Rural Appalachia seminar with visiting faculty member, February 10-13

Walter S. Gilliam will meet with the Child, Family, and Community Development in Rural Appalachia seminar February 10–13.  He is the Director of the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy and Associate Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center (Yale School of Medicine). He is on the board of directors for the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies; a fellow at  Zero to Three and the National Institute for Early Education Research, and served as a senior advisor to the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Gilliam is co-recipient of the 2008 Grawemeyer Award in Education for the coauthored book A Vision for Universal Preschool Education. 

Gilliam’s research involves early childhood education and intervention policy analysis (specifically how policies translate into effective services), ways to improve the quality of pre-kindergarten and child care services, the impact of early childhood education programs on children’s school readiness, and effective methods for reducing classroom behavior problems and reducing the incidence of preschool expulsion.

He has served as a consultant on early education policy with the Ministry of Education in China (2011) and on national policies to support young children’s development in Bulgaria (2008-2009).  He has given invited presentations on early childhood education policy in Israel, Singapore, and Japan.

His scholarly writing addresses early childhood care and education programs, school readiness, and developmental assessment of young children. Dr. Gilliam has led national analyses of state-funded pre-kindergarten policies and mandates, how pre-kindergarten programs are being implemented across the range of policy contexts, and the effectiveness of these programs at improving school readiness and educational achievement, as well as experimental and quasi-experimental studies on methods to improve early education quality. 

Gilliam actively provides consultation to state and federal decision-makers. His work has been covered in major national and international news outlets for print (e.g., New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today), radio (e.g., National Public Radio), and television (e.g., NBC "Today Show," CBS "The Early Show," "ABC World News," CNN, FOX).

His current research includes

  • Principal Investigator on the National Prekindergarten Study, the first study to examine the relationship between state-level early education legislation and policy and classroom-level implementation
  • A series of statewide random-controlled trials, examining the effectiveness of mental health consultation infused into child care and early education systems
  • A series of studies examining preschool expulsion rates and practices

He will give a public presentation at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12,  in Blackman Auditorium.

Psychology 430: Child, Family, and Community Development in Rural Appalachia is a new Spring 2013 course being taught collaboratively by Sewanee- and Yale-affiliated faculty and guest speakers. It is the latest development in a growing partnership between Sewanee and the Yale Child Study Center, Yale Medical School. Among the Center faculty is Linda Mayes, M.D. … Sewanee alumna … Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine … and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Psychology at Sewanee.

For many years, Dr. Mayes has offered summer internships to Sewanee students. More recently, she initiated the Sewanee-At-Yale Directed Research Program that affords Sewanee students the opportunity to spend a semester plus a summer at the Yale Child Study Center. This new course venture will offer students the combined expertise and energy of Sewanee faculty and visiting Yale-affiliated faculty and guest speakers. In addition to leading one or more course sessions, most of the visiting faculty and guest speakers will give a more public presentation open to the general community and have the opportunity to interact with various members of the Sewanee faculty and the broader community during their time in Sewanee. Thus, the course will also help to foster community-based collaborations among Sewanee and Yale faculty, University students, and local community organizations and partners.