92Y Wonderplay™ Early Childhood Conference—Video On Demand

Upholding the Core Principles of Early Childhood: Building a Strong Foundation for Life Long Learning

If you missed the conference, or want to watch the keynotes and afternoon lectures again, you can view them here.

Dr. Lilian Katz's What Should Children Be Learning? | Download PDF

Dr. Katz was our first presenter of the day and had the audience enthralled by her presentation. She discussed the four principles of structural engineering that line up with principles of a good foundation for educating children. She went on to outline the four questions that any curriculum should answer. An important take away from this lecture was that children always learn, not necessarily what you want them to learn.


Ron Taffel's The New Anxiety: Challenges for 21st Century Kids, Parents, Educators and Clinicians | Download PDF

Dr. Taffel's multimedia presentation is engaging and laugh out loud funny at times. He presents his view that to protect 'childhood' we must understand how today's kids are different, far more anxious than in earlier eras. Educators and parents can then strengthen adult authority and compassion, rather than subtly blame each other. Through lecture and video clips Dr. Taffel describes realistic, exciting ways school can empower parents at home, teachers in the classroom, and for the good of our children, lessen the divide between school and home.


Dr. Lydia Soifer's Are You Talking to Me? The Development of Language Skills in Young Children | Download PPT

With anecdotes from her own vast professional experience as a language Pathologist, Dr. Soifer discussed how Oral language is the foundation of literacy and a crucial skill for learning and social development. Oral language develops much faster than many people realize. Good language skills have far reaching influences on children’s development. The specifics of language development expectations by age will be presented, along with the parallels of oral language to literacy development. Techniques to facilitate thinking and problem solving with language will be offered, as well as some "red flags and warning signs" for language learning challenges.


JoAnn Deak, PhD: Latest Findings on Brain Development in the First Five Years in Life | Download PDF

During the last presentation of the day, Dr. Deak gave an interesting talk on the latest findings on brain development in the first five years of life which have been dubbed the formative years for a very long time. Brain research is supporting and adding nuance to this nomenclature. These first five years are a time of huge plasticity and what is done strengthens and grows those areas and has a lifelong impact. Conversely, areas not used well often shrink or 'prune' and can cause issues for a lifetime.