As we continue to develop research simulations, this week we were asked to explore international websites and some research being conducted in their countries. I selected Early Childhood Development Virtual University (ECDVU) Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Upon first examination of the research portal I discovered an array of studies ranging from the development and implementation of childcare programs, to examining the roles of parents and indigenous communities in such countries as Malawi and Gambia. As I continue to explore the social and cognitive development of children living in poverty face during their early developmental years, I decided to take a closer look at two specific studies.
The first study “Indigenous Knowledge and Practices of Parents and Families Regarding Psychosocial Care for Children in Three Rural Countries in The Gambia: Implications for UNICEF Programming in IECD” (Sagnia, 2004) focused on how they could use their knowledge of Indigenous play and social interaction to further develop UNICEF’s early childcare programs. For the purpose of the study psychosocial included all aspects of social, moral, cognitive and emotional development of the children (Sagnia, 2004).
The second study “A Community-driven Rural Early Childhood Development (ECD) Project, with Emphasis on Culturally and Developmentally Appropriate Exploratory Learning Concepts” (Day, 2004) was conducted in Malawi. The purpose of the study was to provide quality information through interviews and observations with families, children and educational professionals on how to develop early childhood learning centers in rural communities where poverty and other circumstances kept children from receiving critical early childhood development resources.
Although I only briefly reviewed each study, it was interesting to note how similar their contributing factors matched in regards to cultural differences and the communities they targeted. Sagnia’s (2004) approach centered on Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory in which the total environment of the child should be examined as it plays a critical role in their overall development. Day’s (2004) approach focused the importance of play in learning, social and cultural context during the early developmental years of children. Both studies participants centered around rural areas where attention is needed to development culturally sound and age appropriate programs for the development of children. I found their work and interests to be no different from that of our own with the differences between that poverty is more visible in their countries than our own, and how cultural traditions between different tribes also plays a role in the social and emotional development of their children.
Day, C. (2004). A Community-driven Rural Early Childhood Development (ECD) Project, with Emphasis on Culturally and Developmentally Appropriate Exploratory Learning Concepts. Retrieved from http://www.ecdvu.org/ssa/documents/major_projects/Day%20-%20MP%20Final%20-%20UVic%20LP.pdf