Brain Development and Cognitive Learning

Do the Assessment Event 2 – Annotated Bibliography, mentioned in the subject guide. Follow the exact order present in the subject guide. The three articles for which the annotated bibliography must be done are also attached. 500 words per article for the bibliographies and 300 words for summative statement.
For referencing, provide references after each sentence and also provide URL link for that reference. please do this as it is compulsory. and i will be checking the statements written in the assignments with their respective URLs given.

 

Article 1:

Lemon, N., & Garvis, S. (2014). Encouraging reflective practice with future early childhood teachers to support the national standards: An Australian case study. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood; Volume 39; Number 4, 89-94.
 
The aim of this research was to encourage reflective practice with respect to the future teachers of early childhood as per the national standards in Australia.
The research paper consists of the details of an examination that was conducted on some of the early childhood teachers in Australia. The research has endeavored to identify the extent to which the National Quality Standards (NQS) for early childhood education and care (ECEC) were being observed by the teachers in order to enhance the quality of education imparted to the early childhood students (ACECQA, 2018). The research also highlighted the importance of incorporating the guidelines of the NQS in the enhancement of knowledge related to demonstration of effective early childhood teaching. The research was conducted through the administration of a Reflective Template that has been designed on the basis of Bloom’s revised taxonomy. The template was designed to gather feedbacks about the understanding of the pre-service teachers about the early childhood practices and the effectiveness in applying the policies and procedures mentioned in the NQS guidelines. The sample size of the research was 29 and consisted of pre-service teachers undergoing Bachelor of education (Primary) Program and specializing in early childhood education. The findings of the study revealed that the Reflective Template effectively depicted the state of awareness of the pre-service teachers in early childhood education regarding the NQS principles and guidelines and the extent to which they are being implemented by the teachers. The template not only helped observing early childhood behavior and the ability to recount a scenario but also created relevant questions to reflect upon the own practices of the pre-service teachers. The template approach helped the teachers achieve better outcomes with self-reflective teaching as compared to the other subjects related to teacher education (Lemon & Garvis, 2014).
 
This research paper can be considered as relevant to the intended research study that is to be undertaken on the subject of the usefulness or relevance of information to the neuro-science topics and early childhood education. The early childhood education is one of the major areas of significance because in this early age, the students have to be guided effectively by the teachers so that they develop rational cognitive skills that will help them grow up as rational human beings. The teachers in pre-service need to understand the importance of early childhood education and hence should always be careful and concerned about the quality of education offered to the early childhood students. In order to help them achieve success in early childhood teaching, the Australian Government has come up with the NQS those should be inculcated in the teaching approaches by the pre-service teachers. Apart from this, the guidelines in the ECEC offer insights on the need of reflective practice in teaching that is essential in bringing out the best out of the teachers. This paper also necessitates this self-reflection s an important function of the teachers such that they can reflect upon past experiences in teaching and implement the right strategies in teaching for similar situations in the future those are strictly aligned with the quality criteria mentioned in the NQS. Hence, this research will act as the foundation on which the proposed research study can be undertaken with perceived success.

Article 2:

Baroncelli, L., Braschi, C., Spolidoro, M., Begenisic, T., Sale, A., & Maffei, L. (2010). Nurturing brain plasticity: impact of environmental enrichment. Cell Death and Differentiation 17, 1092-1103.
 
The objective of the said research study was to determine the effect of the environmental enrichment on the brain plasticity. In other words, the study examined the effects of Environmental Enrichment (EE) on the Central Nervous System (CNS). 
 
The research paper discloses the functions of the environmental enrichment impacting the central nervous system at different levels such as anatomical, molecular and functional. It happens both during the time of the critical period of early childhood and also during the period of adulthood (Yu, Kim, Seo, & Cho, 2016). The methodology of research study has been the review of literature sources and a secondary data collection and analysis approach. The paper discusses about the findings of various research works which depict that the visual system revealed that the impacts are related to the recruitment of prior neural plasticity phenomena those remained unsuspected. It has been observed in the research study that during the early phases of brain development, the Environmental Enrichment affects a noticeable acceleration in the achievement of maturity of the visual system. Here, the behavior of the mother acts as the major mediating factor related to the enriched experience in case of the fetus and also in the case of the newborn. The research study has also revealed that in case of adult brain, the EE increases the plasticity in the cerebral cortex part of the brain that allows for the regaining of the visual functions in case of amblyopic creatures.  The major findings of the study reveal that the molecular substrate related to the influence of EE on the plasticity of the brain is multi-factorial along with decreased intra-cerebral inhibition, increased expression of neurotrophin and also epigenetic alterations in the level of the structure of the chromatin. The findings have revealed new avenues regarding the potential of Environmental Enrichment as a technique that is non-invasive in nature that contributes to ameliorate shortcomings in the development of the Central Nervous System and for successfully treating neurological problems (Baroncelli, Braschi, Spolidoro, Begenisic, Sale, & Maffei, 2010).

The said research paper can be considered as an effective source of information for carrying out to the intended research study on the concepts of neuro-science and the early childhood education. This article has reflected upon the brain development in early childhood and adulthood with respect to the environmental enrichment that instigates various stimuli from the brain that is helpful in the study of early childhood cognitive development that will facilitate in understanding certain behaviors by the early childhood children. The findings from the research study might contribute in developing future early childhood education and care and herein lays the significance of this research article to the proposed research study.

Article 3:

Shonkoff, J. P., Duncan, G. J., Fisher, P. A., & Levitt, P. (2011). Building the Brain’s “Air Traffic Control” System:. WORKING PAPER 11 , 1-20.
The main focus and aim of the article is on the analysis of the ways the early experiences shape the development of the executive functions. 

The functions and skills of executives assist in planning, focusing attention, switching gears and handling multiple tasks. The article has explained the functions and the skills of the executives with the role of the air traffic control being observed at busier airport. During childhood one of the most important aspects is that to acquire knowledge and experience and to build blocks of skills since the early stages of childhood (Gavin, 2009). The strength of the tasks and experiences being gathered during childhood help the children to shape the development. The development gets shaped throughout early stages of childhood, adolescence and continues till early phase of adults. The skills keep on getting developed throughout the life. It is not true that the individuals are born with certain skills which could be used for controlling impulses and making plans and remaining focused.  The individuals are born with the potentials of developing the required skills which could be utilized to develop the executive skills. The blueprints are provided by the genes that the potentials are there in the genes but they need a perfect environment to get nurtured and developed in the most feasible way. The childhood phases are the platforms where the skills get developed with the support of the experiences and accomplishment of tasks. In the brain the function of executive gets developed in the same in which the air traffic control system works in a busy airport managing and handling the arrivals and departures of the many aircrafts operating on multiple runways. The article also discusses about the working memory and the inhibitory control. It could be seen that through the working memory the information gets manipulated in the brain within short span of time (SINGH, 2014).  It provides the platform where the information can be kept to be used on regular basis. The thoughts and impulses are being filtered and mastered with the help of the skills of inhibitory control. With the help of cognitive mental flexibility the individuals can adjust their changes in demands, priorities and attitudes or perspectives (Emberson, 2017). The mental flexibility helps to get adjusted with different situations. The children start learning and developing their skills at an early stage and then the process continues till they get to learn from their experiences and tasks and finally the process of development takes place. The functions of executives are essential and crucial building blocks which help in developing the cognitive and social capabilities at early stage of childhood (Shonkoff, Duncan, Fisher, & Levitt, 2011).
The article is important and relevant as it provides knowledge and insights to the important aspect in relation to the development at early childhood which is the main theme of the analysis. This article presents the inputs towards the development of executive skills and functions which their shape at early childhood. The article has provided with relevant inputs and resources which could be used in the analysis of the early childhood education and care.

Article 4: 

Wong, S., Harrison, L., Press, F., Sumsion, J., Gibson, M., & Woods, A. (2015). The construction of a taxonomy of early childhood. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood Volume 40 Number 3 , 79-88.

The main objective of the article is to analyze the construction of taxonomy of early childhood educator’s work. It focuses on the development of an effective tool which could be used to capture generalized data and information on regular works of the educators.

A taxonomy has been developed on the basis of the expertise of the experts of six early years. The experts are from Australia and the United States of America. The diaries where the records have been kept on time basis along with the findings of focus groups and interviews have been taken for the framing of the taxonomy. The interview has been conducted on 21 educators who have been working on the childhood in long day and pre-school care and services. There are 10 domains with respective sub-classes in the taxonomy. From the analysis it has been seen that the taxonomy has been the most effective system of codification which could effectively identify the tasks of everyday work and actions of the educators dealing with childcare services as per the settings of the early years. The analysis has also proved that this taxonomy will be one of the most effective tools for the future references for researches in investigating the workforce engaged in early childhood (Pinkham, Kaefer, & Neuman, 2014). It has been observed that there has been very little evidence regarding the regular work of the early childhood educators and their works on daily basis have not been recorded. From some of the limited quantitative researches it has been revealed that there is ample diversity in the working of the early childhood educators. The ways the early childhood educators spend their time on regular basis have not been analyzed intricately in the earlier days. So the taxonomy can be used for the recording of the day-to-day activities of the educators and these insights could be used to evaluate the quality and the diversity in their works. It has been seen that the regular activities and tasks of the early childhood educators are being evaluated and analyzed. Taxonomy could be the best suited tool for the purpose. The article also mentions about the Alpha model taxonomy which contains the 10 important domains with their sub0divisions where the recordings could be undertaken more intricately. The needful areas of research study could be covered with the needful resources. But it has also been recommended that the taxonomy must be tested with larger number of sample size (Wong, Harrison, Press, Sumsion, Gibson, & Woods, 2015).
 
The article could be considered to be highly resourceful as it contains important insights to the domain of early childhood care and education. It talks about the technique of recording the daily activities of the workings of early childhood educators which is quite significant for the evaluation of the diversity and the quality of their working and the ways they spend their working hours on daily basis. It could enhance the strength of the working of the educators and could improve certain areas to make the early workforce to deliver effective and efficient tasks. 

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Summative Statement:

The three articles have been analyzed and important insights have been extracted to be used for the analysis of the subject area. The teachers are supposed to produce high quality of teaching and facilitation of education to the early childhood students. It is very important that the teachers have the knowledge of the different growth and development of the brains during the early childhood phases. The brain development of every child is not the same. The skills and experiences of the children initiate to develop during the early stages of childhood and the understanding of these aspects is very crucial for the teachers who make the best use of the resources to facilitate learning in the most effective ways. If the teachers have the knowledge of the development of the brains and capacities of learning at the early childhood they could come up with suitable teaching guideline and curriculum which would ensure effective learning for the children at an early childhood. The importance of reflective practice in teaching has to be taken well care of. The quality of early childhood teaching has to be maintained and the desired outcomes could be achieved if the development of the brain at the early childhood and the other aspects of development are understood by the teachers and the educators. The importance of the taxonomy tool for codifying the regular works and activities of the early childhood educators has also been seen from the analysis of the article. The need of understanding the diversity and quality of the early childhood educators on regular basis is important so that their workings could be recorded and used for the purpose of improvements.
 

References: 

ACECQA. (2018). Quality Area 1 – Educational program and practice. Retrieved from acecqa.gov.au: https://www.acecqa.gov.au/nqf/national-quality-standard/quality-area-1-educational-program-and-practice
Baroncelli, L., Braschi, C., Spolidoro, M., Begenisic, T., Sale, A., & Maffei, L. (2010). Nurturing brain plasticity: impact of environmental enrichment. Cell Death and Differentiation 17 , 1092-1103.
Emberson, L. ( 2017). Chapter One - How Does Experience Shape Early Development? Considering the Role of Top-Down Mechanisms. Advances in Child Development and Behavior Volume 52 , 1-411-41.
Gavin, L. (2009, July 1). Early Childhood Experiences Shape The Brain's Physical Architecture. Retrieved from evanstonroundtable: http://evanstonroundtable.com/main.asp?SectionID=16&subsectionID=27&articleID=2888
Lemon, N., & Garvis, S. (2014). Encouraging reflective practice with future early childhood teachers to support the national standards: An Australian case study. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood; Volume 39; Number 4 , 89-94.
Pinkham, A. M., Kaefer, T., & Neuman, S. B. (2014). Taxonomies Support Preschoolers’ Knowledge Acquisition from Storybooks. Child Development Research Article , 1-10.
Shonkoff, J. P., Duncan, G. J., Fisher, P. A., & Levitt, P. (2011). Building the Brain’s “Air Traffic Control” System:. WORKING PAPER 11 , 1-20.
SINGH, M. (2014, December 19). Some Early Childhood Experiences Shape Adult Life, But Which Ones? Retrieved from npr: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/12/19/371679655/some-early-childhood-experiences-shape-adult-life-but-which
Wong, S., Harrison, L., Press, F., Sumsion, J., Gibson, M., & Woods, A. (2015). The construction of a taxonomy of early childhood. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood Volume 40 Number 3 , 79-88.
Yu, J. H., Kim, M., Seo, J. H., & Cho, S.-R. (2016). Brain Plasticity and Neurorestoration by Environmental Enrichment. Brain Neurorehabil; 9(2):e2 , 1-13.

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