Early Academic Development Lab

The Early Academic Development Lab, directed by Professor David Arnold, seeks to understand and address inequities in the early educational opportunities available to children from lower-income communities. We aim to conduct rigorous research to shed light on practical approaches to help narrow the SES-gap in preschoolers’ school readiness, broadly defined. 

To this end, we are interested in parent and teacher influences on child development, and in related areas of children’s development (for example, behavior problems).  We also study contextual factors related to children’s development, such as culture and gender.

We have recently been focused on understanding educational apps for preschoolers.  The mobile technology revolution offers the potential to reduce disparities in access to early educational experiences, but very little is currently known about how to best take advantage of this historical opportunity. At the same time, we remain interested in other approaches to leveling the playing field for economically disadvantaged children.

Mentoring graduate students towards becoming independent researchers is my favorite part of my job (see list, below, of students who have gotten their Ph.D. in our lab).  If you are interested in becoming a developmental scientist, and we share research interests, please feel free to contact me at darnold@psych.umass.edu.