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Little Kids Are Not Stupid

My name is Jennifer Keys Adair. This is my idea for a core conversation session at SXSW Interactive 2015. I'm an early childhood professor trying to get more sophisticated online content delivery for pre and early readers. If kids want to learn about whales or tornadoes or honey production or queens - where do they go? Little Kids are not Stupid: Give them Content!

YouTube - Jul 26, 2014

Project Based Learning

Here’s a description of a classroom where a wealth of learning occurs.

Students choose small groups and the teacher asks them to plan a vacation. They can go anywhere.

.edu Magazine - March 2014

Why disciplining kids can be so tricky for parents and teachers

Disciplining works if it is not over the top and children understand the point of it.

Highlights magazine’s annual State of Kids survey found that a majority of children appreciated being disciplined and believed that it helped them behave better.

the conversation - Oct 14, 2015

Labeling Young Children With 'Word Gap' Language Is Harmful

When high school student Coby Burren noticed slaves referred to as "immigrant workers" in his Texas textbook, he called his mother who then called out the publisher. Using "workers" instead of "slaves" to describe migration from West Africa to the United States, they argued, is yet another way to make something horrible sound less horrible.

Huffington Post - Oct 12, 2015

"Is Your Kid Having Fun Reading? Hear are some tips." * w/ Michiko Hikida

Not being able to read is a problem but so is not liking to read.

Reading for pleasure has been linked to growth across many domains, including greater reading confidence, gains in general knowledge and insights that help disrupt negative stereotypes. Engagement with books not only improves social relationships but also builds empathy.

the conversation - Apr 17, 2015

Why Stopping Deportation Is the Right Thing to Do (Reprint)

This week, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hannen denied the Obama administration's request that would have allowed applications for hardworking immigrant parents and young adults to stay in the U.S. This decision represents another frustrating delay on actions that could impact the lives of at least 3.7 million people currently living in the U.S.

Educational Equity, Politics & Policy in Texas - Apr 13, 2015

Why Stopping Deportation Is the Right Thing to Do

This week, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hannen denied the Obama administration's request that would have allowed applications for hardworking immigrant parents and young adults to stay in the U.S. This decision represents another frustrating delay on actions that could impact the lives of at least 3.7 million people currently living in the U.S.

Huffington Post - Apr 9, 2015

Top Teachers Required for All Our Small Children

In a female dominated profession, where 95.5 percent of all child care workers are women, we often assume anyone patient enough can work with children.

Women's E News - Apr 8, 2015

Texas needs teachers with early childhood certification

The new governor of Texas ran on a pre-kindergarten platform. And he announced early childhood education as a main priority. Yet, his plan does little to help ensure teachers have the knowledge necessary to be effective teachers of young children.

Austin American Statesmen - Mar 4, 2015

Kids must learn Black History Movements and Heroes

Childhood lessons about black history often overlook important but less well-known figures including (from left) Bayard Rustin, Andrew Young, (second from right) James Farmer and John Lewis, who join Rep. William Fitts Ryan (center) in New York in 1965 during the Civil Rights Movement.

Empathy Educates - Feb 27, 2015

The Chicago Reporter

Jennifer Keys Adair, Ph.D., is a professor of Early Childhood Education at The University of Texas at Austin, a young scholar fellow with the Foundation for Child Development and a public voices fellow with The OpEd Project.

Chicago Register - Feb 27, 2015

In test-based systems, even young kids resist learning

Children show a vastly improved ability to absorb knowledge when they are allowed to make some of their own decisions about what they want to learn.

Testing, in other words, gets in the way – and worse.

the conversation - Feb 25, 2015

Training Teachers To Face Impoverished Students

A report released in January shows that the number of impoverished school-aged children is on the rise. In some states, the majority of public school students are living in poverty. What does this mean for preparing new teachers to enter the classroom? Two guests give us their recommendations.

Wisconsin Public Radio (npr) - Feb 23, 2015

Preparing Teachers for an Unfortunate Reality: Impoverished Students

How can we modify education programs to make sure that our teachers look beyond simple stereotypes about the perceived deficits of poor students?

Pacific Standard - Feb 13, 2015

Holmes, Johnson, Keys Adair: Tolerance education should begin in kindergarten

AUSTIN, Texas >> By age 9, children have prejudices that are “highly resistant to change.” So if we want to fight racism and violence (particularly against black men), we need to teach diversity much earlier.

the register citizen - Dec 18, 2014

Mott Haven parents support mayor’s pre-k push

Local families need more early education, they say without the Abraham House afterschool program on Willis Avenue, Evelyn Gil says she never would have earned a scholarship and a chance to study in London.

mott haven herald - May 4, 2014

Op-Ed Project Fellows Address Challenges African Americans Still Face Today

Turn to the op-ed pages of any major newspaper, and you’ll see how writers are wielding the power of the written word to keep people honest, to speak out about injustices, to shake readers out of apathy. You’re also likely to see the article was most likely written by a man.

The University of Texas at Austin - Feb 10, 2015

How to Teach Tolerance

By age 9, children have prejudices that are “highly resistant to change.” So if we want to fight racism and violence (particularly against black men), we need to teach diversity much earlier.

The University of Texas at Austin - Feb 10, 2015

To avoid another Ferguson, we need to start teaching tolerance … in kindergarten

By age 9, children have prejudices that are “highly resistant to change.” So if we want to fight racism and violence (particularly against black men), we need to teach diversity much earlier.

the washington post - Dec 17, 2014

White Parents Should Talk to Their Kids About Discrimination

In the aftermath of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shooting and killing Michael Brown, I have been thinking about what young children are picking up from their parents, the news and their teachers about being a good white person.

huffington post - Oct 15, 2014

Fighting for Farm Workers at Our Dinner Table

The movie Food Chains should dramatically raise our collective consciousness - and conscience - about how our food is produced. We need to establish a "slave-free" section at our supermarkets.

truth out - Dec 11, 2014

Kids and technology: Three household principles

It is easy for kids to plug into content labeled as 'educational' on tablets and smart phones, but partnering screen time with social interaction might be the best way to help kids learn without isolating themselves.

The Christian Science Monitor - Dec 8, 2014

Listening Carefully to Parents and Communities

Listening Carefully to Parents and Communities, presents research which shows that immigrant parents and early childhood educators often have vastly differing notions of what should happen in preschool. The goal of this presentation is to acknowledge assumptions and practices that can marginalize parents and families as well as outline ideas and strategies that can empower them in their interactions with schools.

YouTube - Feb 21, 2014