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Self-Learning Unit I: The Science of Early Brain Development
Information from experts about brain development. This information lays the ground work for understanding the ways that experiences (negative and positive) shape our brain and behavior.
Goal: Develop an understanding of the key ideas about early brain development
- Develop an understanding of brain structure and how it changes in early childhood.
- Increase knowledge about the connection between the brain, genes, and experience.
- Describe the connections between mental, emotional and social development for children.
- Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University: Key Concepts – “Brain Architecture” and “Serve and Return”. Video presentations and other materials that explain core ideas about early brain development.
- Alberta Family Wellness Initiative: Building Better Brains. Video presentations about brain science and epigenetics.
Self-Learning Unit II: Toxic Stress and the Impact on Child Development
Information from experts about trauma, toxic stress and their effect on development.
Goal: Develop an understanding of trauma and toxic stress and how they impact child development.
- Define stress and levels of stress.
- Describe the young child’s experience of stress.
- Discuss the long term effect of trauma and toxic stress on development, health and mental health.
- Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University: Key Concepts – “Toxic Stress” Video presentation and other materials that explain the impact of toxic stress.
- Alberta Family Wellness Initiative: Building Better Brains. Video presentation about the brain and toxic stress.
- TED Talk: Dr. Nadine Burke Harris How Childhood Trauma Affects Health across a Lifetime.
Self-Learning Unit III: Supporting Recovery and Building Protective Factors
Information from experts about supporting recovery and protective factors for children.
Goal: Develop the ability to support recovery and build protective factors for children.
- Understand the social emotional skills that young children need.
- Define five protective factors for children and families.
- Understand resilience and how to nurture it in children.
- Michigan Department of Health and Human Services: “Social and Emotional Health Toolkit.” Materials to use in promoting the positive social and emotional health of all children.
- Center for the Study of Social Policy: “Strengthening Families” Information and materials about the Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework.
- Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University: Key Concepts – “Resilience” Video presentation and other materials about resilience and how to nurture it in children.
- Michigan Department of Education: Integrating Mental Health in Schools Toolkit. Tools needed to assess a school district’s approach to mental health and improve educational performance through community collaboration.
- Search Institute: Developmental Assets. 40 research-based, positive experiences and qualities that influence young people’s development.
Self-Learning Unit IV: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) Study
Information about the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study and what it tells us about the prevalence and long term consequences of trauma and toxic stress.
Goal: Develop an understanding of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) study and its implications.
- Describe the ACEs study and ACES pyramid.
- Discuss the prevalence of ACEs.
- Understand the long term impact of ACEs.