ERIC Number: ED409110
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Apr-17
Reference Count: N/A
Brain Development and Its Relationship to Early Childhood Education.
New research on brain development has profound implications in the areas of child development and education. This review of the research describes how the brain develops to shape children's growing intelligence, addressing such questions as: (1) What are the brain's functions? (2) What are the critical or sensitive periods in brain development? (3) How can teachers take advantage of these "windows of learning?" (4) How much is mental ability influenced by environment and how much by heredity? (5) Is it better to teach to the whole brain, or is left brain/right brain theory better? (6) How does brain development influence language? and (7) How can parents get involved in their child's learning? The paper begins with a presentation of relevant definitions, such as brain development, cerebrum, dendrites, neurons, and plasticity. It next presents brief histories of early childhood education, discussing such theorists as Froebel, Montessori, and J. M. Hunt, and of brain studies, including the work of Wiesel and Hubel and of Epstein. The paper then discusses major issues and controversies in brain research, such as the windows of learning for various functions and subjects, the inseparability of brain structure and function (or of heredity and environment), and left brain/right brain learning. The paper next explores important programs and contributors to the incorporation of brain research into early childhood education, including Caine and Caine's (1995) Dry Creek Elementary in Rio Linda, California, and Blythe and Gardner's (1990) Project Spectrum, based on his work with multiple intelligences. The paper concludes with a synthesis and analysis of brain research's relationship to early childhood education, including brain-based learning, and with a set of recommendations for educators. Contains 28 references. (EV)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Brain Based Learning; Brain Development; Brain Growth
Note: Paper presented at the EDEL 695 Seminar in Elementary Education (Long Beach, CA, April 17, 1997).