Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Pedagogy (CRSP)

We are constructing a CRSP framework to inform research, policy, professional development, and practice related to play in diverse cultural contexts internationally. We are writing a book proposal that will highlight narratives of children's play in many countries around the world and link these experiences with the use of our CSRP framework.

Examining the Impact of Transitional Kindergarten on the Preparation of California’s Elementary School Teachers and Their Principals

For this project, we interviewed higher education faculty responsible for teaching in early childhood, multiple subjects, and administrative credential programs to understand how, if at all, they are preparing future teachers and administrators to teach and supervise in play-based Transitional Kindergarten classrooms aligned with California’s Preschool Foundation and Frameworks and bridging to the Common Core State Standards and Kindergarten state standards. We completed 21 interviews with faculty in six institutions of higher education in the Bay Area, collected survey data from 100 ECE professionals in 16 counties across California, and completed a national document review.

Gender Inclusive Early Childhood

This project aims to make a significant contribution in transforming how early childhood educators across the nation understand young children’s gender identities and gender development; recognizing gender as fluid and having the skills and knowledge to work responsively with children who do not fit neatly into the identities assigned to them. Our goal is to provide early childhood professionals working with children from birth through 3rd grade with contemporary discourse and comprehensive pedagogical information they can use to support the gender expansive children and families in their care. We are constructing a conceptual framework to guide research, professional development, teacher education and work with families and communities on gender-inclusive early childhood practice.

SOS Children’s Villages

This study examines children’s play in two SOS children’s villages in Bulgaria and Macedonia. Committed to a children’s rights approach, we used the Mosaic method of gathering children’s perspectives to learn about how children and the SOS mothers and staff describe children’s play within the unique sociocultural contexts of these villages.

Play in Anji China 

Anji Play is a comprehensive play-driven curriculum developed over the past 14 years in 128 public preschools serving 14,000 children 3-6 years old in the primarily rural county of Anji in eastern China. Under the guidance of visionary regional director Cheng (Angela) Xueqin and a core group of school leaders, the schools began a process of reform based in the belief that it is the fundamental right of children to play. Ms. Cheng's work has dramatically changed the practices of early education in Anji and radically challenged the educational practices of the whole country. In 2014, Ms. Cheng’s work was honored with the highest recognition in education in China, the Presidential Teaching Award, and the Ministry of Education is moving to adopt critical elements of her curriculum for the entire nation’s young children. We are working in collaboration with Ms. Cheng and WestEd's Center for Children and Families to share information about this unique play driven approach for public kindergartens (children ages 3-6) with American educators.

Intergenerational/International Play Memories Project

We are interviewing three generations within extended families looking at both shared and distinct experiences with play across generations and cross cultural contexts