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How to Discuss Tough Topics

2:00 PM EDT
3:00 PM EDT

Professional Development Tools Webinars Best Practice Early Childhood Education

Program: How to Discuss Tough Topics: Approaching Sensitive Issues in Developmentally Appropriate Ways

Purpose: In Head Start, children ask complicated questions all the time – of teachers, staff, families/caregivers, community leaders, and any adult the child has developed a trusting relationship with. In this webinar, Smithsonian Education’s Early Learning Consortium members will share a host of tools and resources for answering young children’s questions about sensitive topics.

Learning Objectives for How to Discuss Tough Topics:

  • Gain tools for building a classroom community that supports and celebrates individual differences.
  • Learn how a supportive community of adults and peers strengthens children’s ability to explore complex topics and ask critical questions.
  • Practice skills for addressing complicated content and celebrating differences between people, in ways that are developmentally appropriate for ages 0-5. 
  • Discover helpful resources from the Smithsonian Institution to build community and support discussions around complex topics.


Beth Evans, Youth and Family Programs Coordinator, National Portrait Gallery

Maureen Leary, Youth and Family Programs Manager, National Postal Museum

Tiffany McGettigan, Head of Education, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Emily Porter, Manager of Early Childhood and Family Learning, National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

Julia Smith, Museum and Early Learning Specialist, Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center


Rachel Hutchison, Manager of Online Instructional Design, National Head Start Association