Identify and explain current evidence based approaches to understanding children and young people’s behaviour
Evidence-based practice (EBP) is the integration of best research evidence with practice expertise and the values of service users and carers. Firstly, when looking at best practice strategies in our setting it is evident that a number of theorists have had much impact on how we interact and engage children in their learning and development. Theorists focused on cognitive development such as Piaget and Vygotsky stressed the importance of the social environment in helping children realise their potential. Whilst behaviourists like Skinner believed that children learn/develop through consequences and reinforcements after an initial behaviour. Other theorists, like Freud and Maslow, examined the influence of personality and motivation as factors that influence our behaviour. Bandura further highlighted the value of social interactions.
These studies and research have helped shape and model much of how we operate in the support we give children in their development and learning. EBP in infant, toddler, and early childhood psychology has the potential to improve the health of an increasingly diverse community by focusing on the needs of the youngest, most vulnerable members of society and the families charged with their care and nurturance. Although infant and early childhood psychology may seem like a narrow and specific area, evidence-based practice with young children and their families is vitally important, considering the broad implications for future long and short-term developmental outcomes There are many specific reasons for school psychologists’ current interest in infants, toddlers, and young children. For example, Premature and low birth weight (LBW) infants, especially very low birth weight (< 1500 grams), present unique challenges for early intervention since LBW is often a precursor for a myriad of developmental, medical, sensory, and learning difficulties.
We use observations and next steps within my setting as evidence based approach to understanding a child’s behaviour. Using evidence seen such as – a child gets unsettled with transitions during the daily routine – how can we use this evidence to best plan for the child. I.e. – in future give advance warning to any changes in the routine and offer support and comfort at times they find difficult thus the child growing in confidence. As a practitioner we apply knowledge to a situation that has been previously researched which allows us to make a well informed decision about future actions. Every day practise can be influenced by what we have learnt or found out from research, media, and colleagues. Professional practise is keeping up to date with these findings and using them to deliver best practise (using evidence and findings).
Within my setting we also understand and respect the importance of all agencies communicating and sharing information and evidence to see the ‘whole child’ using this evidence to shape our practise and how we plan between each other for the best of the child.
Courtney from Study Moose
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