More than 125 early childhood educators attended Eastern's Early Childhood Investigations Conference on April 27. The conference theme was "Using Projects to Foster Children's Cognitive Development." Visitors from across the state of Connecticut attended the day-long conference, co-hosted by the Center for Early Childhood Education and the Child and Family Development Resource Center. Judy Harris Helm, author, early childhood consultant and president of Best Practices, Inc., delivered the keynote address, "Projects That Power Young Minds: You Can Do It and Here's How."
The conference was designed for preschool and toddler teachers, administrators and teacher educators who are interested in learning more about using projects with young children. Presenters came from New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Illinois.
"Hosting the conference enabled us to provide professional development to early childhood teachers throughout Connecticut, and also gave Eastern students the opportunity to experience a professional-level conference," said Julia DeLapp, program coordinator for the Center for Early Childhood Education. "Thirteen Eastern students gave poster presentations during the conference, and 18 other students attended as participants. What a fantastic chance for our students to interact with and learn from a diverse group of early childhood professionals."
Eastern students majoring in early childhood education presented professional posters about their work with young children in the CFDRC; their attendance was made possible by the sponsorship and financial support of the ECSU Foundation, Inc. Seven students from Asnuntuck Community College (ACC) also attended in part due to support from ACC's foundation.
The conference featured a number of hands-on workshops, including "Listening to Children's Voices: A Year-long Investigation of an Artist's Work"; "Balls: Projects, Inquiries, Investigations"; "Building a Preschool City"; and "Going Green: Reconnections, Collective Actions and Investigations."