Neuroeducation and Early Elementary Teaching
Retrospective Innovation for Promoting Growth with Students Living in Poverty
Neuroeducation, or educational neuroscience, is an emerging field combining various scientific disciplines as it relates to learning to study the relationships between the biological processes of the brain and students' cognitive development. Researchers and educators are increasingly working together to bridge these fields to increase positive learning experiences for increased school readiness and academic achievement, especially for children experiencing significant adversity. This paper highlights the salient connections between poverty and brain development, and then aligns neuroeducational insights with innovative, yet retrospective instructional strategies linked to the early childhood areas of language and literacy, dramatic and imaginary play, games and puzzles, and gross motor and musical movements. Early elementary classroom teachers can take these practical, inexpensive ways to create growth-friendly classrooms to help children develop executive function and self-regulation skills. Most neuroscientists agree these skills are both negatively impacted by the toxic stress of poverty, and yet they are highly predictive of academic success in school.
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