Born to socialize – new methodology for interacting with young children

From the moment they are born, babies make contact with the world around them. Using their eyes and hands, their body and their voice, they react to impressions and give messages. How do you understand their signals? Is a baby crying because he’s hungry or wants to be cuddled? Does he want peace and quiet or does he want to play? Does he understand what you say? We believe that infants understand a lot and that they like to také the initiative. But how can you understand them and how can you respond to their initiatives?

The Born to socialize project of the Karel de Grote University College Antwerpen answers the questions above using current insights based on recent scientific research. The material is intended for pedagogical support staff in various organisations that work with infants.

In the beginning of the ProChil project 6 topics were part of the Born to socialize material, which were then translated to English and adapted to the project’s needs:

  • Theme 1: crying
  • Theme 2: recognising faces and emotions
  • Theme 3: imitating and predicting
  • Theme 4: conversing through vocalisations
  • Theme 5: pointing and vocalising
  • Theme 6: following a gaze

During the ProChil project the material were finalized and a 7th and 8th topic was added especially for the purposes of the ProChil Curriculum for Early Childcare Professionals.

  • Theme 7: cooperation
  • Theme 8: friendship

In contrast to the other parts of the curriculum the Born to socialize methodology is intended to being used for in-staff training rather than for initial training, because it presents the topic using a step-by-step plan for three learning phases of the ECEC professionals:

  • reflection
  • observation
  • implementation

Even if the topic of Born to socialize is very specific, the ProChil team decided to include it to the Curriculum, because it represents a new and innovative way of learning through doing and it can significantly contribute to the quality of ECEC services provided through boosting the skills of ECEC professionals in ProChil countries.