Within the Self-Regulation and Cognitive Development (SRCD) theme, experts from Education and Psychology conduct interdisciplinary research to understand processes underlying early self-regulation and cognitive development, with the practical goal of informing practices to support children's development, learning and well-being.
If we know exactly where a child is up to in their development, we can then target what we do specifically to what that child’s needs are, and will take them to the step of their development.
We need to know how we can empower those people who spend the most time with those children, to do things for the benefit of those children they’re working with.
My name is Steven Howard, Iam an associate professor in the School of Education and theme leader for the Self Regulation and Cognitive Development themes in Early Start.
The Self Regulation and Cognitive Development research group really looks at how children self regulation develops, why that's important and what we can do to support it.
So we know that self regulation is important for right now, it’s how we interact with the world, can we sit still, can we pay attention. That self regulation ability is going to allow us to resist impulses and interact independently and productively in our world and that’s going to translate throughout our life as well, it means that we won't make as many risky choices as adolescents, and we will engage more independently and productively as adults.
So what we then need to know is, what we can do to foster those abilities early on to set really good positive trajectories for young children.
One study in particular that we have recently finished is a study with 50 preschools and nearly 500 children, where we were looking at playful ways that we can support their self regulation development, the sorts of games and activities that we can do with young children in preschool, over the course of a year, that at the end of the year, we see those benefits, that we are trying to realise.
Self regulation is a really fruitful area for research. Those coming into the field is still lots of work to be done, we are trying to tackle this work as best we can and as efficiently as we can, but of course there is always room for collaborations from new researchers, from organisations that also have an interest or a passion in this and want to try out with us and co-develop things that we are looking at.
If we’re able to promote the self regulation of our youngest generation now, in 20 years we will have a generation of young adults who can interact independently in the world, make choices, that are considers rather than impulsive. That’s really what we want for our young children, to have productive and positive futures