Get Ready for School: Child Development and Self-Regulation
with Megan McClelland, associate professor, Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families at Oregon State University
If you want to know if your kindergartener will succeed in school, look to Simon Says for an answer. Or to Red Light/Green Light. Or to the marshmallow game. These activities give children an opportunity to demonstrate self-regulation, the ability to control their behavior, thoughts and emotions.
“We’re talking about being able to sit still, follow directions and play well with other kids,” says Megan McClelland, associate professor in the Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences. To be prepared for school, “they need to have some self control as well as some basic academic skills.”
McClelland specializes in early childhood development. At the September Corvallis Science Pub, she will discuss her research on school readiness. She’ll demonstrate games that parents can use to determine if their child is ready for school. She’ll also suggest activities that parents can do with their children to improve self-regulation.
In a recently published study, McClelland and a colleague at the University of Pittsburgh showed that 3- to 6-year-old boys in the United States lagged behind girls in self-regulation. Such a gender gap does not appear in Taiwan, South Korea and China.
Self-regulation turns out to be critical for success later in life as well. In 2012, McClelland reported that stronger self-regulation in young children is associated with later success in college.
McClelland is the director of the Early Childhood Research Core in the Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families at Oregon State. Her research focuses on social and cognitive development in young children and pathways to school readiness.
Held on the second Monday of the month, 6 to 8 p.m. in the Old World Deli, 341 2nd St. in Corvallis, Science Pub is sponsored by the Downtown Corvallis Association and Terra magazine at Oregon State University. No RSVP or scientific background required. Just bring your curiosity, sense of humor, and appetite for food, drinks, and knowledge!