Park, S.O. (2023). Transforming a cemetery into a garden of languages: A justice-oriented, family-centered framework for cultivating early bilingualism and emergent biliteracy. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 24(2), 97-123. In M. Souto-Manning (Ed.), A Special Issue - Justice for Whom and According to Whom?: (Re)Considering Equity, Inclusing and Belonging in Early Childhood and Education.
Park, S.O., & Hassairi, N. (2021). What predicts legislative success of early care and education policies?: Applications of machine learning and natural language processing in a cross-state early childhood policy analysis. PLoS ONE 16(2): e0246730.
Capotosto, L., Kim, J.S., Burkhauser, M., Park, S.O., Mulimbi, B., Donaldson, M., & Kingston, H.C. (2017). Family support of third-grade reading skills, motivation, and habits. AERA Open, 3(3), 1-16.
Park, S.O., & Yoshikawa, H. (2017). Contemporary immigration policy and early childhood development. In E. Votruba-Drzal and E. Dearing (Eds.), Handbook of Early Childhood Development Programs, Practices, and Policies. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Weiland, C., Charles, D., Grace, E., & Park, S.O. (2017). Natural window of opportunity? Low-income parents’ responses to their children’s impending kindergarten entry. AERA Open, 3(1), 1-15. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2332858416681509
Warren, M.R., Park, S.O., & Tieken, M.C. (2016). The formation of community engaged scholars advancing equitable policy and practice: A collaborative approach to doctoral training in educational research. Harvard Educational Review, 86(4).
Schindler, H.S., Kholoptseva, J., Oh, S.S., Yoshikawa, H., Shonkoff, J.P., Duncan, G.J., & Magnuson, K. (2015). Maximizing the potential of early childhood education to prevent externalizing behavior problems: A meta-analysis. Journal of School Psychology, 53(3), 243-263.
Britto, P.R., Yoshikawa, H., Ponguta, L. A., Reyes, M., Oh, S.S., Dimaya, R., Nieto, A.M., & Seder, R. (2014). Strengthening systems for integrated early childhood development services: Cross-national analyses of governance. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1308, 245-255.
Oh, S.S. & Yoshikawa, H. (2012). Examining spiritual capital and acculturation across ecological settings: Developmental implications for children and youth in diverse immigrant families. In Garcia Coll, C. (Ed.), Contributions to Human Development Vol. 24: The Impact of Immigration on Children’s Development (pp. 77-98). Basel, Switzerland: S. Karger AG.
Oh, S.S., & Cooc, N. (2011). Immigration, Youth and Education: Editors’ Introduction. Harvard Educational Review, 81(3), 397-407. https://www.hepg.org/her-home/issues/harvard-educational-review-volume-8...
Catone, K., Chung, C.K., & Oh, S.S. (2011). An appetite for change: Building relational cultures for educational reform and civic engagement in Los Angeles. In M. R. Warren, K. L. Mapp, and the Community Organizing and School Reform Project (Eds.), A Match on Dry Grass: Community Organizing as a Catalyst for School Reform, (Chapter 3, pp. 66-98). New York: Oxford University Press. [equal authorship]
Afolabi, K.P., Bocala, C., DiAquoi, R., Hayden, J.M., Liefshitz, I., & Oh. S.S. (Eds.) (2011). Education for a Multicultural Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press. [equal authorship]
Snow, C.E., & Oh, S.S. (2010). Assessment in early literacy research. In S. B. Neuman and D. K. Dickinson (Eds.), Handbook of Early Literacy Research. (Vol. 3, pp. 375-395). New York: Guilford Press.
Soojin Oh Park is an assistant professor at the University of Washington (UW) College of Education. Dr. Park's research, teaching, and service commitments intersect to advance racial equity and transformative justice in early education, child development, and parenting. She directs the Early learning, Parenting, Immigration, and Culture (EPIC) lab in pursuing three interconnected lines of research: 1) Early learning and development of racialized dual language learners (DLLs); 2) Culturally grounded parenting and family engagement in early learning; and 3) Equity-driven improvements in early childhood programs, policies, and systems.
Dr. Park is a core faculty member of the Learning Sciences and Human Development (M.Ed./Ph.D.), the Early Childhood & Family Studies (B.A.), and the Early Care and Education (B.A. Online) programs, as well as an affiliate faculty of the Education Policy, Organizations and Leadership program (M.Ed./Ph.D.), West Coast Poverty Center and Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology.
1. Early Learning & Development of Racialized Dual Language Learners (DLLs)
A central line of her scholarly inquiry is focused on expanding opportunities and improving the quality of early learning experiences for ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse DLLs. Her research is rooted in a notion that reimagining transformative possibilities in early childhood education (ECE) towards equity and justice must start with honoring and amplifying the voices, lived experiences, and expertise of children and families in historically underserved communities. Dr. Park's work highlights home language environment and family and community contexts as critical sites for developing children's early bilingualism and emergent biliteracy; however, her work also illuminates various multilingual and transnational pedagogies of families of DLLs--parenting practices and family processes specific due to languages, literacies, culture, and collective experiences of immigration, border crossing, and racism. This line of scholarship has resulted in a study of linguistic cultivation practices in home and communities, positioning young emergent bilingual children and their immigrant families as pedagogical experts and co-constructors of knowledge as they enacted resistance to the erasure of their heritage language, history, culture, and identity. In collaboration with an interdisciplinary team of colleagues, she is committed to increasing the pipeline of early childhood bilingual educators in Washington state while ensuring DLL children's equitable access to multilingual learning environments.
2. Parenting and Family Engagement in Early Learning
Families and home environment serve as the first and primary context of development in the early life span. Dr. Park foregrounds the voices and contributions of historically underserved families in established communities of color in the U.S. (especially Black, Indigenous, Pacific Islands, and Latino families) and newcomer communities of color (immigrants and immigrant-origin children from Africa, Asia, and Latin America) as she investigates issues pertaining to family support and parental investment in early learning, justice-centered early childhood learning and teaching, and equitable family-school partnership.
To this effort, Dr. Park as a PI of the FAMILY (Fathers And Mothers Investing in the Learning of Young Children) project examines the role of parental investment in exacerbating or dismantling educational inequities in early childhood from racially, socioeconomically, and linguistically diverse communities. She is particularly interested in meaningful yet understudied ways in which BIPOC, immigrant, and refugee families engage and expand their young children's learning at home. Through the FAMILY project, she investigates what, how, and why families support their children's learning and development, ushering about much needed changes to critically re-examine how the field of early childhood research and family studies continue to legitimize Eurocentric, middle-class parenting and child development of WEIRD societies as the norm.
3. Equity-Driven Improvements in Early Childhood Programs, Policies, & Systems
Dr. Park's current program of research extends to improving and evaluating early childhood programs, policies, and systems through an equity lens in U.S. and international contexts. She has continued to examine questions of how and why through process evaluation studies and more recently, research-practice-policy partnership (RPP). In one of her projects, the Partnership for Pre-K Improvement (with Dr. Gail Joseph) with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, her team co-designed approaches to anchoring systemic supports for states to continuously improve the quality of publicly-funded prekindergarten in Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington. Dr. Park led a multi-year case studies to investigate 1) how these states developed equitable, cross-sectoral partnerships for continuous quality improvement and evidence-based decision-making; and 2) how contexts of state pre-k--governance, leadership, advocacy, fiscal systems, workforce development--facilitated or impeded equity-driven, quality improvement efforts. This was one of the first large-scale, cross-state analysis to examine the role of RPP on statewide pre-k quality improvement, and generated insights for advancing equity and quality at scale.
For the past several years, Dr. Park has grown increasingly concerned with centering equity and justice in early childhood policy based on her stance that effective practice builds on metis (Scott, 1998)—local expertise and contextualized knowledge—and that sound policy builds its agenda on actual needs and priorities for those it intends to serve (Oh & Cooc, 2011). Her earlier work called for advancing equitable policy and practice by collaboratively training community-engaged scholars in educational research. Her more recent efforts have focused on expanding the frontiers of the field of early childhood policy within institutes of higher education. With support from the Buffett Early Childhood Fund and Columbia University, she and her colleagues founded the Center for Early Chidhood Policy & Equity that aims to 1) establish a graduate program with specialization in early childhood policy and equity; 2) diversify the pipeline of ECE policymakers and early learning system leaders through strategic recruitment, scholarships, and mentoring; and 3) co-design signature internships and practicum experiences in partnership with practitioners, municipal and state agencies, advocacy organizations, and tribal communities.
Ed.D., Human Development and Education, Harvard University, Graduate School of Education.
M.Ed., Educational Policy and Management, Harvard University, Graduate School of Education.
M.S.Ed., Early Elementary Education with Pennsylvania State Grades PreK-4 Teacher Certification, University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education.
B.A., summa cum laude with Honors Distinction in Psychology, University of Pennsylvania.
ECFS 410 Early Language and Literacy Development (Offered annually in Fall).
EDPSY 567 Bilingual and Biliteracy Development in Early Childhood: Equity-Driven Policies and Practices (Offered annually in Fall).
ECFS 315 Parenting and Child Development: Socioeconomic Inequities and Educational Justices in the First Years of Life (Offered annually in Winter; Fulfills Diversity & Writing Requirements).
EDPSY 582 Parenting and Early Learning: Socioeconomic Inequities & Educational Injustices in the Early Life Course (Offered biennially in Winter; Graduate Seminar).
EDPSY 502 Developmental Foundations of Early Learning (Offered annually in Winter).
2023-2025 Co-PI (PI David Knight, Co-PIs Nancy Hertzog, Gail Joseph, Holly Schindler), Developing New Leaders and Growing the Field of Early Childhood Policy through Capacity Building in Higher Education. Columbia University.
2021-2023 Co-PI (PI Holly Schindler) Center for Early Childhood Policy and Equity. In advancing the study of early childhood policy and establish a new masters specialization within the EdPOL M.Ed. program focused on early childhood policy and leadership as part of the Early Childhood Policy in Institutes of Higher Education
2017-2023 PI, The Fathers and Mothers Investing in Learning of Young Children (FAMILY) Study. University of Washington College of Education.
2019-2020 Faculty Collaborator (PIs: Manka Varghese, Marge Plecki, Ana Elfers), A Roadmap to Reducing Barriers to Educational Injustice in Washington State. Washington Education Association.
2017-2020 Co-PI (Gail Joseph, PI), Cultivating Research-Policy-Practice Partnerships for Improving Prekindergarten Quality in Early Learning Exemplar States. Gates Foundation.
Selected Press Coverage
Equity, Remote Learning and Early Childhood Development during the pandemic [Audio podcast] https://education.uw.edu/news/podcast-coronavirus-threatens-exacerbate-inequalities-early-learning
Why the new coronavirus will not spare children. [Editorial] The Seattle TImes https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/why-the-new-coronavirus-will-not-spare-children/