Now it’s spring, a season when warmth could suddenly become a chill. Again, it’s time to share some thoughts and the latest research findings with our dearest readers.
This issue has several items of interest. They are: an introduction to the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B), some KIT research findings, a brief profile of Prof. Miao-Ju Tu and Prof. Ching-Ling Cheng, an overview of social-emotional skills, and a book review of The Runaway Bunny, a picture book about a mother rabbit’s best of love that allows room for her child to grow.
The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B)
The ECLS-B is a longitudinal study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. It follows a cohort of children from their birth in 2001 through kindergarten entry. The purpose of the study is to examine how a child’s cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development is influenced by his/her social environments, including family, childcare settings, and schools. Data focusing on health, development, care, and education were collected from a nationally representative sample of approximately 14,000 children who were born in the U.S. and came from diverse socioeconomic and racial/ethnic backgrounds. Respondents also include childcare providers and kindergarten teachers if the study children receive care from nannies or attend kindergartens. The ECLS-B data can inform policies, and it provides researchers, childcare providers, teachers, and parents with comprehensive information on children’s early development, family and childcare environments, and health and nutrition. Please visit https://nces.ed.gov/ecls/birth.asp for more information about the ECLS-B.
Highlight of KIT Findings
Cognitive development: In order to reach something (e.g., a toy), the child pushes over or away obstacles in between, or tries to get it by using another means.
Children at 3 months of age (N=6574)
🢡 Not yet: 100%
Children at 6 months of age (N=6735)
🢡Proficient: 4.7%, Intermediate: 8%, Beginning: 11.8%, Not yet: 75.5%
Children at 1 year of age (N=6864)
🢡Proficient: 75.4%, Intermediate: 18.8%, Beginning: 4.1%, Not yet: 1.69%
Language development: The one-year-old child can express his/her needs by nodding or shaking his/her head. (N=6864)
🢡Proficient: 28.5%, Intermediate: 16.8%, Beginning: 26.7%, Not yet: 28%
Physical-motor development: The one-year-old child can scribble with a pen. (N=6873)
🢡Proficient: 9.3%, Intermediate: 8.1%, Beginning: 15.4%, Not yet: 67.2%
Social-emotional development: When the three-year-old child encounters frustrating or difficult situations, he/she controls his/her temper and remains calm. (N= 2157)
🢡 Always: 13.6%, Often: 26.3%, Sometimes: 35.1%, Rarely: 18%, Never: 7%
Responds from parents – their beliefs about parenting: (N=2164)
My strict disciplinary practice is something that the three-year-old child will be thankful for in the future.
🢡Strongly agree: 4%, Agree: 38%, Disagree: 50%, Strongly disagree: 8%
By scolding or criticizing the three-year-old child, I am helping him/her improve.
🢡Strongly agree: 4%, Agree: 41%, Disagree: 47%, Strongly disagree: 8%
The three-year-old child should be punished by me if he/she is not obedient.
🢡Strongly agree: 11%, Agree: 69%, Disagree: 18%, Strongly disagree: 2%
Is the four-year-old child receiving care from a center-based setting, such as a nursery care center, a nanny service, or a preschool?
🢡Yes: 60%, No: 40%
How much time per day does this four-year-old child spend at the childcare setting?
🢡Less than 7 hours: 2.9%, 7 hours: 22.2%, 8 hours: 39.0%, 9hours: 24.8%, 10 hours: 11.1%, more than 10 hours: 5.9%
Four-year-old children spend an average of 8.5 hours a day receiving care from a center-based setting, which makes up 65.3% of the time they stay awake in a day. Therefore, the activities that the childcare services provide are worth our attention.
About Prof. Miao-Ju Tu and Prof. Prof. Ching-Ling Cheng
Prof. Miao-Ju Tu is Associate Professor of Department of Child and Family Studies, Fu Jen Catholic University. Her research interests primarily lie in curriculum design for early childhood education and care, teaching materials and methods in preschool, children’s social and emotional development, and childcare service.
Prof. Ching-Ling Cheng is Full Professor of Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling, NTNU. Her academic expertise centers on developmental psychology, social development, emotional development, social cognition, and adolescent psychology.
An overview of social-emotional skills
- What are social-emotional skills?
Social-emotional skills refer to the capability essential for children when they interact with people. Children who possess the skills can manage emotions properly and deal with different life events with appropriate behavior. For example, when a child encounters a dangerous situation, he or she feels scared and then turns to adults for help in order to avoid being hurt. As children are getting older, they are more experienced in interacting with others, they get better at understanding the environment around them, and they are able to express their thoughts and needs more clearly and accurately. Their social emotional skills further develop which allow them to articulate feelings and establish/maintain relationships in a socially acceptable manner. When children have a problem with their emotions or interaction with people, it means that they have difficulty adapting to the environment they are in. Children’s development of social emotional skills is associated with their development of other domains, including cognition and language.
2. What are the important social-emotional skills that children develop at different ages?
Infants and toddlers take the initiative to express feelings to their mother. They can share things with others and take turns in an activity, and they can follow instructions given by adults to pick up their toys. At the age of 3, children become more independent. They can do many things on their own, such as picking up items, having a meal, and playing with toys alone. Social-emotional skills are crucial for children’s development since no one lives in a world without complex social interactions. If someone is smart but poor at interacting with others, he/she can hardly work with people well.
Each individual child has his/her unique personality. Some children are introverts who tend to spend time alone or do not like to express their feelings. Parents need to understand their child’s personality traits, accept the child as he/she is, and help the child find a way of life that is most suitable for him/her. Thus, a close parent-child relationship can be established.
The Runaway Bunny, a picture book written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd, depicts a child rabbit’s desire to be independent and a mother rabbit’s best of love that allows room for her child to grow. Its English version is available at Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/dp/0064430189), and readers can find its Chinese version at Books.com.tw (https://www.books.com.tw/products/0010088725). Click https://youtu.be/tmavnJZLniY to listen.