Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Photo of Steve Knotek

Knotek, Steve

Associate Professor of School Psychology also Learning Sciences and Psychological Studies
Coordinator of School Psychology Program

T: 919.843.2049
F: 919.843.2614
114 Peabody Hall
CB 3500

“Those who trust us educate us.”

– George Eliot


Steve Knotek is a psychologist trained as a practitioner and as a researcher in prevention and early intervention. His research focuses on: (a) enhancing the capacity of professionals, parents and caregivers to address their children's developmental challenges, and (b) understanding the use of consultation. His goal is to investigate how consultation may be utilized in service of early intervention programs that aim to support the competence and resiliency of students who are at-risk for school failure and/or who are in traditionally underserved populations.

Knotek's research interests have been heavily influenced by his professional experience. He has worked in a children’s museum, as a family therapist for seriously emotionally disturbed children and adolescents in an inner-city community, and then finally as a psychologist working with minority students in poor rural counties. This work convinced him of the resilience and competence inherent in children, their families, and their caregivers. As a museum educator he was privileged to see children act in a creative and motivated fashion.

Finally, as a school psychologist Knotek was able to also collaborate with many professionals and parents who shared the same overarching goals for promoting the success of students of color. These experiences have led him to research in consultation, early intervention and innovation. Currently he is focusing on interventions. Knotek’s project, “Madres para Niños,” aims to enhance Latina mothers’ knowledge to support their children’s school readiness. He is also developing a coaching-for-competence model for coaches and student-athletes. The goal is to maximize students’ protective factors and psychological strengths through participation in organized athletic settings.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. 1996 - University of California at Berkeley. Educational Psychology and Human Development, emphasis in School Psychology
  • M.A. 1987 - University of San Francisco, Counseling (School, and Marriage and Family)
  • B.A. 1981 - San Francisco State University, Geography

Doctoral Program Affiliation(s)

Ph.D. in School Psychology

Research Interests

  • Coaching, Consultation and Professional Development
  • Early Intervention, Prevention and Wellness
  • Education in Informal Settings (e.g., Sports, Outward Bound, Parent Groups)
  • Sports Psychology

Teaching Areas

  • School Psychology
  • Learning Sciences and Psychological Studies


  • EDUC 718: Advanced Assessment/Intervention III: Systems Level Consultation and Organizational Change
  • EDUC 719: Advanced Assessment/Intervention IV: Community Based Programs and Partnerships

Honors & Awards

  • 2012, Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award
  • 2012, Fulbright Specialist
  • 2008-2011, Fellow, Foundation for Child Development, Young Scholar Program,
    includes $174,000 for 3 years of funding for research on Madre para Niños
  • Summer 2005, Early Career Scholar, School Psychology Research Collaboration Conference, Sponsored by APA Division 16, Society for the Study of School Psychology, APA Education Directorate

Funded Research

  • Developing Consultation and Collaboration Skills: ESL and Classroom Teachers Working Together, Institue for Educational Sciences
  • Treatment Acceptability andFeasibility for Curricular Components and Delivery of a Coaching for Competence Model, Hoffman Award
  • Implementing Teacher's Outward Bound Experience in the Classroom, SOE
  • Madres para Niños, Foundation for Child Development, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute and the UNC School of Education

Selected Professional Affiliations

  • American Psychological Association, Division 13, 15, 16
  • National Association of School Psychologists

Selected Publications

Knotek, S. E. (2012). Utilizing Cultural Responsiveness to Support Innovation Implementation in a Rural School.  Consulting Psychologist.

Knotek, S. E., Kovac, M., & Bostwick, E. (2011).  The Use of Consultation to Support Improved Academic and Psychosocial Outcomes for Gifted Students. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 27, 359-379.

Knotek, S. E., Sauer-Lee, A., & Lowe-Greenlee, B. (2009). Consultee-Centered Consultation as a Vehicle for Knowledge Diffusion and Utilization: Putting Instruction into RTI. In S. Rosenfield & V. Berninger (Eds.) Translating Science-Supported Instruction into Evidence- Based Practices: Understanding and Applying the Implementation Process. Oxford, England: Oxford Press.

Subotnik, R. & Knotek, S. E. (2009). A Positive Psychology Approach to Developing Talent and Preventing Talent Loss in the Arts and Sciences. In R. Gilman, S. Huebner, and M. Furlong (Eds.) Handbook of Positive Psychology in the Schools: Promoting Wellness in Children and Youth. Oxford, England: Taylor & Francis.

Knotek, S. E., Kanuka, M., & Ellington, K. (2007). Mental Health Consultation and Consultee-Centered Approaches. In S. Sheridan & W. Erchul (Eds) Handbook of Research in School Consultation: Empirical Foundations for the Field, pp. 127-146.  Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Eun, B., Knotek, S. E., & Heining-Boynton, A. L. (2008) Reconceptualizing the Zone of Proximal Development: The Importance of the Third Voice. Educational Psychology Review, 20, 133-147.

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