Increasing evidence is emerging about how, neurologically, children learn.
The Faculty of Education at Cambridge University hosts a Centre for Neuroscience in Education: http://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/centres/neuroscience/
Both McNeil, Claxton and the OECD offer overviews, at different points on time, of developments in this area.
- McNeil, F. (2009) Learning with the Brain in Mind, London: SAGE.
- Claxton, G. (1997) Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind, London: Fourth Estate.
- OECD (2007) Understanding the Brain: The Birth of a Learning Science, OECD, Paris, a summary can be accessed at: http://www.oecd.org/site/educeri21st/40554190.pdf
Graham Allen provides an excellent overview of the implications experiences have a the development of the brain in:
- Allen, G. (2011) Early Intervention: next steps. London: Cabinet Office. Which can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/284086/early-intervention-next-steps2.pdf
For a consideration of the implications this new knowledge has for policy and practice see:
- Rushton, S, Eitelgeorge, J, & Zickafoose, R. (2003) Connecting Brian Cambourne’s Conditions of Learning Theory to Brain/Mind Principles: implications for early Childhood Educators, Early Childhood Education Journal, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp.11–21
- Sims, M. (2009) Neurobiology and child development: challenging current interpretations and policy implications. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, Vol. 34, No. 1, pp.36–42
Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child reports and working papers provide a wealth of information on the development of the brain and children’s lives. These can be accessed at: http://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/reports_and_working_papers/
Sylwester investigates the significance of brain function and how the brain works and learns, and both Geake and Sousa offers insights into the implications of neuroscience research for classroom practice.
- Sylwester, R. (2005) How to Explain a Brain, London: Paul Chapman.
- Geake, J.G. (2009) The Brain at School: Educational Neuroscience in the Classroom, Maidenhead: Open University Press.
- Sousa, D. A. (2006) How the Brain Learns. 3rd edition, London: Paul Chapman.
Debate about the notion of intelligence and ability continues with general recognition of the dangers of stereotyping and inappropriate generalisation. It is also widely acknowledged that there are many kinds of `abilities’ and that these can be influenced and enhanced by quality learning experiences. On `intelligence’, Richardson provides a useful introduction:
- Richardson, K. (1991) Understanding Intelligence, Buckingham: Open University Press.