Early Education - A MUST

Some folk in this group may find the following selected extracts from a research article at www.NoticeBoard.co.za/read.htm of some interest. (After all, anyone who repairs his/her own faucets is also a darn good parent :-) )
Quote:
Two of their most surprising and profound discoveries are that the brain uses the outside world to shape itself and that it goes through crucial periods in which brain cells must have certain kinds of stimulation to develop such powers as vision, language, smell, muscle control and reasoning.
''It's just phenomenal how much experience determines how our brains get put together,'' Pierson, a neurobiologist, said.
''If you fail to learn the proper fundamentals at an early age, then you are in big trouble. You can't suddenly learn to learn when you haven't first laid down the basic brain wiring. . . . That's why early education is so important, why Head Start is so important,'' she said, referring to the federally funded program for preschoolers.
But what the brain can do depends on whether or not it is used. It is the ultimate use-it-or-lose-it machine, and it is eager to learn new skills. The ability to form abstract thoughts, for instance, is now seen as a consequence of the brain's learning to read.
''In the same way that we evolved a certain cognitive abstract capability as a function of our capacity to read, there is every reason to believe that there are other untapped abstract capabilities of our brains that are not being developed by our traditional educational system.''
Long thought to be a clean slate to which information could be added at any time, the brain is now seen as a super-sponge that is most absorbent from birth to about the age of 12.
Thus, the brain can reorganize itself with particular ease early in life during crucial learning periods. Information flows easily into the brain through ''windows'' that are open for only a short duration. Then the windows close, and the fundamental architecture of the brain is completed.
''A kind of irreversibility sets in,'' Harvard's Earls said. ''There is this shaping process that goes on early, and then at the end of this process, be that age 2, 3 or 4, you have essentially designed a brain that probably is not going to change very much more.''
The best time to learn foreign languages, math, music and other subjects is between 1 and about 12 years of age, yet these years are usually put on pause, given over to youngsters to ''enjoy their childhood.''
Faced with the new evidence about how the brain develops and functions, many scientists are concluding that society is wasting a tremendous amount of the brain power of its young, and creating a lot of unnecessary problems-including crime, aggression and depression-later on in their lives.
That's not to say that all is lost if this early learning period is not optimized. Using the tools left over from shaping brain cells and their connections, the brain gives its owner a second chance. There is, however, a price to pay. Instead of being easy, learning becomes harder later on.
''If you want to significantly influence a child's ability to think and to acquire knowledge, the early childhood years are very critical,'' said neurobiologist Peter Huttenlocher of the University of Chicago, whose studies helped open the door to understanding the brain's plasticity.
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Justin Powers
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'In the same way that we evolved a certain cognitive abstract capability as a function of our capacity to read, there is every reason to believe that there are other untapped abstract capabilities of our brains that are not being developed by our traditional educational system.'''
ME: Do u mean the educational system that thinks our brains and abstract thinking came about by pure collisions of random accidents upon accidents originating from a random pond protozoa/ pond scum which allegedly came from a convenient sea of chemicals which came from NON-life which came from a totally accidental unpurposed Universe which came from nothing , unwilled, by No One ??!! (Makes a nice fairy tale for adults who 'dont want' there to be a Creator , doesnt it ; aka : Pride and arrogance)
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time
watch the History Channel....
-a|ex
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