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Early Childhood Education Conference Draws Professionals to Arkansas State for 43rd Year


JONESBORO – More than 400 professionals and presenters are converging today at Arkansas State University for the 43rd annual Early Childhood Education Conference.

Sponsored by the Childhood Services department at Arkansas State, the conference sessions will continue today, Tuesday and Wednesday at Fowler Center and the Convocation Center.

“This year our conference theme focuses on the learning environment, from materials and room arrangement to interactions and assessment,” according to Jo Ann Nalley, director of Childhood Services.

The schedule today and Tuesday will feature the “Spotlight on Learning Centers,” through which participants will get ideas for selecting and displaying materials, “ . . . as well as strategies for using learning centers to extend children’s learning,” Nalley added.

Dr. Rebecca Isbell of East Tennessee State University will present the morning keynote address at 10 a.m. in Riceland Hall of Fowler Center. Dr. Isbell’s presentation is titled, “Creating an Amazing Environment that Inspires Young Children and Their Teachers.”

In addition to general sessions for everyone, various special interest sessions on specific topics are scheduled throughout the day.

Nalley said the individuals who are organizing and presenting the conference sessions have identified several goals.

These include providing a wide variety of learning opportunities, engaging the participants in professional development experiences, providing opportunities to discuss current research and best practices, and inspiring participants go back to their workplace with “ . . . a renewed commitment to providing high quality services to children and families.”

Nalley also commended the conference participants for “ . . . the important work you do to foster relationships, respect families and honor children.”

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