Patricia Kuhl Speaks at White House Summit on Early Education

Patricia Kuhl, co-director of the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences, is among the invited participants at the Dec. 10 White House Summit on Early Education.

The event is intended to bring together philanthropic, business, education, advocacy and political leaders to discuss expanded access to high-quality early childhood education.

Kuhl, a world-renowned scientist in early language and brain development, has been asked to "spark discussion" among attendees at the summit. She will focus on the role of research and the important discoveries that are leading the nation's evidenced-based practices.

"We're at a special moment where leaders are recognizing that research in brain science and early learning has created insights about human development and also in how to transform education," Kuhl said. "At I-LABS, we're excited that our scientific discoveries in the social-emotional, cognitive, and brain development of children can help our children succeed."

Follow the Early Education Summit Online

The summit runs from 8am-3pm ET, Wednesday, Dec. 10. Watch the White House's livestream of the event, and follow Twitter hashtags #EarlyEd and #ECE for updates from the summit.

Twitter users likely to be posting updates are: @UW_ILABS, @WhiteHouse, @arneduncan, @BezosFoundation, @firstfiveyears.

A live, online Q&A about early learning will start at 10 am ET, Dec. 10 featuring Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, and the artist Shakira. Follow it on Twitter: #ShakiraEdChat.


I-LABS' work on child development and the brain has helped to change the early learning landscape. This is not the first time that I-LABS has been to the White House. In 1997, Kuhl gave an invited talk about early learning and the brain at the first White House conference on the topic, which was organized by President and Mrs. Clinton. Then in 2001, Kuhl and Andrew Meltzoff, co-director of I-LABS, were invited to President and Mrs. Bush's summit "Early Cognitive Development: Ready to Read, Ready to Learn."

Also, the I-LABS co-directors have presented their research at Congressional briefings in Washington, D.C.

"The first 2000 days of life are magical," Meltzoff said. "We want to know how children learn so quickly and so flexibly during this early period—what’s going on up there behind those beautiful baby eyes? Nothing could be more important to a country than the care and education of its children."

Washington D.C. has also traveled to I-LABS to find out about the latest brain research. Secretary Duncan visited the Institute in summer 2010 to discuss to discuss bridging the science of learning with the practice of learning.

"I applaud the work that you and others in the field of brain research. You're not only doing the research, you're translating the findings into real-life solutions that will inform policymakers and practitioners," Secretary Duncan said in a video message to I-LABS for the 2010 opening of the Institute's MEG Brain Imaging Center.

Learn More about I-LABS Research in Early Learning and Brain Development

Watch Kuhl and Meltzoff talk about new discoveries at "The Case for Early Learning," an event and panel discussion organized by the Seattle Times and hosted by Microsoft.

Read a Q&A with Kuhl and Meltzoff explaining why the first five years are so critical for learning.

Watch the I-LABS online module, "Why the First 2,000 Days Matter," which uses the latest brain research to explain in lay language the importance of children's earliest experiences.