check-paper dots minus2 close2 globe hamburger plus2 search starburst linkedin play bullet close menu minus plus check envelope home instagram linkedin youtube twitter facebook calendar minus-circle minus3 plus-circle plus3 chevron-circle-down chevron-circle-up chevron-circle-right chevron-circle-left chevron-right chevron-left chevron-down chevron-up

Early Learning

Early Learning

Early childhood – typically defined as preschool through about 3rd grade – is a critical developmental period and a core focus of the Curry School's research. From training early childhood teachers to cultivating policy partnerships across Virginia and beyond, UVA's education school is deeply committed and engaged in how to improve education for our littlest learners.

News & Media

  • $10 Million Gift Supports Early Learning

    Jane Batten’s gift will enable creation of professorships and fellowships in UVA’s Curry School, positively affecting the quality of education offered to young people.

    Read More
  • New Undergraduate Major: Early Childhood Education

    In a major restructuring of its Teacher Education program, the Curry School is proud to launch 3 new undergraduate teaching majors, including Early Childhood Education.

    Read More
  • Running on a New Promise for Pre-K

    "Let’s stop thinking that pre-k, universal or targeted, is the silver bullet answer," writes Dean Pianta for The Hill.

    Read More
  • Researchers Pilot New Curriculum in Virginia

    The Curry School will pilot a new curriculum in 100 early childhood classrooms, half private and faith-based and half state or federally funded, over the next two years.

    Read More
  • Expanding Quality Early Childhood Education

    Virginia and Louisiana landed nearly $18M in federal grants to enhance early childhood education initiatives. Curry School researchers are a key part of both projects.

    Read More
  • The Latest News

    Stay in the know – click the link below for a full list of news stories about Early Learning.

    More Stories

Measurable Impact

  • 99 %

    of Virginia kindergartners take Curry's readiness assessments

  • 6 th

    best Elementary Education program in the country

  • 50

    states use tools developed at the Curry School


Research Spotlight

In the Classroom

At the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, or CASTL, researchers are breaking new ground in the study of how young children learn.

Literacy Innovation

Developed at the Curry School, the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening—or PALS—has become the gold standard for the reading assessment of PreK-3rd grade students, expanding into 99% of Virginia school divisions, 50 states, and multiple countries.

Kindergarten Readiness

The Curry School's suite of assessments that measures how prepared a child is for kindergarten is now in every single kindergarten classroom in both Virginia and Louisiana.

School Absences

Economically disadvantaged children are more likely to be chronically absent from school. How does absenteeism affect learning outcomes for young children?

Early STEM Skills

Weekly spacial playgroups, held at the Virginia Discovery Museum, are a living and growing collaboration including researchers, museum staff, and students to learn more about children's spacial skill development – a key skill for STEM learning.

Meet the Researchers

Daphna Bassok: Early Childhood Education Policy

Associate Professor, Associate Director of EdPolicyWorks

Learn More

Jamie DeCoster: Research Statistics & Methodology

Research Assistant Professor, CASTL

Learn More

Jason T. Downer: Early Childhood Achievement & Learning

Professor of Education, Director of CASTL

Learn More

Tanya Evans: Educational Neuroscience

Research Assistant Professor, CASTL

Learn More

David W. Grissmer: Achievement Gaps, R&D Funding Policy

Research Professor, CASTL

Learn More

Chris S. Hulleman: Motivation & Learning Mindsets

Associate Professor, CASTL

Learn More

Marcia A. Invernizzi: Early Language & Literacy

Professor Emeritus

Learn More

Jamie J. Jirout: Curiosity & Spatial Learning

Assistant Professor of Education, CASTL

Learn More

Jennifer LoCasale-Crouch: Early Childhood Classroom Interactions

Research Associate Professor, CASTL

Learn More

Luke C. Miller: Early Childhood Education Policy

Research Assistant Professor, EdPolicyWorks

Learn More

Katherine Miller-Bains: Large-Scale Teaching Supports

Research Assistant Professor, CASTL

Erik Ruzek: Classroom Climate

Research Assistant Professor, CASTL

Learn More

Khara Turnbull: Language Development & Classroom Discourse

Assistant Professor of Education, Researcher at CASTL

Learn More

Virginia E. Vitiello: Teacher-Child Interactions

Assistant Professor, CASTL

Learn More

Jessica E. Whittaker: Teacher-Child Interactions

Research Assistant Professor

Learn More

Vivian Wong: Research Methodology

Assistant Professor, EdPolicyWorks

Learn More

Early Learning News


Virginia Preschool Initiative Plus Significantly Impacts School Community

An early childhood education program in Virginia helped improve children’s school readiness and strengthen supports and relationships within school communities


$10 Million Curry School Gift Supports Early Childhood Education

Jane Batten’s gift will enable creation of professorships and fellowships in UVA’s Curry School, positively affecting the quality of education offered to young people.


Back-To-School Tools for Those Who Support Students

Students and educators, from kindergartners through college seniors, are headed back to school this month, and UVA’s Curry School of Education and Human Development offers abundant resources to promote educational success.


Boosting Kindergarten Readiness Through Professional Development

UVA partners with VASCD to improve children’s school readiness through professional development for educators across Virginia.


Photo of Robert Tai standing in a brick corridor wearing a blue shirt

How Students Become Scientists

The importance of science education is growing, but students’ interest in science declines as they get older. With a $1.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation, UVA professor Robert Tai wants to help figure out why.