Soojin Oh Park is an assistant professor in Early Childhood and Family Studies at the University of Washington (UW) College of Education. She is a core faculty member of the Learning Sciences and Human Development and the Education, Equity, and Society programs, and an affiliate faculty of the West Coast Poverty Center.
Her work seeks to advance educational policy and practice that address issues of racial and socioecnomic equity in early learning opportunities for children from low-income, immigrant, and nondominant communities. Dr. Park studies the effects of early childhood programs and public policies on children’s development. Her work is centered on improving the process features of quality in early learning environments that promote cognitive and language skills, and examining how these mechanisms of program impact differ for children from diverse socioeconomic, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds. She draws on theories and methods from psychology, sociology, and public policy to refine understanding of “active ingredients” for early learning and development—the nature and quality of the relationships children have with their parents and other important people in their lives.
Early childhood quality improvement efforts often include attention to classrooms but much less on the role of families and communities. Jointly funded by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (# 90YR0049/02) and the Julius B. Richmond Fellowship from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, she conducted a secondary analysis of a large-scale randomized study of Head Start of a nationally representative sample of preschool children. To this work, she examined parental investment in early learning and family routines as mechanisms for explaining program impacts on children’s learning. An interesting finding from this study was the larger impact of Head Start for Latino parents of Spanish-speaking DLLs, and the mediation effects of program on vocabulary and reading differed by children’s language status.
Applying her work to global contexts, she collaborated with Hirokazu Yoshikawa, the Yale Child Study Center, and UNICEF to conduct a process evaluation of the implementation of a multisectoral early childhood policy in Cambodia, and co-authored a policy brief on the systemic challenges to expanding access and improving quality in early care and education, at scale. Policy recommendations from this brief was incorporated in the Royal Government of Cambodia’s inaugural National Action Plan on Early Child Care and Development.
During her tenure on the Editorial Board for the Harvard Educational Review, she has chaired a special issue, Immigration, Youth and Education (Fall, 2011) and co-edited a book, Education for a Multicultural Society (2011). Exploring the intersection of developmental psychology and public policy, she co-authored chapters for the volumes Handbook of Early Childhood Development Programs, Practices, and Policies (Wiley, 2016), The Impact of Immigration on Children’s Development (Karger, 2012), and Handbook of Early Literacy Research (Guilford, 2010).
Prior to her faculty appointment at UW, Dr. Park completed a summer research fellowship at the National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families. She holds a BA and a M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania, an Ed.M. and an Ed.D. from Harvard University.
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., Psychology, University of Pennsylvania.
Park, S.O., & Yoshikawa, H. (in press). 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
Oh, S.S., & Yoshikawa, H. (2016). 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.
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. A special issue on Integrated Interventions in Child Development and Nutrition, guest editors M. M. Black and K. Dewey.
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. (Special Issue Editors) (2011). Immigration, youth, and education. Harvard Educational Review, 81(3).
Oh, S.S., & Cooc, N. (2011). Immigration, Youth and Education: Editors’ Introduction. Harvard Educational Review, 81(3), 397-407.
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.
SELECTED INVITED TALKS
Park, S.O. (2017). Early childhood development and parental investment among low-income, ethnically diverse families. University of Washington West Coast Poverty Center, Seattle, WA, January 23.
Park, S.O. (2016). Forum commentator on the AERA’s Centennial Lecture Series, “Early Education and the Brain: Making Novel Connections” (Dr. Bruce McCandliss), Seattle, WA, December 6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGmbcNz9JQ8&feature=youtu.be
Park, S.O. (2016). The evidence base linking parents’ unauthorized immigration status and developmental consequences for their children. Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency (RECS), Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Washington DC, June 1-3.
Oh, S.S. (2011). Writing Quantitative Research Report as a Three-Course Meal: How to Interpret & Present Statistical Results Accurately, Effectively, and Meaningfully. Graduate-level Course S-012 Empirical Methods: Introduction to Statistics for Research, Harvard GSE, Cambridge, MA, December 6.
Oh, S.S. (Chair & Moderator) (2011). A Shadow Population: Immigration Enforcement, Child Development, & America’s Future. With the panelists: Ajay Chaudry, Luis Argueta, and Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Sponsored by the Harvard Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, September 28.
Oh, S.S. (2011). Understanding Early Childhood Systems in Developing Countries. Early Childhood Education and Health, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, April 14.
Oh, S.S., & Yoshikawa, H. (2010). A Multisectoral Early Childhood Policy in Cambodia: An Analysis of Linkages Across Early Childhood Development Systems. Graduate-level Course H-265 Early Childhood Settings: Understanding, Observing, and Studying Quality, Harvard GSE, Cambridge, MA, November 9.
Oh, S.S. & Wood, J. (2010). Implementing PreK-3 Early Literacy Intervention Across Home and School: Closing the Early Literacy Proficiency Gap. Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Marlborough, MA, March 3.
Oh, S.S. (2007). Understanding and Improving Quality in Early Childhood Education: Teacher-Child Interactions. Charis National Academy, Malang, East Java, Indonesia, August 15.
ECFS 315 Parenting and Child Development: Socioeconomic and Cultural Influences in the Earliest Year of Life (Winter).
ECFS 410 Early Language and Literacy Development (Fall).
ECFS 401 Research Methods in Early Childhood and Family Studies (Fall).
EDPSY 589 Scholarly Writing in Educataion and Psychology (Winter).