In our research, we examine the benefits and unique processes of learning through joint play and activities with peers and adults, and their importance for constructing effective educational practices with young children.

Areas of Research

Mathematical Learning and Development

Children’s early numerical knowledge can lay an important foundation for later mathematical achievement. In the ECI Lab, we examine the development of children’s early mathematical abilities and contributors to individual differences in these skills. We also examine age-appropriate ways to promote early mathematics skills in young children through number-related activities, such as play with board games and blocks.

Peer Cooperation and Play

Peer interactions provide children with unique opportunities to learn, practice, and develop social and cognitive abilities. Our lab examines the origins, correlates, and benefits of children’s early cooperative interactions with peers. We are interested in whether and how children’s peer interactions can promote their social and cognitive skills, specifically in problem solving and math. Our studies also focus on understanding how preschool children problem solve during play with peers.

Parent-Child Interactions and the Early Home Environment

Children’s early experiences and interactions at home can contribute to their cognitive and social development. In our studies, we are interested in the kinds of games and activities families engage in at home that could contribute to their development, in areas such as their early number and problem-solving skills. We also aim to understand how families interact while engaged in these activities by examining parent-child interactions.