Conference on Human Nature & Children

September 20, 2010Bill Schmitt

The Center for Children and Families, part of Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives (IEI), will host a symposium Oct. 10-12, probing human nature as experienced and influenced in early life. Here’s video on raising moral kids from Center for Children and Families symposium planner Darcia Narvaez.

The international symposium, titled “Human Nature and Early Experience: Addressing the `Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness,’ will feature presentations along three broad themes: how early life matters; parenting effects and modern cultural practices; and how evolutionary adaptation matters for children in the first few years of life.

Researchers and academics interested in human development, children, families, parenting, and evolution are invited to attend. The audience is intended to encompass a range of disciplines in human sciences.

Darcia Narvaez, associate professor in the Department of Psychology and director of the IEI’s Collaborative on Ethical Education, chairs the local planning group for the symposium, along with other scholars in psychology and anthropology.

Presentations will examine the effect on brain development from the behavior of caregivers and will probe the implications of scientific theory for policies on childrearing. Learn more about the symposium at

The Center for Children and Families, directed by psychology professor Julie Braungart-Rieker, advances the well-being of children and families through basic and applied research, the dissemination of research findings, and community outreach.

Read Prof. Narvaez’s blog item on the subject of the symposium at

For more information: Bill Schmitt, media specialist, IEI – 574-631-3893