Siegel,Dan_book2“As parents, many of us are uneasy about how we will see our children through adolescence – how we’ll handle the times when they push away from us or engage in risky behaviors. But UCLA professor Dr. Dan Siegel sees a great opportunity in the teen years for parents and other caring adults to capitalize on the teenage brain changes and provide the guidance and encouragement that will move teens toward a vibrant, healthy adulthood. In his conversation with Marti & Erin, Dr. Siegel debunks common myths of adolescence, illuminates exciting changes in the teenage brain and offers practical tips for parents and teens.


What are some of the myths that were challenged by Dr. Dan Siegel in this Mom Enough discussion about the teenage brain? What new ideas did you hear about what teens need during this important developmental period? Leave a comment below!” -MomEnough


Terrorist Tots? You’re Outta There! Book Study Expert Commentary for Chapters 8, 9, and 29 (Week 6)

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This week we are discussing Chapter 8- But Competition Is Human Nature, Chapter 9- Terrorist Tots, and Chapter 29- You’re Outta Here! Teacher Tom is our guest content expert this week to provide insight and lead our discussion. Visit Teacher Tom’s website to learn more about his work. You can find him on Facebook at TheTeacherTom. Tweet with him @TheTeacherTom Just joining us? Get all the book study details HERE.


Blog Book Study Contribution from Teacher Tom Hobson

Teacher Tom

Growing up, children of my generation were told that competition was a healthy thing. Competition was defended as a manifestly good, a character builder, an important part of growing up. It’s how we learned about winning and losing, discipline, teamwork, and a certain type of focused fierceness.

I grew up believing these myths of competition, carrying them well into my adulthood, but my years working with young children has lead me to see that what biologists are increasingly coming to understand about the nature human beings: it is not about “survival of the fittest,” but rather “survival of the most cooperative,” a position that Charles Darwin himself came around to in his later years.

Pica argues that competition is a learned rather than in-born behavior, a position I’ve found to true, especially among the preschoolers I teach. When left to their own devices, when allowed to play freely with their friends, we find that young children are much more likely to engage in cooperative, than competitive play.

Today, most researchers turn a jaundiced eye toward competition for children younger than 10, and especially when adults place an emphasis on winning. Sadly, traditional public schools are still largely trapped by the mythology of competition, creating “educational” environments in which children are increasingly being pitted against one another for grades and test scores. Not only is this unhealthy for young children, but it also runs counter to what we know about the ongoing evolution of the human species.

In chapters 10 and 29, Pica addresses normal childhood fantasy play (particularly weapon play) and the often-grotesque adult overreactions, such as so-called “zero tolerance” policies and expulsion.

As a boy, I played plenty of shoot-em-up and superhero games, and I’ll confess to a very strong personal aversion to real-life weapons, especially guns. At our school the children have always made their own rules, and each year for my first decade or so of teaching, among those rules was “No guns, real or pretend.” People don’t believe me, and I’m sure their parents influenced the kids, but this rule invariably emerged from the children themselves and not only that, they all agreed. Several years ago, we added a class of older children, 5-year-olds, and when the subject of guns came up, they promptly banned real guns, but balked at the subject of pretend guns. When I prompted, “Aren’t you worried someone will be scared?” they answered, “We know the difference,” and they did. As Pica writes, “We impose our adult anxieties about real guns and real violence on them (children) . . . (W)e need to encourage children to “play these things out,” to build fantasies, and to work their concerns and fears into an imaginary life.”

It reminds me of a story from the days when our gun ban was in effect:

One day Cash was standing in our loft with what was clearly a gun he had fashioned from some ½” PVC pipe he had found in the block area. Since he was quietly playing on his own, it was the kind of thing I normally allowed to pass, but one of his classmates noticed, objected, and complained, “Cash has a gun,” so I had to do something.

I said, “That looks like a gun.”

Cash lied, “It’s not.”

This is one of the very real negative side effects of a strict preschool weapons ban — it encourages kids to lie.

I pushed on. “You and your friends made a rule that says ‘No guns in preschool’.

“It’s not a gun.”

“It looks like a gun.”

“It’s a love shooter.”

Giving him credit for quick thinking, I said, “That doesn’t sound so bad. Do you think your friends know it’s a love shooter?”

Cash looked down upon his classmates, “No, they probably think it’s a gun.”

“And they’re probably scared because they think you’re shooting bullets at them.”

Cash answered, “I’ll tell them,” and with that he descended from the loft and went from child-to-child informing them that the PVC construction in his hand wasn’t a gun, it was a love shooter. By the time he was done, he’d collected a team of boys, each with his own PVC love shooter. They marched back into the loft and proceeded to rain love down on a group of girls who were dancing around with their hands over their heads.

I stood shoulder-to-shoulder with one of my co-teachers, proudly watching the scene, enjoying my own magnificent ability to turn violence into love. I said, “Look at them spreading love instead of war.”

She answered, “And the girls are loving it too.”

It must have clicked for both of us at the same moment. Our eyes locked as we shared a look that bespoke horror. We watched in awkward silence as the boys and girls joyfully played a game that looked to us adults like some sort of bizarre, slightly pornographic fertility rite.

She finally broke the silence, “They have no idea, right?”

And I answered, “I hope they get tired of it soon.”

When it comes to children, adults as Pica points out, often see things that aren’t there, be it sex, violence or an objection to eating beets. That’s why I prefer the children making their own rules. They know the difference.


Please share/retweet this post! Let us know that you’re participating in this study. We’d love to hear from you about your thoughts regarding Chapters 8, 9, and 29  and about the commentary that Teacher Tom has provided. Your voice matters – participate in the dialogue and share your ideas here! (Comment below) If you’ve chosen to blog about what you’ve read on your own site, link back and share your post with us here. Perhaps you have a burning question about something that you read in one of these chapters… we have a feature for that - Ask The Author! That’s right, Rae Pica will be available throughout this live study to answer your questions. #AskAuthor

What to read next: Chapters 10- The Myth of the Brain/Body Dichotomy, 14- The Body Matters Too, 15- Reading, Writing, Rithmetic, and Recess, and 16- Why Kids Need Gym (10/12/15).

*If you’re a MN participant seeking training hours, please visit this link to access to requirements.

Mondays with Me: Girls In A So-Called Boys’ Sport



Ring,Jennifer_book“As the only girl on her Little League teams, Jennifer Ring’s daughter more than held her own with her male teammates. But when she wanted to continue playing baseball instead of switching to the girls’ softball team, the adults around her put up barriers at every step. Dr. Ring, a political science professor at the University of Nevada, chronicles her daughter’s story and that of other young women in baseball in her new book, A Game of Their Own: Voices of Contemporary Women in BaseballJennifer’s conversation with Marti & Erin is about much more than baseball; Read more »

Play Is Not a Four Letter Word: Book Study Expert Commentary for Chapter 13 (Week 5)

What If Book Study Marketing PicThis week we are discussing Chapter 13: Play Is Not a Four Letter Word. Dr. Walter F. Drew is our guest content expert this week to provide insight and lead our discussion. Visit Dr. Drew’s website to learn more about his work. You can find him on Facebook at Dr. Drew’s Blocks. Just joining us? Get all the book study details HERE.



“The goal of education is to create possibilities for children to invent and discover.”   Jean Piaget

In Chapter 13, Rae Pica makes the point that “True play is open-ended and intrinsically motivated. True play is not directed by adults.”  To be insensitive to the significance of this teaching – or worse yet to ignore the implications – would be to miss the opportunity to strengthen the essential developing capacities of young children.

What Can We Do to Cultivate Play and Creativity in Child Development?

As a way of elaborating on Rae Pica’s comments, I invite you to view a short unedited YouTube video of 5 and 6 year old children as they engage in a compelling example of a true play experience that is open-ended and intrinsically motivated. And not directed by adults.

One area of child development that has received little attention, but which is a positive instructional strategy and strong indicator of creative potential, Read more »

20th Annual Midwest Child Life Conference


Calling All Midwest Child Life Professionals!

Registration is open for the 20th Annual Midwest Child Life Conference! If you are interested in attending the conference, please follow the link for information on the sessions, cost, and registration.






Mattson,Jessica_hsJessica Mattson knew something was not right with her son’s development when he was a year old. But she wasn’t sure where to turn, especially since her pediatrician thought Ben was doing fine. Eventually, with encouragement from a cousin, Jessica sought help through her school district’s early intervention team, leading to identification of Ben’s special needs and appropriate services to help him learn and develop as fully as possible. Although every child and parent’s experience is unique, Jessica’s story highlights Read more »

More Than a Pretty Face: Book Study Expert Commentary for Chapter 6 (Week 4)

What If Book Study Marketing PicToday we are discussing Chapter 6: Teaching Girls They’re More Than a Pretty Face. Diane Levin is our guest content expert this week to provide insight and lead our discussion. Visit Diane’s website to learn more about her work. Find her on Twitter @DianeELevinJust joining us? Get all the book study details HERE.


dianelevinA Child Development Perspective on How & Why Media & Marketers Promote “Pretty Faces” to Young Girls and What We Can Do about It by Diane Levin

Thank you, Rae Pica.  The child development issues you raise in Chapter 6, “Teaching Young Girls that They Are More Than a Pretty Face,” are vitally important for parents, teachers, and the wider society to address if we want to promote the optimal well-being of girls in these times.  Several factors you address stand out for me and connect directly to why I felt I needed to write my book, So Sexy So Soon. (Levin, D. & Kilbourne, J., So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids. New York: Ballantine Books, 2009).

The degree to which young girls growing up today focus so much on appearance and think that popularity comes from looking “right”, has not always been quite as extreme as it is today.  And the increasing focus of young girls on these issues is not happening totally by chance.  It is deeply connected to both how children think in the early years and how they develop ideas about gender.  But, it is also highly related to what they learn about how to define their gender from what they see males and females doing in their environment. Read more »

Bubble Wrapping Not Required! Book Study Expert Commentary for Chapter 4 (Week 3)

What If Book Study Marketing PicToday we are discussing Chapter 4: Bubble Wrapping Not Required.  Mike Huber is our guest content expert this week to provide insight and lead our discussion.  You can access Mike’s blog or learn more about his books at RedLeaf Press and RedLeaf Lane Find him on Facebook at Mike Huber’s Children’s books.  If you are just joining us, you will find all the book study details HERE.


Mike-HuberBubble Wrapping Not Required depicts the absurdity of our society’s fear of risk.  Pica focuses on parents’ fears of anything negative happening to their children.  I’d like to think about parents’ hopes for their children.  We want children to be resilient.  Resilience requires taking risks.  We want children to be joyful.  Nothing beats the joy of successfully taking a risk.  Risk is a part of being alive and children need to know how to deal with risk.

But it’s not risk alone.  Resilience comes both from risk and persistence.  You have to try and you have to fail.  The risk might be physical.  It might be emotional.  We know that children will get hurt. We know they will cry.  Our job isn’t to keep them from falling.  It’s to help them up and hug them when they do fall.

Let’s be clear that risk is different than hazard.   Read more »

Book Study Expert Commentary for Chapters 3 and 5 (Week 2)

What If Book Study Marketing PicWelcome to week 2 of our book study! This week we are discussing Chapter 3 (The Power of Joy) and Chapter 5 (When Did A Hug Become A Bad Thing?) Gwen Simmons is our guest content expert this week to provide insight and lead our discussion. Communicate with Gwen on Twitter @gwen_naeyc. If you are just joining us, you will find all the book study details HERE.

Gwen Simmons

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. - Albert Einstein

Playfulness, humor, joy, and the celebration of learning are the real “basics” that should abound in any environment where children spend their time. – Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld

“What do Albert Einstein and Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld have in common? A belief that teachers who embrace creativity and joy in their teaching inspire children to discover, question, explore the world in deep and meaningful ways.

The recipe for this approach to teaching is both simple and complex. Read more »

EC Blog Book Study Begins- Join In!

It’s finally here – the day that our blog book study begins. It is my genuine hope that this study intrigues individuals, serves as inexpensive professional development, provides access to resources otherwise not attainable, and encourages meaningful conversations throughout this country and perhaps even the world.

This is our newest feature on the blog: Beyond The Pages. Beyond the Pages is an online blog book study. This feature acknowledges the importance of reading books while taking you beyond the pages and creating group dialogue. Stacie Goffin has charged those in early childhood education to “continue the conversation” and we believe that this is one method to do that.

Our first book study is centered around Rae Pica‘s book What If Everybody Understood Child Development? We highlighted her book on the blog last May. You can learn even more about this book in Rae’s candid interview. Find her online at Rae Pica’s Bam-Radio Facebook page and on Twitter @BodyMindChild #AskingWhatIf.

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We’re pleased to announce that we have an amazing lineup of early childhood experts to assist in leading the conversation around this book! There are many ways for you to participate in this study. If you are just joining us, you will find all the book study details HERE.

Today we are discussing Chapters 1 (All Children Are Not The Same), 2 (The Earlier The Better?), and 7 (Doing Away with Baby Stuff). Angèle Sancho Passe is our guest this week to provide insight and lead our discussion. Visit Angèle’s website to learn more about her books and work in early childhood.Angele Passe

Angèle says, “It’s a privilege to continue the conversation boldly started by Rae Pica! In What if Everybody Understood Child Development?, she tells us that the proverbial pendulum has swung in the wrong direction and too far. Her examples of zero tolerance, no recess, play as a waste of time, and general misunderstanding of academics for young children make us cringe.

Yet we could argue that as the insiders in early childhood education we may have brought this nonsense on ourselves. Read more »

Hold an Early Childhood Staff Book Club…

You’ve always wanted to host an early childhood staff book club, right? It doesn’t get any easier than this! We’ve done all the work for you. Your staff can follow along by reading chapters, viewing our coordinating expert commentary, and participating in the conversation by commenting on our blog or Facebook posts with people all over the nation (and perhaps world) that care about and influence the lives of children. You could even host a book club night with treats to discuss in person after they’ve participated online. This provides for even more reflecting and connecting!

Beyond the Pages is an online blog book study. This feature acknowledges the importance of reading books while taking you beyond the pages and creating group dialogue. Stacie Goffin has charged those in early childhood to “continue the conversation” and we believe that this is one method to do that.What If Book Study Marketing Pic

Our first book this fall will be Rae Pica‘s What If Everybody Understood Child Development? Visit the following link to learn all the details! http://blogs.dctc.edu/dawnbraa/2015/08/05/new-feature-beyond-the-pages-a-blog-book-study/ Did I mention that 16 content experts will also be participating and leading the discussion?! The author, Rae Pica, has even agreed to answer questions. It’s going to be epic and it launches tomorrow, Monday, 8/31/15!

Please share the news in your circles of influence today.

Thank you,

Dawn Braa

Receive Training Hours for Book Study!

I’m please to announce that MN participants of our Beyond The Pages book study this fall may earn 7 training hours for active participation. This is approved through the MNCPD Policy Automatic Approval of Training.

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The following guidelines are for MN participants seeking a certificate for active participation in the fall 2015 Beyond The Pages Early Childhood Book Study:

  1. Participants will email Dawn Braa (dawn.braa@dctc.edu) indicating intention of participation.
  2. Participants will need a copy of the chosen book- What If Everybody Understood Child Development? by Rae Pica
  3. Participants will subscribe to this blog  in the upper right-hand corner with an email address.
  4. If you are on Facebook, JOIN our event! https://www.facebook.com/events/431601440379065/ 
  5. Participants will read the chapters according to the timeline and review the correlating expert commentary weekly on our blog.
  6. Participants will participate by posting thoughtful and reflective responses (regarding book readings and expert commentaries) in the comments section of the blog post each week for the duration of the blog study. That means that participants will post 14 reflections. If participants are bloggers themselves and are blogging about this experience, including their reflections, they are able to simply post the weblink to their blog post in our blog comments section.
  7. Participants will keep an organized log (Word document) of all comments or blog posts (with dates and chapters) and email them to Dawn Braa (dawn.braa@dctc.edu) at the end of the study.
  8. Participants are responsible for submitting their certificate to Develop to be entered in their learning record.

*Participants must successfully complete requirements to be eligible for a certificate.
**Duplicate certificates will not be sent.

At this time, certificates are only available for MN residents. If you live outside MN and are seeking training hours, I suggest you also document your active participation and inquire with your state about approval possibilities. We are not guaranteeing approval of any kind outside MN.

Early Childhood Book Study Special Guest #16 Announced!

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The sixteenth and final special guest expert participating in this book study is…Stacie Goffin!


Stacie Goffin is the Principal of the Goffin Strategy Group. Established in 2004, the Goffin Strategy Group dedicates itself to building early childhood education’s ability to offer effective programs and services to young children through leadership, capacity, and systems development. Stacie works with local and state non-profits, philanthropy, governments, and national organizations. A widely published author, Stacie’s conceptual leadership focuses on advancing early childhood education as a professional field of practice.

Prior to forming the Goffin Strategy Group, Stacie led the five-year effort to reinvent the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s [NAEYC] early childhood program accreditation system. This effort resulted in a newly designed delivery system, updated accreditation criteria, and first-ever national program standards for early childhood education programs serving children from birth through kindergarten.

A former senior program officer at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, professor in higher education, and preschool educator, Stacie served as the founding chair of multiple organizations, including the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, Kansas City’s Metropolitan Council on Early Learning, and the West Virginia Network for Young Children.

Stacie is an author of several seminal publications, including Ready or Not: Leadership Choices in Early Care and Education (with Valora Washington); Early Childhood Education for a New Era: Leading for Our Profession; and the recently released Professionalizing Early Childhood Education as a Field of Practice: A Guide to the Next Era. Both her writing and presentations have earned her a well-respected reputation as an agent for change.

You can learn more about Stacie Goffin online by visiting her webpage. Stacie will be closing our What If Everybody Understood Child Development? book study and announcing our winter/spring study book choice on Dec. 7th.

*Just joining us and want to get started? You can find all the book study details HERE. Grab your copy of the book and join us for this epic online event beginning on Aug. 31st!

Early Childhood Book Study Special Guest #15 Announced!

What If Book Study Marketing PicThe fifteenth special guest expert participating in this book study is…Deborah Hirschland!

Deborah HirschlandDeborah Hirschland, MSW, has spent over three decades working with children, parents, and teachers. A frequent presenter on early childhood issues – one who is known for her engaging style, accessible explanations, and practical approaches to intervention – she offers consultation and training to a range of early care and education programs across her home state of Massachusetts and beyond.

Deborah was on the faculty of the Boston University School of Social Work for many years, and later taught in its Postgraduate Program in Clinical Work with Children, Adolescents, and Families. Currently, she is affiliated with the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology’s Freedman Center for Child and Family Development. Over the course of her career, she has offered workshops and presentations at a range of agencies, university-based programs, organizations, and institutes. Those include, among many others, the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, the Head Start and Early Head Start Programs of Communities United, Inc., Georgetown University’s Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, Harvard Medical School’s Department of Continuing Education, the Together for Kids Project, the Connected Beginnings Training Institute, and the Center for Parents and Teachers.

In addition to her work as a child and family therapist, clinical supervisor, parent mentor, early childhood mental health consultant, and presenter, Deborah is a contributor to the Zero to Three Journal and the author of two books, When Young Children Need Help: Understanding and Addressing Emotional, Behavioral, and Developmental Challenges (Redleaf Press, 2015) and Collaborative Intervention in Early Childhood: Consulting with Parents and Teachers of 3- to 7-Year-Olds  (Oxford University Press, 2008).  

You can learn more about Deborah Hirschland online by visiting her webpage. Deborah will be adding dialogue regarding chapters 27 and 28 of Rae Pica’s book What If Everybody Understood Child Development? on Nov. 30th.

*Just joining us and want to get started? You can find all the book study details HERE. Grab your copy of the book and join us for this epic online event beginning on Aug. 31st!


Early Childhood Book Study Special Guest #14 Announced!

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Anna ReynerThe fourteenth special guest expert participating in this book study is… Anna Reyner! Anna Reyner is a nationally recognized arts advocate who is dedicated to helping people get in touch with their own creativity. Anna has conducted over 500 national and international hands-on art workshops and is a registered art therapist and licensed marriage and family therapist. She received her MA in Art Therapy from the University of Louisville and her BA in Art and Psychology from Ohio Wesleyan. Anna is the Director of Training for Discount School Supply and maintains an active art studio in Los Angeles where she lives with her husband and two children.

You can learn more about Anna Reyner online by visiting her webpage. Anna will be adding dialogue regarding chapter 25 of Rae Pica’s book What If Everybody Understood Child Development? on Nov. 23rd.

*Just joining us and want to get started? You can find all the book study details HERE. Grab your copy of the book and join us for this epic online event beginning on Aug. 31st!


Early Childhood Book Study Special Guest #12 Announced!

What If Book Study Marketing PicThe twelfth special guest expert participating in this book study is… Kelly Pfeiffer! You’ll find Kelly’s message below:

Kelly PfeifferHelping families enjoy being together and growing together is my primary goal. I love teaching adults about child development, Positive Discipline and behavior issues so they can enjoy their children more and feel great about raising capable kids. There’s no one right way to parent and I respect each individual parent’s choices. I simply offer tools and you get to decide which ones will work for your family.

If you work with me, I’ll never tell you tell how to parent and never judge what you’re doing, but rather ask you what you want for your family and help you achieve that goal.

I primarily use the Positive Discipline curriculum based on Adlerian theory. My live parent education workshops use active learning principles and experiential activities to teach concepts such as mutual respect, cooperation, anger management skills, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, relationship skills, self-care and conflict resolution.

As an adult educational trainer, I teach child care providers about a variety of child development topics, including physical growth and development, social-emotional growth and development, identifying developmental delays, Adlerian theory and applications, developmentally appropriate practice according to NAEYC standards and movement exploration. I design many of my trainings which include hands-on, accelerated learning principles, and offer South Carolina Department of Social Services continuing education credit. I was a presenter at the 2006 NAEYC Conference in Atlanta, GA.

Twitter @KellyPfeiffer
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ThinkItThroughParenting 

Kelly will be providing commentary regarding chapters 20 and 26 of Rae Pica’s book What If Everybody Understood Child Development? on Nov. 9th.

*Just joining us and want to get started? You can find all the book study details HERE. Grab your copy of the book and join us for this epic online event beginning on Aug. 31st!

Welcome to Fall Semester 2015!

Welcome back current students and welcome new students! Most classes at Dakota County Technical College begin on Monday, August 31st. I’ve put together some of the information that you might need below:

  • New to this blog? Learn more HERE.
  • Have questions about parking on DCTC campus? Visit HERE.
  • Need to buy Textbooks? Visit the Bookstore HERE.
  • Not familiar with Desire2Learn (D2L)? Learn more HERE.
  • Need to contact us? Click HERE.
  • Have general questions about support services provided by the college? Click HERE.
  • Need to speak with someone about Financial Aid? Visit HERE.
  • Want to Log-in (D2L, Email, Grades) but not sure where to do so? Click HERE.
  • Not sure how to log in on campus? Learn more HERE.
  • Looking to contact a particular faculty member (aka Teacher)? Find him/her HERE.
  • Curious about what opportunities there are for you at DCTC? Learn more HERE.
  • Are you hope to transfer in credits from another college? Click HERE.
  • Brand new to college? View a First Day of Class checklist HERE.

See you soon- we’re glad you’re here!

Gold is Really Your Color – Parking at DCTC

Hey students at DCTC! Remember that you need to have a GOLD parking sticker to park at DCTC for the 2015-2016 school year.

Process to Obtain a Parking Permit for DCTC Students

Step 1 – Pay your tuition/parking fees at the tuition window.
Step 2 – Enter your vehicle information online at http://www.dctc.edu/index.cfm/support-services/parking-sticker/ You will need your student ID number, license plate number, and the make and model of your car.
Step 3 – Go to the Student Services Office on campus and a sticker will be issued to you. One permit will be allowed per vehicle.
Step 4 – Place the sticker on the lower left driver’s side of windshield. The numbers must be visible.


NO staff, faculty or student parking is allowed in the Visitor’s Lot—NO EXCEPTIONS. The Visitor’s Lot will be monitored and any vehicles belonging to staff, faculty, or registered students will be ticketed and towed.

Thanks for your cooperation!

Early Childhood Book Study Special Guest #11 Announced!

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The eleventh special guest expert participating in this book study is… Scott Wiley

Scott WileyScott has been an early childhood educator for 30 years. He has been a preschool center director and preschool ministry leader in a church. He has taught elementary school. He developed and edited curriculum for a religious publisher for 15 years. Currently, Scott is a freelance curriculum writer and editor, a workshop leader, and a school volunteer. In addition to his blog, Brick by Brick, he writes for the collaborative blog Pre-K + K Sharing and works as editor for Pre-K PagesConnect with Scott onTwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.

Scott will be providing commentary regarding chapters 19 and 24 of Rae Pica’s book What If Everybody Understood Child Development? on Nov. 2nd.

*Just joining us and want to get started? You can find all the book study details HERE. Grab your copy of the book and join us for this epic online event beginning on Aug. 31st!

Early Childhood Book Study Special Guest #10 Announced!

What If Book Study Marketing PicThe tenth special guest expert participating in this book study is… Michael Gramling! Read Michael’s biography below…

I am a lifelong advocate for social justice who found my professional home in 1979 when I discovered Head Start and embraced its values and its goals working as a Head Start teacher.

michael-gramlingThese days I spend most of my time visiting early childhood programs all over the United States as a consultant and a trainer helping programs to elevate the level of discourse in their classrooms and to meet the needs of individual children. In so doing I have gained a unique perspective and a thorough and intimate understanding of how early childhood education is practiced in these United States.

I earned my Masters Degree in Human Development at Pacific Oaks College in the year 2000, I have served as the coordinator and chief trainer for the Region IV Head Start Teaching Center at Western Kentucky University and in 2000 I developed the national training material used by the Head Start National Center for Family Literacy. I was a contributing author to the Zero to Three 2003 tome, Learning to Read the World, and I’ve had two articles published in Child Care Exchange. In 2015 my book, The Great Disconnect in Early Childhood Education: What We Know Vs What We Do was published by Redleaf Press.

My wife, Teresa Christmas, and I have raised a his, hers and ours family of five kids who have taught me that all children are incredibly different and that early childhood programs are not built to respond to those individual differences, I guess you might say that most of my life’s work has been to help early childhood programs become much less institutional and more like language rich, emotionally supportive families.

You can find Michael online by vising his The Great Disconnect Facebook page. Michael will be providing commentary regarding chapters 17 and 18 of Rae Pica’s book What If Everybody Understood Child Development? on Oct. 26th.

*Just joining us and want to get started? You can find all the book study details HERE. Grab your copy of the book and join us for this epic online event beginning on Aug. 31st!