Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Photo of Sharon Palsha

Palsha, Sharon

Clinical Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education
Coordinator of Child Development and Family Studies Program

T: 919.843.2046
F: 919.843.2614
301A Peabody Hall
CB 3500

“The child is made of one hundred. The child has a hundred languages, a hundred hands, a hundred thoughts, a hundred ways of thinking, of playing, of speaking. A hundred, always a hundred ways of listening, of marveling, of loving. A hundred joys for singing and understanding, a hundred worlds to discover, a hundred worlds to dream ...”

– Loris Malaguzzi


Sharon Palsha coordinates the undergraduate Child Development and Family Studies Program and the Birth-Kindergarten Licensure Only Program. She teaches the Pre-K/Kindergarten Methods and Assessment classes, Models of Early Childhood class and supervises student teachers. Her classroom experience includes eight years as a special education teacher.

Prior to joining the faculty, Palsha worked for 15 years as a researcher at the Frank Porter Graham (FPG) Child Development Institute. She was co-investigator on a model demonstration grant funded to study the effectiveness of on-site consultation in childcare programs in enhancing early childhood environments to support inclusion. Working in childcare programs across the state of North Carolina, she and FPG colleague Pat Wesley developed an on-site model still used throughout the state of North Carolina and across the U.S. and in Canada to enhance quality in early childhood programs. Palsha continues to maintain affiliation with Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute as an FPG Fellow. Her work involves topics related to the FirstSchool Initative.


Educational Background

  • Ph.D. 1989 - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Education
  • M.Ed. 1984 - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Special Education
  • B.A. 1977 - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Special Education

Doctoral Program Affiliation(s)

Ph.D. in Education

Research Interests

  • Early Childhood Curriculum
  • Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood

Teaching Areas

  • Pre-Kindergarten/Kindergarten Methods and Assessment


  • EDUC 402: Models of Early Childhood Services
  • EDUC 501: Preschool/Kindergarten Assessment and Teaching Strategies
  • EDUC 502: Preschool/Kindergarten Student Teaching and Seminar

Honors & Awards

  • Chair, North Carolina Birth-Kindergarten Consortium – 2009-2010
  • Chair elect, North Carolina Birth-Kindergarten Consortium – 2008-2009
  • Chair, Program Committee, North Carolina Birth-Kindergarten Consortium – 2007-2009

Funded Research

  • Principal Investigator - The Impact of Head Start on Math and Reading Proficiency. University Research Council Small Grant Award, Fall 2007 – Fall 2009, Budget $2,500
  • Co-Investigator, Project ABC123: Promoting School Readiness in Literacy, RTSP Grant, Spring 2008 and Fall 2008, Budget $9,000

Selected Professional Affiliations

  • NC Birth-Kindergarten Higher Education Consortium
  • Council for Exceptional Children, Division of Early Childhood
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children

Public Service

  • Member of Chapel Hill Head Start Policy Council – 2008-09
  • Chapel Hill Project Graduation – Publicity Co-Chair – 2008-09

Selected Publications

Palsha, S., Ritchie, S., Sparling, J., Maxwell, K., Crawford, G. and Lim, C. (2007). A FirstSchool Lens on Instructional Practices and Curriculum: Changing Schools to Benefit Early Childhood Professionals, Young Children, and Their Families. Foundation for Child Development.

Early, D., Bushnell, M., Clifford, D. Konanc, E., Maxwell, K., Palsha, S. & Roberts, L. Kindergarten Readiness Issues Group, Partners in Research Forum (2003). North Carolina early grade retention in the age of accountability, Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina, FPG Child Development Institute.

Palsha, S. (2001). An outstanding education for ALL children: Learning from Reggio’s approach to inclusion. In Fu, V., Hill, L. & Stremmel, A. (Eds.) Teaching and Learning: Collaborative Exploration of the Reggio Emilia Approach, Merrill Prentice Hall.

Palsha, S. & Wesley, P. (1998). Improving quality in early childhood environments through on-site consultation. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 18(4), 243-253.

Palsha, S., Wesley, P., Fenson, C. & Dennis, B. (1997). Improving the quality of early childhood environments through on-site consultation: A manual for consultants. Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Smith, C. (with contribution by Sharon Palsha). (1997). Children with "Special Rights" in the Schools and Centers of Reggio Emilia. In Edwards, C., Gandini, L., & Forman, G. (Eds.) The Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education, 2nd Edition, Norwood, New Jersey: Ablex Publishing Corporation. 

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