Psychology

Sewanee: The University of the South

Rural Appalachia seminar visiting faculty member, April 8 & 10

April 4, 2013

Pia Rebello Britto, Ph.D., will speak with the Child, Family, and Community Development in Rural Appalachia seminar about early childhood development on Monday and Wednesday, April 8 and 10.

Britto is Assistant Professor in the Child Study Center, a member of the faculty of the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development & Social Policy, and Lecturer & Fellow at the McMillan Center for International and Area Studies, and Associate Director, Global Policy, Global Health Initiative … all at Yale University.

She is known internationally for her work in the areas of early childhood policy development and analysis and program evaluation. Britto is presently working with over 20 countries on developing integrated systems for early childhood using a standards approach. In addition she is also working with several individual countries on formulating national policies for the well-being of young children. Dr. Britto has been involved in several early intervention program evaluations in Africa and Asia, most recently working on a six country evaluation of an innovative approach to improve school readiness.

Other aspects of her international work include the conceptualization of a measurement model for quality early childhood services, and measuring and implementing the school readiness paradigm – ready children, ready families, and ready schools and understanding the best modalities to support parenting.  Most recently, Dr. Britto is involved in research that is examining the relationship between early childhood and peace building.

Nationally, within the United States, Dr. Britto is known for her scientific work on young children's early literacy development, and more recently on understanding issues of identity development of Muslim and Arab children.

She received her doctorate in developmental psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University.  Outstanding Dissertation Award from the International Reading Association.  She gave the 2012 Graduation Keynote Address at the Child Study Center Convocation.

Britto will give a public presentation "Early Childhood Development:  a pathway to equity" at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 9 in Blackman Auditorium (Woods Laboratories).

Psychology 430: Child, Family, and Community Development in Rural Appalachia is a new Spring 2013 course being taught collaboratively by Sewanee- and Yale-affiliated faculty and guest speakers. It is the latest development in a growing partnership between Sewanee and the Yale Child Study Center, Yale Medical School. Among the Center faculty is Linda Mayes, M.D. … Sewanee alumna … Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine … and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Psychology at Sewanee.

For many years, Dr. Mayes has offered summer internships to Sewanee students. More recently, she initiated the Sewanee-At-Yale Directed Research Program that affords Sewanee students the opportunity to spend a semester plus a summer at the Yale Child Study Center. This new course venture will offer students the combined expertise and energy of Sewanee faculty and visiting Yale-affiliated faculty and guest speakers. In addition to leading one or more course sessions, most of the visiting faculty and guest speakers will give a more public presentation open to the general community and have the opportunity to interact with various members of the Sewanee faculty and the broader community during their time in Sewanee. Thus, the course will also help to foster community-based collaborations among Sewanee and Yale faculty, University students, and local community organizations and partners.

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