Why Here? Why Now?

Twenty years ago, politicians, parents, philanthropists, educators and scientists did not gather in living rooms and board rooms to discuss young children’s minds, brains and what to do about them. But this has become a critical conversation, one with the potential to reshape the educational landscape.

At the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences, we launched the Developing Mind Project in 2010. The necessary components are in place: key leadership faculty, state-of-the art brain imaging equipment, two decades of research findings that identify critical research questions and protocols, strong support from the University of Washington, and a growing societal awareness of the timeliness and the economic and social advantages of supporting children early in life.

What we achieve in the next decade on the Developing Mind Project – as we share new understandings of the child’s mind and brain and lay the groundwork to expand our work to the teenage and aging brains – has the potential to affect the state, the nation and the world. Combining the science and practice of learning will help us ensure that all children achieve their full potential and enable us to produce a society of lifelong learners.

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