Jennifer M. Amilivia, M.Ed.
Jennifer is a doctoral candidate in the Early Childhood Unified Program (blending early childhood/early childhood special education) in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas (KU). Jennifer has worked with mentor teachers who collaborate with KU’s Early Childhood Unified Program to provide instruction and feedback on professional practice and standards to university students in the field. Additionally, she has provided mentor teachers with support materials to evaluate university student’s knowledge and skills based on best practices and recommended practices. Recently, Jennifer took the lead in modifying and adapting practicum requirements to be appropriate and feasible in a Reggio Emilia early education center. In this project, she collaborated with the program director and the field experience coordinator at KU on the development of assignments, course readings, and assessments for preservice educators.
In addition to providing support to mentor teachers, Jennifer’s research focuses on professional development and personnel preparation. Jennifer focuses on four lines of inquiry. Each line centers on a model of coaching for both preservice and in-service early educators to identify and modify research-based practices and to engage in evidence-based decision-making with families including those from diverse backgrounds. These strands include: (1) developing a coaching model to prepare educators to select research-based practices with intent of identifying educators’ level of understanding; (2) implementing a coaching model to engage in an evidence-based decision-making process; (3) coaching educators to modify research-based practices to fit the needs of young children including those children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; and (4) assessing the impact of an evidence-decision making process on academic outcomes for young children including those from diverse backgrounds. Jennifer’s goal is to utilize different research modalities with the intent of producing significant and well-designed research that positively impacts preservice and in-service early educators’ teaching ability and self-reflection skills.