Michael Wald Visits NEL

by Megan Zhang

The Neuroscience and Education Lab was honored to host Stanford Law School’s Michael Wald, a distinguished national authority on children’s rights and welfare. As an academic researcher, Wald has led a career deeply devoted to integrating research and policy for at-risk children. He served as deputy general counsel for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the Clinton administration, and he is the current chair of the San Francisco Youth Council.

Wald led a seminar at the Institute of Human Development and Social Change at NYU Steinhardt last Wednesday, September 17. The talk, “Beyond Child Maltreatment: The Role of the State in Influencing Parenting,” focused on how policy changes can improve parenting and buffer children from the negative effects of poverty.

During his visit at NEL, Wald discussed his research and involvement in the Early Head Start program, and provided feedback regarding NEL’s ongoing research. Wald tells a compelling, policy-driven story about the most at-risk children, who struggle on a day-to-day basis. Children living in poverty tend to have a much higher rate of missed school days, self-regulation difficulties, and problems with paying attention. Wald has been championing the fact that more funding should be provided for programs like Early Head Start, which organizes parenting interventions to promote children’s academic success. While lots of funding has been provided for non-family institutions that promote other aspects of children’s development, the parenting side of things often goes ignored.

NEL is honored to work together with Michael Wald and look forward to hosting him again in the future.

For more information about Michael Wald’s career, visit his Stanford faculty page here: https://www.law.stanford.edu/profile/michael-s-wald.

For more information about NEL’s studies, visit our Steinhardt page here: http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/ihdsc/neuroscience_lab/current.