- #UKEdChat session 569
- Infants brought up in the pandemic show poorer verbal and motor skills, research finds.
- The causes for pandemic impacts of child-development are numerous.
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Research from the US, available as a pre-print on medRxiv (pronounced “med-archive”) finds that the pandemic has had significant deleterious effects on the neurodevelopment, as well as verbal, motor skills in infants compared to those born before the pandemic. The causes are numerous, including reduced opportunities to socialise in settings such as day-care or interactions with family beyond the household, or simply the heightened stress levels of adults concerned about health, jobs, and finances.
Thus far, the conversation in educational circles has been to mitigate any effects of the pandemic from missing face-to-face teaching for school-aged children. Yet, perhaps a bigger concern may be for the cohort of children in this pre-school stage, who have largely been brought up in the age of pandemic.
In this #UKEdChat session, which took place on Thursday 9th September 2021 at 8pm(UK), we discussed what, if anything, schools can do now to support this cohort of pre-schoolers, and looked to the future to prepare for when, potentially, a higher on-average proportion of children with poorer social and motor skills enter our schools. We also discuss the moral implications of whether teachers should focus on the here and now, verse diverting energy away from the pupils they teach now to assist a future cohort, perhaps with greater long-term need.
- What educational issues do you envisage for infants brought up in the time of the pandemic?
- How can schools develop any reduced social skills in young children brought about by the pandemic?
- How can schools develop any reduced motor skills in young children brought about by the pandemic?
- What community outreach can schools do to assist pre-schoolers to ensure they are ‘school ready’?
- What can all teachers do to support early years colleagues in closing any gap in social and motor skills of infants brought up during the pandemic?
- What do you think will be the long-term impacts on children born during the pandemic?
- How do you think early years education may change as a result of the pandemic, and during future pandemics?
- Should individual teachers focus completely on their current classes, or should they assign some energy looking ahead to future cohorts, where early intervention may have greater impact?