Homecoming Lecture on Using Developmental Psychology to Improve Education Policy

Anna Markowitz, PhD

Anna J. Markowitz, PhD '07, will be the keynote speaker for the Annual Psychology Department Homecoming Colloquium, Friday, September 15th at 3:30 pm in Bowen Auditorium, McCreary Hall 115. Dr. Markowitz will speak on the topic,"Using Developmental Psychology to Improve Education Policy."

Human development is a fundamentally complex, interconnected process that depends on influences across a variety of social levels. Even factors that seem far-removed from children's daily lives - such as public policy and macroeconomic conditions - can have meaningful influences on children's growth and development. Indeed, much educational and social policy seeks to influence children's educational and long-term outcomes; and as such, developmental psychologists have much to contribute to the design, implementation, and evaluation of public policy. The present talk will discuss the rapidly expanding body of interdisciplinary work combining developmental psychology with policy analysis, and argues that attending to insights from developmental psychology can improve the effectiveness of educational policy. It will draw on my own work in the fields of educational and social policy, specifically research on school engagement and school readiness. I will also discuss methodological and conceptual challenges in integrating developmental research and policy analysis.

Dr. Markowitz graduated from Gettysburg College in 2007. After two years with Teach For America, she attained an MA in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology from Boston College in 2011 before pursuing a joint MPP/PhD at Georgetown University. She is currently a postdoctoral research associate at EdPolicyWorks, a research center within the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Dr. Markowitz is interested in using quantitative methods to understand how policy systems influence schools, early care and education contexts, and families, and thereby shape human development. She is particularly interested in social and emotional development and low-income youth.