Children learn and understand their world using their senses. They manipulate experiences gathered as they interact with their surroundings (home, siblings, church, school) into information that will help them assimilate new concepts and accommodate complex ideas. Because there are variances in the depth and breadth of experiences children are offered, their knowledge or comprehension of how things function is diverse. Often, when children of the same age group are provided curricular activities such as spelling, basic arithmetic, and science projects, we see a range in the way they explain and express their thoughts over the new information. This is due to early experiences that influence strategies children use to comprehend new or advanced ideas resulting in the scientific explanation found in neurodiversity theory. Neurodiversity is displayed in children’s disposition which includes their emotional expression, information processing, comfort in physical proximity with others, social interaction, sensory preference, and much more. We mustn’t define neurodiversity as a deficit or delay but rather as strength and a tool for instructors especially in the pre-primary (early childhood programs), to use with adjusting instruction to be more student-centered rather than test or outcome-oriented.
We need to celebrate children’s diverse abilities, create programs and learning opportunities that connect the child to their environment, and move away from a one size fits all method. Neurodiversity enriches early education programs, assists children with deep imaginative capabilities to have a space in a classroom that appreciates their valuable contribution and provides a sense of belonging.
Board Member News
Dr. Jyotsna Pattnaik was awarded the ORSP multidisciplinary research grant along with three other faculty members from CSULB. The project titled “Improving STEM Education by Integrating Geospatial Technologies into K-8 Mathematics Curriculum”, is a research project with experts from Early Childhood Education, Mathematics Education, and Geospatial Science. The study will be applied in the Los Angeles area schools, adding to the emerging body of research related to science and math in the pre-primary-elementary education paradigm. We are proud that our very own Dr. Pattnaik is leading in STEM-related research that will impact the future here and around the world.
Dr. Charles Slater received the Outstanding Faculty Award, for his wide contributions in the area of Research, Creativity, and Scholarly Activity. Dr. Slater has supervised student dissertations with research projects focused on Social Justice, Equity, International Research to name a few. His experience and expertise is a valuable asset in guiding students throughout their doctoral dissertation journey and post scholarship engagement. Congratulations to Dr. Pattnaik and Dr. Slater!
Updates from Early Childhood Education Ethiopia
Shortly after our organization set out to implement phase one- Project Alpha- in Ethiopia, the world shut down due to COVID-19. As we were all adjusting to our new normal, the death of George Floyd set out a historical precedence that ignited a global demonstration of the ongoing injustice Black people face here in the U.S and worldwide. In June, Ethiopia also experienced civil disturbance after a young musician-activist was killed causing unrest throughout the country. As we re-evaluate the way forward and renew our commitment to the mission and vision of Early Childhood Education Ethiopia, we are more clear, determined, and focused on attaining the goals set in our projects. We know the way forward is through children; this is the driving force behind what we do.
We thank you for your continued support!