Issues In Education: The Mary Culkin Lecture Series

The Early Childhood Education program at Naropa University offers this public lecture series. The lecture and discussion series has been developed in memory of the late Mary Louise Culkin, who taught in our ECE program for many years and helped to develop the Masters Degree in Contemplative Education. Mary envisioned opportunities for extended learning like this lecture series for the regional early education community. Through this series we learn from regional and national leaders in the field of early care and education, and become connected as a larger educational community. The lecture series is open to all interested members of the community. Certificates of attendance will be issued to those desiring contact hour credit documentation for re-licensing or other purposes.

For more information contact Deborah Young () or Andraa Boeselager (). 

Previous Lectures

Early Childhood Activities for a Greener Earth

Speaker: Patty Born Selly, MA
Date: April 23, 2014
Location: Lincoln 4130, 2130 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder

Nature offers a host of opportunities for children to develop scientific thinking skills such as inquiry and observation. Scientific learning is not something that happens only in the science stations in the classroom! Opportunities for scientific exploration in the out-of-doors include: the structures we and other animals build, the air we breathe, the changes of seasons, animals, habitats, the list goes on. Whether you have access to a large wilderness preserve or just a few scattered trees at the edge of your parking lot, you have a rich source of material just outside your doors.

Living with Autism: Breaking Through Barriers

Speaker: Benjamin Tarasewicz
Date: April 2, 2014
Location: Lincoln 4130, 2130 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder

This informative and inspiring multi-media presentation begins with Benjamin's mother giving a brief introductory talk which provides background information and a sense of perspective. Benjamin's 30-minute talk is accompanied by power-point slides consisting primarily of engaging photos. The presentation is followed by a 5-minute performance element (Polynesian poi-swings choreographed to Celtic music). A Q&A period concludes the session.

Reading to End Racism

Speaker: Ema Lyman
Date: March 12, 2014
Location: Naropa University Performing Arts Center (PAC), 2130 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder

The Reading to End Racism project is designed to provide engaging and age-appropriate forums in which to explain and explore institutional racism with students in grades K through 8. Through interactive presentations led by volunteer readers, students have an opportunity to listen to literature, personal stories and insights regarding racism; participate in discussions about racism; and gain reinforcement about the power of literature. During these class discussions, students are encouraged to brainstorm and come up with their own ideas to end racism. The many ideas generated have included: stick up for other people, learn about other cultures, talk to and educate racist people, and use the news media to publicize the problem. The presentation will serve as a Volunteer Reader Training, which means that attendees will be ready to volunteer with RER as soon as they can!

Project Learning Tree

Speaker: Kyle Koyle
Date: March 5, 2014
Location: Wilderness Learning Center, 2845 Wilderness Place, Boulder

Project Learning Tree is an award winning, multi-disciplinary environmental education program for educators and students in PreK-12. PLT is one of the most widely used environmental education programs inside and outside the United States. Workshops are active and content-rich, and incorporate reading, technology and differentiated-learning techniques. Activities demonstrate best practices in education methodology such as constructed, cooperative and facilitated learning. Each participant receives curriculum and supporting DVD and materials. Learn how to provide fun, scientific, interactive, multidisciplinary lessons for young learners that engage them with music, movement, food, reading, playing, and exploring their world naturally.

The Emotional Art of Teaching: Mastering Classroom Social and Emotional Dynamics to Promote Learning

Speaker: Patricia (Tish) Jennings, M.Ed., Ph.D.
Date: February 19, 2014
Location: Naropa University Performing Arts Center (PAC), 2130 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder

At its core, teaching is an emotional practice. The social and emotional dynamics of the classroom play a key role in promoting student learning and fostering prosocial behavior. This interactive session highlights the importance of teachers' social and emotional skills and wellbeing and introduces practical tools for promoting these skills and orchestrating effective social and emotional classroom dynamics that optimize teaching and learning.

Understanding the Meaning of Children's Play

Date: February 5, 2014
Speaker: Lisa Dion

This workshop is designed to give teachers and caregivers pertinent information on how to understand the meaning behind children's play, so that they can better understand what children are attempting to express. Participants will also learn how to assess a child's nervous system dys-regulation patterns along with what signs to look for in a child's play that indicate concern and possible need for intervention and support. The caregiver and teacher's role will also be addressed.