If you need a short, credible, to the point case for the importance of early childhood education to share with parents, funders,      or other stakeholders, check out “The Science of Early Child Development,” a policy brief from the Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University.  This brief shares five concepts that illustrate the importance of our work:

  1. Brains are built over time, from the bottom up.

  2. The interactive influences of genes and experience shape the developing brain.

  3. The brain’s capacity for change decreases with age.

  4. Cognitive, emotional, and social capacities are inextricably intertwined throughout the life course.

  5. Toxic stress dama ges developing brain architecture, which can lead to life-long problems in learning, behavior, and physical mental health.

I especially like to focus on “cognitive, emotional, and social capacities are intertwined throughout the life course”   Think about your observations of young children.  Have you noticed that you can’t have the cognitive without the social? Can you give an example?  Can you make that visible in your room through photos and documentation?

 

 

I wanted to share a good article with you about research being done on the act of making things- some call it tinkering, some call it design and implementation. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

 

A group of Harvard researchers is teaming up with schools in Oakland, Calif. to explore how kids learn through making. Through an initiative called Project Zero, they’re investigating the theory that kids learn best when they’re actively engaged in designing and creating projects to explore concepts. It’s closely aligned with the idea of design thinking and the Maker Movement that’s quickly taking shape in progressive education circles.

Though it’s still in very early stages — just launched at the beginning of this school year — researchers and educators at the school want to know how kids learn by tinkering – fooling around with something until one understands how it works. They want to know what happens cognitively – how thislearning process helps form habits of mind, builds character and how it affects the individual.

To do that, they are working with both private and public schools in Oakland, headed by the Harvard researchers and 15 participating teachers who meet in study groups every six weeks to share ideas and to form a community.

“It’s not a lesson plan; it’s not a curriculum; it’s a way to look at the world.”

 

Harvard Wants to Know: How Does the Act of Making Shape Kids’ Brains? | MindShift.