Empowering Young Children

Each standalone chapter identifies a key focus for empowering children, exploring the research behind the habit, how it stimulates deep learning and the ways in which it can help address implicit hierarchies and disrupt oppression.

Empowering Young Children is rich with thoughtful, relevant, and meaningful research.  It rekindles much of what educators and adults know intuitively but often times lose in themselves—that youth are brilliant and amazing! Dr. Ostroff fans this spark in an accessible and timely way oriented, rightfully so, from a social justice frame.  It is a great read that you will be eager to share with others!”

Miguel Gonzalez,
Director, Embark Education

“This impeccably researched, reasoned and written book, screams about the need to empower our children, to trust them and to meaningfully invest in them. This book, at this time, has never been more necessary.”

Dr. Richard Gerver,
Educator, Author, Speaker

“Wendy Ostroff has a remarkable talent for presenting complex ideas in a framework that concurrently educates and catapults you forward to learn more. This book is a gift.”

Julie Mountcastle,
Head of School, Slate School

“There is no more important work than empowering the next generation to be inquisitive, informed, and engaged agents of change. In order to advance this intent, we must commit to our own self-examination and reflection and continued development of skills and practices that emanate social justice at a deep, core, and systemic level. Simply put, we must re-commit ourselves—as teachers, parents, caregivers, and community members—to being our very best version of human. Empowering Young Children: How to Nourish Deep, Transformative Learning for Social Justice, does a phenomenal job at educating, inspiring, and calling upon us to employ empathy, serve as practitioners and facilitators of creative problem solving, create and hold space for play, and build relationships that value and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. From grounded theories to transferable tips, this book is an early childhood beacon for the formal and informal education arenas.”

Jayme Cellitioci, M.S.,
Creativity and Innovation Strategist, National Inventors Hall of Fame

“This wonderful book shows how to empower children through social collaboration, play, inquiry and dialogue. By fostering deep learning through play and exploration, we help children develop democratic, community-focused mindsets of caring and social awareness. Ostroff’s book is well-written and accessible, it’s grounded in the best research on learning, and it’s filled with practical advice for teachers and school leaders.”

Dr. R. Keith Sawyer,
Morgan Distinguished Professor in Educational Innovations, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“Dr. Ostroff’s book, Empowering Young Children, beautifully articulates how parents and educators can develop critical thinking skills in and out of the classroom. Ostroff opens the reader’s eyes to simple, yet incredibly impactful ideas and concepts that can transform learning into a deeper, more authentic experience that will empower children as the thought leaders of tomorrow.”

Madeline Montero,
Author of Are You Ready to Try Again? A Mother’s Loving Guide to Positive Experiences in Early Childhood

“I enjoyed every single chapter. I learned about the importance of play, free time, agency, self-regulation and learning outdoors. I learned a lot about our brains, and how the current, traditional educational system is not allowing for growth – it's often killing the learners’ creativity and curiosity. Early years educators and parents will find in this book plenty of ideas that they can implement to empower young children.”

Ali Ezzeddine,
International Education Consultant & Trainer

“By combining robust child development research with fascinating perspectives on early education from around the globe, Dr. Ostroff invites educators to reimagine opportunities for learning that work with, rather than against a child’s natural proclivities to learn through play. She convinces us that honoring the wisdom of a child's innately socially collaborative brain and letting go of preconceived notions of how and when a child should learn could lead to a more vibrant and supportive education system as well as more just communities. By being brave enough to put aside our adult need for control and allow true learning to emerge from child-led activities we give children the chance to become the kind of curious, creative, compassionate and courageous learners who just might help heal our wounded world.”

Morgan Lance,
CEO, OneSky for All Children

"Empowering Young Children provides valuable, and research-based, insight on how to raise and educate children to become kind, responsible, empathetic, and engaged citizens. Wendy invites us to take a deep look at traditionally held beliefs on education that shape the heart of our schools’ practices and guides us to recognize the missed opportunities in fulfilling each child’s potential to be inspired, confident, and empowered change makers. This is a must-read book for teachers and parents who believe in the power of an intentional and relevant education that inspires hope for a better future through acceptance, advocacy, a strong sense of community, and care. This book is incredibly helpful and insightful for anyone who is committed to cultivating the next generation of global citizens motivated to make a difference in a world that promotes positive problem solving, diversity, equality, and inclusion."

Shaharazad Hamidi,
Head of School, The Spring Hill School



“This impeccably researched, reasoned and written book, screams about the need to empower our children, to trust them and to meaningfully invest in them. This book, at this time, has never been more necessary.”

Dr. Richard Gerver,
Educator, Author, Speaker