I have two distinct areas of research interest that I investigate utilizing quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods approaches. My first area of research is early childhood education. In particular, I am interested in the experiences of children with special needs and their families, inclusion, the impacts of curricular and teaching practice in early childhood settings on child development and well-being, and the professional development of pre-service Early Childhood Educators. Some examples of this research include projects examining the inclusion of children with special needs in early learning settings and the use of technology in the classroom. As a Registered Early Childhood Educator, my work has a strong applied focus related to not only child outcomes, but also the needs of the workforce.
My second area of research is adult education, with a focus on the experiences of non-traditional students (in particular, student parents and mature students) pursuing formal post-secondary study. Some examples of this research include projects examining national-level data to determine the prevalence of mature learners and student parents in post-secondary education, conducting a longitudinal study of the experiences of mature learners focused on their multiple roles, and interviewing partnered mature students about the relationship between their partner and school roles. A goal of this work is to improve the provision of supports to enable this unique population to complete their studies and have positive experiences while studying.
The majority of my research is conducted with student collaborators, both at the graduate and undergraduate level, and my goal is to mentor student researchers and facilitate their interest and engagement in the research process.