300 expected at Brenau symposium

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Dr. Constance Kamii, a University of Alabama-Birmingham professional who has worked in early childhood classroom teachers in the United States and abroad for more than 30 years will help keynote the conference.
GAINESVILLE - Brenau University ‘s College of Education will host close to 300 educators Friday and Saturday for the Early Childhood Constructivist Institute designed to help teachers improve their skills for teaching mathematics and sciences to younger pupils.

Although the symposium is open to educators from around the U.S., through an arrangement with the Georgia Department of Education, it is tuition free to Georgia public school teachers, who will also receive professional continuing education credits for attending.

All sessions will be held in Pearce Auditorium.

Dr. Douglas H. Clements, distinguished professor of education at the State University of New York in Buffalo and Dr. Constance Kamii, a University of Alabama-Birmingham professional who has worked in early childhood classroom teachers in the United States and abroad for more than 30 years will keynote the conference.

Brenau Education Dean Lora Bailey said the conference initially was scheduled to be held at Auburn University, where she was faculty and chair of the Early Childhood Program. But when she moved to Brenau in January, she brought the conference with her to the Gainesville campus.

“All teachers, including those in high schools and middle schools will benefit from attending,” said Bailey, “but any teacher who works with young children will find this to be an especially rewarding experience.”

Clements, who will speak at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, July 17, was a member of President Bush’s National Math Advisory Panel and the National Academies of Sciences/National Research Council Committee on Early Childhood Mathematics. His primary research interests lie in the areas of the learning and teaching of geometry, computer applications in mathematics education, and the early development of mathematical ideas. He has published over 90 refereed research studies and six books in addition to contributing to 50 other books and 250 different publications.

Kamii, who speaks at 9:30 a.m. Friday, attracted worldwide attention in the 1990s with her assertion that traditional methods of teaching young children the “Three Rs” actually did more harm than good. She is professor of early childhood education at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She studied under Jean Piaget on and off for 15 years, first as a postdoctoral research fellow and later as an adjunct professor at the University of Geneva, on a joint appointment with the University of Illinois at Chicago. She worked with classroom teachers for more than 30 years as can be seen in Physical Knowledge in Preschool Education, Young Children Reinvent Arithmetic, 2nd Grade, and Young Children Continue to Reinvent Arithmetic, 3rd Grade.

Anyone interested in attending the conference, can register onsite, and tuition free if you teach in public or private Pk-12 schools, or preschool classrooms in the state of Georgia. For more information, email Dr. Lora Bailey at pcrusoe@brenau.edu or call 770-297-5955.
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