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Inaugural Lecture: Professor Samantha Johnson: From the cradle to the class...

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Frank and Katherine May Lecture Theatre

Henry Wellcome Building

University of Leicester

Leicester

LE1 7RH

United Kingdom

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Lecture Title: From the cradle to the classroom: Supporting the development of babies born preterm

Synopsis: Preterm birth, before 37 weeks of pregnancy, can have lifelong effects on children’s health, development and learning. Compared with children born after a full term pregnancy, children born preterm are more likely to have learning difficulties, special educational needs and poor attainment at school, especially in mathematics. An understanding of how preterm birth affects children’s learning is essential to help teachers and other professionals provide the most appropriate support for this vulnerable group of children. This talk will discuss what we know about the development of babies born preterm and the research we have been doing to find out how we can support their learning at school to give them the very best start in life.

Biography: Samantha Johnson is a Professor of Child Development in the Department of Health Sciences. She completed her first degree and PhD in developmental psychology at Bangor University in Wales. After working at the University of Nottingham and University College London, she joined the University of Leicester in 2010 to work with the Infant Mortality and Morbidity Studies research group. Samantha now leads a programme of research focused on understanding and improving lifelong outcomes for babies born preterm and the development and validation of outcome measures for assessing children’s development. She is particularly interested in how premature birth affects children’s learning and achievement at school, especially in mathematics, and in finding ways to improve the health, development and well-being of this vulnerable group of babies. Her research includes longitudinal cohort studies designed to track children’s development from birth to adulthood, and clinical trials to test the effectiveness of interventions to improve the outcomes of babies born at high risk for developmental problems. Her work has had major impact on healthcare services and has generated evidence that underpins national and international guidelines for the developmental follow-up of premature babies.

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Frank and Katherine May Lecture Theatre

Henry Wellcome Building

University of Leicester

Leicester

LE1 7RH

United Kingdom

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