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Conference Explores Interdisciplinary Understanding of Family, Community, Educational Practices
The 7th Annual Mini-Conference on Play, Early Childhood Development and Education, a joint effort among Syracuse University, The Pennsylvania State University, and Bloomsburg University, will be held on April 28-29 at the College of Education at Bloomsburg University. This year’s topic is “Pancultural Perspectives on Play.”
A link to the conference agenda, including speakers and topics, is available at http://falk.syr.edu.
The conference emphasizes the promotion of developmentally and culturally appropriate practices in early childhood development and education by highlighting the interplay among ecological niches, child development and early education. The conference aims to increase interdisciplinary understanding of the role of family, community and educational practices in childhood development.
The conference offers a helpful venue for students to network with faculty from other universities on job and graduate study opportunities. Additionally, it has consistently offered many opportunities for faculty and students across universities to collaborate on joint research projects and publications.
“CFS graduate students, along with students from the other institutions, have published along with faculty members,” notes Jaipaul Roopnarine, the Pearl Falk Endowed Professor of Child and Family Studies. “There have also been opportunities for graduate students to publish their work independently in major academic outlets on play.”
Along with associate professor of child and family studies Eunjoo Jung, Roopnarine has been invited to serve on the editorial board of the International Journal of Play as a result of their on-going participation in this conference and their international work on play. Professors also serve on doctoral student committees and offer guest lectures via Skype and in person across universities. For example, Professor Roopnarine serves on a doctoral committee in curriculum and instruction at Penn State, while Professor James Johnson of Penn State will provide a guest lecture via Skype to students in CFS 331, an undergraduate class on play this spring.
This year’s conference will include research-based presentations on the play of immigrant and refugee children, games in Chinese society and internal working models about the benefits of play activities in diverse cultural settings. Some of this work will be featured in upcoming volumes, including the “Handbook on International Perspective on Early Childhood Education” (Routledge Press, authored by Roopnarine, Michael Patte of Bloomsburg University and Johnson, all of whom will be presenting at this year’s conference.