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Penn Child Research Center

2011 Albert M. Greenfield Memorial Lecture

Mandates, Models, and Methods, Oh My!
A Strategic Look at the Essential Components of Early Childhood Education

Wednesday, April 27, 2011
4:00pm - 5:30pm

John Fantuzzo, Albert M. Greenfield Professor of Human Relations

Keynote Speaker:
Jerlean Daniel, Executive Director, National Association for the Education of Young Children

Panelists from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education:
John DeFlaminis, Executive Director, Penn Center for Educational Leadership
Vivian Gadsden, William T. Carter Professor of Child Development & Education
Paul McDermott, Professor of Education

There is much concern about the state of the U.S. educational system and how it is affecting the future of our children and the very health and stability of our nation. The urgency to address the problem has resulted in numerous mandates, including No Child Left Behind, along with multiple pundits and experts promoting an array of models and methods purported to save the day. Despite these efforts, we still have a situation where only one third of the children in fourth grade can read at grade level. For Latino, Black, and American Indian children, the numbers are much worse, with more than 80 percent missing the mark. Research demonstrates that if children do not gain the skills and habits necessary to succeed in school by age eight, they will struggle to perform well and be less motivated for future learning in middle and high schools. They will also face difficulties in developing the higher order thinking, communication, analytic and social skills that are the essentials for success in life.

This year we are extremely fortunate to have Jerlean Daniel as our keynote speaker for the Albert M. Greenfield Memorial Lecture. As Executive Director of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children, Dr. Daniel is leading NAEYC’s charge “to improve the well-being of all young children, with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for all children from birth through age eight.” She will address the overall challenges confronting early childhood education and highlight the need to enhance the quality of its most strategic components: assessment, curriculum, family involvement, and professional development, areas where NAEYC is a leading voice on standards of quality.

A panel of Penn faculty from the Graduate School of Education will follow Dr. Daniel’s remarks with a discussion of the practical lessons learned from a large scale study of the Evidence-based Program for the Integration of Curricula (EPIC).

The Albert M. Greenfield Memorial Lecture is sponsored by the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation. The foundation supports activities that carry on the humanitarian vision of the late Mr. Greenfield, who chaired the board of Bankers Securities Corporation and the Philadelphia Planning Commission.