Furman's 'Learning Lab' recruiting toddlers
- Monday, 18 July 2011
- Written by Valerie Richardson
Looking for something fun to do with your toddler this summer? If you are, a visit to the Baby Learning Lab at Furman University may be in order.
The Lab, run by Furman Developmental Psychology Professor Dr. Erin Hahn, is currently recruiting two to five-year-olds in a study designed to help understand how children learn so much information in such a short period of time.
"The first five years are a period of remarkable growth and development,” said Hahn. “A child that age can learn four to five languages effortlessly."
Assisted by Psychology students Hillary Taylor and Melinda Cleveland, along with Travelers Rest High School teacher Erin EuDaly, the group designs and builds the unique tools and games that are used during the studies.
"All studies are set up as games, so no child realizes they are being studied,” said Hahn.
Two separate studies are currently in progress, the first is for two-year-old children. Each child is given a set of tools they've never seen, shown the ideal way to use them, and then asked to play using the tools. The second study is for three, four, and five-year-old children, and they play the opposite game.
This is not an individual assessment of the child, the data is used to see how a group of 40 or more children learn about the world around them.
"The children think they are in a new play environment with us,” says Hahn. "In reality, we are getting some interesting [group] data”.
The studies last from 40 minutes to an hour. Parents are always with their child, and each participant is given either a t-shirt, a teddy bear, or a book as a reward for their efforts.