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Westminster College Education Students and Professors Present at Midwestern Early Childhood Conference

Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2014

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Westminster College sophomore early childhood/special education majors Renee Cantrell and Emily Suchevich presented research with professors Diana Reed and Debi Roud at the Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV Early Childhood Conference in March at Grove City College.

The group presented "Keeping Play as the Cornerstone for Children's Learning."

The research was inspired by the fact that despite its benefits, many parents and educators still find it difficult to rationalize play as a major learning tool, and that in the area of student assessment and accountability, play is often discounted. The purpose of the presentation was to help participants develop a strong rationale for including play in early childhood learning.

The group reviewed the characteristics of play, the theories, cognitive and social play, and how to facilitate childhood play in the classroom and at home. Specific topics covered included contemporary and classical theories regarding play; and the intellectual, social, verbal, emotional and creative beneftis of play.  Additionally, the group opened the presentation with having participants pair-up and compete in a play-oriented game.

Cantrell is a daughter of Ronnie and Regina Cantrell and a graduate of Sharpsville High School.

Suchevich is a daughter of Raymon and Kimberly Suchevich of Verona and a graduate of Riverview High School.

Reed, lecturer of education, has been with Westminster for 24 years and earned her undergraduate degree in communication arts/literature from Grove City College and a master's in elementary and early childhood education from the University of Pittsburgh.

Roud, head teacher at the College's Preschool Lab, has been with Westminster  for 22 years and earned her undergraduate degree in elementary education from Westminster College and is certified in early childhood education.

The goals of the Westminster Department of Education are to prepare early childhood/special education teachers who are distinguished by their subject matter knowledge, interpersonal capacities, pedagogical skills, and professional attitudes. Through study in general coursework and professional education, students are encouraged to build a professional knowledge base. Meaningful classroom experiences, opportunities with children, partnerships with schools and agencies, and completing research and attending/presenting at conferences enables students to make connections between academic work and the field of basic education.

Contact Reed at 724-946-7181 for additional information.

(L-R) Emily Suchevich, Renee Cantrell, Debi Roud and Diana Reed