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Marsico Institute

Connecting children, families and teachers with the best in early childhood research.

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.

Featured News: Marsico at the White House 

2016 STEM Symposium at white house

Washington, DC - April 21st, 2016: Marsico's Co-Executive Director Dr. Douglas Clements was honored to be a featured speaker at the White House last month, for an Early Childhood STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Symposium, where he spoke to a packed audience about the vital role that math education plays in early learning and cognitive development. Building on #STEMStartsEarly efforts and the 'Educate to Innovate' agenda, the symposium served to highlight the latest research findings, which show that early exposure to STEM "has positive impacts across the entire spectrum of learning."

Dr. Clements delivered a captivating speech to kick-off the symposium. As a nation, we "must do better," he said, emphasizing the need for government leaders to provide our schools and other education support programs with the knowledge and resources to promote STEM learning in developmentally appropriate ways.

Continuing to share the important research findings that he, along with his colleagues here at the Marsico Institute, are doing with Washington, D.C., Dr. Clements later testified at a congressional briefing that served to promote early STEM policy initiatives. His central message to the White House Symposium, and later to Congress, was one that unfortunately many educators and policy-makers still find surprising: strong foundations in math not only predict later science, math, and engineering achievement, but are actually proven to predict long-term literacy achievement as well, and thus serves a vital role for children's well-being that is sustained over the course of a lifetime.