New Deliveries to Early Childhood Education
Fanshawe's Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs will now be using incredibly lifelike SIM babies for hands-on demonstration, practice and learning. Equipped with wireless technology, these manikins create realistic infant care experiences because they are programmed to communicate when they need to be fed, burped, rocked, diapered and held. Detailed simulation reports provide valuable data for assessing student performance. "Teachable moments" for students occur in reviewing their reports and reflecting on the challenges they encountered throughout the infant care experience. ECE professor Tina Bonnett, who teaches the Early Development & Relationships Course feels these babies will be integrated into course content well. "Can't wait to get going with all of this," she says.
Fanshawe faculty, staff and students with the new SIM babies:
Left to right, back row: Carol Tracy, Justin Robichaud, Tina Bonnett, Gail Brown.
Front row: Dustin Ellis, Meg Burke and Brittany Sedore
In addition to healthy babies, there are manikins with Shaken Baby, Drug-Affected and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Students will learn about the consequences of unhealthy choices made by a parent or caregiver. These SIM babies will have a high impact when teaching and learning about infant health promotion, child abuse prevention and substance abuse awareness. The manikins will be integrated into ECE courses and used in a public awareness campaign across the college.
ECE faculty are still learning about the new SIM babies. The "typical baby" comes equipped with a wand that initiates his/her cry. When the student responds in the appropriate way, by changing the diaper, or burping or cuddling the baby, it then coos with happiness!
of the special needs babies is unique. For example the Shaken Baby
(in photo at left with field practicum coordinator Carol Tracy) cries
non-stop until it is shaken. This baby's head is clear plastic so the brain is visible.
Students can then see what part of the brain has been damaged. Students are guided
through a process where they consider how they personally would deal with an
"inconsolable" baby. What coping skills would they use? - Step out of earshot of the
crying, call a friend or...? Students then sign a pledge that they will never shake a baby.
Field practicum coordinator Carol Tracy says, "The [Government of Ontario] Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund enabled the purchase of these manikins for the School of Human Services and we envision integrating their use with other programs for Inter-professional Education."
Fanshawe programs interested in using the SIM babies include Nursing, Social Services Worker, Child and Youth Worker, Paramedic and Developmental Services Worker. The manikins are a welcome addition to all the ECE Programs - Early Childhood Education Diploma, Early Childhood Educator Apprenticeship Program, Early Childhood Leadership Degree and ECE Fast Track. More in-depth programming will happen in May and June to look at how to effectively integrate them into course curricula. The first course to use them will be Infant Toddler Learning Environment in May and June 2011.