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Can exposure to the news improve learning?


The Week Junior welcomes new study which finds discussing current affairs with children can have significant benefits for child development.

A new research report has found that explaining real world news in a way that stimulates curiosity, supports the development of critical thinking skills, improves resilience and enhances cognitive growth.

Over 1000 children aged 8-15, teachers and parents were surveyed as part of the study by child development expert Dr Jacqueline Harding.

Key findings:

  • Children expressed their belief that learning about real world events or news increases their motivation to learn - a view supported by both parents and teachers.
  • Engaging in discussion and giving children the tools to understand real world events has the potential to deepen academic learning and enhance cognitive growth.
  • Building a child’s resilience will support the transition period to secondary school.
  • Discussing current affairs can support the development of critical thinking skills.


Dr Harding recommends closer co-ordination between home and school to help equip parents with the tools to talk about difficult subjects, supporting children make sense of the world around them and spark curiosity.

For more information, please contact Sara Ghaffari at PLMR on 0203 691 9434

Anna Bassi – Editor, The Week Junior

 This research is an important step to raising awareness of the many benefits that come with discussing global and political events with children.

Lord Jim Knight - Chief Education Adviser TES

This is an interesting report which highlights a number of benefits that come with empowering children to make sense of the world around them. Stimulating the minds of young people is very important and educational resources, such as The Week Junior magazine, can support teacher and parents alike.

Dr Jaqueline Harding - Tomorrow's Child

I believe there is an opportunity for teachers and parents to give young people even more tools to become the curious, critical thinkers of tomorrow.