Nurturing children’s development

Published: 13th August 2021

Profiling early childhood education in low- and middle-income countries

Stunting – impaired growth and development from poor nutrition, repeated infection, and inadequate psychosocial stimulation, affects 149 million children under 5, mainly in low- and middle-income countries. The UKRI GCRF Action Against Stunting research project investigates the multiple drivers of stunting in India, Indonesia and Senegal, to inform evidence-based interventions supporting child development.

Current research highlights the importance of children’s learning environments to nurture their growth and development. Stunting is best tackled when nutrition and psychosocial interventions (i.e. interventions which influence how caregivers interact with children) are combined. In order to identify effective routes for large-scale intervention and involve the key actors that are influencing their development, it is fundamental to profile the educational environments children under 5 experience. This seminar will present the work led by the Cognition and Education workstream to profile early childhood education provision in India and Senegal.

We will first present how we reviewed the early childhood education system in India and Senegal, via a documentary analysis. We will launch an infographic that can be used by fellow researchers, policy stakeholders and professionals to profile early childhood education in other low- and middle-income countries. We will then hear from the research leads in India and Senegal who have adapted and piloted a classroom observation grid (the Measuring Early Learning Environments – MELE) to measure key characteristics of classroom environments and educational quality in their respective countries. We believe our work has the potential to inform our progress towards the global objective of ensuring education quality for all (UN Sustainable Development Goal 4).

We welcome the perspectives, comments and questions of attendees and will dedicate 15 minutes for a Q&A at the end of the seminar.

When: TBC

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Professor Lynn Ang, Department of Learning and Leadership, UCL Institute of Education, Education and Cognition lead – Lynn Ang is a Professor of Early Childhood. Her research interests include the interdisciplinary fields of early childhood and international development and early childhood across cultures particularly in Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region. Lynn is interested in the social, cultural and policy influences on children’s development and early learning in a range of formal and informal contexts such as preschool and home-based settings. Her research centres on the early years curriculum, international early years policy, and issues of diversity and inequality in conflict-affected fragile states. Twitter: @L_Ang1

Professor Julie Dockrell (PI), UCL Institute of Education, Education and Cognition leads – Julie Dockrell is a Professor of Psychology and Special Needs, qualified as both a clinical and educational psychologist. Her major research interests are in patterns of development and the ways in which cognitive factors impact children’s learning, interactions and attainments. A central theme in this research has been the application of evidence-based research and evaluating interventions to support children’s learning in educational settings. Twitter: @Lang_Lit_Num

Dr Bernie Munoz, Principal Investigator, UCL Institute of Education – Bernie obtained a BSc in Psychology, School of Psychology, Pontificia Universidad Católica, Chile and studied a MA in ICT in Education (Institute of Education, UCL) in 2002, funded by Chevening Scholarship for global future leaders. After some years of working back in Chile at the school level, academia, and the public sector as a Researcher and Consultant in assessment in education, she secured funding for studying a PhD, School of Education, the University of Bristol, awarded in 2013. After her PhD, she worked as a Research Associate on several research projects at the University of Bristol. In 2016 she obtained an ESRC Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Postdoctoral Fellowship, and in 2018 moved to her current position as a Research Fellow in Education at the IOE. Twitter: @IOE_London

Dr Jessica Massonnie, Research Fellow, Department of Psychology and Human Development and the Department of Learning and Leadership, UCL Institute of Education Team – Jessica’s work focuses on understanding how we can best help children to thrive, by considering the influence of the home and classroom environments on their learning and development. She is investigating both the social and physical (e.g. noise) factors influencing children’s development, adopting a cross-cultural perspective within the Action Against Stunting research project. Twitter: @jess_masso

Professor Moustapha Ndiaye, Education and Cognition theme lead, Senegalese Team – Bio will be available soon

Prof Dr Sylvia Fernandez-Rao, Education and Cognition theme lead, Indian Team – Bio will be available soon






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