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Detailed Program for Day 1

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Day 1 was moderated by Dr. Christine Brinck.


Accreditation of Guests


Opening Remarks and Words of Welcome


Keynote I: The Economic Relevance of Early Childhood Development

Prof. Eric A. Hanushek, PhD, Professor at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Several studies have proven how investment in early childhood education affects various aspects of the children’s future lives. Positive long-term effects have been shown in respect to health, career and social behavior. Politicians have for a long time neglected the potential chances of Early Childhood Education. But in recent years Early Childhood evolved as a top-of-the-agenda topic all over the world, at the least since economists have also shown large long-term positive outcomes for national economies.


Keynote II: Explaining and Understanding Early Literacy

Prof. Susan B. Neuman, PhD, Professor, University of Michigan, School of Education.

At first glance, the term ‚literacy‘ seems to be easily comprehensible – learning how to read and write, one might suggest. But a simple research brings up numerous different aspects of literacy, e.g. critical literacy, media literacy, ecological literacy or health literacy. A holistic approach to early childhood education even subsumes all these different categories under a general ability to interact actively with the surrounding world.


Scientific Findings on the Fundamental Relevance of Early Childhood (Part I)

Language Development in Early Childhood

Prof. Eve Vivienne Clark, Phd, Professor in Lingusistics specializing in first language acquisition, Stanford University.

To be aware of the high degree of interconnectedness between reading, writing and speaking skills is central to understanding general language development of children. Even though infants don’t actually speak, read and write as adults do, their babbling, pointing at written words and doodling are already signs of a pronounced sense for the importance of language. 

Physical Development in Early Childhood

Prof. Dr. Renate Zimmer, Professor of Sport Science, University of Osnabrück.

That language development cannot be analyzed separately from the physical development seems redundant to state. But the connection between these two aspects of childhood development is far more complex than the mere growth of the tongue, palate or vocal cords. Acquisition of movement skills as understood by the term physical literacy is an integral prerequisite of proper literacy development.


Coffee Break


Scientific Findings on the Fundamental Relevance of Early Childhood (Part II)

Developmental Psychology in Early Childhood

Prof. Christopher J. Lonigan, PhD, Associate Director of Florida Center for Reading Research, Florida State University, USA.

What does an emotional connection between father and daughter have to do with early literacy education? Does an infant’s smile towards a storybook automatically tell his/her enthusiasm about books? Interaction between adults, children and even amongst children highly depend on emotional factors. Psychological implications of the emotional condition of children on their learning achievements are at least as important as the quality of learning materials themselves.

Current Findings from Brain Science in Childhood Development

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Wolf Singer, Senior Research Fellow at the Ernst Strüngmann Institute  (ESI) for Neuroscience in Cooperation with Max-Planck-Society in Frankfurt / Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Germany. 

Just by looking into his/her face it is quite simple to understand if an infant enjoys an activity or not. But to understand why he/she enjoys it or not is far more difficult. Development Psychology can give us some answers to these questions, but examining neuro-scientific processes can provide the necessary background for comprehending a child’s behavior in different situations at different ages.


Goals and Limits of Early Literacy Education

Subsequent Panel Discussion among the day's speakers moderated by Prof. Susan B. Neuman, PhD.


Farewell Remarks



Day 1 - Tuesday, Marc..