The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in Taiwan have been huge since May. The KIT research team wishes both parents and children good health and all the best during the summer holidays.
This issue has several items of interest. They are: an introduction to the Global Longitudinal Research Initiative (GLORI), some KIT research findings, a brief profile of Assistant Professor Hsi-Ping Nieh at National Taiwan Normal University, and a book review of Little Bear’s Little Boat, a storybook written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter about a little bear who shares his little boat with a smaller bear when he has outgrown.
The Global Longitudinal Research Initiative (GLORI)
The Global Longitudinal Research Initiative (GLORI), a project consisting of a number of longitudinal studies on child development, was created by the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti in 2014 -2015. Surveying children in low-, middle-, and high-income countries, this research network aggregating national studies aims to track child development over time and understand factors that contribute to child outcomes. The establishment of GLORI enables better data sharing and comparisons among different longitudinal studies, which is helpful in planning policies at the national level. Informing the indicators of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN, GLORI provides holistic insights into many aspects of children’s lives, such as education, health, nutrition, and poverty. Currently with 31 members working in 41 countries, GLORI 2.0 collects a variety of data from children, like questionnaire data, biometric data, and biomarkers. Until now, more than 30% of the GLORI 2.0 studies have been conducted for ten years or even longer. In addition to education and health, GLORI 2.0 gathers information related to the environment that children are exposed to when they grow up, including water, sanitation and hygiene, energy, economics, climate change and so on.
Please visit https://www.unicef-irc.org/research/longitudinal-and-lifecourse-research-for-children/ for more information about GLORI.
Highlight of KIT Findings
Parents who have children starting preschool may very much care about teacher-child interactions and quality of teaching in the classroom. The KIT survey data shows that, in each year from 2016 to 2018, more than 90% of the preschool teachers think they can teach their students well. Also, even on busy and chaotic days, more than 95% of the teachers do not become more irritable or less patient if the children misbehave or get into trouble. The following KIT survey results show how preschool teachers often, which means 3 or 4 times a week, interact with young children at 60 months old. The list is ordered by frequency of responses.
- I listen closely to what the child says and respond to him/her positively (93.9%).
- When the child runs into conflict with other child(ren), I help him/her understand other people’s perspectives (76.6%).
- I talk to the child about things or events that happened in the past (75.8%).
- I know the child’s interests and abilities and use this information in my interaction with him/her or in designing activities for him/her (74.6%).
- When speaking to the child, I elaborate on his/her words or encourage him/her to say more (73.2%).
- When the child is involved in play, I pay attention to what he/she is doing, and give help when needed (e.g., providing materials, helping the child complete a difficult task) (71.8%).
- I help the child communicate or interact with other children (69.2%).
The above description indicates that preschool teachers usually treat children patiently and are able to meet most of the children’s demands. However, since the majority of learning activities at preschool take place in a group context, it is rather difficult for teachers to change their schedule to accommodate the needs of an individual child (24.5%). We suggest parents should be more understanding about the difficulties that the preschool teachers are actually facing and give them more support. Besides, parents should have more interactions with their children at home in order to make up for what preschool teachers fail to achieve in class.
About Prof. Hsi-Ping Nieh
Prof. Hsi-Ping Nieh works at the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU). Her research interests center on adolescent development, family studies, health behaviors, and health promotion. Recently Prof. Nieh has joined the KIT research team and is one of the collaborative investigators of Phase III in charge of the design of survey items related to health. She supports the KIT by giving professional advice on health and family relations.
Prof. Nieh’s previous research experience includes working on the Michigan Longitudinal Study in the United States and the Child and Adolescent Behaviors in Long-term Evolution (the CABLE project) in Taiwan. Prior to joining the KIT research team, she worked for the KIT as a postdoc for a couple of years. During her postdoc, she had a number of joint publications with other KIT colleagues on topics associated with children’s health and family.
Little Bear’s Little Boat written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter is a picture book that describes a little bear who gives away his little boat to a smaller bear when he doesn’t fit in it anymore. Its English version is available at Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/dp/0547719035), and readers can find its Chinese version at Books.com.tw (https://www.books.com.tw/products/0010631530). Click https://youtu.be/hWLNjo7jvR0 to listen.