Whether it’s to give parents a break from caretaking, to provide kids with an educational head start, or a guilt-free mixture of both, TV shows that purport to be good for a baby’s brain attract more new viewers every year. But can children really learn from targeted edutainment the way they can from live human beings, or even by playing with objects like simple wooden blocks? In this program, psychologists from Seattle Pacific University’s Baby Lab and BabyFirstTV representatives discuss what’s really going on when an infant appears mesmerized by a kiddie show and whether it’s possible that the programs are doing more harm than good. (52 minutes)
This classic program uses brain research, cognitive development research, and educational practice as windows into the process of learning. Animation depicts the firing of synapses, the growth of dendrites, and the concept of brain plasticity, making the point that learning is as basic a human activity as breathing or eating. Also, factors that lead to school success are presented in a model that reflects the work of Erik Erikson, Jean Piaget, and Lev Vygotsky without mentioning them by name, so the video can serve as a starting point for a range of audiences interested in educational matters but leery of jargon-filled expositions. Viewable/printable educational resources are available online. (23 minutes)
A good start to school depends on three fundamental gifts: the ability to communicate effectively, a talent for fitting in well with others, and an ambition to learn. This program tracks the challenges, setbacks, and successes in the lives of a half-dozen 5-year-olds as they prepare for the world of organized education. When it comes to school readiness, why is Ben, the smallest of quintuplets, lagging behind? Can science explain why Declan is such an engaging chatterbox? Will school be too much for unpredictable Jara’na? And how will a range of factors—such as the role of higher education in Haleema’s family, Sofia’s apprehension about seeing her father in the hospital, or Anastasija’s attitude towards authority—impact the learning potential with which these children are blessed? Part of the series Life at 1, 3, 5, and 7: A Longitudinal Study in Childhood Development. (52 minutes)
For those who enjoy helping other people, a career in human services may be just right! This program explores a variety of occupations in early childhood care, counseling and mental health, family and community, personal care, and consumer services. Viewers will learn the requirements to enter the field, along with job duties, important skill sets, and common challenges that might be encountered on the job. The video profiles Montessori teachers, family counselors, social services workers, the clergy, personal trainers, and sales consultants, giving aspiring students a good overview of this rewarding field. A viewable/printable worksheet is available online. (25 minutes)
Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), the IRIS Center is headquartered at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. Our primary objective is to create resources about evidence-based practices for use in preservice preparation and professional development programs. IRIS then disseminates and offers trainings on those resources
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a professional membership organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research. We advance a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children.