The Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy (MIELL), which is part of the Morgridge College of Education, is a research and social policy institute dedicated to improving learning environments and outcomes for children, birth to age 8.
At the Marsico Institute, we identify the best in early learning research, practice, and policy, and we deliver that information "just in time" to academics, practitioners, policymakers, and parents: the people who can create and implement changes to improve the lives of young children. We focus on early childhood because more than 93% of brain development occurs before the age of five. The quality of relationships and learning opportunities that young children experience can set the stage for what they will be able to accomplish throughout the rest of their lifetimes.
Renowned Marsico Institute at the University of Denver Names New Executive Director
The University of Denver’s Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy (MIELL) at the Morgridge College of Education has named Dr. Douglas Clements as its new Executive Director.
Dr. Clements, Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning and current member of the Marsico Institute’s Advisory Board said in a statement, “I am honored. The Marsico Institute has a well-deserved reputation for developing and disseminating research-based innovations and information in early childhood education and care. I promise to enthusiastically extend and expand that reputation—MIELL’s work deserves widespread, national attention."
Prior to joining the Morgridge College of Education (MCE), Dr. Clements was Professor of Early Childhood, Mathematics, and Computer Education at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, where he was granted the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities in 2007. Previously a kindergarten teacher for five years and a preschool teacher for one year, he has conducted research and published widely in the areas of the learning and teaching of geometry, computer applications in mathematics education, the early development of mathematical ideas, and the effects of social interactions on learning.
He has authored over 100 refereed research studies, 8 books, 50 chapters, and 250 additional publications. Equally impressive, over the span of his prestigious career, Dr. Clements has been awarded, either solely or in partnership with others, approximately $35,000,000 of sponsored research funds. Clements was a member of the National Math Advisory Panel, convened to advise the President of the United States on the best use of scientifically-based research to advance the teaching and learning of mathematics. He also was a member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Early Mathematics. Clements helped develop the Common Core State Standards Committee of the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, writing national academic standards and the learning trajectories that underlie them.
An Emphasis on Early Childhood
In addition to the exciting activities within the Marsico Institute, the Morgridge College of Education is engaging our community and serving children through several Early Childhood initiatives, programs of study, and related projects. The MCE is committed to being a force for positive change in the lives of individuals, organizations and communities through unleashing the power of learning and that commitment begins with our youngest community members.
Introducing the Morgridge Professor and Kennedy Endowed Chair in Innovative Learning Technologies - Dr. Julie Sarama
Dr. Clements, in partnership with our new Kennedy Endowed Chair in Innovative Learning Technologies, Dr. Julie Sarama, will open up a host of new national funding opportunities available to the Marsico Institute and the state of Colorado in the area of early childhood education. Julie has taught high school mathematics and computer science, gifted, and early mathematics. She directs 6 projects funded by the National Science Foundation and the Institute of Education Sciences and has authored over 50 refereed articles, 4 books, 30 chapters, and 20 computer programs.
Introducing the Morgridge Endowed Associate Professor in Literacy - Dr. Sharolyn Pollard-Durodola
Dr. Durodola's scholarship attends to the prevention and intervention of language and literacy difficulties (Spanish/English) among students with identified disabilities or at risk of later academic difficulties. Central to her scholarship is an interest in developing intervention curricula that build on validated instructional design principles, evaluating their impact on the language and reading development of struggling readers (Spanish/English), and investigating how to improve the teaching quality of language/literacy practices of teachers who instruct young English language learners (ELLs) and non-ELLs who are at risk for reading difficulties. She has received grants from the Institute of Education Sciences and the Mexican American and U.S. Latino Research Center. Dr. Durodola has published in numerous peer-reviewed journals. She has co-authored one book, Dynamic vocabulary read-aloud strategies for English learners: Building language and literacy in the primary grades and two commercial intervention curricula: SRA Intervención Temprana de Lectura and Vocabulary Power: Grade 3 and 4 for speakers of African-American vernacular English.
MA in Early Childhood Special Education
The Morgridge College of Education has reinstituted an MA program in Early Childhood Special Education. The goal of this program is to prepare highly competent, collaborative, ethical, and self-reflective Early Childhood Special Education Specialists. The program will train and develop scientist-practitioners who can provide intervention services through a transdisciplinary approach to optimize social-emotional, cognitive, academic, and behavioral outcomes for children from birth to age 8 with special needs and their families. The program philosophy is built upon a training model that emphasizes ecological, family-sensitive, prevention-oriented, empirically valid practice, and the highest standards of ethics and professionalism. We believe in a full consideration of human development and pedagogy, sensitivity to diverse human experiences and cultures, and the promotion of family involvement in early childhood development and education. The program is currently under final review with the Colorado Department of Education and is accepting applications for the fall of 2013. Scholarships and financial aid are available. For further information please contact Dr. Karen Riley at Karen.Riley@du.edu.
Library and Information Sciences Early Childhood Librarianship Program
The Morgridge College of Education is home to the nation's first Early Childhood Librarianship program. The primary goal of this project is to increase the number of Master's in Library and Information Science (MLIS)-degreed librarians who are prepared to serve this community need. Combining experiential learning in at least 5 partner public libraries and at least 5 early childhood education centers with interdisciplinary curriculum in LIS and Child, Family, and School Psychology (CFSP), fellows are well-prepared to be leaders in this field. The program provides fellowships for students and field-based experiences that include public libraries and preschools with an emphasis on diversity of programs and populations. Through partnerships established with several disciplines, practice areas, and institutions, fellows complete extensive coursework and direct experiences in the settings most pertinent to early childhood literacy. The coursework includes classes in brain research and child development along with conversational Spanish, as Colorado and other states have a significant percentage of Spanish speaking residents. This program is currently accepting applicants for the fall of 2013. For further information please contact Dr. Mary Stansbury at Mary.Stansbury@du.edu.
Ed.S. in School Psychology with an Emphasis in Early Childhood
The Morgridge College of Education was the first university program to offer an additional Early Childhood School Psychology Certificate. Students enrolled in the Ed.S. program can complete this certification with additional specialized coursework. The Ed.S. program in School Psychology prepares students who wish to acquire the broad array of skills that are essential for success in the educational environment as school psychologists. Ed.S. graduates take two years of coursework and complete a 1200-hour Internship during the third year. The Ed.S. curriculum ensures that students meet all state licensure requirements and are eligible to obtain a Colorado Department of Education School Psychology license, qualifying them to work with individuals from birth to age 21. Ed.S. degree students also can apply for national certification as a school psychologist. This program is currently accepting applications for the fall 2013. For further information please contact Dr. Cynthia Hazel at Cynthia.Hazel@du.edu.