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The presented materials discuss the impact of the brain on child development and learning, but they also indicate the reciprocal nature of this relationship. Different theories of intelligence and brain development exist (Thomas & Sarnecka, 2015), but the brain is evidenced to change throughout one’s life (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2012). Additionally, differences in the environment can result in some alterations in the brain, which can affect one’s development positively or negatively (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2014; Edutopia, 2008). Learning also depends on the brain, but, in turn, it influences the brain, training its specific areas (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2012; Edutopia, 2008). Thus, the brain and the changes in it can affect learning, but if managed appropriately, education can help to change the brain in a way that would be beneficial for a child’s development.
Culture is a very complex phenomenon that incorporates multiple aspects of the life of a group of people that are specific to this group. The examples of its elements include tangible ones (for instance, works of art) and intangible ones (for example, customs, values, worldviews, and so on). Children learn their native culture, and it affects them greatly, contributing to their social identity formation (Deaux, 2001). However, many grown-ups, especially those belonging to a dominant culture, remain unaware of other perspectives and often stereotype those who do not belong to their group (Laureate Education, 2014). As a result, intercultural communication is complicated, but it is necessary for a successful interaction of individuals from different groups.
Practical Application and Philosophy
The presented materials illustrate the theories of the brain and social identity. Regarding the former topic, they indicate that the brain is evidenced to be changeable, which is an important contribution to the body of knowledge on human development (Edutopia, 2008; TED, 2011). Additionally, the literature shows that this information can be incorporated into teaching (Hardiman, 2010). In particular, the references contain an important lesson that is of direct consequence to my field of practice, which is an inclusive special education. The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University (2012) demonstrates that issues with working memory might be perceived as the lack of attention or deliberate misbehavior, which can lead to punishments rather than training and assistance. This illustration shows that the knowledge on the topic is required for inclusive special education to help an educator recognize the needs of children and address them accordingly.
Finally, the culture of different groups can be used to customize education (Carousel of the History of Education, 2017). This approach seems appropriate for cultural differences, which explains the significance of the materials devoted to social identity to my practice and the body of knowledge on the topic. In general, the articles contributed to my understanding of the process of learning and development, but they did not change my philosophy. The latter is based on the idea that my job is to meet individual needs and ensure inclusion, which is in line with the presented information.
Carousel of the History of Education (2017) Timeline of the History of Learning. Web.
Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University (2012) InBrief: Executive Function: Skills for Life and Learning [YouTube]. Web.
Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University (2014) 8 Things to Remember about Child Development. Web.
Deaux, K., (2001) Social Identity. In: Encyclopedia of Women and Gender. (Vol.2). London: Academic Press.
Hardiman, M. (2010) The Brain Targeted Teaching Model. Web.
Laureate Education (2014) Microaggressions [Video, Online].
TED (2011) Alison Gopnik at TEDGlobal 2011: What Do Babies Think? [TED]. Web.
Thomas, A & Sarnecka, B. (2015) Exploring the relationship between people’s theories of intelligence and beliefs about brain development. Frontiers in Psychology. 6 pp.1-12. Web.