Being an effective early childhood professional requires more than a passion for teaching or ability to work well with children. In the first five years of life, the most critical skills are formed by creating synaptic connections that are key to cognitive, social, physical, and emotional development. Because of their developmental stage, the environment you provide as an early educator will set the foundation for each child’s K- 12 learning experience and beyond. However, as an early childhood professional, you will not work in isolation. Other professionals contribute to service provided to this population, including speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, school psychologists, and educational advocates. Therefore, it is essential that as an early childhood professional you are able to communicate effectively with other professionals.
Scenario: The principal from a local school district was impressed with the proposal you wrote for him about the role families and communities play in promoting optimal cognitive development. Based on your proposal, they have offered you a spot as a key presenter at a district-wide professional development workshop for teachers, where you will share your knowledge regarding cognitive development. All of these ideas will come together as you design your Professional Development Experience project. Before starting your Final Project, you are encouraged to view the Week Five Instructor Guidance for additional information, resources, and support, including a deeper look at the professionals you will work with in the field. Additionally, review the Grading Rubric for this assignment to understand how you will be evaluated and contact your instructor using the “Ask Your Instructor” tab before the due date with questions.
In order to develop this comprehensive workshop for the targeted professional development population, the principal has given you specific talking points that must be addressed. You will use these talking points to guide your creation of a presentation using PowerPoint or Google Slides. In the slide notes section, please make sure to support the information you have shared on each slide. Finally, make sure to include a title and reference slide for your presentation.
The Professional Development Experience must include the following:
• Theoretical Framework (2 points): Explain a theoretical framework that supports early childhood cognitive development in a classroom environment.
• Language and Cognitive Development (2 points): Describe at least three ways language development impacts cognitive development using the theoretical framework you have identified.
• Motor and Cognitive Development (2 points): Describe at least three ways motor development impacts cognitive development using the theoretical framework you have identified.
• Motor or Speech delay (2 points): Explain at least three ways a delay in speech or motor functioning impacts learning and cognitive development. Describe the area of the brain responsible for these functions.
• Interplay of Genes, Biology, and Environment (2 points): Analyze the interplay of genetics, biology, and environmental factors on brain functioning and cognitive development by providing at least three examples.
• Neuroplasticity and Trauma (2 points): Apply the concept of neuroplasticity by providing one example from your current or future professional work. Discuss the impact that trauma has on the developing brain.
• Neurodevelopmental Disorders (2 points): Explain one specific neurodevelopmental disorder including the genetics, biological, and environmental influences related to this disorder.
• Family and Culture (2 points): Summarize the relationship between family and culture on cognitive development including the development of judgment and reasoning.
• Intelligence and Achievement Testing (2 points): Discuss one specific intelligence test and one specific achievement test and their use in education in determining appropriate services and resources for children.
• Application of Concepts (2 points): Apply one specific cognitive strategy you would use to improve working memory, attention, and executive function to children with diverse needs.
• Collaboration with Colleagues (2 points): Discuss where and when collaboration and referrals to other professionals including a speech and language pathologist, occupational therapist, school psychologist, and educational advocate would be appropriate and necessary.