Professor Malone-Fenner Addresses Educators

July 27, 2017

Shirley Malone-Fenner at BNCPTADr. Shirley Malone-Fenner's message to attendees at the recent Barbados National Council of Parent-Teacher Association (BNCPTA) Stakeholders in Education Seminar was simple: "Children who feel loved and cherished thrive."

Malone-Fenner, Professor of Psychology & Human Development and Director of the Wheelock College Center of Excellence for Military Children and Families, explained that regardless of socio-economic status, "when children do not hear from their parents that they are loved or if they are never hugged—it is like they are 'starving'; it is just like you are not feeding the child; they are starved for your affection."

Malone-Fenner was in Barbados to teach an intensive parenting course for teachers and principals through Wheelock's Center for International Programs and Partnerships. Her speech to BNCPTA on July 17 was titled, "Effects of Psychological Trauma/Toxic Stress on Children: Implications for Parents, Teachers, Counselors, and Policy-makers."

A psychologist, Malone-Fenner reminded the gathered educators that they might not be aware that a child in their classroom is facing difficult experiences outside school, such as domestic violence or parental separation. She also stressed that teachers should never bring their own personal issues into the classroom.

"Sometimes we as educators have a lot of baggage and our teaching style is often connected to our temperament," she said. "But, we have to remember that we are dealing with children and we can't infer our baggage and our poor temperament onto them. This is very important."

Read more about Dr. Malone-Fenner's speech in this Barbados Advocate article.

From left: Shone Gibbs, President of the Barbados National Council of Parent-Teacher Associations (BNCPTA); University of the West Indies lecturer, Dr. Ian Marshall; and Dr. Shirley Malone-Fenner, Director of the Wheelock College Center of Excellence for Military Children and Families, during BNCPTA's Stakeholders in Education seminar.

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