Stephanie Curenton

Stephanie Curenton, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Rutgers University, Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Institute for the Study of Child Development

Research Fellow, National Institute for Early Education Research
B.A., Wittenberg University; M..A., Ph.D., University of Virginia


Contact Information

Civic Square Building, room 548
Phone (848) 932-2970
Fax (732) 932-6564


  • Profile
  • Research
  • Courses
  • Publications
  • Pre-K-3rd Systems
  • Conversation Compass

Dr. Curenton studies the social, cognitive, and language development of low-income and minority children within various ecological contexts, such as parent-child interactions, early childhood education programs, the early childhood workforce, and related state and federal policies.  She serves as the associate editor for Early Childhood Research Quarterly, and past associate and guest editor of Early Education and Development. Her research has been funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Program Research and Evaluation, the National Academy of Science, Ford Predoctoral Fellowship, American Education Research Association, and the Foundation for Child Development. She worked as a policy fellow in the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care through a Society for Research on Child Development/American Association for the Advancement of Science Policy Fellowship. She earned her Ph.D. in Developmental and Community Psychology from the University of Virginia.  Dr. Curenton has been recognized as a national leader in the early education field through her appointment to the governing board of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). For more information about her projects, click on the tabs above.


 Bloustein Spotlight on New Faculty Research


Complete Curriculum Vitae (C.V.)

Current Research Projects


Research Interests

  • Education policy
  • Early childhood education and intervention
  • Workforce development for early childhood teachers
  • Language and social indicators of school readiness


  • Education Policy
  • Human Development and Public Policy
  • Introduction to Planning, Public Policy, and Public Health
  • Public Service Internship
  • Senior Seminar



Recent Events:

November 15, 2011
Improving Impacts of Classrooms: Professional Development and Classroom Observation
Dr. Robert Pianta,  Dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, as well as the Novartis US Foundation Professor of Education and a Professor in the Department of Psychology. He serves as Director of the National Center for Research in Early Childhood Education and the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning.

Dean Pianta and his education research team have proven what it takes to build better teachers by developing a system to both assess and improve a teachers effectiveness in the classroom. The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) is an observational measure that has been tested and proven effective in several large national studies and is being utilized by every Head Start program in the country to assess teacher effectiveness and quality. In Piantas recommendations to the Obama Presidential Transition Team for public education, he wrote, Good teachers are key. If we want to improve our students learning, we need to improve the quality of teachers and of teaching.

Webcast of Dr. Robert Pianta


October 18, 2011
The Importance of Kindergarten-Entry Academic Skills
Dr. Greg J. Duncan, University of California, Irvine

Recent research shows that future school achievement is much less a function of a childs’ school-entry social and emotional development than concrete literacy and numeracy skills like knowing letters, word sounds, numbers and ordinality. Expanding the conception of school success to include not only doing well on achievement tests but also completing high school and attending college changes the picture somewhat. School –entry achievement and anti-social behaviors are only very modestly predictive of these outcomes. More consequential was whether persistent learning or behavior problems were evident in primary school. The best bets for promoting later school achievement would appear to be proven preschool math and literacy curricula, while longer-run educational attainments are most likely to be influenced by curricula or other programs that ensure that children avoid persistent achievement and anti-social behavior problems in primary school.

Webcast of Dr. Greg Duncan


September 20, 2011
The Link Between Third Grade Reading Skills and High School Graduation Rates
Donald J. Hernandez, Professor, Department of Sociology, Hunter College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York, and Senior Advisor, Foundation for Child development

Educators and researchers have long recognized the importance of mastering reading by the end of third grade. Early reading skills are a primary focus of federal education policy. President Obama’s Blueprint for Reform : The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary School Act calls for “Putting Reading First.” This lecture presents evidence on calculations of high school graduation rates based on children’s third-grade reading levels and poverty experiences. It identifies specific groups of children who are especially likely to experience low reading skills, and it explores implications for education reform.

Webcast of Dr. Donald Hernandez


March 17, 2011
Latino Early Learning Circumstances and Opportunities
Dr. Gene Garcia, Vice President for University-School Partnerships, Arizona State University Latino Early Learning Circumstances and Opportunities

This is an interdisciplinary discussion series of early education policy issues, “The Role of Pre-K–3rd Systems Development in Education Reform: Unpacking the Black Boxes of Human and Social Capital.” The series explores the role families, educational institutions, and communities play in fostering social capital to improve educational outcomes for socioeconomically disadvantaged children. These lectures are funded by the Foundation for Child Development and sponsored by the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University.

Webcast of Dr. Gene Garcia | View Flyer | Download Slides


February 22, 2011
Early Learning at the U.S. Department of Education and Its Impact on Human and Social Capital
Dr. Jacqueline Jones, Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Early Learning, U.S. Dept. of Education

In the last twenty-five months, the President has continued his commitment to improving the quality of early learning programs and achieving more robust outcomes for young children. The Department has adopted a P-12 educational reform agenda that integrates early learning in high-profile programs and in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This provides a unique opportunity to impact outcomes for young children and their teachers, as well as build cooperative relationships and positive interactions between children, educators, families and other community members.

Webcast of Dr. Jacqueline Jones | Download Slides






Early Learning: Ensuring Success in School and in Life

Federal Investment in EarlyLearning FY12 Fact Sheet

Investing in Early Learning

Supporting Early Learning--Reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act


Information coming soon