Learning Happens in Relationships

Early experiences matter. They drive brain development, shaping how this complex network grows and interconnects. And these experiences occur in the context of relationships. It is the moments and interactions we share with others early on that set the foundation for the rest of our lives.

The caring adults in Tomás’ life helped him through his amazing transformation. They guided him as he grew from a dependent baby to a school-ready 5-year-old. They talked and cooed, immersing him in the sounds of language. As he began to talk, they encouraged him, patiently having conversations of growing complexity. They laughed together, they comforted his cries, and they set boundaries. By doing so, they created a stable, quality environment for Tomás to explore and learn.

You can learn more about the ingredients that contribute to quality interactions in Module 3.

  • Axon
    output fiber of a neuron
    Cell body
    the neuron's processing center
    input fibers of a neuron
    Magnetoencephalography (MEG)
    a non-invasive brain imaging technique used to determine which regions of the brain are active
    cells located in the brain and throughout the body that are specialized to communicate messages
    the process of removing excess synapses
    Sensitive period
    a time in development when the brain is especially ready to learn a skill
    connection point between neurons