Children’s rights are the human rights of children with particular attention to the rights of special protection and care afforded to minors. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) of 1989 defines a child as any human person who has not reached the age of eighteen years.
Children’s rights includes their right to association with both parents, human identity as well as the basic needs for physical protection, food, universal state-paid education, health care, and criminal laws appropriate for the age and development of the child, equal protection of the child’s civil rights, and freedom from discrimination on the basis of the child’s race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, disability, colour, ethnicity, or other characteristics. Interpretations of children’s rights range from allowing children the capacity for autonomous action to the enforcement of children being physically, mentally and emotionally free from abuse, though what constitutes “abuse” is a matter of debate. Other definitions include the rights to care and nurturing ( Bandman, 1999).
Bandman, B. (1999) Children’s Right to Freedom, Care, and Enlightenment. Routledge. p 67.
Children with ADHD face difficulties with focus, hyperactivity and impulsivity, which can make it harder to learn in the classroom. Here are some accommodations that can assist them.
Speaking two languages (or more) has practical benefits for the person. Here are some facts about bilingualism:
1. Bilingualism actually grows grey matter! Brain scans reveal a greater density of grey matter in areas of the brain associated with language processing in people who learned a second language under the age of five (Mechelli A., et al., 2004).
2. Bilinguals develop strong thinking and cognitive skills.
3. They cultivate greater cultural awareness since they are more exposed to more than one culture.
4. They understand better math concepts due to abstract thinking.
5. Focus and make decisions easier. They are more certain of their choices after thinking them over in their second language.
6. They are good multitaskers since they are able to switch between two tasks.
7. Their memory is strong. Learning a language involves memorizing rules and vocabulary which strengthens the mental muscle.
8. They have increased reading comprehension.
9. A multilingual brain is quicker and more resistant to Alzheimer’s.
10. Bilingual children do better in education. They have been shown to be better than their monolingual peers at focusing on a task while tuning out distractions. This seemingly enhanced ability to concentrate has also been found in bilingual adults, especially those who became fluent in two languages at an early age. It is thought that being able to filter things out when switching language enhances the brain’s ability to focus and ignore irrelevant information.
Play is important for the mental, physical and psycho-social development of children. Through play, the child has the chance to explore the world, interact with others, connect and bond with parents, express and control emotions, develop symbolic and problem-solving abilities, and practice emerging skills. Research shows the links between play and foundational capacities, such as memory, self-regulation, oral language abilities, social skills and success in school (NAEYC, n.d.).
Play and child development
Recently, I found these resources on how the parents could help their children succeed in school and I would really like to share them with you. They are made by Jodi Southard, a very inspiring first grade teacher from Indiana. You can visit her Facebook page here.
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According to Vygotsky (1978) the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) relates to the difference between what a child can achieve independently and what a child can achieve with guidance and encouragement from a skilled partner. For example, a child can not solve the jigsaw puzzle by himself but if he receives support from a teacher or a parent, he will be able to solve it. This will help him to develop competence at this skill that will be applied to future jigsaws.
Scaffolding is not a term that Vygotsky actually used but it is a concept that developed based on his work. It means that a teacher or a more advanced peer helps a student to complete a task that he can’t do on his own. The scaffolding has to be gradually reduced and eventually be removed since the student can complete the task on their own.
Read also: Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Learning Theory
According to Piaget (1936), children are born with a very basic mental structure (genetically inherited and evolved) on which all subsequent learning and knowledge is based. Piaget worked with the idea that the things people know are organized into schemas. (think of schemas as “units” of knowledge, each relating to one aspect of the world). When a child learns something new, they either assimilate it into an existing schema, change their schema, or develop a new schema. When we activate background knowledge before introducing a new knowledge we are helping students draw upon their existing schema.
Read also: Piaget’s Τheory of Cognitive Development
According to Skinner (1993), behaviour is influenced by what happens before (antecedents) and immediately after it (consequences). So, behaviorism it’s the idea that praise and rewards positively reinforce a behavior and encourage kids to continue with it. Skinner believed that punishments are counterproductive and that humans act in a way to avoid punishment and gain reward. If you praise your students for doing something right, display a good work etc, you are using behaviourism to guide students towards the behaviors and actions of successful adults.
Read also: Skinner’s Programmed Instruction Educational Model