2.1 Introduction

We know a great deal about what happens during the first five years of life and how critical development during this window is to future success (Center on the Developing Child, 2007; National Research Council & Institute of Medicine, 2000). This knowledge also has key implications for literacy development and early childhood educators’ practices. For these reasons, we are opening this textbook with a broader discussion about some of the key scientific discoveries about the brain. We hope this information and the subsequent resources help frame the discussion about literacy learning and give early childhood educators the tools to advocate for young children.

This chapter will enable each student to:

  • Summarize recent discoveries about brain development and how it impacts children’s vision, hearing, language, cognition, motor skills, and social/emotional competence.
  • Reflect on the way the adults in children’s lives play key roles in fostering brain architecture.
  • Explain why early childhood educators, specifically, are such a dynamic factor in overall brain development and laying the foundation for literacy learning.

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The Early Literacy Journey: Supporting and Celebrating Young Learners Copyright © 2024 by Sandra Carrie Garvey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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