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Shannon Marie Pruden Dick
Assistant Professor

Florida International University



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Impact of Educator Language on Pre-k Children’s Early School Readiness Skills
Audience: Adults
Description: One skill predictive of success in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-related careers is one’s ability to think about the spatial world (i.e., spatial thinking). Given the increasing demand for STEM-related careers in today’s global economy, it is necessary to understand those factors that potentially affect spatial thinking in young children. Previous research suggests that the amount of spatial language used by caregivers in the home predicts pre-k children’s spatial skills (Pruden, Levine & Huttenlocher, 2011). Yet, pre-k children spend a substantial amount of time outside of the home, in the school setting. For example, nearly 153,000 4-year-olds enrolled in Florida’s Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) program in 2011 spent an average of 540 school hours in the classroom. To date, we know little about those classroom factors that affect the development of spatial thinking in pre-k children. In these talk, I will examine the quantity and quality of spatial and numeracy language use by pre-k educators when teaching math and science curriculum and how this language use relates to children’s spatial thinking skills.

Subject Areas: Behavioral Sciences
Keywords: early education
early school readiness skills
prekindergarten children
spatial skills
Duration: 1 hour or less
Fee: Greater than $500

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