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In their first five years, children progress from crying and cooing to full-blown language. They master the traditions of their culture, learn how to solve cognitive problems, and show a budding sense of right and wrong. Children do all this propelled by a natural curiosity. Although adults may master topics to seek promotions, and adolescents to get good grades and fit in, young children learn because it is fun.
What makes children so adaptive and open to change? How can society maximize the power of early learning so children are prepared for school? What can schools do to augment this natural curiosity, instead of impede it?
The Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) is embarking on the Developing Mind Project to answer these questions. The Developing Mind Project is a new and ambitious multi-year research initiative that will describe the brain development timeline and processes that enable a newborn to emerge into a capable school-ready child. The project provides a blueprint for building bridges between the science of the brain and the practice of learning.
With our state-of-the-art brain technology and the innovative studies we conduct with global research partners, we have the potential to close the gap between the child who arrives ready for kindergarten and the one who has fallen so far behind he or she may never catch up. We have the potential to identify best practices to help parents maximize their children’s social, emotional and intellectual abilities. Our discoveries will help to identify children with developmental disabilities and social-emotional difficulties in the earliest stages – when intervention is most likely to succeed and is most cost-effective.
We are pleased to be part of a growing movement to help children maximize their full potential. We are excited about what I-LABS can achieve by making new discoveries on early learning, translating them into actionable programs, and partnering with organizations that will utilize the body of knowledge to benefit children worldwide.
Our children can’t wait. And our future, quite literally, depends on them.