Teaching and Research Interests:
I think of myself as a school psychologist practicing in a university setting. I am a developmental
psychologist by training, experience and inclination. I believe, with John Dewey and Lawrence
Kohlberg, that development is the goal of education. I also take to heart Jean Piagetís essential
notion that students must become actively involved and interact with material in order to genuinely
understand it. I feel particularly well suited to teaching psychology to students who are committed
to pursuing professional careers in psychology and education.
I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to teach graduate courses which are at the heart
of my own development as a professional psychologist. In my graduate courses, I utilize a scientist-
practitioner model of practice by requiring that students read refereed and peer-reviewed
psychological and educational research, and apply it in assignments conducted in schools with
children, teachers and parents during concurrent practica placements as student school psychologists.
I purposefully introduce disequilibrium by demanding that students understand the knowledge base, or
lack of existing knowledge, which supports any tool or intervention they are utilizing in the field.
In this way, students will hopefully gain experience in questioning the types of activities they are
asked to conduct, and appreciate the necessity of grounding professional practice in scientific
knowledge. Given the dramatic pace and scope of change in educational practices, and the increased
accountability demands in public schools, a key goal is for students to learn how to access
information to solve problems that go beyond their current knowledge, and to be able to assess the
effectiveness of the interventions they recommend or assist others to develop.
In terms of my undergraduate teaching, my goal is to create a learning environment where students
will be able to translate psychological theories into useful constructs they can apply in their own
professional work with children, or their lives. I ask students to write papers on a regular basis,
where they pose questions that have been generated by lectures or class discussions, and report
observations of children in light of theories and experiments concerning cognitive, social and
emotional development. I respond in writing to student papers, and attempt to construct an ongoing
dialogue with each student that encourages their involvement beyond what a 40-student lecture course
usually provides. Students in my courses also typically conduct experimental interviews and
observations with children to attempt to verify the presence of developmental processes in a childís
My current research interests include measuring outcomes in training practices in school psychology,
developing appropriate assessment and intervention models for students with learning disabilities
and differences, understanding reading disabilities, developing and assessing conceptual changes in
school-based and consultee-centered consultation, and defining best practices in programs and
services for students with emotional and behavioral disorders.