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Assessing the quality of preschool education to support children who are stunted

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

The Education and Cognition will profile the development of children who are stunted compared to their peers who are not stunted. The team will examine their learning needs and performance across four domains, cognition, language, motricity, social and emotional learning. Learning opportunities in their home and school environment will also be profiled to understand how learning and development can be best supported.

To date, research on stunting has primarily focused on educational opportunities within the first two years of life. However, to fully support children throughout the early years and achieve SDG4, it is vital to measure the quality of early learning environments.

This seminar focuses on the ongoing collaborative work across India, Indonesia, and Senegal to adapt a classroom observation grid (the Measuring Early Learning Environments – MELE) to measure key characteristics of classroom environments and educational quality. The research teams in Indonesia and Senegal share their experience adapting these instruments and using them in the field.




Professor Lynn Ang, UCL Institute of Education, Education and Cognition lead – Prof Lynn Ang is Professor of Early Childhood and Head of Department of the Department of Learning and Leadership at UCL, Institute of Education. Her research interests include the interdisciplinary fields of early childhood and international development and early childhood across cultures particularly in South East 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 – Professor of Psychology and Special Needs, qualified as both a clinical and educational psychologist. Major research interests are in patterns of development and the ways in which cognitive factors impact on children’s learning, interaction 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: @IOE_London

Dr Jessica Massonnie, Postdoctoral Fellow, UCL Institute of Education Team – Jessica is a Research Fellow working across the Department of Psychology and Human Development and the Department of Learning and Leadership at the IoE. Her 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 part of the Education and Cognition Workstream of the Action Against Stunting project. Twitter: @jess_masso 

Dr Dawn Davis, International MELE expert advisor, ECD Measure – Dawn Davis is a member of the ECD Measure team and serves as a technical advisor. She has a Ph.D. in Child, Youth & Family Studies from the University of Nebraska where she is currently an Early Childhood Researcher. Her research focuses on child development, measurement, program evaluation, and early interventions. Dr. Davis has been part of the leadership teams on several large-scale intervention, evaluation, and longitudinal studies of low-income children and families in the US. In addition, she has consulted for the World Bank on studies of early childhood development and quality in preschools in several countries. She has facilitated trainings on measurement and adapting measurements to specific contexts, and worked with programs to provide individualised professional development opportunities to increase instructional practices and support program improvement. Twitter: @ECDMeasure

Dr Risatianti Kolopaking, Education and Cognition theme lead, Indonesian Team – Risatianti holds doctorate degree in Nutrition and master and bachelor degree in Psychology. Dr. Risa is the theme lead for Education-Cognition Component and Shared Value. She is responsible to help the country lead in the assessment and quality control of developmental outcomes and learning environment of the children.

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

Dr Bernie Munoz. Senior researcher, 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, University of Bristol, awarded in 2013. After my PhD she worked as a Research Associate on several research projects at University of Bristol. In 2016 she obtained a ESRC Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Postdoctoral Fellowship, and in 2018 moved to my current position as a Research Fellow in Education at the IOE.  Twitter: @IOE_London

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Event details

When: 18 June, 2021 - 11:00 am

Where: Online