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December 4, 2018

Dr. Michael Hynes to keynote Early Learning Conference in April

Young kids coloring together

The Ruth S. Ammon School of Education will host its first Early Learning Conference on April 5, 2019, at the Adelphi University Performing Arts Center, with outspoken educator and thought leader Michael Hynes, Ed.D., as its keynote speaker.

Laura Ludlam, M.S.Ed. ’00, director of the Alice Brown Early Learning Center; Lisa Minicozzi, Ed.D., assistant professor in the Ammon School; and Dorothy Phalen, Ammon School clinical assistant professor and director of early childhood education and early childhood special education, organized the conference, which will run from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Dr. Hynes, superintendent of the Patchogue-Medford School District, will be introduced by Anne Mungai, Ph.D., Ammon School interim dean.

Dr. Hynes was also a speaker at the 2017 TEDx Adelphi University and a panelist at the Finkelstein Memorial Lecture in Fall 2016. At the TEDx event, he emphasized the importance of treating children as more than test scores. “Children need to play,” he said then. “They need child-directed recess. And they need to self-regulate their emotions.”

At the April event, Phalen will introduce a panel which will be moderated by Dr. Minicozzi. A faculty member from speech-language pathology and a representative from the New York City Department of Education will be among the panelists. That will be followed by a Q&A session, an opportunity for networking and a box lunch.

Ludlam said they are expecting “250 to 300″ attendees, primarily administrative, teaching and support staff involved in universal pre-K.

The event will focus on evidence-based practices in pre-K, she said, adding that the goal is to open a dialogue that will lead to rewriting the currently stringent guidelines for this field.

“This conference will provide a forum for discussion regarding challenges universal pre-K programs face in providing balanced curricula to our youngest learners in a time of standards and accountability and an exploration of how districts and community-based agencies are negotiating active and hands-on learning with stringent requirements of state and federal funding sources,” Ludlam said.

In addition, the conference will “offer shared insights of early childhood professionals who are concerned with how school systems homogenize early-learner experiences and question the outcomes of this practice,” she said.

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