Lyceum scholar to talk about university-community partnerships, the civil rights model and development of children's language skills

11:16:59 PM CDT - Thursday, March 16, 2006

By Amy Geiszler-Jones

Howard Goldstein, a specialist in child language, speech language pathology and special education at Florida State University, will be the fifth scholar to visit Wichita State University as part of the Robert L. Kindrick Lyceum Visiting Distinguished Scholar Series April 2-4. He'll talk about partnerships FSU has developed with area public schools and hospitals, and also how the civil rights movement served as model for litigation involving the rights of disabled people.

Howard Goldstein
Howard Goldstein
Goldstein will give a public lecture, "Developing Meaningful University-Community Partnerships," at 7 p.m. Monday, April 3, in the Eugene M. Hughes Metropolitan Complex, and a faculty-student forum at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 4, in 208 Hubbard Hall.

At FSU, Goldstein chairs the department of communication disorders, which has developed a number of interdisciplinary initiatives with local schools and hospitals. During his public lecture April 3, Goldstein will talk about some of those projects, he said in an interview, including the university's professional development schools that have been established in elementary schools in high-poverty areas in Tallahassee. He'll also talk about his department's partnership with a local hospital to establish an adult day-care and memory clinic.

WSU's College of Education similarly has developed a network of professional development schools in partnership with the Wichita public schools. While professional development schools deal with teacher preparation, they are different than a traditional student-teaching model because the PDS is immersed in a particular public school, with the public school faculty taking a vested interest in helping student teachers prepare for their careers, explained Shirley LaFever-Davis, chair of WSU's department of curriculum and instruction. "It's a national trend that's grown since the 1990s," she said.

During the Lyceum's faculty-student forum April 4, Goldstein will talk about "Reflections of the Influences of the Civil Rights Movement on the Behavioral Sciences."

The civil rights movement provided the impetus for court cases involving the rights and the deinstitutionalization of the disabled, Goldstein said. During the forum, he'll also talk about how President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty initiative didn't work and he'll share his research on the correlation between children's language skills development and their family's income level. Goldstein has done research on how much parents of different income levels talk to their children.

How much parents talk to their children is a predictor of how children will learn language and how large and sophisticated their vocabulary will become, which in turn is predictive on how well the child will do academically, Goldstein said. "There's not enough hours in the day to make up the differences," he said, about how little language input children in lower income families receive.

Goldstein has authored more than 70 scholarly journal articles and book chapters as well as two books.

Visiting Lyceum scholars are selected by faculty through an ongoing nomination process. Goldstein was nominated by Kimberly McDowell, assistant professor, department of curriculum and instruction, and Rosalind Scudder, professor, department of communication sciences and disorders.

The Kindrick Lyceum is organized through the Division of Continuing Education.

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