Poehler Lecture 2017

On March 7, 2017, Dr. Barb Schoenbeck gave a lecture entitled “So, how are the children?” This lecture was the 2017 installment of the Poehler Lecture series and covered the topic of early childhood development. Dr. Schoenbeck listed five areas of child development: physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and spiritual and moral. ¬†She explained how each of these areas impacted the child, with a special emphasis on the intellectual portion. She gave 10 requirements that a child needs to thrive as they are developing: care, safety, self esteem, touch, music, communication, reading(!), solid and loving relationships, interaction, and play. She also talked about how God, as a loving creator, created children to develop in predictable ways at their own paces. She also emphasized the importance of being an example of God’s love to children because children are always watching.

Dr. Schoenbeck made sure to always mention how God had a hand in all of the development stages of a child. This can be connected to the Honors program philosophy because we are always working to see God at work in the various subjects(science, math, sociology, etc.). This semester we are looking to see how we can reflect God’s love not to children, but rather to the marginalized in society. We are learning that listening to the marginalized is an important part of showing God’s love to them.

I found Dr. Schoenbeck’s lecture to be fascinating. I am not an early childhood education, but the information I learned at this lecture will be applicable in my future career. As a Director of Christian Education, I will be working with people of all ages, including young children that are still developing. Knowing the various ways that children develop and what they need to thrive will allow me to better tailor my actions towards the children to help them in the best way possible.

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