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Woolfolk Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Kelly M. Purtell, PhD

Dr. Kelly M. Purtell is a faculty associate at the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy and an assistant professor in the Department of Human Sciences at The Ohio State University. Her research focuses on the development of children living in poverty and on how policies and practices influence children's early learning. In her current work, she examines how the ecology of preschool classrooms shape low-income children’s learning development, with a particular focus on the role of classroom peers.

Title: Language Development of Children in Low-Income Families: The Role of Preschool and Peer Experiences

Abstract: Reflecting the promise of preschool, the proportion of children who attend these programs prior to the start of kindergarten has increased dramatically in recent decades. However, understanding how specific aspects of the classroom promote children’s early learning and development is critical to ensuring the success of preschool in the future. In this talk, I will discuss emerging findings from this area of research, with a specific focus on the role of children’s peers and early language development. I will present work on the implications of classroom age composition, children’s experiences with their classmates, and the variability in language exposure within classrooms. I will conclude by discussing next steps needed to ensure that preschool classrooms positively contribute to the language development of children from low-income homes.






Friday, November 1, 2019 at 10:00am to 11:00am

Belo Center for New Media (BMC), 1.202 John R. Fleming Lecture Hall
300 DEAN KEETON ST W, Austin, Texas 78712

Event Type



Moody College of Communication

Target Audience

Students, Staff, Faculty, Alumni, Families, General Public


#woolfolk, UTCSD, communication, language, development, children

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