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Emotion is our first language. From a baby’s first cry we have an unparalleled opportunity to inform and shape the patterning of the brain’s architecture for lifelong learning, mental health, well-being, and success.
Dr. Donna Housman, Ed.D has over thirty-five years’ experience as a psychologist in the field of child development and early childhood education. Understanding that it is far easier to prevent than repair, she founded Housman Institute, and its lab school/ early childhood development center, based on emotional foundations of learning and cognition. Her evidence-based emotional, cognitive, and social early learning approach, begin to ECSEL(tm), fosters the building blocks of emotional intelligence starting from birth to promote self-regulation and empathy for lifelong learning, mental health, and well-being. Her peer-reviewed research detailing the success of the begin to ECSEL approach has been published in the International Journal of Emotional Education and The International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy demonstrating that children who experience begin to ECSEL significantly improve and outperform their peers on these critical skills and competencies. As children develop within the context of relationships the ECSEL approach also trains early childhood educators to understand and manage their own emotionality before they can model for and guide children in theirs.
Dr. Housman is an active presenter and speaker both nationally and internationally, having presented to the American Education Research Association (AERA), National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Zero to Three, Harvard China Education Symposium, among many others.
Dr. Housman is a founding executive board member and treasurer of the Massachusetts Association for Infant Mental Health, a subchapter of the World Association for Infant Mental Health. She is also a member of the Children's Health Task Force, Coalition of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and serves on the board of the New England Center for Children (NECC). In addition to her work as an educator and clinician, her opinions and contributions have appeared in the The New York Times, Boston Globe, MarketWatch, Yahoo Finance, The Street, Boston Business Journal, Commonwealth Magazine, and WBUR.