Celebrating 125 Years

Alumni Achievement Award – Dr. Robert Harold Bradley

Photo of Dr. Robert Harold Bradley

Dr. Robert Harold Bradley

Dr. Robert Harold Bradley has devoted his career to expanding the world’s knowledge concerning how young children develop. Findings and assessment tools he has developed are relied upon by scholars, educators, policymakers, and families around the globe as they seek to improve the lives of children.
Bob was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, the city where he made his professional home.

After obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Notre Dame in 1968, Bob came to Carolina where he obtained a Master of Arts and then a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology in 1974. He began his career with a short stint at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville before taking a faculty position at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. It’s an affiliation he has maintained throughout his career.

At Little Rock, Bob has served as Director of the University Affiliated Program for Developmental Disabilities and, for eleven years as Director of the Center for Research on Teaching and Learning. Bob has maintained a faculty position at the center – now known as the Center for Applied Studies in Education – for the last 36 years.

Bob has been the principal contributor to the largest and most important study ever done on the effects of early child care on children’s development. The study, which has been funded by the National Institute of Child and Human Development (NICHD) since the early 1990s, has produced our most important information on the effects of early nonmaternal care.

Bob has published more than 200 articles and book chapters, creating a body of knowledge and understanding on child development and the effects of early child care that is world-renowned. His work has been recognized by many groups, reflected by the long list of honors and awards Bob has received. They include The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Urban Mission Award, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Faculty Excellence Award for Research. He was invited to join the International Network of Scholars at Boston University’s Center on Families, Communities, Schools and Children’s Learning in 1991. He was named president of the Southwestern Society for Research in Human Development in 2000.

In addition, Bob and his colleagues developed the Home Observations for the Measurement of the Environment (HOME) assessment tool that has been shown to be a powerful predictor of children’s development and has been used in many studies of early development. HOME has been used to help practitioners develop intervention and prevention efforts and foster optimal developmental conditions for children, in their homes and their child care settings.

Bob continues to serve on a number of research advisory groups and is an investigator for the Early Head Start National Evaluation Study and the NICHD Study of Child Care and Youth Development.

For his extraordinary dedication to his profession and to improving the lives of children, we honor Dr. Robert Harold Bradley with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education’s Alumni Achievement Award.