Research Update: Latest Findings on Brain Development in the First Five Years of Life
Birth to five is often designated as the formative years in early childhood literature. Now, brain research is adding support and justification for such a 'weighty' description. The brain is designed to be especially sensitive to growth and formatting in many brain areas. These are called windows of neurological sensitivity or opportunity. What happens in the first five years of life literally shapes the brain for the rest of a person's lifetime!
Is Kindergarten Still For Little Children? 'The Runaway Bunny' Goes to School
What were little children like when Margaret Wise Brown wrote "The Runaway Bunny" 70 years ago? What were they like when Beatrice Potter gave us "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" 100 years ago? Have little children changed so much? Have they changed as much as the curriculum of childhood has been altered?
Are you Talking to Me?: The Development of Language Skills in Young Children
This talk will amuse and enlighten you about the development of language and the role of language in learning and socialization in children. Learn how to encourage basic language skills, what to expect from a child at each age level, and how to build his/her language skills to help facilitate academic and social skills in the early childhood classroom.
The Early Childhood Classroom as a Safe Haven: Nurturing Children in a Commercialized, Screen-Saturated World
The unprecedented convergence of ubiquitous, portable screen technologies and unregulated commercialism is wreaking havoc with childhood. Health and social problems ranging from childhood obesity and the erosion of creative play are linked to commercialism and excessive screen time. This workshop explores the consequences of immersing children in commercialism and what early childhood educators can do to help parents cope and children thrive in a commercialized culture.
Today’s Children: Caught in a 3-Way Pressure Cooker
Marcy Guddemi, Ph. D.
Flashcards in their cribs, cramming for their tests, all the while spending 7 1/2 hours a day in front of screens, no wonder our children have forgotten how to play and are suffering from depression! This session will focus of societal pressures from parents, schools, and the media and how they affect young children.
Young Children Meeting The Common Core State Standards in Vivian Paley’s Classroom
Gillian D. McNamee, Ph. D.
This presentation explores what the work of Vivian Paley, offers us as to what is common and core in young children’s learning. How can we connect her enduring messages about the place of pretend play, story telling and story acting in young children’s development with the newly defined ambitions being held out for the next generation in the Common Core State Standards? How can early childhood educators contribute to the design of children’s first years in school in this era of school reform?
When Children Are Helped to Perceive Themselves as Authors or Inventors
Lella Gandini and Amelia Gambetti
We take inspiration from Loris Malaguzzi’s words, “Once children are helped to perceive themselves as authors or inventors… once they are helped to discover the pleasure of inquiry, their motivation and interest explode” (The Hundred Languages of Children, 1st ed., 60). We will observe together how environments rich with open possibilities have the potential to offer children autonomous ways to explore. We will discuss how the processes in transforming ideas and materials “in hundred languages”, as well as engaging in inquiries, can be supported and the learning made visible.