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The Brain, Development and Learning in Early Childhood

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The emergence of new and non‐invasive brain imaging and scanning technologies has informed an unprecedented expansion in brain science, particularly in the area of developmental neurobiology. We have known for decades that brain growth and development is programmed from conception by information contained in our genes. Yet we are only beginning to observe and understand, at the cellular level of the brain, how stimuli from the external environment affect and control the use of that genetic information. Only in recent times has the brain come to the forefront of educational research and ideologies, particularly in regard to development and learning in early childhood. Decades of educational research involving young children give insights about early learning from different standpoints and some results complement ideas emerging through studies in neurology while others have no apparent connection at this time (Ansari, 2005; Slavin, 2002; Bruer, 1997).

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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