ABOUT THE AUTHOR
It was during his time in Peace Corps Nicaragua when Austin had the striking realization that the first years of life are tremendously formative and far too overlooked. Upon returning stateside, his involvement in research and his studies in graduate school confirmed and further elucidated the notion that the earliest years of life lay an important groundwork for future learning; experiences had during this period have life-long effects on an individual. When not attempting to straddle the worlds of research and practice, Austin is probably outside, reading, or learning something.
ABOUT THE BLOG
The brain is an incredible machine with immense potential. When we are born, our brains are wired to learn from, and adapt to, our environment. Given what we know about the brain’s unique malleability in the first years of life,
Studies of neglect and maltreatment of young children have revealed a lot about early brain development (e.g., Cicchetti, 2002; Nelson, 2000). These studies have highlighted that experiences in the first years of life can have profound implications across the lifespan.
It is common knowledge that parents play a vital role in their children’s development. However, we are slowly coming to understand just how vital this role is. Teachers understand this connection better than anyone; we interact with our students’ parents,