Faculty & Research

Recent Publications - Books

Handbook of child development and early education: Research to practice

Graphic of book cover

Barbarin, O. A. & Wasik, B. H. (Eds.)
New York: Guilford Press (2009)
ISBN-10: 1606233025
ISBN-13: 978-1606233023

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Barbara H. Wasik recently co-edited the book, Handbook of child development and early education: Research to practice. Published by Guilford Press, the book addresses social and academic issues for children age three to eight, including what young children should be taught, how to involve families in learning and what attention should be given to social and emotional learning.

Wasik holds a William R. Kenan, Jr. Professorship in the School of Education and is a fellow of the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. A clinical/school psychologist, she chairs the School Psychology Program.

Wasik co-edited the book with Oscar A. Barbarin, former professor in the UNC School of Social Work, now the Lila L. and Douglas J. Hertz Endowed Chair in the Department of Psychology at Tulane University in New Orleans, La.

This book brings together developmentalists and early educators in a discussion about what an integrated, developmentally appropriate curriculum could look like during the preschool and early elementary years. Innovative research is presented on brain development and the advancement of cognitive, socio-emotional, language, and literacy skills in children aged three to eight years old.

The contributors of the book incorporate real-world classroom experience to describe inventive and practical ways to improve teaching practices and address children’s learning needs. Composed of 26 chapters divided into six parts, this handbook combines state-of-the-art theory and research in a scholarly yet accessible way.

Part I is an introduction to the challenges and rewards of translating developmental science into real-world educational settings. One of the book’s main objectives is discussed in this section: to bridge the gap between early childhood programs and K-3 schooling. This topic is described in terms of standards, curriculum and pedagogy.

Part II focuses on new discoveries in brain functioning and learning in young children and examines topics such as the growth of cognitive capacities and neurodevelopmental changes in infancy.

Part III explores the social and emotional development necessary for school readiness and success.

Parts IV and V focus on language arts, mathematics and science. The contributors provide original approaches to improving instruction, assessment and classroom environments in these areas. They also place a special emphasis on strategies for working with English Language Learners and at-risk students.

The final section addresses the important next steps that should be taken in the field.

Current and former faculty members of the School of Education who contributed chapters in addition to Wasik are Jill Fitzgerald, Kathleen Gallagher, Sam Odom and Dwight Rogers.