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Joan Lessen-Firestone, Ph.D.

Dr. Firestone is a leading educational expert on brain development, early care and education and emerging literacy. A past president of the Michigan Early Childhood Education Consortium and the Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children and a recent Governing Board member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Dr. Firestone has written and spoken extensively on the development and education of young children and their families.


by Joan Lessen-Firestone, Ph.D. | September 13, 2011 | Early Education & Literacy

“Grammy, the geese came back!” my four-year-old granddaughter exclaimed in a recent phone conversation. And while I am always delighted to talk with her, I was especially pleased to hear her story about seeing the geese this autumn. The story she told made it clear that her oral language abilities have reached a level that […]

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by Joan Lessen-Firestone, Ph.D. | July 18, 2011 | Early Education & Literacy

Think back to your favorite summer experiences as a young child. My grown children would probably tell you about camp, the beach and family vacations. It’s not likely that they, or you, would put summer reading high their list of special summer memories. And yet, one of the most important things we can do for […]

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by Joan Lessen-Firestone, Ph.D. | June 9, 2011 | Early Education & Literacy

By Joan Firestone, Ph.D. Spring has finally made it to my neighborhood.  And while parents are busy getting out the tricycles and patio furniture, they are also contemplating the perennial question of what to do with the kids when the school year ends. It might well be that the best answer is to enroll them […]

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by Joan Lessen-Firestone, Ph.D. | June 2, 2011 | Safety and Security

By Joan Firestone, Ph.D. No parent wants their child to become a bully or the victim of a bully. But bullying continues to be a dominant safety issue in our schools and communities. It is, in fact, the most common form of violence in our society, and between 15 and 30 percent of public school […]

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by Joan Lessen-Firestone, Ph.D. | April 25, 2011 | Early Education & Literacy

By Dr. Joan Lessen-Fireston, Ph.D. Kindergarten teachers often worry about inadequate fine motor skills exhibited by many of their students. Every year it seems that more children enter school unable to cut along a straight line, manipulate buttons and snaps, and comfortably hold and use a pencil. But in a time when we focus on […]

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by Joan Lessen-Firestone, Ph.D. | February 14, 2011 | Child Development

By Joan Lessen-Firestone, Ph.D. Marshmallows played a central role in a classic study of young children’s ability to control their impulses and regulate their behavior. Four-year-olds were given the choice of eating one marshmallow immediately or waiting about fifteen minutes to get two. Not surprisingly, only about a third of the children were able to […]

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by Joan Lessen-Firestone, Ph.D. | January 17, 2011 | Early Education & Literacy

A study finds that young children who had more early reading knowledge were slightly better readers when they entered middle school, but preschoolers’ general knowledge of the world was found to be a much stronger predictor of their later success in reading.

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