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Core Story

Cultivating Nature: Mapping the Gaps Between Expert and Public Understandings of Early Development in Australia

Communicating is complex. Often what we say is different from what is understood.

 To understand how we can communicate effectively, we need to understand culture. Cultivating Nature: Mapping the Gaps Between Expert and Public Understanding of Early Development in Australiainvestigates cultural models in Australia around early childhood development and learning. Cultural models are shared patterns of thinking that are used to interpret, organise and make meaning about a given topic.

The Report shares initial recommendations for communicators to use to create more effective messages about early development. The Phase II (2019-2020) research agenda is dedicated to designing and testing metaphors and frames to address the challenges in public understanding.  

Core Story example

People think about stress and adversity as character building – even for children. A story about early childhood needs to replace that story with one that helps people to understand that extreme, persistent stress damages developing brains.

Stories need to answer the question of why something really matters, how it works, and what is required to address it.

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