinking is emerging as an ability children need to develop, according to researchers investigating the role of educational robots in that pursuit. Computational thinking (CT) involves skills “to formulate, model and solve problems using strategies and ideas from computer science,” they wrote.
The researchers reviewed 15 empirical studies on the use of educational robots (ER) to promote computational thinking in preschoolers. The studies all used commercial robots, which had limited ability to adjust for children’s cognitive level, they noted.
“Our main objective was to conduct a broad exploration and analysis of the reported experiences with ER to promote CT in early childhood and examine existing gaps,” wrote Ewelina Bakala, Anaclara Gerosa and Gonzalo Tejera of the University of the Republic in Uruguay, and Juan Pablo Hourcade of The University of Iowa. Read the study here.
Latent Growth Trajectories of Peer Context Behavior Problems across Preschool, Kindergarten and First Grade
First grade classes with greater peer context behavior problems tended to have lower reading and math skills, poorer student-teacher relationships, and greater parent-observed behavior problems at the end of the school year, researchers found.
The study involved a nationally representative sample of 3,827 low-income children in the U.S., from the start of preschool through first grade. The researchers identified the transition to formal school “as a critical period in the development of peer context behavior for some—but not all—children.” They suggested that targeted academic and social-emotional support provided before first grade could benefit children with peer context behavior problems.
The study was conducted by Emily M. Weiss, Paul A. McDermott, Michael J. Rovine, and Jimin Oh of the University of Pennsylvania. Read the abstract here.
Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity Is Positively Related to Executive Function for Children with Low Aerobic Fitness
Moderate to vigorous physical activity (PA) improved the executive function (EF) of preschool children with low aerobic fitness, but had no bearing on those with high aerobic fitness, according to researchers. Changes in executive function between fall and spring found that sedentary to light activity had a positive impact in children with high aerobic fitness, but was unrelated to executive function in children with low aerobic fitness.
The study involved 81 children ages 3 to 5 from seven center-based pre-K programs. Results “point to a unique role that fitness and PA play in the development of early cognitive skills,” wrote Derek R. Becker of Western Carolina University and Patrick Abi Nader of the University of Québec at Rimouski in Canada. They said the results “highlight the need to provide opportunities for children to spend time in both indoor and outdoor free play, but also suggest encouraging PA that promotes aerobic fitness could aid in the development of EF”. Read the study here.