Early childhood education expert speaks about rural challenges

Dr. Walter Gilliam, director of the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy at the Yale Child Study Center, gave a public presentation on early childhood education and rural challenges Feb. 12 in Blackman Auditorium of Woods Lab on the campus of the University of the South.

Gilliam’s research involves early childhood education and how policies translate into effective services; ways to improve the quality of prekindergarten and child care services; the impact of early childhood education programs on children’s school readiness; and effective methods for reducing classroom behavior problems and reducing the incidence of preschool expulsion.

Gilliam’s presentation was the first event in the annual Easter semester lecture series presented by Community Engaged Learning, the University of the South’s academic community engagement program.

The series features a range of speakers from all over the world. They will address a variety of topics of concern for people living on the Cumberland Plateau and in surrounding communities. Most of the featured speakers are guest lecturers in Child, Family, and Community Development in Rural Appalachia, a psychology course developed out of a partnership between Sewanee’s Psychology Department and Yale School of Medicine’s Child Study Center. The public is invited to the talks, which will be on most Tuesdays during the semester at 4:30 p.m. in Blackman Auditorium on the campus of the University of the South.

Gilliam is the director of the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy and associate professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center (Yale School of Medicine). He is on the board of directors for the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies; is a fellow at Zero to Three and the National Institute for Early Education Research; and served as a senior advisor to the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Gilliam was co-recipient of the 2008 Grawemeyer Award in Education for the book A Vision for Universal Preschool Education. His work has been covered in major national and international news outlets for print (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today), National Public Radio, and television (Today Show (NBC), The Early Show (CBS), ABC World News, CNN, and FOX).

Woods Lab is behind the McGriff Alumni House (map here: http://goo.gl/maps/UnKCV) on Georgia Avenue, and in front of duPont Library. Parking is available on Georgia Avenue and behind the library.

For additional information, contact Jim Peterman by phone at 931.598.1482 or by e-mail at jfpeterm@sewanee.edu.