(Posted July 17, 2001)

Early childhood educators -- teachers specializing in children from birth through 3rd grade -- will get a chance to explore how arts and technology affect early child care and education as they listen to experts and complete action plans at the Governor's Institute for Early Childhood Educators held July 22-27 on the campus of Juniata College.

"The focus of the week is to study child development and inquiry learning as it relates to the Pennsylvania Academic Standards and Early Childhood Indicators," says Fay Glosenger, Martin G. Brumbaugh Professor of Education at Juniata and site director for the Institute. "Educators from across the state will meet in teams to study the relationship of academic standards and assessment to early childhood education and plan how teachers can use technology to enhance early childhood programs."

This is the second year that Juniata has hosted the Pennsylvania Governor?s Institute for Early Childhood Educators. This year the Pennsylvania Department of Education authorized two early childhood institutes at two college campuses in the state; the other institute was held at Villanova University in Philadelphia, July 8-13. Glosenger says Juniata received a $120,000 Pennsylvania Department of Education grant to host the event.

The 100 teachers who attend the institute will receive two graduate credits. Glosenger notes, ?Teachers will explore innovative tools and strategies to help children meet the state's new Pennsylvania Academic Standards and succeed in the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment."

The conference opens with registration at noon, Sunday, July 22 and a welcome delivered by Dr. Corinne Eisenhart, early childhood advisor at the Pennsylvania Department of Education. During the opening banquet, Cheryl Ranck, staff development specialist with the Delaware County Intermediate Unit, will talk about change using the current self-help bestseller "Who Moved the Cheese."

On Monday, July 23, Robert Pianta, professor of education at the University of Virginia, will make the keynote address based on his book "Transition to Kindergarten" at 8:30 a.m. The rest of the day will be devoted to team discussion groups, technology seminars, and a discussion of Pennsylvania's academic standards.

Tuesday, July 24 is dedicated to using the arts to meet the Pennsylvania Academic Standards in early childhood education. Five representatives from the Philadelphia Institute of the Arts in Education will hold group sessions and smaller breakout discussions on theatre, dance, music, literacy and the visual arts. The arts workshops will be followed by a 6:30 p.m. performance by the Chinese Folkdance Company from the New York Chinese Cultural Center.

The sessions on Wednesday, July 25, start at 8:30 a.m. with the presentation "How Does Brain Research Impact Our Understanding of Child Development" by Karen Lindberg and Deb Bowser, both Pennsylvania-based consultants on early childhood development. Later in the day workshops on "the project approach" and fieldwork will be on the schedule.

Technology is the order of the day Thursday, July 26, starting at 8:45 a.m. with a presentation on "Instructional Technology to Enhance Development" by Jed Friedrichsen, director of statewide special projects for Tuscarora Intermediate Unit 11.

"Participants will have an opportunity to examine a variety of websites designed for teachers and young children," Glosenger says.

In addition, attendees will learn how to create a Web page, create a PowerPoint presentation and work with digital cameras and video equipment at Juniata's Teaching-Learning-Technology Center.

The Institute wraps up Friday, July 27 with further discussion of PA Academic Standards and team presentations of learning outcomes and action plans. The PA Governor?s Institute for Early Childhood Educators is one of 29 Pennsylvania Governor's Institutes and Academies held in 24 different areas across the state this summer.

For more information, visit the state's Web site at http://www.pde.state.pa.us, or call Fay Glosenger at Juniata College at (814) 641-3645.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.