Innovations in Early Childhood Education

Steve Adubato talks with four educational innovators who are thinking “outside the box” to create fun and unique ways to prepare students for educational challenges, all while keeping them engaged and excited about learning. Guests include: Nicole Langdo, Director of Painted Oak Nursery School & Kindergarten; Benjamin Joseph, Media Specialist at Walnut Ridge Primary School; Joanna Borowski, Manager of Education & Community Engagement at NJ Symphony Orchestra; and Susan Peron, Assistant Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer at Paterson Public Schools.

#2587 11/26/2016






"Welcome to Caucus New Jersey, I'm Steve Adubato. Early childhood education is changing, and teachers need to be more creative, now more than ever, to keep their young students excited about learning. Joining me in the studio are four educational innovators who know an awful lot about early childhood education. They are Nicole Lango, founding director at the Painted Oak Nursery School and Kindergarten, Benjamin Joseph, media specialist at Walnut Ridge Primary School, Susana Peron, is assistant superintendent and chief academic officer for Paterson public schools, and finally, Joanna Borowski, manager of education and community engagement for New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. I want to thank all of you for joining us to talk about early childhood education. It is changing, has it changed dramatically over the, let's say, just the last ten years? Who says it's changed dramatically? Yes. I could say I think all of us have to say it changes. Yeah. Dramatically, yes. Biggest changes? I think the biggest changes for my students in the media center, are that they're coming to school more excited about technology. They have the basic skills, but there's a lot of time invested at home around technology, and it's my excitement in making that a tool for students in the classroom. So let's deal with technology for a little bit. Has technology been the primary driving force in the biggest changes around early childhood education? Well, technology at our school looks very different than probably as it does for Benjamin. Describe it. So at our school, the children are outside everyday. How dare they be? [laughter] In all weather. So... Is that right? Yes, yes. Because? Because children need to be outside learning, whatever we can do in the classroom we can take outside. There is more of an increase in childhood obesity, and ADHD, and these kinds of things that are consequences of indoor only environments, so we're trying to balance some of that, and... Is there a role for technology? Is there a role? Is there a role at your place in early childhood education for technology? Yes, absolutely. What is it? So our children have vocabulary around it, they see teachers with their phones documenting their play constantly, and what they're doing, and then parents get an email at night with all the photos from the day, so the children have an awareness around the communication piece that technology is used for communication. To the point where they'll even say if they're..."