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Toddler with Toys

Keynote Speakers

June 1 - Teachers and Educators

Prof. Bridget Hamre

Research Associate Professor, Curry School of Education, The University of Virginia, USA; Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Teachstone

Prof. Bridget Hamre, Ph.D. is a Research Associate Professor at the Curry School of Education at The University of Virginia. She is also a co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Teachstone. Prof. Hamre’s areas of expertise include student-teacher relationships and classroom processes that promote positive academic and social development for young children, and she has authored over 65 peer-reviewed manuscripts on these topics over the last 15 years. Her research documents the ways in which teacher-child relationships and teachers' social and instructional interactions support children's development and learning and may help close the achievement gap for students at risk of school failure.

Prof. Susan Irvine

Professor and Head, School of Early Childhood & Inclusive Education, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Prof. Susan Irvine is an early childhood professional with diverse work experience across a range of early childhood education and care (ECEC) contexts. She has held leadership roles in child and family policy, tertiary education and direct service provision and recently took on the role of Head, School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education at Queensland University of Technology. Her research interests stem from her work experience and include: ECEC policy and quality standards, ECEC workforce development, Leadership in ECEC, etc. She is currently a Chief Investigator on several collaborative multi-disciplinary research projects relating to development of the ECEC workforce, with policy and practice implications. Susan’s previous roles include CEO at Lady Gowrie Queensland and in Strategic Policy and Research and ECEC within the Queensland Department of Communities.

Dr. Jessie Lam

Senior Lecturer II, Department of Early Childhood Education, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR

Dr. Jessie Lam Pui-ching, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Early Childhood Education, is currently serving as the Assistant Head (Programme) of the ECE Department and Programme Leader for the Bachelor of Education (Honours) (Early Childhood Education) programme at the Education University of Hong Kong. Prior to joining academia, she worked in the United States, where she held various managerial positions, including Head Teacher, Curriculum Planner, and Assistant Director in early childhood education field. With a strong focus on kindergarten leadership and management, Dr Lam actively engaged in various training programmes for pre- and in-service teachers, consistently making meaningful contributions.

June 3 - Young Children

Prof. Roberta Golinkoff

Unidel H. Rodney Sharp Professor of Education, the University of Delaware, USA

Prof. Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, PhD, is the Unidel H. Rodney Sharp Professor of Education at the University of Delaware. She has received many accolades including the Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for her research and dissemination efforts. The latter was recognized by the American Educational Research Association Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award. She studies language development, the benefits of play, children’s spatial learning, and the effects of media on children. Her research is funded by US Federal agencies, and foundations (Jacobs and LEGO). She created a family of language screeners (the QUILS: Quick Interactive Language Screener (English- 3 through 6); QUILS:ES (for bilingual Spanish children); and QUILS:TOD, for 2-year-olds to identify potential language problems. She is committed to improving education internationally. Her book, Becoming brilliant (2016) reached the New York Times best-seller list and, Making schools work (2022), received superb reviews.

Prof. Kerry Lee

Head, Department of Early Childhood Education; Director, Centre for Educational and Developmental Sciences, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR

Prof. Kerry Lee is the Head of the Department of Early Childhood Education and Director of the Centre for Educational and Developmental Sciences. Trained as a cognitive developmental psychologist at the University of Sydney and Macquarie University, his work focuses on mathematical achievement, working memory, and the development of executive functioning. He has published extensively in top-tier journals and is an associate editor of Learning and Individual Differences.

Prof. Pirjo Aunio

Professor (Special Needs Education), Director of Doctoral Programme in Cognition, Learning, Instruction and Communication (CLIC)

Head of Helsinki SEN research community, Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland

Since early 2000 Prof. Pirjo Aunio has done research about development and learning of mathematical skills, learning difficulties in mathematics, assessment of mathematical performance and development, and mathematical and related cognitive skills interventions. She has published more than 90 peer-review articles and books related to her research area. Aunio works as a professor (Special Education, 2013->) in University of Helsinki. She also has a visiting professor (Early Childhood Education) position in University of Johannesburg (South Africa). She is in a member of editorial board for two international scientific journals and regular reviewer for international scientific journals and research grant foundations.

June 2 - Parents and Families

Prof. Gustavo Carlo

Professor Director, Cultural Resiliency and Learning Center Equity; Advisor, School of Education, University of California, Irvine, USA

Prof. Gustavo Carlo is Professor in the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine, USA. His primary research interest focuses on understanding positive social behavioral development in culturally-diverse children and adolescents. Many of his projects focus on ethnic/racial groups across the world and on U.S. Latino/a youth and families. He has published over 300 books, chapters, and research papers. He has received funding from various agencies (including the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health) and has received several awards for his research and mentorship. He currently serves as a member of the Society for Research on Child Development Governing Council, Associate Editor of both Developmental Psychology and Child Development, and recently co-edited the American Psychological Association’s Handbook of Adolescent and Young Adult Development.

Prof. Lei Chang

Chair Professor of Psychology, University of Macau, Macau SAR

Prof. Lei Chang, Ph.D., University of Southern California, is Chair Professor of Psychology and Head of Department of Psychology, University of Macau. He conducts research in evolutionary and developmental psychology including evolutionary parenting, life history, and child and adolescent development. He published eight books and over 300 refereed journal articles, with over 25,000 citations and an h-Index of 71 based on Google Scholar.

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