Friday, February 24, 2012
Westminster College hosted "Behaviors, Disabilities and Curriculum in the Early Childhood Environment," two workshops for early childhood educators, Feb. 4 and 18.
Westminster preschool teachers Diana Reed and Debi Roud presented "Behavior Management through Engaged Curriculum" to 30 participants from nine preschools/early childhood centers on Feb. 4.
The session addressed how to create engaging curriculum to reach a broad spectrum of learners and included time management techniques, self-regulation skills, and transition strategies to support positive behaviors.
Comments from participants included: "I found the hands-on tools to take back to the classroom very helpful;" "You offered better ways to solve difficult behavior problems in the classroom. I am looking forward to getting back to work;" and "The ideas for visual prompts were extremely useful."
Reed, preschool head teacher, has been with Westminster since 1990. She earned an undergraduate degree from Grove City College and master's degree from the University of Pittsburgh.
Roud, a Westminster graduate, joined the faculty in 1995.
The Westminster College Preschool Lab is a multi-purpose facility that serves both Westminster and the community. Designed by early childhood experts, the laboratory school is committed to providing an excellent learning experience for the area's children. The program is enhanced by the use of innovative curriculum, well-trained staff, developmentally appropriate equipment, and individual attention. It is accredited by the NAEYC's National Academy of Early Childhood Programs.
The afternoon session was led by Anne Crowe, program supervisor from Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV. Her presentation, "Autism and Differentiated Instruction," addressed developmentally appropriate and effective behavior management strategies applicable to the preschool environment.
Dr. Alison DuBois, Westminster assistant professor of education, presented "Social/Emotional Development in Early Childhood" to 15 participants from nine preschools/early childhood centers during the morning session Feb. 18. Co-presenters were Westminster sophomore early childhood education/special education majors Megan Donaldson and Elizabeth Frambes.
Participants identified the four parts of social and emotional learning through current early childhood research. They examined the importance of early attachment, the process of a child's emotional development, and a variety of factors that can impact development, including poverty and trauma.
Participants commented, "After this workshop, I feel better equipped with a knowledge base to improve my teaching skills, as well as the skills of my administration and training of the staff" and "It was extremely helpful learning about how children who are traumatized function in a regular classroom setting."
DuBois, who joined the faculty in 2011, earned an undergraduate degree from John Carroll University, master's degree from Westminster College, and Ph.D. from Duquesne University.
Donaldson is a daughter of Mark and Jean Donaldson of Sharpsville and a graduate of Sharpsville High School.
Frambes is a daughter of Ted and Kristen Frambes of McMurray and a graduate of Peters Township High School.
Dr. Amy Camardese, associate professor and chair of Westminster's Department of Education, presented "Management Strategies" during the afternoon session. She covered several categories of disabilities and included definitions, identifying characteristics, and diagnostic requirements.
Camardese, who joined the faculty in 2001, earned an undergraduate degree from Ohio University, master's degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and Ph.D. from Kent State University.
The workshops were sponsored by Westminster's Drinko Center for Experiential Learning, Department of Education, Preschool Lab, and Continuing Education/Adult and Graduate Studies Office.
The Drinko Center for Experiential Learning was created to enrich undergraduate education at Westminster through advancing world-class teaching as well as by participating in collaborations that address community and regional needs including strengthening K-12 education. Click here for more information about the Drinko Center and its programs.