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The Learning Success Blog

Social Skills Training Can Help Lonely Children

Posted by Peter Barnes on February 1, 2018 at 10:20 AM

Peter Barnes

“All the lonely people, where do they all come from?  All the lonely people, where do they all belong?”

 “Eleanor Rigby” by The Beatles (1966)

The stereotypical lonely old lady or man is what many people think of when confronted with the fact that there are lonely people all around them.

It's easy to understand why some old people may be lonely. They’re living alone. Their children may live far away, or they may not have children. These lonely men and women might have illnesses or physical disabilities that prevent them from easily leaving their homes to make or maintain friendships.

We don’t often think of children being lonely. But many are.

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Topics: Social Skills, Behaviour, Bullying, Social & Emotional Learning

Students with Better Social Skills Achieve Higher Test Scores

Posted by Peter Barnes on January 31, 2018 at 5:45 PM

Peter Barnes

Children who are co-operative, socially responsible and helpful in kindergarten achieve higher scores on reading, writing and numeracy tests in primary school, compared with children with less pro-social behaviour.

This is the finding from a 5-year study of more than 52,000 kindergarten students from nearly 2800 schools.  The study was led by Dr Rebecca Collie at the University of New South Wales School of Education. 

Test scores from the children’s NAPLAN (Australia’s National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy) in 2012 and 2014 were compared for four different social and emotional behavioural profiles observed when they were in kindergarten:

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Topics: Writing, Social Skills, Literacy, Maths, Social & Emotional Learning, NAPLAN & PISA

In the Quest for School-Readiness, Has the Fun Gone from Preschool?

Posted by Peter Barnes on February 15, 2016 at 3:31 PM

Peter Barnes

Importance_of_being_little.jpgWhat can you remember about your preschool, kindergarten or early school years?

Possibly not a lot, but whatever you do remember probably bears little resemblance to the preschools and kindergarten of today.

There has been a trend for preschools to become more structured, and to offer more formalised learning programs, leaving less time for unstructured play and simple fun.

Many parents and teachers will argue that this is a good thing. That it improves their child’s “school readiness” which leads to better learning outcomes in primary and later in secondary school. That it is necessary to give children the best opportunity in today's hypercompetitive world.

A new book by Yale University Professor Erika Christakis argues that the trend to push academic goals down to preschool is actually not good for children.

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Topics: Social Skills, School

iPads are Good for Early Learning: Numbers, Language & Self-Regulation

Posted by Peter Barnes on July 28, 2015 at 4:04 PM

Peter Barnes

iPads can be useful learning tools for younger children – aged 2 to 6. This is the conclusion of a study, iPlay, iLearn, iGrow,  just published by Dr Nicola Yelland, Professor of Education at Victoria University in Melbourne.

Professor Yelland’s study looked at 61 apps suitable for children aged 2 to 6 years.  She and her research team assessed the Apps in 4 categories:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Creative
  • Skills
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Topics: eLearning, Learning Enhancement, Social Skills

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