The Duke Center for Child and Family Policy presents the Sulzberger Distinguished Lecture on Transformative Early Childhood Programs, featuring Kathleen Gallagher, on February 23rd at 3pm.
About the presentation:
The percentage of America’s children who live in families struggling to meet daily housing, nutrition and health needs has increased in recent years, suggesting that we have lost America’s War on Poverty. Informed by longitudinal experimental studies, we know that early childhood programs can improve outcomes for young children whose families live in poverty. These improvements in education, health and social wellbeing are manifest in long-term economic and community benefits. The Abecedarian Study, conducted at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, is one of these rigorously conducted studies that has consistently demonstrated positive outcomes—both anticipated and surprising—well into the participants’ middle adulthood.
This presentation breaks down findings from the Abecedarian study by focusing on the features of care and education that likely benefited the Abecedarian participants. We’ll examine what we know (and what we don’t know) about the Abecedarian study, and sift through subsequent evidence on high quality programs. We can then begin to consider how features of high quality early childhood programs can be produced in multiple settings and understand how and why their implementation justifies and returns their substantial economic investment. With an eye on what this research means for policy, Gallagher will highlight implications for caregivers: families and early childhood professionals.
About the speaker:
Kathleen Gallagher is an educational psychologist and scientist at Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Last year, Gallagher delivered two very popular TED talks on the evidence base for supporting the power of high-quality early childhood programs—as the awarded faculty speaker at TEDxUNC and as an invited speaker at TEDxMemphis.