This presentation provides a brief overview of early brain development with links made to early years practice. Questions are included to help practitioners reflect on their role in helping to positively influence early brain development.
Early Brain Development and Early Years Practice What’s the
By the end of this workshop, you should be able to:
1. Identify at least three key aspects of early brain
2. Show understanding of the connection between
early brain development and delivery of quality child
3. To think of at least one action you will implement in
your practice, as a result of this workshop
Ensuring that the brain achieves its optimum development and nurturing during this peak
period of growth is therefore vitally important, and enables babies to achieve the best start in life.
From birth to age 18 months, connections in the brain are created at a rate of one million
per second! The earliest experiences shape a baby’s brain development, and have a lifelong
impact on that baby’s mental and emotional health.
TAKEN FROM (AND USE MORE OF)
KNOW YOUR NEURONS…
Neurons: Brain cells which carry messages
through an electrochemical process. Neurons
work together to help us make sense of
what’s going on around us, to help us plan
what we’re going to do and – everything else
Synapses: The tiny spaces/networks between
Synaptic pruning: the elimination of synaptic
connections over the course of human
development, specifically shortly after birth
and during adolescence. Pruning is critical to
brain growth and learning
WHAT’S ALL THE FUSS?
Source: Corel, J.L. (1975) The postnatal development of the human cerebral cortex. Cambridge, MA: Harvard
THE YOUNG BRAIN IN TROUBLE
-rQ (53 secs)
What are the most salient points for you from
LINKING THE PIECES
WHAT DO THE 3 B’S LOOK LIKE IN PRACTICE?
1. What are the likely behaviours of a securely
2. How should the adult respond to nurture
learning and development?
3. What are the likely behaviours of an insecurely
4. How should the adult respond to nurture
learning and development?
PEER DISCUSSION AND FEEDBACK
Knowing about In practice looks like…
How can knowledge concerning the five key tenets of neuroscience and early years care and education help
to inform DAILY PRACTICE with young children?
THE DEVELOPING BRAIN:
PUTTING KNOWLEDGE INTO QUALITY PRACTICE
Be an emotional container for children when they cannot manage their emotions =
Raised cortisol levels during stress = impeded learning!
Be a safe base from which the child can develop confidence, independence and mastery
Engage in sustained shared thinking – show genuine interest, ask open ended questions,
reflect with the children, support and challenge children’s thinking
Scaffold each child’s learning – and know when to remove your support
Identify where a child is at AND help move them on (ZAD and ZPD)
Use the EYFS to plan and provide learning experiences in line with children’s stage of
Consider children’s emotional state and how this can impact on their ability to learn
TAKE AWAY TIME!
With the person beside you, discuss
one action you will implement in
your practice, as a result of this
Write your action on the post-it
Conkbayir, M. and Pascal, C. (2014) Early Childhood Theories and Contemporary Issues. London:
Conkbayir, M. (to be published in 2016) Early Childhood and Neuroscience: Theory, Research and
Implications for Practice. London: Bloomsbury.
Howard-Jones, P., Pickering, S. and Diack, A. (2007) Perceptions of the role of neuroscience in
education. London: Crown copyright 2007.
Oates, J., Karmiloff-Smith, A. and Johnson, M. H. (2012) Early Childhood in Focus 7: Developing
Brains. Milton Keynes: Open University.
Young Brains (2003) Research Report Number 444. London: Department for Education and Skills.
df = A good introduction to sustained shared thinking
THANK YOU FOR LISTENING
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