Education enables children to acquire academic achievements they will need to interpret life situations and make the best possible decisions. It also helps kids cope with stress by teaching them to be self-disciplined and to cooperate with others.
Hundreds of millions of children around the world are deprived of education, because poverty prevents them from going to school.
Social and Emotional Development
Children learn to be social by interacting with their peers and teachers. This is a foundation that influences all other forms of learning. It is important for students to feel connected, respected and cared about. When a child feels confident in herself and her ability to interact with others, she is better prepared for academic success.
Early social emotional development can be promoted in classrooms with small class sizes, lots of teacher interaction time and positive discipline strategies. Providing children with choices and letting them know they are respected and cared about promotes empathy, perspective taking and prosocial behavior (Matte-Gagne, Harvey & Stack, 2015).
A common misconception is that young kids do not understand concepts like cause and effect, number or symbol play. Many adults also underestimate children’s abilities to communicate their emotions and the feelings of others. These assumptions lead to the mistaken belief that it is inappropriate for teachers to talk about feelings with young kids.
Language and Literacy Development
Many studies have shown that language development is closely linked to literacy. Children who have abundant opportunities to interact with language from infancy through the kindergarten years develop neural pathways that lay the foundation for recognizing that speech has patterns, letters represent sounds, and print conveys a message.
The most effective way to foster language and literacy development in young children is to talk with them, read books with them and sing songs together. When caring adults discuss the world with children — from how recipes work to the rules of baseball — they plant seeds that help kids grow into curious thinkers, readers and writers.
The SDG4 agenda includes a commitment to quality education for all from birth to age 8 and calls for equitable access for all children regardless of their economic, cultural or socioeconomic status. The goal is to ensure that children are ready for school, so they can start learning and developing into healthy, confident individuals.
Children are naturally curious and want to know more about the world around them. Helping them to make sense of their experiences, analyse, compare and evaluate is essential in developing their thinking skills.
This is a vital life skill that can benefit them academically, professionally and socially. It allows them to think more independently and will allow them to come up with better judgements and enriched thought processes.
Kids build their critical thinking skills through the natural back and forth conversation they have with their parents or caregivers, interacting with friends or by playing board games. In addition, encouraging them to find out more about their own interests (such as asking them why the sky is blue or where does the sun go at night) will also develop their thinking abilities. It is important that they are not rushed or made to feel offended if their answers are different to those of adults as this can discourage their critical thinking development.
Cooperation teaches children the value of working together to achieve common goals. It builds trust with others, increases empathy, fosters pro-social skills, and promotes a sense of belongingness. It’s a critical foundation of family life and society.
Even very young toddlers can learn to cooperate if they are provided with opportunities to practice cooperation in daily routine activities, such as planting a garden or building a puzzle. They can also cooperate with other family members by helping each other to wash the car or prepare a meal.
Although every child reaches the cooperative stage of play at their own speed, by the age of three they are generally successful in tasks that require them to assign one another roles and rules during play. This flexibility helps them work through conflict that may arise while they are trying to reach their common goal.
When kids can see adults working together, they’ll be more likely to try to cooperate with other people, even in challenging situations. Try reading books or watching television shows about teamwork and cooperating with others.