2017 Lectures


The Center for Children and Families welcomed parents and professionals for its ninth annual series of lectures titled "Expanding Opportunities for Children and Youth."

Annie Wright, Ph.D.
Handout Slides Video

February 10, 2017

Annie Wright, Ph.D.

“Promises and Paradoxes in Understanding Impacts of Out of School Programs for Youth”

Dr. Wright, Director of Evaluation for the for the Center on Research and Evaluation at SMU, will discuss major themes in evaluating Out of School Time (OST) impact. Topics will include a need for more attention to how the field can influence sustainable change for adults and OST organizations, and appropriate data and methods for more creatively and more rigorously measuring impact.

Chandramallika Basak, Ph.D.
Handout Slides Video

March 3, 2017

Chandramallika Basak, Ph.D.

“Cognitive Benefits of Learning to Play Chess and Other Strategy Games”

Deliberate practice over years on complex strategy-based games, particularly chess, makes one expert and such expertise is typically associated with higher intelligence. Even in children, chess players show an advantage over non-chess players on intelligence. Yet, it is unknown whether short-term, intensive training on chess would enhance cognitive skills. This presentation will discuss the extent of cognitive improvements from intensive training on chess in children, and who would benefit most from such training. Lessons learned from training older adults on other complex strategy games will also be shared.

Tim Bray, Ph.D.
Handout Slides Video

March 24, 2017

Tim Bray, Ph.D.

“Poverty and Child Wellbeing: Complex Relationships Demand Holistic Solutions”

Dr. Bray will explore the complex patterns between childhood wellbeing and poverty in the neighborhoods of Dallas. He will explore the nexus between poverty and education, neural development, and other pressing issues that impact early development.