The Thomas H. Wright Lecture

Nurturing the Remarkable Powers of Children,” the 2003 Thomas H. Wright Lecture at Sarah Lawrence College, will be held Monday, July 7, at 11:30 a.m., in Reisinger Concert Hall. Dr. William Crain, teacher, author, and social activist, will deliver the annual lecture that features speakers who are national leaders in the fields of education and child development. The lecture launches the 2003 Empowering Teachers Summer Institute sponsored by the College’s Child Development Institute.

William Crain, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology at The City College of New York. The author of Theories of Development: Concepts and Applications and Reclaiming Childhood: Letting Children Be Children in Our Achievement-Oriented Society, Dr. Crain has received several awards for his efforts on behalf of access to higher education. This year Dr. Crain became the new editor of the journal Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice.

The Empowering Teachers Program was established in 1989 as a forum for continuing education and support for teachers, administrators and other professionals working with children in early childhood and public elementary school settings. The program has served as a resource and network for more than 250 beginning and experienced professionals from 25 school districts in Westchester and adjacent counties in New York, in Connecticut and New Jersey.

The topic of this year’s summer institute is “Meaning and Context: How Learning Takes Place.” “Participants will be offered a variety of workshops examining how to teach creatively in these structured times when curricula so often tends to be aligned with standardized assessments,” said David Leonard, acting director of the Child Development Institute. “The underlying theme of the week will be that the ‘natural child wants to learn naturally,’ and that the best teaching and learning takes place when children are able to make personal meaning of the subject being taught.”

The study of child development has been a central interest at Sarah Lawrence College since its founding in 1926.