Adult Learning and Development Positively Impacts Child Development

Sarah and I were fortunate to attend a Directors' Retreat for the Jewish Early Childhood administrators in the Metro DC area. Our facilitator for two days of learning was Rima Shore, a professor at Bank Street College in New York. Her insights and inspired pedagogy were valuable as we continue to look for ways to improve the Gan. Rima gave me insights into my management skills and the learning techniques she used will be useful as the Gan staff learns together in the future. The bulk of the work we did together focused on Adult Development - a line that parallels, but is different from, the development of children. During the retreat, we used a text from the Mishnah which suggests a life-cycle of learning and development from ages 5 to 100 to explore Jewish understanding of adult development. We also explored obstacles to effective leadership. If your job involves effecting change in your professional work (and most of us are in that category, especially moms who work full time in the home), you may be familiar with the work of Kegan and Lahey, especially as it relates to the difficulties in instituting new behaviors. This article spoke to me in particular. If you have a chance to read it, I'd love to hear about how you deal with competing commitments in your life.