Learning Event: Enhancing children's engagement in social and cognitive activities

The University of the West Indies
Family Development Centre

cordially invites you to attend its first interactive Learning Event for 2017:

Enhancing children's engagement in social and cognitive activities 

Keynote international speakers
— renowned authors on Play and Early Childhood

¨ Professor Jaipaul L. Roopnarine 
Director of the Jack Reilly Institute for Early Childhood and Provider Education, Syracuse University, New York, Adjunct Professor UWI-FDC

¨ Professor James E. Johnson
Professor-In-Charge of Education, Curriculum and Instruction,  Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania, Adjunct Professor UWI-FDC 

¨ Professor Michael Patte 
Professor of Teaching and Learning, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

Date: March 16th 2017
Venue: The University of the West Indies, School of Education, St. Augustine
Time: 8.30 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Participant cost: $400 
Group discounts, UWI students and Staff 
discounts apply. Light refreshments will be provided.

Who should attend?
Parents, teachers, caregivers, school administrators, NGO /social workers

Call 663-8914/662-2002, Ext. 84510 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.
Deadline date: 3rd March 2017 



About the Seminar

What is the role of play in early years and primary pedagogy? How can play contribute to learning and how might adults support it? This one-day seminar provides a fresh approach to working with the three to eight population that promotes cognitive, physical, social-emotional, and language development in a natural, non-therapeutic manner. Speakers will explore key global debates around the role of play in early childhood education and early schooling.

This seminar teaches relevant and practical ideas and activities using materials in the natural environment to create fun and effective learning opportunities. There's more to play than puzzles and shape sorters! 

Topics to be discussed:

  • Key issues in the global play debate
  • The influence of Western theories of play
  • Recognize the power of play in a child's early development
  • Learning through play
  • Examine and describe the different types of play
  • Play in the current educational policy context in the Caribbean
  • Developing a play-based curriculum
  • Examples from research: play pedagogy in the classroom
  • Rethinking the relationship between play and pedagogy
  • Create plans for active, child-directed, structured, object, and social play

About the Speakers

This seminar will feature three (3) of the world’s most prominent names in Early Childhood and Play - Professor Jaipaul L. Roopnarine, Professor James E. Johnson and Professor Michael Patte. These distinguished researchers are also Adjunct Professors at The UWI Family Development Centre and assist in the shaping of its research and development agenda.

Professor Jaipaul L. Roopnarine

Jack Reilly Professor of Child and Family Studies

Director of the Jack Reilly Institute for Early Childhood and Provider Education

Syracuse University, New York

PRoopnarineA native of the Caribbean, his research interests include father-child relationships across cultures with a particular interest in Caribbean families and childhood outcomes.  Other areas of focus include early childhood education in international perspective, children’s play across cultures, immigrant families and schooling in the US.

He was the Indo-US-Subcommission Professor of Psychology at the University of Delhi, India. He has published extensively in the areas of developmental psychology and early childhood education. His latest book, Approaches to Early Childhood Education (with James E. Johnson) is in its 6th edition (Pearson Education). Professor Roopnarine is the current Editor of the journal Fathering. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1980.



Professor James E. Johnson

Professor-In-Charge of Education, Curriculum and Instruction

The Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania

PJohnsonDr. Johnson’s research areas are parent-child relations and cognitive socialization and children's play.

Teaching interests include parent involvement in education and contemporary approaches to early children education. Professor Johnson's scholarship areas include play, culture, early schooling, parent-child relations, and contemporary approaches to early education curriculum. He is series editor of Play & Culture Studies, co-editor-in-chief of the Handbook of the Study of Play, past president of The Association for the Study of Play, former Senior Fulbright Research Scholar (Taiwan), and USA Representative to the Scientific Committee of the International Council for Children's Play.

He is a member of the Association for Childhood Education International and a recipient of the Brian Sutton-Smith Play Scholar Award (2012).


Professor Michael Patte

Professor of Teaching and Learning

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania


PPatteMichael Patte is a professor of Education who prepares undergraduate and graduate students for careers in education. In this role, Dr. Patte teaches a variety of courses and supervises students in a variety of field placements. During his 20-year career in education he developed an interest in the research topics mentioned above and has shared his scholarship through publications, international and national conference presentations, and advocacy projects. He is a Distinguished Fulbright Scholar, Co-editor of the International Journal of Play, past president of The Association for the Study of Play, board member of The International Council for Children’s Play, and a member of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Early Learning Council, responsible for planning the expansion of effective early learning and development services for Pennsylvania’s young children and families.

His recent book is Roopnarine, J.L., Patte, M.M., Johnson, J.E., and Kuschner, D. (2015). International Perspectives on Children’s Play. England: Open University Press.

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