I am an educational anthropologist, an early childhood education (ECE) specialist, and core faculty in the comparative and international education program at Penn State. I apply comparative, ethnographic, and qualitative research methods to study the ways in which culture and class impact and shape ECE programs. I examine what is taught (curriculum), how it is taught (pedagogy), and how this takes place in classrooms that differ in geographic location, class, culture, and language use to show how and why local context matters.
I am currently conducting a comparative ethnographic study of Head Start policy in four cultural communities in the United States. My aim is to better understand what happens when federal policy is implemented across sites and how this policy impacts teachers and children in various cultural and linguistic contexts.