Eastern Connecticut State University
Center for
Early Childhood Education
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Eastern Connecticut State University

Willimantic, Connecticut



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2012 Conference Overview


The Child and Family Development Resource Center and the Center for Early Childhood Education are pleased to host the first Early Childhood Investigations Conference at Eastern Connecticut State University. The day-long conference is designed for preschool and toddler teachers, administrators, and teacher educators who are interested in learning more about using projects with young children. This year's theme is "Using Projects to Foster Children's Cognitive Development." Highlights of the conference include a keynote address by noted expert Judy Harris Helm and workshops about using projects with young children. The conference will also include an introduction to the faculty- and teacher-developed Investigations Curriculum, including video examples of young children engaged in project work.


Photo of Judy Harris Helm


Keynote Presentation by Judy Harris Helm

Projects That Power Young Minds: You Can Do It and Here’s How


Change is so rapid that our children will live in a future we can’t even imagine. Is your classroom developing the mind/brain capacity your children will need? Would you describe your learning experiences as mindful or mindless? Based on recent discoveries from neuroscience and cognitive research, this keynote reveals, in a humorous way, the typical intellectual life of early childhood classrooms. Then you will see The Movie Theater Project, a mind-enhancing, literacy-building application of the project approach in a pre-k classroom. See how it is done! Be inspired!



Conference Schedule


8:45 – 9:15          Registration, coffee        

9:15 – 10:30        Keynote Address

10:45 – 12:15      Workshop Session I

12:30 – 1:30        Lunch and Poster Showcase

1:45 – 3:15          Workshop Session II

3:30 – 5:00          Investigations: A Project-Based Preschool Curriculum and Center Tour



Workshop Titles


A. Listening to Children's Voices: A Year-Long Investigation of an Artist's Work

B. Going Green: Reconnections, Collective Actions, and Investigations

C. Project Approach with Toddlers? Of Course!

D. "A long time ago the floors were made out of dirt and you had to walk by some enormous dinosaurs to get to school": Projects That Promote Historical and Geographical Thinking in Preshool

E. Balls: Projects, Inquiries, Investigations

F. Building a Preschool City

G. Exploring Water in a Preschool Classroom

H. Creating Life-Long Learners Using the Project Approach



Continuing Education Units

Attendees who participate all day may earn .5 CEUs for an additional charge of $30.

Stay Informed


Get the latest information about the conference by connecting with us through Facebook. Or to receive updates via email, send a request to join the Investigations Conference Email List to cece@easternct.edu.



Our Sponsor


The Investigations Conference is made possible through the generous support of the ECSU Foundation.


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