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This page contains resources pertaining to Teacher Education, Parent Education and School Promotion. The site is used by educators from more than 60 countries and averages about 1800 views per month.

The information is presented in three different formats: articles, videos, and transcripts from a weekly on-line Q and A chat room called Ask a Mentor. The information is organized by class level, audience, content, and format. Resources pertaining to more than one area are cross-referenced.

Of particular convenience is the search feature at the bottom of the page. You can type in any word and all content with that word will be listed with a brief excerpt to help you find exactly what you are looking for.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Brain and Sensitive Periods

An article entitled “Your Child’s Brain” appeared in Newsweek Magazine a few years ago. It provided exciting information then as well as now. When a child is born, the brain is a jumble of neurons waiting to be connected - trillions and trillions of them “like the Pentium chips in a computer before the factory reloads the software.”

The article made the case that with the “right input at the right time, anything is possible.” And they implied, that if you “miss the window, you’re playing with a handicap.”

They wrote about “critical periods” --”windows of opportunity that nature flings open, starting before birth, and then slams shut, one by one, with every additional candle on the child’s birthday cake.” They also suggested that “neurobiologists are still at the dawn of understanding exactly which kinds of experiences, or sensory input, wire the brain in which ways.” They do know, however, that “connections are not forming willy-nilly, but are promoted by activity.”

While it is true that neurobiologists are only at the dawn of understanding how the brain works and thus, understanding which experiences are the most useful for our children, a visionary named Maria Montessori took a special interest in children almost 100 years ago, and her observations are daily being confirmed by the scientific community.

Maria Montessori made observations about “sensitive periods” -- times in the child’s development when he has special powers that enable him to learn certain skills with ease.

She observed that children learned more, and retained it longer when activity was associated with the learning.

Click here to read the full article:  braindevelop_v4.pdf

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