Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Earliest Years

I was especially interested in chapter 6 where it talked about the Impact of the Earliest Years on Student Success. It's mind boggling to think that what we've always known (talking to infants is critical to their later development) has such an impact on their education performance. It was also good for me to hear the correlation between the child's success and how it relates to their self esteem as they enter and then progress through their schooling. This lead me to many internal discussions on how we get this information to young parents and how the disruptinve concepts could be used to this end.


  1. I was also interested by the idea of teaching a high school course for 15-16 years old students instructing them in the value of talking to their infants. The author was suggesting this as a possible plan especially for children who grow up in poverty. It's a new twist on teaching prevention of childbirth as the statistics clearly show, one of the positions of power for kids in poverty is to have their own baby. So if they are going to have babies anyways, teaching them the value of talking to their babies is not a bad idea. It surely would help the young children when they are ready to begin kindergarten with perhaps fewer language issues.

  2. I agree it is important to get this information out and to work with new and potential parents. One could become "depressed" with the statement also in chapter 6 that certain "research is teaching us that a significant portion of a person's intellectual capacity is determined in his or her first 36 months." However, a recent brain/education conference I attended (Exploring the Interface IV, referenced in an earlier blog by Nancy) offered different and more hopeful research. The first presentation dealt with debunking "Four Little Neuromyths", the first myth being that the first three years of life are a critical period. She goes on to explain the that brain continues to develop well beyong the first three years and, in fact you can shape and reshape the brain all through life. This was further supported by the second speaker who spoke on "Brain Plasticity & Education" Brain plasticity occurs over a life time. She related this to reading and math development. It is never too late to learn, even for those who did not get the best early training and experiences. (This probably also applies to those of us trying to wrap out brains around new technology and disruption of our current way of thinking about things.)