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Doing Translational Research podcast: Marianella Casasola

casasolaIn this episode of the Doing Tranlsational Research podcast Karl Pillemer talks with Marianella Casasola about her work examining infant cognitive development, early word learning, and early spatial cognition. Dr. Casasola talks about her experiences partnering with Head Start to do research, details of her more recent findings, and she gives some advice that any new parent can easily employ to boost infant learning.

Marianella Casasola is an associate professor of human development and a faculty fellow of the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR) at Cornell University. She studies infant cognitive development and early word learning with a particular interest in the interaction between thought and language during the first few years of development. She is especially interested in the emergence of spatial concepts, the early acquisition of spatial language, and the interplay between spatial cognition and spatial language in infants and young children.

Doing Translational Research episode 7: Talk to Your Child with Marianella Casasola

Also available on iTunes and Stitcher.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: childhood    children    doing translational research    human development    Karl Pillemer    Marianella Casasola    podcast   

New systematic translational review on improving young children’s reading skills

A new systematic translational review (STR) from the BCTR Research Synthesis Project examined whether there are brief, low-cost, home-based parenting interventions that improve pre-reading skills for children ages 2–5. The review of existing research on this subject found that there is an at-home method that has demonstrable positive effects on young children's reading skills: dialogic reading. For more information on the review process and findings, see the full STR, Parenting Interventions to Improve Pre-literacy Reading Skills for Children Ages 2–5.

STRs are the result of a new research synthesis protocol designed to include practitioner input in the review process while maintaining the structure of a systematic review and speed of a rapid review. The method was developed by Research Synthesis Project director Mary Maley to improve the accessibility and use of research evidence by community practitioners and policy makers. Review topics focus on applied practice questions which require a synopsis of evidence to use in order to strengthen program implementation. More about the STR process can be found here.

Previously pr0duced STRs:

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Holden advises Australian Children’s Commissioner

holdenIn March Martha Holden (Director of the Residential Child Care Project) traveled to the Northern Territory, Australia at the invitation of Howard Bath, the Children's Commissioner of the region. The Children's Commissioner, whose core function is to ensure the well-being of vulnerable children, is working to overcome disadvantages that Indigenous children and families face and improve their quality of life. Currently there are a large number of Indigenous children placed in out-of-home care. Residential programs (mainly smaller group homes) have grown rapidly in response to demand, but with little theoretical coherence or regulation. The current departmental administrators are well aware of this issue and are seeking to chart a new course. Holden's visit was seen by administrators as an opportunity to gain information on theory, structure, monitoring, and quality care that will shape their thinking and planning.

Additionally, youth services and residential care staff and professionals attended Children and Residential Experiences (CARE) Seminars presented by Holden in Alice Springs and Darwin. The attendees were introduced to the CARE therapeutic care model and its six key principles of being:

  • developmentally-focused
  • family-involved
  • relationship-based
  • competence-centered
  • trauma-informed
  • ecologically-orientated

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: Australia    CARE    childhood    children    international    Martha Holden    RCCP    residential care   

Talks at Twelve: Shira Peterson, Thursday, January 19, 2012


Exploring Readiness to Change in the Early Care and Education Workforce
Shira Peterson, Research Associate, Children’s Institute

Thursday, January 19, 2012
12:15 – 1:15PM
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room

The concept of “readiness to change” is now widely integrated in fields such as substance abuse and health behavior change, yet it has not been applied in the context of early care and education, where pervasive low-quality care threatens children’s potential for positive development and well-being. Dr. Peterson will outline key principles from theory and research on readiness to change, and will describe how a structured approach to “meeting people where they are” could be an essential missing link in early childhood quality improvement efforts.

Shira Peterson, Ph.D., is a research associate at Children’s Institute, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening children’s social and emotional health. Dr. Peterson’s research focuses on supporting early educators and caregivers of young children, particularly in ways that recognize and respond to adults’ “stages of change.”

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: BCTR Talks at Twelve    childhood    Children's Institute    education    Shira Peterson