Poverty, unpredictable relationships and language barriers are some of the obstacles that preclude millions of American children from taking advantage of learning opportunities that prepare them for school.
During the fall Nebraska Lecture Nov. 30, UNL educational psychologist Susan Sheridan will discuss how to narrow the learning gap between disadvantaged children and their peers.
The free public lecture, “Ready for School, Ready for Life: Creating a Future for All Children,” will be at 3:30 p.m. in the Nebraska Union auditorium, 1400 R St., with a reception following. The presentation is part of The Nebraska Lectures: Chancellor’s Distinguished Lecture Series.
Early childhood is a vital stage for acquiring the developmental skills that influence school readiness and success. In her lecture, Sheridan will discuss what researchers know about enhancing learning opportunities for all young children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“As the time of school entry gets closer, the stakes become increasingly high because once children enter school, it becomes progressively more difficult for them to catch up,” said Sheridan, who is a George Holmes University Professor of educational psychology.
She will describe research being carried out at the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools aimed at enhancing children’s school readiness. The center, which Sheridan has directed since 2004, is part of UNL’s College of Education and Human Sciences.
The Nebraska Lectures, which feature distinguished UNL faculty, are designed for general audiences and provide insights about some of the university’s leading research, scholarly and creative activity. Sheridan’s lecture is sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor, the UNL Research Council and the Office of Research and Economic Development.