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Douglas Powell, PhD

Research Interests

Early childhood programs, early childhood professional development, parenting interventions, relations between families and early childhood programs

Biography

My research and program development interests focus on the contributions of early childhood programs and families to children’s learning and development. Beginning in 2001, I conducted a series of studies on the development and outcomes of coaching-based professional development with Head Start teachers focused on children’s literacy and language skills. This work was carried out in collaboration with Dr. Karen Diamond and was supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Education, including its Institute for Education Sciences. My recent research on parenting includes studies of parent involvement in children’s learning during the early years, including the transition from prekindergarten to first grade.

Currently I am leading a large project aimed at developing an evidence-based curriculum for child care programs that serve children in military families. This work is supported by an award from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (U.S. Department of Agriculture) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense. The project team includes Purdue colleagues in early childhood plus staff from Purdue’s Military Family Research Institute directed by Dr. Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth (co-principal investigator), national experts in early childhood education and in children in military families, Purdue’s Cooperative Extension Service, and partnerships with the national Cooperative Extension Service’s eXtension programs.

Selected Publications

  • Zhang, C., Diamond, K. E., & Powell, D. R. (in press). Examining the content of Head Start teachers’ literacy instruction within two activity contexts during large group circle time. Journal of Research in Childhood Education
  • Zhang, C., Hur, J., Diamond, K. E., & Powell, D. (in press). Classroom writing environments and children’s early writing skills: An observational study in Head Start classrooms. Early Childhood Education Journal..
  • Froiland, J. M., Powell, D. R., & Diamond, K. E. (2014). Relations among neighborhood social networks, home literacy environments, and children’s expressive vocabulary in suburban at-risk families. School Psychology International Journal, 35, 429-444.
  • Froiland, J. M., Powell, D. R., Diamond, K. E., Son, S-H. (2013). Neighborhood socioeconomic well-being, home literacy, and early literacy skills of at-risk preschoolers. Psychology in the Schools, 50, 755-769.
  • Powell, D. R. (2013). The Head Start program. In J. Roopnarine & J. Johnson (Eds.), Approaches to early childhood education, 6th ed (pp. 61-78). Columbus, OH: Merrill/Pearson.
  • Powell, D. R. (2013). Involving parents and community members: Coming together for children. In D. R. Reutzel (Ed.), Handbook of research-based practice in early childhood education (pp. 46-61). New York: Guilford.
  • Powell, D. R. (2013). Parenting intervention outcome studies: Research design considerations. Parenting: Science and Practice, 13, 266-284.
  • Powell, D. R., & Diamond, K. E. (2013). Implementation fidelity of a coaching-based professional development program for improving Head Start teachers’ literacy and language instruction. Journal of Early Intervention, 35, 102-128
  • Powell, D. R., & Diamond, K. E. (2013).  Studying the implementation of coaching-based professional development.  In T. G. Halle, A. J. Metz, & I. Martinez-Beck (Eds.), Applying implementation science in early childhood programs and systems (pp. 97-116). Baltimore, MD:  Brookes.
  • Powell, D. R., Diamond, K. E., & Cockburn, M. K. (2013). Promising approaches to professional development for early childhood educators. In O. N. Saracho & B. Spodek (Eds.), Handbook of research on the education of young children, 3rd ed. (pp. 385-392). New York: Routledge.
  • Powell, D. R., Son, S. H., File, N., & Froiland, J. M. (2013). Changes in parent involvement across the transition from public school prekindergarten to first grade and children's academic outcomes. The Elementary School Journal, 113, 276-300.
  • Powell, D. R., & Carey, A. J. (2012).  Approaches to fidelity in family literacy program research.  In B. H. Wasik (Ed.), Handbook of family literacy, 2nd ed (pp. 387-400).  New York: Routledge.
  • Powell, D. R., & Diamond, K. E. (2012). Promoting literacy and language development. In R. C. Pianta, W. S. Barnett, L. M. Justice, & S. M. Sheridan (Eds.), Handbook of early childhood education (pp. 194-216). New York: Guilford.
  • Powell, D. R., Diamond, K. E., & Burchinal, M. R. (2012).  Using coaching-based professional development to improve Head Start teachers' support of children's oral language skills.  In C. Howes, B. K. Hamre, & R. C. Pianta (Eds.), Effective professional development in early childhood education: Improving teacher practice and child outcomes (pp. 13-29).  Baltimore, MD: Brookes.
  • Diamond, K. E., & Powell, D. R. (2011). An iterative approach to the development of a professional development intervention for Head Start teachers. Journal of Early Intervention, 33, 75-93. 
  • Powell, D. R., & Diamond, K. E. (2011). Improving the outcomes of coaching-based professional development interventions. In S. B. Neuman & D. K. Dickinson (Eds.), Handbook of early literacy research (Vol. 3, pp. 295-307). New York: Guilford.
  • Powell, D. R., Diamond, K. E., Burchinal, M. R., & Koehler, M. J. (2010). Effects of an early literacy professional development intervention on Head Start teachers and children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102, 299-312. 
  • O'Leary, P. M., Cockburn, M. K., Powell, D. R., & Diamond, K. E. (2010). Head Start teachers' views of phonological awareness and vocabulary knowledge instruction. Early Childhood Education Journal, 38, 187-195. 
  • Powell, D. R., Steed, E. A., & Diamond, K. E. (2010). Dimensions of literacy coaching with Head Start teachers. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 30, 148-161.
  • Powell, D. R., Son, S-H., File, N., & San Juan, R. R. (2010). Parent-school relationships and children's academic and social outcomes in public school pre-kindergarten. Journal of School Psychology, 48, 269-292. 
  • Powell, D. R., Diamond, K. E., & Koehler, M. J. (2009). Use of a case-based hypermedia resource in an early literacy coaching intervention with pre-kindergarten teachers. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 29, 239-249.
  • Powell, D. R., & O'Leary, P. M. (2009). Strengthening relations between parents and early childhood programs. In E. L. Essa & M. M. Burnham (Eds.), Informing our practice: Useful research on young children's development (pp. 193-202). Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.
  • Gerde, H. K., & Powell, D. R. (2009). Teacher education, book-reading practices, and children's language growth across one year of Head Start. Early Education and Development, 20, 211-237.
  • Diamond, K. E., Gerde, H. K., & Powell, D. R. (2008). Development in early literacy skills during the pre-kindergarten year in Head Start: Relations between growth in children's writing and understanding of letters. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 23, 467-478.
  • Powell, D. R., Diamond, K. E., Bojczyk, K. E., & Gerde, H. G. (2008). Head Start teachers' perspectives on early literacy. Journal of Literacy Research, 40, 422-460.
  • Powell, D. R., & Peet, S. H. (2008). Development and outcomes of a community-based intervention to improve parents' use of inquiry in informal learning contexts. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 29, 259-273.
  • Powell, D. R. (2008). Who's watching the babies? Improving the quality of family, friend, and neighbor care. Washington, DC: Zero to Three Press. (Harris Award winner)
  • Powell, D. R., Burchinal, M. R., File, N., & Kontos, S. (2008). An eco-behavioral analysis of children's engagement in urban public school preschool. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 23, 108-123.
  • Powell, D. R. (2006). Families and early childhood interventions. In W. Damon & R. Lerner (Series Eds.), K. A. Renninger & I. E. Sigel (Vol. Eds.), Handbook of child psychology, Vol. 4: Child psychology in practice (6th ed., pp. 548-591). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
  • Powell, D. R., & Gerde, H. K. (2006). Considering kindergarten families. In D. F. Gullo (Ed.), K today: Teaching and learning in the kindergarten year (pp. 26-34). Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.
  • Powell, D. R. (2005). Searches for what works in parenting interventions. In T. Luster & L. Okagaki (Eds.), Parenting: Ecological perspectives (2nd ed., pp. 343-373) Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Powell, D. R. (2004). Parenting education in family literacy programs. In B. Wasik (Ed.), Handbook of family literacy programs (pp. 157-173). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Powell, D. R., Okagaki, L., & Bojczyk, K. (2004). Evaluating parent participation and outcomes in family literacy programs: Cultural diversity considerations. In B. Wasik (Ed.), Handbook of family literacy programs (pp. 551-566). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Powell, D. R., Peet, S. H., & Peet, C. E. (2002). Lower-income children's academic achievement and participation in out-of-school activities in first grade. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 16, 202-211.
  • Powell, D. R., & Bingham, G. (2002). Strengthening the role of curriculum in child care. In O. N. Saracho & B. Spodek (Eds.), Contemporary perspectives in early childhood education, Vol. 1: Contemporary influences on curriculum for early childhood education (pp. 221-239). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishers.
  • Powell, D. R. (2001). Early intervention and risk. In G. Bremner & A. Fogel (Eds.), Handbook of infancy research (pp. 543-564). New York: Blackwell.
  • Powell, D. R. (2001). Visions and realities of achieving partnership: Parent-teacher relationships at the turn of the century. In A. Goncu & E. Klein (Eds.), Children in play, story and school (pp. 333-357). New York: Guilford.
  • Powell, D. R. (2000). The Head Start program. In J. L. Roopnarine & J. E. Johnson (Eds.), Approaches to early childhood education (3rd ed., pp. 55-75). Columbus, OH: Merrill.
  • Powell, D. R. (1999). Early childhood development. In A. J. Reynolds, H. J. Walberg, & R. P. Weissberg (Eds.), Promoting positive outcomes in children: Issues in children's and families' lives (pp. 45-71). Washington, DC: CWLA Press.
  • Cowan, P. A., Powell, D. R., & Cowan, C. P. (1998). Parenting interventions: A family systems perspective. In W. Damon (Series Ed.), I. E. Sigel, & K. A. Renninger (Vol. Eds.), Handbook of child psychology, Vol. 4: Child psychology in practice (4th ed., pp. 3-72). New York: Wiley.
  • Powell, D. R. (1998). Reweaving parents into the fabric of early childhood programs. Young Children, 53, 60-67.
  • Peet, S. H., Powell, D. R., & O'Donnel, B. K. (1997). Mother-teacher congruence in perceptions of the child's competence and school engagement: Links to academic achievement. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 18, 373-393.
  • Powell, D. R. (1997). Parents' contributions to the quality of child care arrangements. In C. J. Dunst & M. Wolery (Eds.), S. Reifel (Series Ed.), Advances in early education and day care, Vol. 9: Family policy and practice in early child care (pp. 133-155). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, Inc.
  • Powell, D. R. (1995). Enabling young children to succeed in school. Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.
  • Powell, D. R., & Diamond, K. E. (1995). Approaches to parent-teacher relationships in twentieth century early childhood programs. Journal of Education, 177, 71-94.
  • Powell, D. R. (1995). Including Latino fathers in parent education and support programs: Development of a program model. In R. E. Zambrana (Ed.), Understanding Latino families: Scholarship, policy, and practice (pp. 85-106). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Education

  • PhD, Northwestern University
  • BA, MA, Western Michigan University

Courses Recently Taught

  • HDFS 341: Working with Parents
  • HDFS 444: Working with Families in Early Childhood Programs
  • HDFS 626: Research on Parenting Interventions

Honors

  • Book of Great Teachers, Purdue University
  • Harris Award, ZERO TO THREE Press (for Who's watching the babies? Improving the quality of family, friend, and neighbor child care).
  • Visiting Scholar, de Lissa Institute of Early Childhood and Family Studies, University of South Australia.
  • William Evans Fellow, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
  • Secretary's Honor Award, U.S. Department of Agriculture (for It's My Child Too program for young noncustodial fathers).

External Grants (Principal Investigator)

  • Department of Defense Child Care Curriculum Development, National Institute for Food and Agriculture (U.S. Department of Agriculture) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, Award 2013-48762-21537, $4,545,455, 9/13-8/18.
  • Classroom Links to Vocabulary and Phonological Sensitivity Skills, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, Award R305B070605, $1,738,508, 10/07-9/12.
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Early Childhood Intervention and Teacher Quality Research, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, Award R305B050030, $327,248, 3/05-3/09.
  • Professional Development in Early Reading, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, Award R305M040167, $1,418,091, 10/04-9/08.
  • Impact of the Project Approach on Children's School Readiness and School Achievement, Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, Award R305J020027-03, $1,070,835, 10/03-5/07.
  • Early Childhood Educator Professional Development Project, U.S. Department of Education, Award S349A010162, $1,076,523, 10/01-9/04.
  • Evaluation of Indiana Child Care Financing Initiative, Indiana Family and Social Service Administration, $108,797, 10/97-6/99.
  • Development, evaluation, and dissemination of Links to Learning parent education program. Lilly Endowment, Inc., Awards 019190 and 940304, $889,681, 7/91-9/96.

Professional Service

  • Consulting Editor, Child Development
  • Editorial Boards: Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Journal of Early Intervention, Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, Parenting: Science and Practice
  • Former Editor, Early Childhood Research Quarterly
  • Former Chair, Early Education/Child Development Group, American Educational Research Association