College of Education and Human Development
Mason faculty featured on PBS broadcast
November 29, 2022
Mason Early Childhood Education Program faculty Dr. Bweikia Steen and Dr. Colleen Vesely were featured in a recent PBS broadcast titled “VPM News Focal Point,” that examined issues surrounding the challenges and opportunities in Early Childhood Development. Drs. Steen and Vesely shared their thoughts on the critical importance of Early Childhood educators in meeting the needs of young children during their earliest, formative years.
Dr. Steen stated that the window of opportunity for learning and development in a young child is from birth to age three. She emphasized that whether a child is an infant, a toddler, or in pre-K, school plays a major role in learning and development and can counter negative effects that a child may have experienced at home or even while in utero. Dr. Steen added that early childhood educators are the most important educators because they establish the foundation for a child’s future success in academics and school.
Dr. Vesely stressed that individuals who work with infants and toddlers must be “our best and the brightest” and that society needs to recognize and respect that the earliest years of children are the most critical. She added that leaders have an opportunity to address the current childcare crisis by putting in place policies that are directly supportive of not only children, but the adult caregivers who work with those children.
The broadcast, which aired on November 17, 2022, may be viewed at https://www.pbs.org/video/childhood-development-season-1-3meboj/ (the segment featuring Drs. Steen and Vesely begins at 9:50).