Charting a Path Forward for Preschoolers: Restoring Learning Opportunities Beyond Covid 19

On April 27, 2021, hosted a panel conversation about restoring learning opportunities beyond Covid 19. The discussion featured early childhood education experts, including: Walter Gilliam, PhD, Stephanie Curenton, PhD, Shu-Chen (Jenny) Yen, Ph.D, and Flossy CalderĂłn from Action for Boston Community Development. In this discussion, our expert panelists addressed what is most needed in the coming months for the care and education of preschoolers, including attention to equity, relationships, family engagement, and social-emotional health.

Featured Panelists

  • Flossy CalderĂłn, Deputy Director of Children & Families Services at ABCD in BostonFlossy CalderĂłn currently serves as the Deputy Director of Children & Families Services at ABCD in Boston, MA. Flossy has been in the field of early childhood education for over 20 years and started her work in early childhood education serving as a Corp Member with Jumpstart. In her current role, Flossy provides and coordinates support, technical assistance and direction to program directors in the planning, operation and review of local programmatic services to ensure that the highest quality services are provided by Head Start & Children’s Services.
  • Walter Gilliam, PhD, Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology Director, Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy, Yale University Child Study CenterDr. Gilliam’s research involves early childhood education and intervention policy analysis (specifically how policies translate into effective services), ways to improve the quality of prekindergarten and child care services, the impact of early childhood education programs on children’s school readiness, and effective methods for reducing classroom behavior problems and preschool expulsion. His scholarly writing addresses early childhood care and education programs, school readiness, and developmental assessment of young children. Dr. Gilliam has led national analyses of state-funded prekindergarten policies and mandates, how prekindergarten programs are being implemented across the range of policy contexts, and the effectiveness of these programs at improving school readiness and educational achievement, as well as experimental and quasi-experimental studies on methods to improve early education quality.
  • Stephanie Curenton, PhD, Director of the Center on the Ecology of Early Development (CEED) Program Director for Child & Youth Policy Certificate, Associate Professor, BU Wheelock College of Education & Human Development
    Stephanie M. Curenton, PhD, is a tenured associate professor at BU Wheelock College of Education & Human Development and the director of the Center for the Ecology of Early Childhood Development (CEED). She studies the social, cognitive, and language development of low-income and minority children within various ecological contexts, such as parent-child interactions, early childhood education programs, early childhood workforce programs, and related state and federal policies.
  • Shu-Chen (Jenny) Yen, Ph.D, Professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Studies, California State University, Fullerton
    Dr. Yen received her Ph.D. in Early Childhood Development from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She also received a Montessori diploma for preschool age children from the American Montessori Society (AMS). Dr. Yen was an infant/toddler and a preschool teacher in both constructivist and Montessori classrooms. She has published articles on children’s temperament and behavior adjustment, service-learning and undergraduate students’ academic achievement, and undergraduate students’ personality and media choice. Dr. Yen’s research interests include young children’s temperament and behavioral adjustment in early childhood settings, undergraduate students’ personality and technology use, the impact of service-learning on undergraduate students’ learning effectiveness.

Together, we can help all children build the key language and literacy skills they need to take on the world.

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