Advertisement

Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 351–361 | Cite as

Neuroscience, Play and Early Childhood Education: Connections, Implications and Assessment

  • Stephen RushtonEmail author
  • Anne Juola-Rushton
  • Elizabeth Larkin
Article

Abstract

Paralleling the works of Cambourne’s Conditions of Literacy Learning (The Reading Teacher, 54(4), 414–429, 2001), Copple and Bredekamp’s (Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs serving children from birth though age. National Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington, 2009) Developmentally Appropriate Practices and the findings from the field of Neuroscience this article explores the important components of creating an active, stimulating learning environment; one purposely designed to actively engage the minds of young children in order to help strengthen their neurological networks. The article concludes its exploration with the role of “mirror neurons” in the learning environment and how they affect the young child's mood, emotions, and empathy.

Keywords

Neuroscience Mirror neurons DAP Cambourne’s conditions Learning environment 

References

  1. Amici, S., & Boxer, A. (2009). Oiling the gears of the mind: Roles for acetycholine in the modulation of attention. In B. L. Miller & J. L. Cummings (Eds.), The human frontal lobe. New York: The Guildford Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bergen, D., & Coscia, J. (2001). Brain research and childhood education: Implications for educators. Olney, MD: Association for Childhood Education International.Google Scholar
  3. Bredekamp, S., & Copple, C. (Eds.). (1987). Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.Google Scholar
  4. Bredekamp, S. & Copple, C. (1997). Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.Google Scholar
  5. Caine, R. N., & Caine, G. (1997). Education on the edge of possibility. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.Google Scholar
  6. Cambourne, B. (2001). Conditions for literacy learning: Turning learning theory into classroom instruction. A minicase study. The Reading Teacher, 54(4), 414–429.Google Scholar
  7. Carr, J., Fauske, J., & Rushton, S. (2008). Teaching and leading from the inside out: A model for reflection, exploration and action. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.Google Scholar
  8. Cohen, D. H., & Stern, V. (1969). Observing and recording the behavior of young children. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  9. Copple, C., & Bredekamp, S. (Eds.). (2009). Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs serving children from birth though age 8 (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.Google Scholar
  10. Diamond, M., & Hopson, J. (1998). Magic trees of the mind: How to nurture your child’s intelligence, creativity, and healthy emotions from birth through adolescence. New York: Penguin Putman.Google Scholar
  11. Elliot, L. (1999). What’s going on in there? How the brain and mind develop in the first five years of life. New York: Bantam Books.Google Scholar
  12. Gallagher, K. (2005). Brain research and early childhood development: A primer for developmentally appropriate practices. Young Children, 60(4), 12–20.Google Scholar
  13. Hurley, S., & Chater, N. (Eds.). (2005). Perspectives on imitation: Mechanisms of imitation in animals. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  14. Iacoboni, M., Woods, R., Brass, M., Bekkering, J., Mazziotta, C., & Rizzolatti, G. (1999). Cortical mechanisms of human imitation. Science, 286(5449), 2526–2528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jensen, E. (1998). Teaching with the brain in mind. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.Google Scholar
  16. Jones, P., Ataya, R., & Carr, J. (Eds.). (2007). A pig don’t get fatter the more you weigh it: Balancing assessment for the classroom (pp. 29–39). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  17. Miller, B., & Cummings, J. (Eds.). (2007). The human frontal lobes. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  18. National Commission on Teaching, America’s Future. (1997). Doing what matters most: Interested in quality teaching. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  19. Nevills, A., & Wolfe, P. (2009). Building the reading brain PreK-3. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.Google Scholar
  20. Oberman, L., & Ramachandran, V. (2007). The simulating social mind: The role of the mirror neuron system and simulation in the social and communicative deficits of autism spectrum disorders. Psychological Bulletin, 133(2), 310–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ritchie, S., Maxwell, K., & Clifford, R. M. (2007). First school: A new vision for education. In R. C. Pianta, M. J. Cox, & K. L. Snow (Eds.), School readiness and the transition to kindergarten in the era of accountability (pp. 85–96). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.Google Scholar
  22. Rushton, S. (2001). Applying brain research to create developmentally appropriate learning environments. Young Children, 56, 76–82.Google Scholar
  23. Rushton, S., Eitelgeorge, J., & Zickafoose, R. (2003). Connecting Cambourne’s conditions of learning to brain-mind principles: Application for the classroom teacher. Early Childhood Education Journal, 31, 11–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rushton, S., & Juola-Rushton, A. (2007a). The learning environment, brain research, and the paradox of no child left behind. In F. Santoianni & C. Sabatano (Eds.), Brain development in learning environments: Embodied and perceptual advancements (pp. 34–49). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.Google Scholar
  25. Rushton, S., & Juola-Rushton, A. (2007b). Brain research and assessment in the elementary grades. In P. Jones, R. Ataya, & J. Carr (Eds.), A pig don’t get fatter the more you weigh it: Balancing assessment for the classroom (pp. 29–39). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  26. Rushton, S., & Juola-Rushton, A. (2008). Classroom learning environment, brain research and the No Child Left Behind initiative: Six years later. Early Childhood Education Journal, 36(1), 87–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rushton, S., & Larkin, E. (2001). Shaping the learning environment: Connecting developmentally appropriate practices to brain research. Early Childhood Education Journal, 29, 25–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Takanishi, R., & Kauerz, K. (2008). PK inclusion: Getting serious about a P-16 education system. Phi Delta Kappan, 89(7), 480–487.Google Scholar
  29. Whalen, P., & Phelps, E. (Eds.). (2009). The human amygdala. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  30. Wien, C. A. (2004). Negotiating standards in the primary classroom: The teacher’s dilemma. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  31. Winerman, L. (2005). The mind’s mirror: A new type of neuron—called a mirror neuron—could help explain how we learn through mimicry and why we empathize with others. Monitor Psychology, 36(9), 48–52.Google Scholar
  32. Wolf, P. (2007). Proust and the squid. New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Rushton
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anne Juola-Rushton
    • 2
  • Elizabeth Larkin
    • 3
  1. 1.University of South FloridaSarasotaUSA
  2. 2.Wakeland Elementary SchoolBradentonUSA
  3. 3.University of South FloridaSarasotaUSA

Personalised recommendations