Childhood Education Innovations

Volume 96, Number 1

January/February 2020


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“Friends Around the World: One Globe Kids”
One Globe Kids is a new and unique way to engage the youngest global citizens. Developed by the nonprofit Globe Smart Kids, the program is also part of global competence research being conducted by the University of Kent in England. Through simulated contact, using digital play, stories, and activities, it offers intercultural experiences that feel like a pretend play date.



“Developmental Play: A new approach to understanding how all children learn through play”
Play is increasingly recognized as vital for learning and development. It is the language of childhood and children do it naturally. Unfortunately, adults often forget how we played as children, and associate play only with leisure activity and not with the development of the fundamental skills we need in adult life.



“Children Can Be Their Own Teachers: Disruptive innovation in education”
Can students learn to read, write, and do basic math through technology with little to no adult instruction? To help find the answer, 800 children age 6 to 10, who started the 2018-19 year as largely illiterate, took part in a randomized control trial in Malawi.


“Education Innovation Clusters: Supporting transformative teaching and learning”
In 2014, the U.S. Department of Education and the nonprofit Digital Promise began a formal effort to identify, catalyze, and convene EdClusters across the country. At Digital Promise, we work at the intersection of educators, researchers, and entrepreneurs to spur innovation in education. We believe in the power of networks to surface challenges and find the breakthrough practices that can close the digital learning divide and help students become lifelong learners.


“Opening Doors for People With Autism: Anderson Center International”
Located about 80 miles north of New York City, Anderson has long provided comprehensive educational, vocational, and residential services for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder. Rooted in the use of applied behavior analysis and other evidence-based practices, the nonprofit helps children and adults communicate, advocate for themselves, and acquire independent living skills.


“The Resilience Cascade: The best way to promote resilience in children is to foster resilient teachers”
Much of the existing research about resilience is focused on promoting this important life skill in young children. At the same time, more and more educators and researchers are emphasizing resilience as a tool to help teachers handle stress and avoid burnout. Educators who develop and nurture their own resilience are better equipped to foster resilience in children.


“Innovations in Learning: Design enhances engagement”
At Pine Street School in New York City, we have dispensed with the traditional industrial model of schooling and are looking ahead to the future. The entire school was designed with optional learning environments. Projects can be done in the classrooms, hallways, creative nooks, common areas—essentially anywhere students would like to work.


“Nyumbani: Caring for children with HIV in Kenya”
The HIV/AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa has been devastating. Over 200,000 Kenyan children under the age of 14 are infected with HIV and an estimated 1.1 million Kenyan children are orphaned due to AIDS. Nyumbani works in communities made vulnerable by this disease and the accompanying poverty to reduce transmission rates and improve quality of life for thousands of affected children and communities.


“Mobilizing Support for Early Childhood in Dar es Salaam”
The Uhuru Walk was born in 2014 (Uhuru means freedom, or independence, in Swahili) to mobilize and solicit business and community support for improving the state of early childhood education in families with low-income status or for children affected by fatal illnesses, such as cancer. Each year, up to 100 business sponsors rally to sponsor a public fund-raising event


“Education Diplomats as Leaders of Social Change”
Education as a social institution plays an important role in the child’s social development, which is the process by which the child learns to interact with others in their community and the larger society. Through education, children learn about social roles and social institutions. As children develop an understanding of their own individuality within their community, they also gain social skills to communicate with other people and process their actions.