Day 1 Highlights
Lessons Learned from the Response to COVID 19: Protecting Early Childhood Education
Nancy Carlsson-Paige on supporting those who have been historically disadvantaged by the inherent inequities in our childcare and public education systems…

“Something DEY has, and will continue to advocate for is universal, high quality pre-school, but in the current climate, we need a complete redefinition of what quality education is. Using words like experiential, activity-based and play-based, helps to explain what quality education should look like.”

“Another kind of discrimination in our field is high suspension rates in preschools. One contributing factor is the very difficult educational standards vs. what is developmentally appropriate. And we need professional development to help educators discover and reflect on racial biases - their own biases - and then provide them with tools to change their perception of and treatment of their students. This can be the difference in helping children love to learn, and love and stay in school.” 

Diane Ravitch on what can we learn from history about overcoming disruptions to schooling…

“Two important things have missed the attention of our political leaders: 1) a surge in cases is not the time to open schools; 2) even with low cases, they need funds to take measures to keep people safe… this is not a time to cut budgets.”

“Many, many older teachers and administrators are leaving because they are being ordered to return to schools that aren’t safe for them. We have to be very much on guard and protect life above all. We have to resist political pressures and protect teachers, as importantly as students.”

Michelle Gunderson on the transition for teachers to remote schooling, and preparing for a hybrid return to school…

“We always want the focus on well-being of children. Always want them to choose and value play. We might not be able regain that love of learning if that is lost.”

“I found I sometimes needed to help parents understand the learning process. Early Childhood teachers are used to allowing children to make a series of mistakes on the way to their right answers. That’s often not something a parent is used to, but once they understand, they’re more comfortable leaving room for that.” 

Jim St. Clair on maintaining values in child development and best practices while schooling online…

“The learning that is so important for young children can’t happen with a screen. I’m concerned that this is being touted as the future of learning. Children are not widgets. This is not a business model.”

“Many teachers were forging the path as they went along, and I think they’ve been extraordinarily clever in getting and keeping children engaged in the virtual environment. I try to identify what each child is especially competent at and use that to connect in relationship.” 

Josh Golin on how CCFC is responding to the increase in online schooling and screen time…

“While screens are necessary for now, we can never stop articulating what is best for children. We can’t lower our standards to what is possible. We can’t put our ideals on hold. We are at a crossroads when it comes to technology. If you need to keep kids stationary to keep kids safe, technology is the easiest tool. This is a danger for the future because when schools invest in technology, it’s an easy go-to for more and more subjects and uses going forward.”

“In 2020, internet access is essential to survival, but we need to understand that with ‘online preschool’ kids in low income communities will be on programs designed to keep them on screens. They aren’t designed to provide quality education.” 

Hope you plan to join us tomorrow!

SESSION 2 PREVIEW - Wednesday, July 22, 4-6 pm EST 

Childhood Trauma in the Time of Coronavirus: Teachers, Families, and Communities as Protective Factors 

Given the widespread impact of COVID-19, we can expect children and families to experience trauma as they deal with the deaths of loved ones, loss of employment, and the isolation of remote schooling. As this crisis unfolded, we recognized that continued stress from racial trauma including the devaluing of Black lives would exacerbate an already volatile situation. Research on adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress informs us that the presence of a protective factor can mitigate the harms and build resiliency. This panel will discuss how teachers, families, communities including schools can serve as a protective factor to help children and their families develop a positive response to trauma and toxic stress. 

  • Ijumaa Jordan, Early Education Consultant 

  • Takiema Bunche-Smith, Executive Director of the Center on Culture, Race & Equity at Bank Street College

  • Susan Linn, Lecturer in Psychiatry, Harvey Medical School, and Research Associate, Boston Children’s Hospital and DEY Advisory Board member 

  • Erika Christakis, Early Childhood Educator, Author, and DEY Advisory Board member

  • Diane Levin, DEY’s Cofounder, Senior Advisor and Secretary of the Board, and Professor of Applied Developmental Psychology, Wheelock College at Boston University

  •  Denisha Jones (moderator)

If you have friends or colleagues who weren't able to register, we are livestreaming each panel discussion on Facebook.