Andrea Emerson


Early Childhood Studies Program Coordinator , Education & Leadership

503-838-9244 |
RWEC 129

Personal Website

Why I chose WOU

I was attracted to WOU's commitment to serving diverse students through culturally responsive & relationship-based teaching practices.

At WOU since



international travel, yoga, baking, and hiking

Fun fact

I have a lot of toys in my office to support my play based research.


Nashville, TN

Course schedule

Fall 2022



2018 Ph.D. Clemson University Eugene T. Moore College of Education Curriculum & Instruction: Early Childhood Education

2014 M.S. Auburn University College of Human Sciences: Human Development & Family Studies

2007 B.S. The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa College of Human Environmental Sciences: Department of Human Development & Family Studies: Early Childhood Education

Research areas

Early Childhood Home-School Partnerships

Father Engagement in Early Education & Care

Play-Based Family Engagment Interventions

Social-Emotional Development in the Early Years

Undergraduate Student Perceptions of the Utility of Play for Learning


Grants and funding

Early Childhood Education Impact Study Grant (Awarded Spring 2019)

Faculty Development Travel Grant (Awarded Fall 2018)

Professional experience

2015-2018 Instructor of Record, Eugene T. Moore School of Education, Clemson University

2016 Consultant, Professional Development, Preschool Academy, Jasper County, SC 4K Enhancement Grant

2016-2018 Co-Director of Italian Study Abroad, University of Kansas & Victoria Language and Culture, Carpi, Italy

2015 Lead Teacher, Summer Company (4 to 6 year olds), Furman University Child Development Center

2015, 2016 Substitute Teacher, Oconee County Public Schools, SC

2014 Applied Behavior Analysis Lead Therapist, South Carolina Early Autism Project, Greenville, SC  

2012-2013 Assistant Director, KinderCare, Johnson City, TN

2011-2012 Toddler Teacher, KinderCare, Johnson City, TN

2010-2011 Substitute Teacher/Counselor, Holston Home for Children, Greeneville, TN

2007- 2008 Assistant Teacher, Children’s Program (2 year olds), University of Alabama


Undergraduate courses taught

Western Oregon University, 2018-

ED 380: Infant & Toddler Development

ED 345 Designing Early Childhood Environments X

ED 348 DAP: Developmentally Appropriate Practice, Literacy, & Play X

ED 443 Language, Literacy, & Culture

ED 242 Applied Children's Development

ED 343 Purposes of Play

ED 448 Early Childhood Curriculum

ED 324 Creative Arts in Early Childhood Settings

ED 464 Family and Community Involvement in Early Childhood Education


 Clemson University, 2015- 2018

             EDF 3340: Child Development

             EDEC 3000: Foundations of Early Childhood Education

             EDEC 3360: Concepts of Play and Social Development of Infants and Young Children 

             EDEC 3040: Practicum in Early Childhood Settings IV

             EDEC 3030: Practicum in Early Childhood Settings III

             EDEC 3020: Practicum in Early Childhood Settings II

Current research

Interviewing Fathers about Engagement in Early Learning Settings

Social-Emotional Play Bag supports for Infant/Toddler Home Visitors

Early Childhood Impact Study

Publications and Presentations

Hernandez, J., Ittner, A., Emerson, A.M., & Cáceda, C. (in prep). Pursuing accreditation in the post-truth era: The Line between meeting diversity standards and practicing culturally responsive pedagogies in teacher education.  In M. Jimenez-Silva, J. Bempechat, & L.Gomez (Eds.), Latinx’ Experiences in U.S. Schools: Voices of Students, Teachers, and Education Allies in the Post-Truth Era.

Linder, S.M. & Emerson, A.M. (2019). Increasing Family Mathematics Play Interactions through a Take-Home Math Bag Intervention. Journal of Research in Childhood Education.

Emerson, A.M. & Linder, S.M. (2019). A review of research of the Reggio Inspired approach: an integrative re-framing, Early Years, DOI: 10.1080/09575146.2019.1591350

Bradley, B.A., Emerson, A.M., & Silva, A. (2019). Enhancing cultural and linguistic awareness through an international teaching experience. In Handbook of Research on Field-Based Teacher Education (pp. 280-299). IGI Global.

Emerson, A.M. & Hall, A. (2018). Supporting preschoolers’ writing identities in the scribbling phase. The Reading Teacher.

Emerson, A.M. (2019). Social-Emotional leave-in-home play bag supports for home visitors.  Poster presented in June at the National Association for the Education of Young Children Professional Development Institute, Long Beach, CA.

Emerson, A.M. & Hemingway, J. (2019). Which adults feel welcomed in preschool? Engaging fathers in early learning settings. Presentation lead in June at the National Association for the Education of Young Children Professional Development Institute, Long Beach, CA.

Emerson, A.M. (2019). Unexpected paths towards culturally relevant early learning experiences. Presentation will be given in August at the Early Childhood Inclusions Summer Institute, Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR.

Emerson, A.M. (2019). A Play workshop: Open-ended making. Workshop will be lead in August at the Early Childhood Inclusions Summer Institute, Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR.

Emerson, A.M. (2019). Pre-Service teachers’ perceptions of playful learning. Paper session presented in March at the Oregon Association for Teacher Educators (ORATE), Portland, Oregon.

Student presentations

Emerson, A.M., Linder, S.M., *Gerland, T., & *Clay, K. (2017). Promoting preschooler's approaches to learning through play: Intentional toy and task selection for early childhood classrooms. Paper presented at the National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Emerson, A.M. & *Templeton, C. (2017). Play under pressure: Pre-service early childhood education teachers’ experiences and beliefs about play after hands-on play workshops. Paper presented at the U.S. Play Coalition Annual Conference, Clemson, SC.

*Undergraduate Students

Professional memberships

2019- Oregon Early Childhood Association, an official NAEYC affiliate (OAEYC)

2017- Latinos for Education

2015- Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education (RECE)

2015- National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators (NAECTE)

2014- National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

2014- American Educational Research Association (AERA)

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