Jennifer Marcella, PhD

Gathering Input to Develop the California Early Childhood Curriculum Review Protocol

WestEd, in collaboration with CDE, is developing a protocol for early childhood educators and caregivers to guide their review and selection of curricula. The protocol will include specific criteria for effective curriculum, such as comprehensive of children's learning and development as described in the Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations (IT Foundations) and the California Preschool Learning Foundations (PS Foundations), inclusive of children with disabilities, and responsive to the needs of young dual language learners. It will assist early childhood educators and caregivers in reflecting on their program's curriculum or selecting a new curriculum that meets the learning needs and diverse cultural and linguistic experiences of children in their program. In this session, we will share initial ideas for what this curriculum review protocol could include. We will invite your input on what the curriculum review protocol should include and how it might be used by the early childhood educators and caregivers that you work with throughout California. We will also gather your ideas on how the tool should be designed and organized (e.g., series of reflection questions, checklists, tiers of quality).

Jennifer-Marcella.pngJennifer Marcella, PhD

Jennifer Marcella is a Senior Research Associate at WestEd’s Center for Child and Family Studies. Dr. Marcella is a lead content developer for the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning, a project funded by Head Start to promote the implementation of evidence-based practices that lead to positive child outcomes in early childhood programs. She also collaborates in writing peer-reviewed journal articles on early childhood assessment tools developed by WestEd. Prior to these roles, Dr. Marcella contributed to the Early Education Effectiveness Exchange (E4), a project funded by First 5 California to improve the quality of early learning programs in California. She coordinated the development of professional development resources focusing on intentional interactions in teaching, such as how teachers scaffold children’s learning and engage families. Prior to joining WestEd, Dr. Marcella worked on research projects studying young children’s early learning experiences within their homes and child care settings. She began working in the field of early care and education as a teacher caring for infants and toddlers. Dr. Marcella received a BA in psychology and an MA and PhD in human development and psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles.