Early Childhood Education Conference

40th Annual Early Childhood Education Conference
In this Section

         Creating AH-HA! Moments
               with Early Learners

Please join us for the 40th Annual Early Childhood Education Conference on Friday and Saturday, April 20th and 21st, 2018 at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, Wisconsin. 

  Dr. Jean                              Friday's Keynote Speaker:
                                        Dr. Jean Feldman

                             "Kids Just Wanna Have Fun!"


     Join Dr. Jean and discover that it is best to have a good time
     as you learn! You’ll sing, dance, cheer, and remember how
     much FUN teaching can be! Highlights will include practical
     applications from brain research, songs to nurture skills and standards, movement activities to release wiggles, how to engage children’s attention, ideas to celebrate every child every day. Dr. Jean Feldman’s noteworthy educational career has spanned more than 40 years. She has served as a classroom teacher, instructor of adults, author, and consultant. She is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the National Kindergarten Alliance, and the International Reading Association. Dr. Feldman’s list of degrees include a B.A. from the University of Georgia, a D.A.S.T. from Emory University, and both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Georgia State University. Dr. Feldman inspires teachers across the country with her engaging songs and creative activities that help make teaching and learning FUN               

Dr. Tami

                   Saturday's Keynote Speaker:
                            Dr. Tami Rae Weiss

                    "Beads and Breakdancing:
                      Understanding Empathy
                            Through the Arts"


In a multimedia presentation, Dr. Tami Rae Weiss shares various arts strategies from dancing to doodling through which teachers can cultivate empathy with even the youngest of learners. Specifically, Weiss emphasizes an untaught literacy in schools which is of most importance: aesthetic literacy, which she describes as the ability to read human emotion.

Dr. Weiss’s advice for improving schools today includes, “Focus less on right answers and more on human rights. Focus less on competition and more on community.  Focus less on reading words and more on reading people.”  “True education,” according to Weiss, “is the ability to understand another human being.”

To teach empathy, Dr. Weiss uses the analogy of “beads and threads” to illustrate that the lessons in a teacher’s curriculum are “beads” designed around specific content objectives, while the “threads” lead toward deeper understandings that may connect and transfer into life outside of school.  Regardless of the “beads’” subject, the enduring “thread” can be that of empathic understanding.

Dr. Tami Weiss has collaborated with Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul, and Mary) and Eva Schloss (Holocaust survivor and step-sister to Anne Frank) to promote the arts as essential to personal well-being and cultural change. As Executive Director of Arts Integration Menomonie and Program Director for Art Education at UW-Stout, Weiss works with teachers to integrate the arts as a means of enhancing their competence, confidence, and happiness.  


Dr. Dipesh Navsaria             Special Session on Friday and Saturday
                              Dr. Dipesh Navsaria
              "Early Brain and Child Development"
       (Including Toxic Stress and Childhood Adversity)    


Dr. Navsaria will discuss the critical importance of the first thousand days of life and the key role human relationships and interactions play in that time period. The concepts of toxic stress and how early adversity leads to lifelong issues will be reviewed, with practical examples and discussion of research which highlights these areas. Broad policy and principles that may help address the issue will also be discussed, providing a practical framework for those who work with children and  families.

Dipesh Navsaria is an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He practices primary care pediatrics at a federally-qualified health center in South Madison. He is the founding medical director of Reach Out and Read Wisconsin and the founder and director of the Pediatric Early Literacy Projects at the University of Wisconsin. With respect to education, Dr Navsaria is heavily involved in advocacy training for the pediatric residents and medical students and is frequently involved in medical student and physician assistant education from the clinical arena through myriad small group and lecture formats. He regularly writes op-eds on health-related topics, does radio and television interviews, and frequently speaks locally, regionally and nationally on early brain and child development, early literacy, and advocacy to a broad variety of audiences. He also has a modest professional presence on social media.

The 2018 Early Childhood Education Conference is Fast Approaching!! / Dr. Tami Rae Weiss