Debbie has over 30 years’ experience in the learning and development field, most recently as a consultant working across the private, public and third sectors.
Debbie is a qualified mentor and coach and offers bespoke training through her company Stonegate training. All of her work is underpinned by pioneering, and contemporary theory and research. Debbie has particular research interests in early childhood, leadership, neuroscience, PSED/wellbeing (for children & staff), imposter syndrome in the early years’ workforce, Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Model (2006), and autoethnography.
And she has written the most fascinating book – Little Brains Matter: A Practical Guide to Brain Development and Neuroscience in Early Childhood – part of The Little Minds Matter series, curated by Sonia Mainstone-Cotton for Routledge.
In this interview we discuss chapter 5 – The Role of the Adult – of the book and how Urie Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model can be used to explain children’s brain development.
Debbie explains that before children can self-regulate, they may need help from adults to calm down and regulate their emotions. She also discusses the fight, flight, or freeze response caused by spikes in hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which can make it difficult for children to think straight until their systems return to normal.
Debbie emphasizes the importance of physical touch in helping children calm down, as it sends messages to the brain that everything is okay. She also mentions the work of Professor Francis McGlone, whose research on skin-to-skin contact is important in understanding how physical touch can help regulate emotions.
We discuss what may happen when children are under ‘toxic stress’ and Debbie has some key advice for practitioners, educators and teachers on becoming better ‘Brain Builders’
This episode is exclusively available for Early Years TV Premium members.
Not a Premium member?
EYTV Premium gives you instant access to all 250+ of our amazing videos with a free Professional Development Certificate for every interview you watch.
And at just £12.50 per month It really is the very best value high quality professional development you can get!