Why Early Education?
Published by U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2000, Eager to Learn: Educating Our Preschoolers by Barbara T. Bowman, etl at The Committee on Early Childhood Pedagogy, established by the National Research Council in 1997, states that “Children come into the world eager to learn. The first five years of life are a time of enormous growth of linguistic, conceptual, social, emotional, and motor competence. Right from birth a healthy child is an active participant in that growth, exploring the environment, learning to communicate, and, in relatively short order, beginning to construct ideas and theories about how things work in the surrounding world. The pace of learning, however, will depend on whether and to what extent the child’s inclinations to learn encounter and engage supporting environments. There can be no question that the environment in which a child grows up has a powerful impact on how the child develops and what the child learns.” The report also published some very powerful findings on early childhood learning and program effectiveness, which include:
- Young children are capable of understanding and actively building knowledge, and they are highly inclined to do so.
- Development is dependent on and responsive to experience, allowing children to grow far more quickly in domains in which a rich experiential base and guided exposure to complex thinking are available than in those where they receive no such support. Genetic endowment is far more responsive to experience than was once thought. Rapid growth of the brain in the early years provides an opportunity for the environment to influence the physiology of development.
- Education and care in the early years are two sides of the same coin. Research suggests that secure attachment improves both social competence and the ability to exploit learning opportunities.
Jack Shonkoff and Deborah Phillips, at the Committee on Integrating the Science of Early Childhood Development; National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, described in the book From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development that the explosion of research in the neurobiological, behavioral, and social sciences has generated a much deeper appreciation of:
- the importance of early life experiences on the development of the brain and the unfolding of human behavior;
- the powerful capabilities, complex emotions, and essential social skills that develop during the earliest years of life, and
- the capacity to increase the odds of favorable developmental outcomes through planned interventions.
U.S. National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies also published a summary report on Rethinking the Brain – New Insights into Early Development, and emphasized the following key points:
- The impact of environmental factors on the young child’s brain development is dramatic and specific, not merely influencing the general direction of development, but actually affecting how the intricate circuitry of the human brain is “wired.”
- The human brain has a remarkable capacity to change, but timing is crucial. The brain itself can be altered or helped to compensate for problems, with appropriately timed, intensive intervention. There are optimal periods of opportunity – “prime times” during which the brain is particularly efficient at specific types of learning. The first five years are the windows of opportunity for motor development, emotional control, vision, social attachment, vocabulary and math/logic.
- To have greater impact, interventions must be timely … if we miss opportunities to promote healthy development and learning, later remediation may be more difficult and expensive, and less effective.
- Evidence amassed by neuroscientists and child development experts over the last decade point to the wisdom and efficacy of prevention and early intervention.
The report is ended up with an appeal: we can take heart in the knowledge that there are many things we as a nation can do, starting now, to brighten young children’s future and ours.
- How to teach your baby to read by Glenn Doman and Janet Doman
- How to teach your baby math by Glenn Doman and Janet Doman
- How to give your baby encyclopedic knowledge by Glenn Doman, Janet Doman and Susan Aisen
- How to multiply your baby’s intelligence by Glenn Doman and Janet Doman
- How smart is your baby? by Glenn Doman and Janet Doman
- How to teach your baby to be physically superb by Glenn Doman, Douglas Doman and Bruce Hagy
- How to teach your baby to swim From Birth To Age Six by Douglas Doman
- Secret of childhood by Maria Montessori and M. Joseph Costelloe
- Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius by Angeline Stoll Lillard
- The absorbent mind by Maria Montessori
- The Montessori method (Illustrated Edition) by Maria Montessori
- Maria Montessori: her life and work by E.M. Standing
- Teaching Montessori in the home Pre-School Years by Elizabeth G. Hainstock and Lee Havis
- The education of Karl Witte; or, The training of the child by Karl Heinrich Gottfried
- Parenting Shichida method [Chinese] 0-6 years old by (RI) Qi Tian Zhen He Ying Yi