WESTVILLE – The Purdue University Northwest’s Center for Early Learning will host its 12 annual Early Childhood Conference from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the James B. Dworkin Student Services and Activities Complex on the Westville Campus.

This year’s conference examines executive function in preschool children, referring to the neurocognitive skills that are most vital to academic life and success. These skills are centered on attention, impulse control, working memory and cognitive flexibility. 

Featured is a full day of activities intended for early childhood professionals, caregivers, child development experts, parents, students and others interested in the education and development of young children. 

Keynote Speakers: Stephanie Carlson and Philip Zelazo

Dr. Stephanie Carlson is a development psychologist and an internationally recognized leader in the measurement of executive function in preschool children. She received her doctorate in experimental psychology from the University of Oregon and is currently a Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Director of Research at the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Philip Zelazo is a developmental cognitive neuroscientist and world-renowned investigator of the development and neural correlates of executive function in childhood and across the lifespan. Having received his doctorate from Yale, he catalyzed the field of developmental research in executive function with new measurement tools for children. He currently serves as the Lindahl Professor at the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota.

The conference will also feature 27 breakout sessions throughout the morning and afternoon. Participants will have the opportunity to attend the sessions of their choice presented by professionals discussing topics such as, “Building Relationships with Families of Multilingual Learners in Preschool,” “Developing Play Opportunities that Practice Patience,” and “Little Executives: Developmentally Appropriate Practices in Kindergarten.”

Single participant registration is $80 and groups of five to 12 participants may register for $60 per person. PNW students may register for $15. Registration for all other students is $25. Registration fees include all conference activities, breakout sessions, breakfast and lunch. 

The day begins with registration and continental breakfast at 7 a.m. Opening remarks are scheduled for 7:45 a.m. followed by the keynote speeches at 8 a.m.

Registration is required

Registration for the conference and the pre-conference events is required and can be completed at https://academics.pnw.edu/education/early-childhood-conference-register-now/.


Purdue University Northwest (PNW) is a student-centered university that values academic excellence, supports growth and celebrates diversity. Located in Northwest Indiana, near Chicago, PNW fosters a vibrant academic community through high quality and engaging undergraduate and graduate education. For more information about PNW, visit www.pnw.edu.

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