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Friday, November 27, 2020

Teacher Tom: How Brains Grow

Teacher Tom: How Brains Grow
How Brains Grow

When our daughter was a preschooler, authority figures informed parents that the human brain was fully formed by around five-years-old. After that, there would be no new brain cells, which was why, they told us, the early years were so important. These were the scientific facts. Just a few days ago, a parent of a preschooler told me that the director of her child’s school told the assembled parents that the human brain was “90 percent developed” by five, information which she conveyed to me in a kind of jittery breathiness that betrayed both awe and panic. I recall feeling similarly about these scientific facts. 

The problem with these facts is that they were not facts 20 years ago and they are not facts today. They are the product of a debunked theory about human brain development. Sadly, these non-facts were, and still are, being used to support the toxic academic pressures being applied to our youngest citizens.

It seems that the earlier “facts” were based largely upon studies done on monkey brains in a laboratory. When skeptical scientists more recently tested the theory on CONTINUE READING: Teacher Tom: How Brains Grow