Walter Gilliam named the Mears/Jameson Professor

Gilliam focuses his research on early childhood education and intervention policy analysis
Walter Gilliam
Walter Gilliam

Walter S. Gilliam, newly appointed as the Elizabeth Mears and House Jameson Professor in the Child Study Center, focuses his research on early childhood education and intervention policy analysis (specifically how policies translate into effective services), ways to improve the quality of pre-kindergarten and child care services, and the impact of early childhood education programs on children’s school readiness.

Gilliam’s scholarly writing addresses early childhood care and education programs, school readiness, and developmental assessment of young children. This work has been widely published in professional journals, policy briefs, and book chapters in edited volumes. He co-authored the book “A Vision for Universal Preschool Education,” which won the 2008 Grawemeyer Award in Education.

Gilliam has led national analyses of state-funded pre-kindergarten policies and mandates, how pre-kindergarten programs are being implemented across the range of policy contexts, and the effectiveness of these programs at improving school readiness and educational achievement, as well as experimental and quasi-experimental studies on methods to improve early education quality. He provides consultation to state and federal decision-makers. His work has been covered in major national and international news outlets for print, radio, and television.

A graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, Gilliam earned M.S.Ed. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Kentucky. He began his academic career as an instructor at the Child Study Center in 1999. Prior to his new appointment he was a professor of child psychiatry and psychology at the center. He continues to serve as the director of the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy.

Gilliam’s professional activities include serving on several boards of directors, including those for ZERO TO THREE, the Irving Harris Foundation, All Our Kin, and First Children’s Finance, and Child Care Aware of America, where he is board president. He is also a research fellow of the National Institute for Early Education Research.

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