Understanding Infant Pedagogy - Professional Development Day

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This professional learning day will provide delegates with practical perspectives on infant development and learning. The two speakers will offer their special insights along with implications for practice

The Developing Brain: Translating Neuroscience into Practice

Nathan Wallis - Neuroscience Educator

Keynote: 9.00am-11.30am

The last twenty years has seen an explosion of brain development research with new technologies allowing us to understand the inner workings of the human brain like never before. Much of this information looks at the formative nature and huge significance of the early years' experience. The role of the early childhood teacher has moved in the research from the back of the queue to the very front! Neuroscientific research findings give us a clear idea about the why and how of early childhood teaching and care. In an easy to understand manner, Nathan will discuss what evidence based best practice would look like in the early childhood setting if this research was put fully into practice.

Workshop: 11.00am-12.30pm

The majority of the major discoveries about the growth and development of the human brain which led the 1990's to be labelled the "Decade of the Brain", were about the brain from conception to 3 years of age. From a neurological perspective this is clearly the most important time in your life for influencing your entire life span. Participants will explore with Nathan, how this works and what it means for how we interact, nurture and educate our youngest citizens. We will explore the implications this has for early childhood/infancy and the type of environment that best facilitates the full development of the child's potential. Nathan's aim is to make this as jargon free and easily relatable to practice as possible.

Infant directed speech and early language development. Dr Christa Lam-Cassettari and Dr Karen Mattock, Western Sydney University


We present evidence that the quality and quantity of speech input provided to young infants and toddlers is positively related to the amount of vocal play infants engage in, and subsequent vocabulary in toddlerhood. Implications for infants at risk of language delays will be discussed with tips for how early educators can positively influence language development.


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