When Does Learning Begin?


Annie Murphy Paul talks about how life in the womb shapes who we become.

Quotes from this video:
“[Babies] are being introduced to the characteristic flavors and spices of their culture’s cuisine even before birth.”

“Even before birth, mothers are warning their children that it’s a wild world out there, telling them, ‘Be careful.’”

“Faced with severely limited resources, a smaller-sized child with reduced energy requirements will, in fact, have a better chance of living to adulthood.”

“Fetal origins research is not about blaming women for what happens during pregnancy; it’s about discovering how best to promote the health and well-being of the next generation.”

“From the moment of birth, babies cry in the accent of their mother’s native language.”

“Learning is one of life’s most essential activities, and it begins much earlier than we ever imagined.”

“We’re all learning about the world even before we enter it.”

“What a fetus is learning about in utero is not Mozart’s ‘Magic Flute’ but answers to questions much more critical to its survival: Will it be born into a world of abundance or scarcity?”

“When we hold our babies for the first time, we might imagine that they’re clean slates, unmarked by life, when in fact, they’ve already been shaped by us and by the particular world we live in.”

Read her full essay here: http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/11/opinion/paul-ted-talk/index.html