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Cognitive Development Newsletter W2018

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PSYC 451 W2018

Message from the Editor

Every year, hundreds of researchers at dozens Canadian universities produce novel, important, and useful research on Child Development. This research is written into scholarly articles and showcased at academic research conferences. Occasionally, selective research findings are reported by newspapers, and media outlets in Canada.
Truthfully, most research conducted in the Ivory Towers of university does not reach its desired audience. Parents, teachers, childcare workers, and general audiences often are completely left out of our reporting system. The transmission of scientific knowledge from researchers to policymakers is especially problematic, with policies often being developed in reflection of outdated research. In short, Child Development researchers need to communicate research findings in more diverse ways.

This initial Newsletter project aims to address this problem. Most university undergraduate degree programs in Developmental Psychology focus on scholarly and academic writing, but not on the transmission of academic findings to non-scientific audiences. This is true despite the fact that most undergraduate Developmental Psychology students will pursue careers in education, law, public health, social work, government, and private business. Learning how to understand, critique, explain, and report on research findings in an accessible format is currently an overlooked skill, and one that I want to foster in my students.
This semester, the Winter 2018 cohort of Psychology 451: Cognitive Development engaged in a term-long class project. Each student selected a research article that has been published in a reputable, peer-reviewed journal in Developmental Psychology and then reported a summary of the article for general audiences. The reviews has been edited by our Teaching Assistants, Clara Lee and Devon Currie, by class students in a peer-review exercise, and by myself. I was immensely impressed with the quality of the work, and I hope you will be too.

Topics selected for discussion include the importance of bilingualism amongst children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, best practices for reading with your children, the impact of parenting and sibling relationships, the particular barriers of ADHD on child development, the importance of self-regulation, and more. There is certainly something for everyone.

Please enjoy our first edition of Cognitive Development Research Findings.
Kathleen Hughes, PhD, Instructor, Department of Psychology, Kathleen.hughes@ucalgary.ca

Find more information here.