Concordia University, St. Paul puts on the Poehler Lecture every year. This lecture brings in a former faculty member to discuss how the Christian faith integrates with education and higher learning. Dr. Barb Schoenbeck, Professor Emerita of Education was this years speaker. Her lecture was titled “So, how are the children?” She wanted to discuss the importance of children to a society. She went through her background from being an early childhood teacher all the way to being the director of Concordia’s Early Childhood Teacher Education program. She stressed how important a child’s early years are in molding who the child will be as an adult.
I think that Dr. Schoenbeck’s lecture relates very well to this semester’s talk about individuals of marginalized populations. I think she was making the argument that America has marginalized our children. There is a great potential for our children to be marginalized. This is not intentional, but our society puts many pressures on the intellectual advancement of children when the adults can be doing more to help their children. Dr. Schoenbeck discussed things like unstructured play time, being read to, and interaction with adults/parents. These things help the child develop and blossom. A young child’s vocabulary has been linked with literacy rates and even high school drop out rates. I think she was saying that we should be careful to not marginalize our children.
I though this lecture was very informative. As a church work student, I feel strongly about supporting children mentally, physically, and spiritually. I think that this lecture opened my eyes to some of the needs of children. I thought this was a good lecture for everyone who attended.