Calendar of Events

Sat 10.24.2015

Early Childhood Education - Challenges and Opportunities


When: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM SATURDAY, ARCHTOBER 24

Where: At The Center   

This symposium intends to broaden the dialogue from the immediate space needs of the Mayor's Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) initiative by focusing on best practices and innovation in early childhood environments.

We will focus on three parts: The pedagogical background and necessity of early childhood education, the architectural environment it requires, and the current programs of providing UPK in New York City with its specific challenges and opportunities.

Our goal is to foster a dialogue between educators, architects, City administrators, and parents on how we can all work together to support and enhance early childhood development and to establish key parameters for a high quality educational environment that is conducive to children's holistic growth which will lay the ground work for their academic and personal achievement.


Welcome: David Burney, FAIA, Interim Executive Director, Center for Architecture | AIANY

Moderator: Dr. David Steiner, Director, Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy; Professor of Education, Johns Hopkins University School of Education

Part One: Early Childhood Education - Why and What Kind?

Edith Ackermann, Developmental Psychologist; Associate Professor, MIT
Setting new standards for digital natives is laudable. Yet, the rationale for implementation still raises more questions than it provides satisfactory answers. We are currently witnessing an unprecedented revival of drill-and-practice, behavioral tracking, and carrot-and-stick approaches, none of which seem particularly well suited to tackle the task of preparing today’s youngsters to live up to the growing pressures of so- called 21st century skills requirements. This presentation looks at the history of the kindergarten, and seeks to bring its founders’ contributions into the 21st century. Advances in the neurosciences and whole child development corroborate many of the old masters’ insights. All stress that a child’s physical and psychological wellbeing, sense of self-worth, and unconditional love from at least one caring available adult are the basic nutrients which are needed to secure any preschooler’s grounds. Without feeling held and being nurtured, no child can thrive.
Jorge Luis García, National Council for Science and Technology (Conacyt) Fellow, Department of Economics, University of Chicago
Based on experimental, quasi-experimental, theory-based, and cost-benefit evidence, Jorge Garcia presents that Early Education Programs are very beneficial for child development, particularly for economically disadvantaged children.

Part Two: ECE Educational Environments

Umberto Dindo, FAIA, Principal, Dindo Architect P.C.
Educational Places and Spaces from Buddha to Hertzberger
Jeffrey Dugan, AIA, Principal, Dattner Architects
Current ECE/UPK Project - Coney Island Head Start Center, Brooklyn, NY
Mary Burnham AIA, Partner, Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects
Current ECE/UPK Project - Early Childhood Center, St. Hilda's and St. Hugh's School, Manhattan, NY
Ehab Shehata, Vice President, AECOM
Current ECE/UPK Project - NYC Universal Pre-K Center, Jamaica, Queens

Part Three: NYC Context

Sophia Pappas, Chief Executive Director, Office of Early Childhood Education, NYC Department of Education
NYC's Universal Pre-K Initiative: Goals, Challenges, and Accomplishments
Tovah Klein, PhD, Director, Barnard College Center for Toddler Development
Community Views and Critera – Dr. Klein will talk about her expectations and experience with her children attending a very early ECE school (Central Park East 1 School) and her outlook and expectations on today's ECE efforts, both as a parent and as an ECE professional.
E. Bruce Barrett, AIA, Vice President, Architecture & Engineering, NYC School Construction Authority
Creating UPK Centers – At the end of 2013, the SCA began the development of an approach, resources, standards and process for the expedited delivery of UPK Centers across the City. Hundreds of properties were surveyed and considered; the final sort yielded projects that spanned from gut rehab, to upgrade/re-use of existing non-public schools, to new buildings.

Organized by: AIANY Architecture for Education Committee

Price: $20 for AIA members; $30 for non-members



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