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Research shows: Early learning initiatives are important

The Alfie Atkins Cultural Centre has an excellent way of combining play with learning and giving children opportunities to learn things at an early age, according to university lecturer Annika Åkerblom.
“It’s important to detect potential learning difficulties early on and deal with them immediately. And children’s education needs to take place throughout society,” she says.

Annika works at the Department of Education, Communication and Learning at the University of Gothenburg. She sees the Alfie Atkins Cultural Centre’s activities as an excellent complement to the curricula in preschools and schools.
“School teachers typically hold some of their lessons outdoors in nature or in other places outside school. Similarly, it’s very valuable for children to spend time in a cultural centre,” she says.
As a university lecturer, she has broad knowledge of children’s learning processes.
“Research widely suggests that when children are introduced at an early age to subjects such as natural science and are encouraged to explore new ways of thinking, it has a significant impact on their future development,” Annika explains.

Studies show that children are interested in advanced things such as scientific phenomena, and that preschool age is an ideal time for learning.
“It’s to do with understanding the world around them and their role in it. Children are extremely open and interested. They want to understand how the world works,” says university lecturer Annika Åkerblom.
She is convinced that activities like the chemistry project at the Alfie Atkins Cultural Centre are important for children.
“Children find these activities fun and engaging and come away with the idea of chemistry as an exciting and approachable subject. It gives them confidence and makes them feel they can conquer the world by understanding complex concepts such as chemistry at molecular level,” she explains.
“The most important results of our research show that children are very good at grasping these phenomena, especially in situations where they learn through participation, action and reflection.”