neuroimaging brain techniques
Huttenlocher (2002) through his brain research revealed that each skill or concept learned must continue with practice for the child so that the connections in the brain are maintained and eventually, matured. Much has been learned about the brain in the last 25 years and it has been driven by neuroimaging brain techniques. The most advanced neuroimaging technique is the functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). It has been studied and replicated that children can be introduced to a concept over a course of a few days but if this concept is not revisited within a short time frame, the brain will actually erase (prune) those neural pathways. In essence, the child will have no memory of the task or of the memory. In order to myelinate (or harden) and neural pathway to the point of muscle memory, a child must be exposed to a concept multiple times (anywhere from 21-49 times) in a variety of settings and experiences to truly learn a task. Beck, Kucan, and McKeown (2002) first cited this research and understood it at a basic level, coining the term as “fast mapping” but many researchers like Marzano (2005) took the concept further and began to research and understand what it took to learn a new skill or concept to that muscle memory level. It is that same level that Huttenlocker was discussing when he noted that another significant finding is that there are no critical periods of learning that close after a certain period, however there are optimal periods of learning for the child where instruction and practice have the best results (Brooks, 2013). The last finding of Huttenlocker is that to nourish learning, children must have periods of instruction and periods of rest and time to integrate learning. This knowledge can reinforce to parents the importance of practicing the lessons of early childhood as well as the importance of play. The brain needs both stimulation and rest to grow.
Temperament refers to biologically based differences in how children react to stimulation or triggers within their environment. Parenting behaviors can have different impacts based on a child’s temperament or perception of the world. Research has demonstrated that parents must observe their child’s needs and individualize their parenting techniques and approaches to take into account their child’s temperamental qualities, especially if their child has more significant behavior needs. A one-size parenting approach does not meet all needs (Brooks, 2013).
· Advances in science and technology have shown the importance of effective parenting techniques and strategies that help children to grow. Select the areas of advancement that have impacted parenting:
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o The study of the role of excitement in the brain.