Areas of Interest
- Effects of various teaching strategies and curricula at the preschool level on later child outcomes related to literacy, mathematics, and social skills in formal schooling, as well as the maintenance of such effects throughout the formal school years.
- Validity of current measures of early childhood classroom quality.
- Relationships between the quality of initial teacher education/training and the resulting quality of teaching, and its effects on child outcomes.
- Increasing the number of randomized field experiments, and thereby the quality of available research in the early education field.
- Teacher Education and Training
- Classroom Quality
- Curriculum Effects
- Early Childhood Education
- Research Quality
Current Research Topic/Field-Based Project
Project:FOCUS on Early Childhood Curriculum, is a preschool curriculum evaluation study conducted in classrooms across middle Tennessee. The project began in 2002. Researchers conducted the study in 36 pre-kindergarten classrooms in 7 school systems in middle Tennessee. Faculty at Vanderbilt evaluated the effectiveness of three different instructional approaches (curricula). Children’s school achievement is continuing to be followed into the third grade. My personal role in the project has been to help conduct observations in classrooms, assess children’s knowledge of literacy and mathematics, and enter and analyze collected data. I have been looking at variables involving how time is managed in kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms, how characteristics of those environments impact children’s outcome scores, etc. .
A scale-up project of a pre-kindergarten mathematics intervention in public preschool programs serving low-income children. In collaboration with the State University of New York at Buffalo, the project seeks to train teachers to implement the intervention program, assess the impact of the program on children’s mathematics knowledge in subsequent years of schooling, and examine the children’s developing mathematical cognition in the school environments. My personal role in the project has been to help conduct observations in classrooms and assess children’s knowledge of mathematics. Both projects utilize randomized assignment and comparison groups.
- Project Manager of federal grant designed to train early childhood educators in fostering literacy, language, and social skills development of children 0-5.
- Graduate Assistant in University child care center.
- M.S. (2002): Research Psychology, University of Tennessee
- B.A. (1996): Psychology, Berry College