This is Science Today. If you have a child under
the age of four, forget those Mozart tapes and flashcards.
Psychologist Alison Gopnik of the University of
California, Berkeley says what children at this
age really need in the form of mind-expanding education,
are the natural, spontaneous things most of us do
For instance, the way that we talk to babies - that
funny, high pitched voice that we use when we talk
to babies. It turns out that that actually gives
babies just the information they need to figure
out how language works. But none of us do it because
of that. We just do it because that's what you do
when you talk to babies.
Narrator: Gopnik's research found that in
terms of teaching babies, the best you could say
about artificial interventions like Mozart tapes
and better baby bureaus, is that they're useless.
Gopnik: The worst case is that they might
actually distract people from doing the things that
they might not even think about as educational -
like kissing and playing games and talking funny
baby talk and playing hide and seek and peek-a-boo
and all that stuff. That's where the real education
is going on for young babies.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.