ruminations on a series of unrelated events
Today I officially started working on a project called Making Learning Visible in the Preschool Years to Promote Parent-Teacher Partnerships. That long title is a newly funded research project led by Nerissa Bauer, of IU School of Medicine’s Children’s Health Services Research. She will be developing videos as a behavioral intervention tool for parents.
St Mary’s Children Center in Indianapolis has been a pre-school for underprivileged kids since 1961. Starting in 2001, educators from SMCC began the study of world-renowned schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. At the foundation of the Reggio Emilia philosophy is the belief that children are seen as strong, competent and capable. Reggio-inspired schools breed a culture that everyone is to be treated with respect, everyone’s ideas are to be respected and that collaboration and cooperation are paramount.
Many of the pre-schoolers at SMCC come from poverty. Children in poverty experience a higher proportion of adversities, now known to lead to stress-induced structural changes in the developing brain and can have profound implications for lifelong health. Nerissa’s project involves teachers at the school recording videos of individual children involved in child-directed play activities and positive teacher/student interactions. These videos would be augmented with voice over commentary relating the teachers’ observations of the behavior seen in these videos. The videos would be sent home on DVD to parents and function as a role modeling tool with which parents can learn about interacting and encouraging various behaviors and discouraging others.
While my role as post-production supervisor to two student editors is small one, I am excited to be involved in this great project.
(Attribution: I borrowed a bit of Nerissa’s wording from her original grant proposal. Thanks Nerissa.)