Did you see my recent post about the Library Services for Children Journal Club? If not, read that post first! Then come back and read our Fall 2017 YAACING column which is all about where to find current child development research. Research informs our practice and we are here to help you find it. You can find all of our columns for the YAACING newsletter on our professional development page.
Today’s column is all about research! Being familiar with child development research makes us better able to speak to the why behind the what we do. So we’ve rounded up 10 of our favourite places to look for research articles and reports on child development and early literacy. Many of these resources focus on the early years, ages 0 to 5, as this time period is crucial for future brain development.
- HELP Reads and Literature Reviews: The Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) at UBC compiles bibliographies and citation lists of child development research articles published by their staff and affiliates each year. The lists are extensive and organized by topic for easy browsing. You could spend hours here, folks!
- Academic Journals: Reading peer-reviewed academic journals is a great way to stay on topic of current research. Check your library’s databases such as Academic Search Elite to see if you can get free access to Child Development, Journal of Early Childhood Research, or Early Childhood Research Quarterly for the newest findings.
- Science of Early Childhood Development: The British Columbia Office of the Early Years provides free access to this incredible resource for those of us in B.C. This initiative is “designed to make current research accessible to anyone interested in learning more about the impact of early experience on lifelong health and well-being.” Includes interactive activities such as videos, questions for reflection, and links to further information.
- Journal of Childhood Studies: This peer-reviewed journal comes from the The Canadian Association for Young People. All articles are published freely online and focus on issues “pertaining to young children in the Canadian context as well as Canadian young children in relation to the global stage.”
- Center for Childhood Creativity: The CCC is the research and advisory division of the Bay Area Discovery Museum (BADM) and provides a link between academic research and adults’ work with children ages 0-10. Their white papers, literature reviews, and position papers give evidence-based expertise in children’s creativity development. A great resource for planning school-age programs!
- Saroj Ghoting’s Early Literacy Research Round-Up: The name says it all, Ghoting’s Round-Up covers a variety of topics organized by categories like demographics, child and brain development and literacy skills. She links to seminal works as well as collects wider ranging articles from diverse publications. An excellent place to start if you are new to the field or check back if you need some inspiration.
- Zero to Three: Where to begin?! This site it a wealth of resources- all with an emphasis on supporting parents and caregivers. Check out their baby brain map, stay up to date with early literacy research and policy and point families to the articles on common topics like sleep, nutrition, social skills and so much more.
- Handbook of Early Literacy Research, Volume 3: This is the third volume edited by Susan B. Neuman and David K. Dickinson. Building on Volume 1 (2003) and Volume 2 (2007) Neuman and Dickinson provide updates to core topics like Basic Developmental Processes and Supporting Code-Related Abilities while expanding on Development among Diverse Populations. They then support this research with findings on early literacy interventions, curriculum and social policy. Lindsey refers to this as her early literacy Bible- and she isn’t far off- a text to read slowly, mark up, digest and discuss!
- Reading Rockets: is an organization dedicated to “offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help.” They have an incredible section on early literacy research as well as printable materials for caregivers and teachers, videos and booklists. We like the focus on reading not just from the early years but well into school years and as a process with many parties- caregivers, librarians, teachers, book creators and beyond.
- Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs by Ellen Galinsky: There are many fabulous parenting books out there which cover early brain development but we particularly love Galinsky’s focus on the essential skills of “focus and self control, perspective taking, communicating, making connections, critical thinking, taking on challenges, and self-directed, engaged learning.” Recommend this one to caregivers or read it yourself; it is engaging and informative.
Where do you look for research on child development and early literacy? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your go-to resource.