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Jie-Qi Chen

Barbara T. Bowman Professor of Early Childhood Education;
Founding Executive Director of Early Teaching and Learning Academy;
Senior Academic Advisor, Founder of Early Math Collaborative

  • PhD in applied child development, Tufts University
  • MA in curriculum and instruction, University of Northern Iowa
  • BA in child development and early education, Beijing Normal University
Area of Expertise
  • Early mathematics education
  • Classroom assessment
  • Educational implications of multiple intelligences theory
  • Teacher learning and development
  • Teaching for understanding
Professional Highlights
  • The first window – Focusing on kindergarten teachers’ ability to observe, document, and interpret children’s behavior and thinking
  • Math All Around Me (MAAM)—Finding mathematics all around me with 0-3 Caregivers Collaborative math — Creating sustainable excellence in mathematics for Head Start programs
  • Early STEM matters — Providing high-quality STEM experiences for all young learners
  • Achieving high standards for PK-grade 3 mathematics — A whole teacher approach to professional development

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Recent Publications

  • Hynes-Berry, M., Chen, J. Q., & Abel, B. (in contract). Precursor math concepts: The wonder of mathematical worlds with infants and toddlers.  New York: Teachers College Press
  • Chen, J. Q. (2021). Creating high-quality STEM experiences for all young learners: What do teachers of young children need to know?  In I. Alanis & I. U. Iruka (Eds.), Equity, diversity, and child development: Implications for practice, 78-82. Washington D.C.: NAEYC.
  • McCray, J., Chen, J. Q., & Sorkin, J. (2018). (Eds.). Growing mathematical minds: Conversations between developmental psychologists and classroom teachers. New York: Routledge.
  • Chen, J. Q. & Gardner, H. (2018). Assessment from the perspective of multiple‑intelligences theory: Principles, practices, and values.  In D. P. Flanagan & P. L. Harrison (Eds.), Contemporary intellectual assessment: Theories, tests, and issues (4th), 164-173.  New York: Guilford.
  • Chen, J. Q. & Brownell, J. with David Uttal (2018). The use of concrete objects in early mathematical learning.  In J. McCray, J. Q. Chen, & J. Sorkin (Eds.). Growing mathematical minds: Conversations between developmental psychologists and classroom teachers, 55-82. New York: Routledge.

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Recent Presentations

  • Chen, J. Q. (2021, February). High quality math teaching in preschool and kindergarten. The 5th Conference of New Jersey ASCD: Learn, Teach, Lead. 
  • Chen, J. Q & Costanza, V. (2020, December). Strategies that support the development of the whole child and whole teacher. Bright Start Conference Online.
  • Chen, J.Q., McNamee, G., Ginet, L., Moreno, A., & Bowman, B. (2020, November). Three Big Ideas: Early teaching concepts to address developmental needs, attend to children’s well-being, and lead to deeper learning. On demand, online session at the Annual Conference of NAEYC.
  • Costanza, V. & Chen, J. Q. (2020, November). Whole child and whole teacher: Strategies that support multiple dimensions of student AND educator development. On demand, online session at the Annual Conference of NAEYC.
  • Chen, J. Q. (2020. November). The story of a storytelling king.  On demand, online session at the Annual Conference of NAEYC.

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Related Professional Experience

  • 2015-2020: Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty
  • 2010-Present:  Executive Director of China Initiative at Erikson Institute
  • 2016-2018: Early Childhood Advisory Board—Scholastic Education, New York
  • 2019-Present: Teachers College Press ECE Editorial Advisory Board
  • 2018-2022: The Governing Board of the National Association for the Education of Young Children Chair of Policy, System, and Profession Committee, and Member of Finance Committee
  • 2018-2020: Advisory Group of Developmentally Appropriate Practice Book, NAEYC
  • 2017-2020: Advisory of Scholastic’s Early Childhood Curriculum Math Module, New York
  • 2014-2016 Executive Committee Member—Early STEM Working Group, Chicago
  • 2014-2017 Member—Illinois Early Learning Council Program Standards and Quality Committee
  • 2011-2016 Advisor—Early Childhood Teacher Professional Development Project in China, United Nations Children’s Fund

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Having formally served as Senior Vice President for Academy Affairs and Dean of Faculty, Dr. Jie-Qi Chen, has had a long and distinguished career in the early childhood field and has earned an international reputation as an expert in early math education, educational implications of multiple intelligences theory, classroom assessment, and teacher professional development.

After beginning her career teaching preschool, elementary school, and middle school in China, followed by preschool and kindergarten in the United States, she went on to spearhead teacher professional development efforts in Boston and Chicago and enrich assessment and curriculum development in early childhood programs.

As the founder of Erikson’s Early Math Collaborative, Dr. Chen established a program that has helped educators of young children overcome their anxiety about teaching math and build their understanding of foundational mathematics. Now, she leads the Early Teaching and Learning Academy, an intellectual hub designed to transform the early childhood workforce by developing and implementing a targeted, effective, and sustainable professional development system that incorporates the art and science of early teaching and learning.

Dr. Chen has published 10 books and numerous scholarly articles. Her books have been translated into several foreign languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Chinese. She is a frequent presenter at conferences around the world. Leaders in countries from China to Denmark have sought her expertise as a consultant or committee member for various early childhood initiatives.

She has earned numerous awards and recognitions, including the 2009 Outstanding Teacher Educator’s Award from the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators. Dr. Chen was also named a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Education, a consultant to the United Nations Children’s Fund, and a fellow of Harvard University’s Project Zero Classroom. Presently, she serves on the Governing Board of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Dr. Chen brings her expertise to the Erikson classroom as well. As a professor, she seeks to go beyond teaching knowledge and skills — she also helps students think about how they can use what they learn in class in their real-world experiences. This, she says, is “understanding,” and it is what distinguishes between – a good and great professionals.

“Knowledge and skills are the foundations for understanding, but without understanding, knowledge and skills won’t go too far,” she says. “’Understanding’ is the ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and skills acquired in one educational setting to a new situation in which that knowledge is relevant.”