My name is Katy Chapman and I am an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Studies with the School of Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood Studies, within the College of Education at the University of Florida. I completed my Ph.D. in Educational Policy & Evaluation from the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University in June 2019. I am a scholar who focuses on the intersection of policy, leadership, and financial investments to address inequities across early childhood systems. My research agenda is twofold: one line explores how state-level policies impact young children (birth through age three) who have disability diagnoses, their families, and the people that provide services for those children, and the other line focuses on how philanthropists shape early childhood care and education policy and practice.
Originally from Wisconsin, I graduated from Arizona State University in 2005 with a B.A.E. in Early Childhood Education. I began my career in education as an infant, toddler, and preschool teacher in Wisconsin and then as a kindergarten and English as a Second Language teacher in northern Virginia. After teaching in Virginia, working for the Obama for America campaign across the United States, teaching kindergarten in Wisconsin, and working at the U.S. Department of Education, I obtained a Master of Curriculum & Instruction degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. I returned to teach kindergarten in Arizona once more before beginning my Ph.D. program.
P-12 education policy is the common thread that weaves all of my practical experiences and research interests together. I am fluent in the practices, policies, and research of early childhood education. My teaching and federal government experiences, in combination with my doctoral studies and my current role as a postdoctoral scholar, position me to produce timely and relevant research and translate research for policymakers, educational leaders, stakeholders, and educators.
I conducted a comparative case study examining three U.S. philanthropic foundations to understand how and why they have supported U.S. early childhood (i.e. birth through age four) programs, policies, and research from 2005 through 2018, and what prompted their decisions to invest in early childhood initiatives alongside of K-12 education.
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I am currently working with colleagues on multiple research projects. These projects have broad connections to P-12 education policy, early intervention, teacher quality and tenure, and the standardized assessment opt-out movement in the United States.
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I have eleven total years of teaching experience, ranging from pre-kindergarten to university and including face-to-face and online delivery modes. Throughout these teaching experiences, I created or assisted in creating the course syllabi, designed activities, graded assignments, and held one-on-one conferences and office hours with students. I am also currently influential in the design of an early childhood care and education policy graduate certificate program.
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