Everyone has an opinion on parenting – where babies should sleep, what they should eat, and whether parents should spank, scold, or praise. What’s more, the media often offers support for whichever opinions appear most popular at any given time. This leaves those of us who like to base our decisions on firm, provable facts feeling dizzy.
“The Science of Parenting” addresses this confusion by moving beyond the chatter and opinion surrounding parenting, and by looking directly at the science. Parenting itself is far from a science. Nevertheless, scientists have conducted thousands of studies that can help parents – or future parents – make sensible, informed decisions.
One goal of this course will be to provide a survey of important scientific findings spanning a range of topics that are central to the lives of parents:
- screen time
- impulse control
Parents will also explore ongoing mysteries, like what causes autism, and why so many children are allergic to peanuts.
The course’s instructor, David Barner, is a leading authority on cognitive development. He is joined by leading experts on behavior genetics, vaccination, autism, lying, and spanking, as well as by real live parents who try to use science to inform their decisions. This class is suitable not only for parents, future parents, and grandparents, but also for professionals interested in health care, social work, and early childhood education who want to increase their knowledge and analysis skills.
The main contents of the course are:
- Core knowledge on topics including infant sleep, forms of discipline, breastfeeding, language and math learning, screen time, bilingualism, and autism.
- Analytical and applied techniques, including how to compute the contribution of genetics to a trait, how to understand and compute correlations, and how kids can effectively study for tests.
- Best practices for sleep training, discipline, and feeding.
According to edx.org