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Dr. William Crain from CUNY to speak in Los Angeles

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The El Rio Charter School Development Team is hosting a talk by Dr. William Crain , a Developmental Psychologist and Professor of Psychology at City College of New York as part of their "Ingenious Childhood" public events. Dr. Crain’s talk is entitled Letting Children Be Children in an Achievement-Oriented World: The Four Remarkable Strengths of Childhood. This event is appropriate for educators, parents and school leaders. The talk will take place on Saturday, November 6, 2010, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the LA Leadership Middle School located at 2670 Griffin Avenue, Los Angeles, 90031. This is a free event but donations to the El Rio Charter School Start-Up Fund is happily accepted. The event is co-sponsored by Ocean Charter School and the Los Angeles Leadership Academy.

Dr. Crain will address the question:

Are you anxious that your child may not be achieving enough, fast enough or good enough?

His answer:

STOP IT!

He will discuss childhood in a new light focusing on less is more:

The less we do as parents, the less we entertain and teach, and the more children explore, play and learn.

Dr. Crain is also author of the book Reclaiming Childhood. Vanessa Bush from Booklist cites:

“Crain, a developmental psychologist, laments the ceaseless schedule of activities for most American children that leaves them little time and energy for the typical childhood pursuits of a less restless and ambitious age. Crain worries that by focusing so much on preparing children for a competitive future, we are stunting their growth and neglecting their here-and-now needs and desires. He specifically examines current trends, from emphasis on standardized tests to the birth-to-three early-development movement, and contrasts them with the child-centered philosophies of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Dewey, Maria Montessori, Jean Piaget, and David Elkind. He advocates a more natural learning rhythm and an environment that takes advantage of children's own natural curiosity, with adults providing an unobtrusive presence. Crain offers advice, based on research and interviews with parents and children, on how parents and educators can provide a more child-centered model for education that takes cues from the children themselves and respects their efforts to learn on their own.”

Dr. Crain also founded Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary in New York where the focus is on rescuing neglected and abused farm animals.

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Thank you to Cari Dawson and Joan Jaeckel for information on this event.

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