Frontiers and Challenges of Early Childhood Research

Presenter: Deborah Phillips
While this meeting focuses on STEM education for grades preK–3, this presentation challenges participants to look at the broader topic of early childhood learning. In this session, current research findings related to (1) links between stress and early learning, (2) effective instruction, and (3) preK programs are discussed. The presenter also describes challenges arising from the current state of early education and from the shifting demographics of the United States’ early childhood population. Highlights from promising frontiers of research on early childhood learning are presented, followed by a question and answer session.

Deborah Phillips, Professor, Georgetown University
Deborah Phillips is a professor of psychology and associated faculty in the Public Policy Institute at Georgetown University. She was the first executive director of the Board on Children, Youth, and Families of the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine, and served as study director for the Board’s report, From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Child Development. She also served as president of the Foundation for Child Development and director of Child Care Information Services at the National Association for the Education of Young Children. As a Congressional Science Fellow of the Society for Research in Child Development, Phillips served as an analyst at the Congressional Budget Office and on the personal staff of Rep. George Miller. Her research focuses on the developmental effects of early childhood programs—for both typically developing children and those with special needs—including research on child care, Head Start, and preK programs. Phillips has served on numerous task forces and advisory groups that address child and family policy issues, including the Task Force on Meeting the Needs of Young Children of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, the Head Start FACES Redesign Expert Panel, and the Secretary’s (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) Committee on the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Evaluation. Phillips is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Eastern Psychological Association, and the American Psychological Society. In 2011, she received the Distinguished Contributions to Education in Child Development Award from the Society for Research in Child Development. Phillips holds a PhD in Developmental Psychology from Yale University.