What affects children’s learning? Sowing the seeds of lifelong learning

What is it that impacts a child’s capacity to learn? It is now well-recognised that the early years of life are crucial to a child’s capacity to learn as teenagers and even adults; early childhood is when the foundations of learning are laid, or when much of the ‘wiring’ of a child’s brain is laid.

Research undertaken by the Government of Victoria (2010) indicates that children’s development and learning are affected by a number of things, such as:

The child’s genetics and temperament – the makeup of the child generally.

This incorporates the child’s personality, traits they have inherited from their parents, even their gender, and their state of health.

The child’s immediate external environment – who and what is around them.

Family relationships, the parenting style they are exposed to, even factors such as the parents’ level of education, what the child’s parents do for a living, the parents’ mental and physical health and their financial situation

The child’s wider external environment – the community they live in

Influences the child is exposed to, such as where they live, and the services they might access. This is where the safety of their local neighbourhood, how supported their parents are, and whether they live in secure and reliable housing all impact on a child’s capacity to learn

The rest of the community – the culture the of where the child lives

Different cultures create different styles of parenting, different beliefs and values. This inevitably influences beliefs in how children should be educated. This is another important factor in what impacts a child’s learning, and capacity to learn.

Research shows that positive experiences, such as access to quality and interesting interaction with adults, are crucial to ensuring healthy brain development, compared to negative experiences, such as neglect or abuse.

If you are passionate about ensuring our most precious members of the community can have positive experiences to facilitate their lifelong learning, then speak to WDEA Works training division about how you can make it your career.

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