2015 Lectures


The Center for Children and Families welcomed parents and professionals for its seventh annual series of lectures titled "Ensuring Children's Success in School."

Handout Slides Video

January 23, 2015

Margaret Tresch Owen, PhD

“Supporting School Readiness by Building a Communication Foundation”

Language development of many low-income children is markedly delayed, creating achievement gaps difficult to bridge. One widely discussed explanation—the “30-million word gap”—focuses on the quantity of words children hear. This presentation will address efforts to bridge the gap and the importance of laying a foundation of communication between caregiver and child for language success.

Handout Slides Video

February 13, 2015

Anne Van Kleeck, PhD

“Scholars in the Sandbox: Academic Talk with Preschoolers”

Academic talk is the special pattern of language use that is employed when engaged in teaching and learning. Becoming familiar and comfortable with using academic talk is a critical preschool readiness skill. This presentation will explore the special nature of academic talk, highlighting how it contrasts with the patterns of language used in everyday living contexts.

Handout Video

March 27, 2015

Karen Huxtable-Jester, PhD

“Mindsets and Motivation as the Keys to Academic Success”

The ways in which adults talk to children about academic successes and failures have strong and often surprising effects on children’s motivation, persistence, and sense of self. Praise and adults’ attempts to be encouraging can sometimes backfire.This talk will examine the research of Carol Dweck and others on mindsets and how we talk to children about learning.

Handout Slides Video

April 17, 2015

Bill Barfoot, PhD

“Promoting Academic and Socioemotional Growth Among Exceptional Learners”

Exceptional learners make up a growing and important part of the student population. These students often exhibit differences related to physical, sensory, cognitive, and/or behavioral characteristics. Teaching, parenting, and supporting these unique learners offer both rewards and challenges. This talk will explore the intricacies of working with and relating to exceptional learners and supporting their growth and development in all areas.