Australian children to benefit from early childhood studies

6 DECEMBER 2012

Two projects, led by Charles Sturt University (CSU), have been awarded a total of nearly $0.6 million from the Australian Research Council (ARC) to improve the educational outcomes and wellbeing of all Australian children.

Two projects, led by Charles Sturt University (CSU), have been awarded a total of nearly $0.6 million from the Australian Research Council (ARC) to improve the educational outcomes and wellbeing of all Australian children.
 
The first CSU-led study has secured funding of just over $300 000 from the ARC’s highly competitive Discovery Projects scheme. The project considers the impact of the Early Years Learning Framework and the Australian Curriculum on transition of children to school in Australia.
 
Through extensive interviews and surveys, led by Professors Sue Dockett and Bob Perry from the CSU School of Education in Albury-Wodonga, the project will gather evidence to influence theoretical, policy and practice approaches to transition to school.
 
The second CSU-led study to secure an ARC Discovery Project grant of over $280 000 examines innovative technology to promote speech and pre-literacy skills in at-risk preschoolers. This research, known as ‘A sound start’, will be headed by Professor Sharynne McLeod from the University’s Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education (RIPPLE) in Bathurst and Dr Jane McCormack from the CSU School of Community Health in Albury-Wodonga. Read more about Dr McCormack on CSU News here.
 
Professor McLeod said, “One in five Australian preschoolers have speech impairment and without specialist services face an increased risk of reading difficulties and life-long consequences.”
 
“Given that demand for services exceeds supply; this project will determine if a preschool computer-based service can promote speech development and reduce the risk of reading difficulty.”
 
Professor McLeod, a Professor of Speech and Language Acquisition at CSU, recently established a new online resource for professionals world-wide who are working with multilingual children with speech sound disorders. Read more on CSU News here.
 
The two projects are part of the Early Years Education Collaborative Research Network (CRN),  which involves a pool of early years education researchers from CSU, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Monash University.
 
One of the CRN’s key researchers and Foundation Professor of Early Childhood Education at CSU, Jennifer Sumsion from the School of Teacher Education in Bathurst said the success of this latest ARC funding round marks very important progress towards achieving the ambitious goals of the Collaborative Research Network.
 
The network aims to build research capacity in early years education in Australia. Of the 15 Discovery Project grants awarded nationally in the field of educational research, five were CRN projects; two grants to CSU, two to QUT and one to Monash University.
 
The three year Early Years Education Collaborative Research Network is supported by the federal Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.

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