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Department of Early Childhood Education

College of Education

Ph.D. Faculty

Early Childhood PhD Faculty

Evanshen PhD faculty photo

Dr. Pamela Evanshen
Department Chair
PhD Program Co-Coordinator

Warf-Pickel 209


Research interests
Under construction.

Broderick PhD faculty photo

Dr. Jane Tingle Broderick

PhD Program Co-Coordinator
Emergent Inquiry Certificate Program Coordinator

Warf-Pickel 214


Research interests

Emergent Inquiry Curriculum

  • Emergent curricula teacher planning practices
  • Emergent curricula teacher practices
  • Teacher development
  • Teacher Professional Development
  • Learning communities and other collaborative, democratic, constructivist modes

Embedded in these are other topics

  • Documentation
  • The role of materials and environment on learning
  • Play
  • Children’s conceptual understanding of their world/conceptual development
  • Family involvement
  • Constructivist theory and principles are embedded in all interests noted
  • The teaching and learning environment

Extensions of these interests

  • Advocacy for Children's rights and Quality EC 
Current Research & Creative Projects

Cycle of Inquiry Research

My research has focused on Reggio inspired emergent curriculum. With my colleague, Seong Bock Hong (University of Michigan-Dearborn), we developed the Cycle of Inquiry System (COI) (Broderick & Hong, 2011) a pedagogical tool to aid teachers in documenting the valuable thinking processes they engage in when planning emergent curricula based on their observations of children.

  • observing children
  • interpreting observations with the child's thinking in mind
  • developing actions questions for  learning that are close to what the child has in mind
  • forming a plan to guide children's authentic inquiry, reflectively evaluating the implementation (Broderick & Hong, 2011). 

With the assistance of Mike Garrett, Early Childhood PhD student, we developed a model for emergent curricula observation and planning processes based on a cycle of inquiry. 

We also developed a COI rubric indicating levels of development with documenting within a cycle of inquiry curriculum.

Funded RDC grant
2017-2018 Academic year
Teaching Teachers to Converse Productively with Students

Dr. Broderick will be conducting a quantitative single case design pilot study to investigate the effects of a professional development training focused on teaching preschool teachers to use the Cycle Of Inquiry System (COI) (Broderick & Hong, 2011) and weekly mentoring meetings on their use of productive and non-productive conversation strategies with young children. 

  • An Early Childhood PhD fellow and Master's student will assist with this project.

COI Focus Group Study

To learn the ways that Reggio inspired preschool teachers interpret the language of the COI rubric, if the language matches their practices, or if the COI can be revised using new language that will make it more user friendly to practitioners.  Another purpose of this study is to discover the practices articulated within the COI that Reggio inspired teachers are documenting in their settings, to be able to identify a group of RE practitioners whose practices are aligned among each other. With this information, aligning programs through practices, we can begin to study the practices in relation to child outcomes.  Also, another goal is to learn of gaps in teachers COI practices where training might be welcome to bring a group in alignment around practices.  Additionally, we seek to identify teachers’ perceptions of Reggio inspired observation and planning practices.  A final purpose is to identify the ways that different groups of Reggio inspired teachers define Reggio inspired practices, to see if these align across groups and how they align with identified practices.

  • 2017-2018: Locate participating schools, introduce study to administrators (directors and pedagogical support personnel), implement two focus groups with administrators in the Spring/Summer 2018
  • 2018-2019: Implement focus group with teachers, collect related artifacts, analyze data
  • A PhD Fellow, Narges Sareh, has assisted with the design of this project
  • We welcome assistance from Early Childhood students (contact Dr. Broderick)

Materials Labs and Research

With my background as a visual artist I have an interest in supporting early childhood educators in learning to explore and understand the benefits of working with creative materials.  In the Spring 2017 semester I started to implement Materials Labs for doctoral students. In the 2017-2018 academic year I will offer Materials Labs for early childhood teachers and students.  Contact Dr. Broderick for a schedule of sessions that will be held at the university.

In the undergraduate and graduate creative development courses that I teach on campus and online students have assignments in which they explore materials individually, in groups, and with children.  My colleague, Seong Bock Hong (University of Michigan-Dearborn), guides similar materials explorations among her students.  Together we have found areas for potential research regarding materials explorations among early childhood teachers. These ideas are linked to the research of scientist / educator, David Hawkins (2003), who believes that messing about with materials and ideas is essential for learning.

  • Materials exploration thinking processes (learning properties of materials, framing representations inspired by materials) 
  • Aesthetics in the early childhood classroom
  • Conversations during materials explorations; with materials, self, peers, facilitator
  • Development fluency with innovative alignment of materials with concepts to explore
  • When to research content to support children's inquiry

Broderick, J. & Hong, S. B (in press). The Cycle of Inquiry System: Organizing emergent curricula teacher planning. Washington, DC: NAEYC. 

McAuliffe, C., Hong, S. B., & Broderick, J. (in-progress). Drawing to Learn: A Classroom Case Study.

  • Drawing to observe; Drawing to plan for problem solving; Drawing to communicate learning; Related curriculum planning.

Broderick, J. T. & Matson, J. (2015). Creativity and Curriculum: “Exploring Theories of Creativity Through Our Shape Investigation.” In Ewards, C. P. & Carotta, C. (Eds.) Listening to Children, Seeing Possibilities: Stories from an Inquiry Circle at the Center for Childhood Deafness, Omaha, Nebraska, and Beyond. Omaha, NE: Boys Town National Research Hospital. (pp 82-93).

Matson, J. & Broderick, J. T. (2015). Explorations in Science: “Ice Melting,” In Ewards, C. P. & Carotta, C. (Eds.) Listening to Children, Seeing Possibilities: Stories from an Inquiry Circle at the Center for Childhood Deafness, Omaha, Nebraska, and Beyond. Omaha, NE: Boys Town National Research Hospital. (pp 94-105).

Carter, J.; Broderick, J. T. & McGaha, C. (2015). Creativity and Curriculum: Explorations in Early Literacy:  “Wild Things,” In Ewards, C. P. & Carotta, C. (Eds.) Listening to Children, Seeing Possibilities: Stories from an Inquiry Circle at the Center for Childhood Deafness, Omaha, Nebraska, and Beyond. Omaha, NE: Boys Town National Research Hospital. (pp106-118).

Broderick, J. T. & Hong, Seong Bock Hong (2011). Introducing the Cycle of Inquiry System: A reflective inquiry practice for Early Childhood teacher development, Early Childhood Research and Practice, 13(2). .

Broderick, J.T. & Hong, S. B. (2005) Inquiry in Early Childhood Teacher Education: Reflections on practice, The Constructivist, 16(1), Fall 2005. 

Broderick, J. T. (2004) Initiating experiences with clay and drawing as dynamic conversations, Canadian Children, Spring, 29(2),7 – 13.  

Hong, S. B. & Broderick, J.T. (2003) Instant video revisiting for reflection: Extending the learning of children & teachers, Early Childhood Research and Practice, Spring 2003,

Working with students

Under construction.

Supporting student research

Under construction.

Strengths & abilities

Under construction

Facun-Granadozo PhD faculty photo

Dr. Ruth Facun-Granadozo

Assistant Professor 

Warf-Pickel 202


Research interests
  1. Teacher Preparation for Literacy Instruction
  2. Professional Development Programs for Early Childhood Educators (related to language and literacy instruction)
  3. Diversity Competence of Early Childhood Professionals
  4. Diversity in Early Childhood Settings
  5. Programs for Families with Young Children
Current Research & Creative Projects
Dr. Facun-Granadozo is currently working on grant proposals that focus on literacy teacher support and professional development activities. She is also deepening and expanding her inquiry on literacy teacher knowledge and skills essential for effective literacy instruction. Further, she is preparing the groundwork for her interest to work with diverse families and early childhood professionals.
Working with students
As Dr. Facun-Granadozo is strengthening her scholarly agenda, she could use help for mining the extant literature related to her research interests. One of her strengths is finding and analyzing key pieces of information that inform future directions.
Strengths & abilities
Dr. Facun-Granadozo has a good preparation for both qualitative and quantitative research methods. She has strong time management and organization skills, and is also attentive to details – all of which are critical skills for completing a dissertation/other research undertaking.


alissa_langeDr. Alissa Lange

Assistant Professor,  

423- 439-7322
Warf-Pickel 208A



Research interests
Under construction.

 amy_malkusDr. Amy Malkus

Associate Professor
Master's Program Coordinator

Warf-Pickel 516


Research interests
  1. Age Groups - Kindergarten through Adolescence; College Students
  2. Developmental Domains - Socioemotional Development; Prosocial Behavior and Development
  3. Research Topics - Environmental Attitudes, Knowledge, Behaviors, and Concerns; Pet Attachment; Technology; Video Games; Computer Usage; Worries, Concerns, Stress & Coping

Scale Development:

Malkus, A. J., & Meinhold, J. L. (2000). Young People and the Environment Scale. This scale is a 142-item revised and adapted American Version of a scale developed by Fien, Yencken, & Sykes (1993).  In 2014 there was a request from WI to use this scale, and in 2007 there was a request from Israel to use this scale.

Malkus, A. J. (1995). Childhood Concerns Rank-Order Test; Children’s Home Environmental Practices Scale. The CCROT is a 10-item rank-order test, while the CHEPI is a 10-item frequency measure.

Malkus, A. J. (1992). Adults’ Attitudes Toward the Environment Scale; Home Environmental Practices Inventory. The AATES is a 25-item Likert-type scale, while the HEPI is a 10-item frequency measure. Since 2000, there have been 11 requests by other researchers to use one or both of these measures, including requests from several foreign countries (e.g., Australia, New Zealand, Estonia, Korean). The scale was translated into Korean in 2011.

Malkus, A. J., & Musser, L.M. (1992). Children’s Attitudes Toward the Environment Scale. This 25-item Likert-type scale is copyrighted and was published in the Journal of Environmental Education in 1994. There have been more than 20 requests to use this measure since its creation, both in the U.S. and in several foreign countries (e.g., Canada, New Zealand, Taiwan, Turkey, Thailand, Australia, England, Peru). The scale has been translated into Chinese, Turkish, and Thai for use in research in these countries. In 2008, there was a request from the Sesame Street Workshop to use this scale.


Gloeckler, L. R., Cassell, J. M., & Malkus, A. J. (2013). An analysis of teacher practices with toddlers during social conflicts. Early Child Development and Care, doi: 10.1080/03004430.2013.818988

Meinhold, J. L., & Malkus, A. J. (2005). Adolescent environmental behaviors: Can knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy make a difference? Environment and Behavior, 37(4), 511-532.

Malkus, A. J., & Meinhold, J. L. (2002). United States of America. In J. Fien, D. Yencken, & H. Sykes (Eds.), Young people and the environment: An Asia-Pacific perspective (pp. 139-150). Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic.

Malkus, A. J., & Musser, L. M. (1997). Environmental concern in school-age children. Washington, DC: Society for Research in Child Development. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED407099).

Musser, L. M., & Malkus, A. J. (1994). The Children's Attitudes Toward the Environment Scale. Journal of Environmental Education, 25(1), 22-26.

Supporting students

Doctoral Candidates:

  • Dissertation Chair – 3 students (all currently in progress)
  • Dissertation Committee Member – 5 ECED and 2 ELPA students (5 are currently in progress)

Graduate Candidates:

  • Master’s Thesis Chair – 4 students (1 currently in progress)
  • Master’s Thesis Committee Member – 7 (none currently in progress)

Undergraduate Candidates:

  • Undergraduate Thesis Chair – 1 student

Additional Research Work with Undergraduate Candidates:

  • Research project advisor for BIOL 3047 and BIOL 3048 – Great Ideas in Science – mentored 5 undergraduates students through a 2-semester research project. 2005-2006
  • Malkus, A. J., Edmonds, K., Leitnaker, S., Lutz, S., Moore, J., & Rose, J. (July 2006). The relationship of video games and physical activity to homework performance in fourth and fifth grade students. Paper presented at the annual East Tennessee State University Early Childhood Conference, Johnson City, TN. (This paper was also presented at the Appalachian Undergraduate Student Research Symposium and the 2006 Appalachian Student Research Forum in March 2006 in Johnson City, TN).
Strengths & abilities

Knowledge of APA; Technological Skills; Knowledge of Scale Development including Reliability and Validity Issues

 Kathryn SharpDr. Kathryn Sharp

Associate Professor,  

Warf-Pickel 208


Research interests
  1. Teacher and pre-service dispositions
  2. Early childhood literacy
  3. Classroom management
  4. Teacher evaluations
  5. Science in early childhood

Grants and funded projects:

Faculty and Student Collaboration Grant: Scaffolding Literacy with Expository Texts in Pre-K, $1,200-Spring 2014.

Instructional Development Grant: Project Flex-Time: Literacy, Instruction, and Assessment Learning Options, $2,500 Fall 2013-Spring 2014.

RDC Small Grant: Preservice Candidates’ Self-Evaluation of Dispositions, $1,500; October, 2011.


Sharp, L. K. (summer, 2016) Examining the precepts of early childhood education: The basics or the essence?" The International Journal of the Whole Child.

Sharp, L. K. (2014). Prometric: Praxis II exam: Early childhood specialty exam series.

Educational Testing Service.  (proprietary work)

Gann, R.R., Sharp, L.K., & McIlquham, S. (December, 2013). Textbook aliteracy in teacher education: Information everywhere, but how much do they read? American

Reading Forum Yearbook.

Sharp, L. K. (July, 2012). A constructivist educator in a standards-driven world: An interview with Marita White. Association for Constructivist Teaching Newsletter.

Rike, C. J., & Sharp, L. K. (2009). Developing and assessing pre-service teachers' dispositions: A beneficial process for all. In P.LeBlanc, Lamp; N. Gallavan (Eds.). Affective teacher education: Exploring connections among knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Lanham, MD: Rowan & Littlefield Publishing Group.  

Rike, C. J., & Sharp, L. K. (2008). Assessing pre-service teachers' dispositions: A critical dimension of professional preparation. Early Childhood Education: Infancy Through Early Adolescence, 84, 150-153. Association of Childhood Educators International.    

Sharp, L. K. (2004). Literacy tug-of-war between commercial literacy programs and differentiated instruction. Tennessee's Children. Summer, 2005.

Presentations (sample)

Sharp, L. K. (2016). Literacy: Connections to content, concepts, and thinking processes. East Tennessee University Early Childhood Conference.

Sharp, L. K., & Fowler, M. J. (December, 2015). Using literacy to address bullying in the classroom. Tennessee Reading Association conference. Murfreesboro, TN.

Sharp, L. K., & Hobbs, M. (December, 2015). Teaching young writers: Making it work with the new standards. Tennessee Reading Association conference. Murfreesboro, TN.

Sharp, L. K., & Geiken, R. (November, 2014). Integrating science and literacy in Early Childhood: Hands-on scientific investigations and literacy strategies for teachers. National Association for the Education of Young Children. Dallas, TX.

Sharp, L. K. & Hobbs, M. (July, 2014). Supporting writing in early childhood classrooms: Making it work with the new standards. ETSU Early Childhood conference. Johnson City, TN.

Sharp, L. K. (December, 2013). Vocabulary, academic language, and meaning making in the early years. Tennessee Reading Association. Murfreesboro, TN.

Sharp, L. K. (October, 2013). Literacy strategies you can use now. Tennessee Association for the Education of Young Children. Knoxville, TN.

Sharp, L. K. (July, 2013). Using non-fiction texts in the Early Childhood classroom. ETSU Early Childhood Conference. Johnson City, TN.

*Sharp, L. K. (February, 2013). Building a better teacher: Teacher preparation at a crossroad. Association of Teacher Educators. Atlanta, GA.

Gann, R. & Sharp, L. K. (February, 2013). Do teacher candidates read their textbooks? Association of Teacher Educators. Atlanta, GA.

Sharp, L. K., & Lewis, S. (December, 2012). Moving toward the Common Core: Understanding Academic Language. Tennessee Reading Association Conference. Murfreesboro, TN.

Working with students

I try to make the research support areas of interest (e.g., potential dissertation topics) while also developing good research and writing skills. I enjoy meeting with students to discuss their reading and research, and to help them set goals for their learning.

Supporting students

I enjoy tailoring projects to each student’s particular areas of interest and/or need. As much as possible, I look for opportunities to apply the project to the field and working with children and/or families. I meet with students on a regular basis to discuss reading, research, and assignments.

  • Faculty collaborative grant: Using Expository Texts in Pre-K
  • Directed Boland Symposium presentation of research in spring of 2014
  • Presentations on writing development, assessment and instruction in early childhood
  • Research and presentations on using literacy to address bullying in the early childhood classroom 

Chair of 3 completed dissertation committees and chair of 2 active dissertation committees. I am also a committee member on 2 dissertation committees. I chaired one completed master’s thesis committee and was a member of another committee.


Dr. Sharp following Ruth Facun-Granadozo's dissertation defense.



 carol trivette

Carol Trivette

Associate Professor,

Warf-Pickel 209-6


Research interests
  1. Parent-child interactions that promote children’s engagement in everyday learning activities, everyday activities and learning opportunities to promote young children’s communication and language development and early literacy development.
  2. Meta-analytically techniques to determine the essential characteristics of evidence-based practices.
  3. Evidence-based adult learning strategies to promote the skills of practitioners and parents.
  4. Home visiting factors and strategies that enhance parents competency and confidence.
  5. technology to support parents’ use of evidence-based practices with their children.
Current Research & Creative Projects

My research focuses on children, parents that support children, practitioners that support parents and young children, and systems that support practitioners. I am concerned with the use of effective and efficient intervention practices and implementation practices to support parents’ and practitioners’ use of evidence-based intervention. Mostly I explore the worlds of young children who have developmental delays and children who are at-risk for developmental delays due to environmental factors and their families. Current projects include:

  • A study of practitioners’ use of family centered practices in three contexts (face-to-face home visits, tele-communication home visits, clinic-based visits)
  • Analyzing data from a national study of Early Head Start Home Visiting programs –This sample is equally distributed between mothers whose home language was English and mothers whose home language was Spanish
  • Meta-analysis of parent-mediated language intervention with young children with disabilities or at-risk for disabilities
  • Meta-analysis of the use of environmental adaptations to enhance the access and participation of young children with disabilities in everyday learning opportunities
  • Development of effective training materials for DEC Recommended Practices
  • Co-Editor -DEC Recommended Practices Monograph Series – Using DEC Family Practices with All Families; Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children (DEC) third monograph in the DEC Recommended Practices Monograph Series in 2017

Howse, R.B., Trivette, C. M., & Hamby, D. W. (under review). Promoting children’s early literacy competency through an interest-based project approach. Journal of Early Childhood Education.

Dunst, C. J., Trivette, C. M., & Raab, M. (2014). Everyday child language learning early intervention practices. Infants and Young Children, 27(3), 207-219.

Dunst, C. J., Trivette, C. M., & Raab, M. (2013). An implementation science framework for conceptualizing and operationalizing fidelity in early childhood intervention studies. Journal of Early Intervention, 35, 1-13.

Dunst, C.J., Raab, M., & Trivette, C.M. (2012). Characteristics of naturalistic language intervention strategies, Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis. 5(13), 8 -16.

Dunst, C. J., Trivette, C. M., & Hamby, D. W. (2012). Meta-analysis of studies incorporating the interests of young children with autism spectrum disorders into early intervention practices. Autism Research and Treatment. Article ID: 462531.

Dunst, C.J., & Trivette, C.M. (2012). Moderators of the effectiveness of adult learning method practices. Journal of Social Sciences, 8(2), 143-148

Trivette, C. M., Raab, M., & Dunst, C. J. (2012). An evidence-based approach to professional development in Head Start classrooms. NHSA Dialog, 15(1), 41-58. doi:10.1080/15240754.2011.636489.

Trivette, C. M., Raab, M., & Dunst, C. J. (2012). Steps to successful professional development in Head Start. NHSA Dialog Brief, 1(5), 127-134. doi:10.1080/15240754.2011.637644.

 Trivette, C. M., Wilson-Kearse, J., Dunst, C. J., & Hamby, D. W. (2012). Access to higher education among high school students: Challenges and solutions. Journal of Social Sciences, 8 (2), 252-257.

Working with students

Supporting Children’s Early Literacy Development in Appalachia.  In this project, we are currently analyzing data from a study of Appalachian family involvement in the promotion of early reading experiences for their young children. If you are interested in working on the data analysis and writing up results for publication, please contact me.

Learning How to Do Meta-Analysis. In this project, we are conducting a meta-analysis of the use of environmental adaptations to enhance the access and participation of young children with disabilities in everyday learning opportunities. This is an opportunity to learn new analytical skills to determine what the research evidence is across a single body of research (i.e., child engagement, parent-child interaction). Please contact me if you are interested in this participating in this project.

Unpacking the Black Box of Home Visiting. In this project, we are analyzing data from a national longitudinal study of home visiting practices that was collected with families and home visitors from Early Head Start Programs. This is a large data set with self-report, observation, and child assessment data. If you are interested in home visiting or learning how to analyze and write up different types of data analysis, please contact me.

Supporting student research

Doctoral Candidates:

  • Dissertation Chair – 5 ECED students
  • Dissertation Committee Member – 4 ECED Students; 3 students from outside institutions

Graduate Candidates:

  • Master’s Thesis Chair – 2 ECED students
Strengths and abilities
I enjoy working with students to form research questions of interest to them and helping them move their questions into a research design and methodology. Though I have more experience and expertise in quantitative research, I enjoy helping students to determine the best research method (qualitative, quantitative or mix methods) to answer their research questions. I like working with statistical procedures (i.e., structural equation modeling) that help answer questions concerning the influence of complex systems and development/growth over time.
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