Innovative research programs that deliver evidence-based, real-world solutions are vital in addressing the issues of disadvantage and social inclusion core to the Early Start mission of transforming lives through education.
Early Start research investigates issues of local, national and international significance related to the early years of life and aims to have a demonstrable social and economic impact.
Leading research is already taking place across the three theme areas of public health; learning, design, cognition and pedagogy; and social inclusion through the Early Start Research Institute.
Examples of research projects underway at ESRI include:
- A study investigating the short-term effects of a reduced sitting pre-school day on energy expenditure, musculoskeletal health, and cognitive development
- Research exploring the disengagement of youth from low-socioeconomic backgrounds in school and the relationship between school engagement and attendance at university
- Conceptualising digital play: The role of tablet technologies in the development of imaginative play of young children
By providing connections between academics and practitioners that allow a cooperative, two-way approach – such as through the Early Start Engagement Centres – our model aims to foster an environment that inspires critical thinking, innovative new approaches and novel research projects that translate rapidly into policy and practice.