Jessica Whittaker headshot

Jessica E. Whittaker

Associate Professor
Unit: Curry School of Education
Department: Curry School of Education
Office location and address
Ruffner Hall 248
405 Emmet St S
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Ph.D., University of Maryland, 2008
B.A., Duke University, 2000

My primary research interests lie in examining the association between early teacher-child interactions and children's academic and social-emotional outcomes. In particular, my work focuses on understanding the inter-connections among and supporting young children’s executive function, mathematics, and science skills, particularly for those from underserved and underrepresented groups. 

Currently I am involved in several research efforts to develop and test the efficacy of interventions that include curricula, online coursework, and coaching, designed to improve the quality of early teacher-child interactions and instruction as a way to support children's EF, math, and science knowledge and skills. I am also engaged in efforts to develop valid and reliable measures of classroom processes that relate to children’s development in these areas.

EHD-Preschool Development Grant Birth-to-5 Evaluation and Data System Development
Source: Virginia Department Of Education
July 01, 2021 – June 30, 2022
LinkB5 Expansion
Source: Virginia Department Of Education
July 01, 2021 – January 01, 2022
CU- Supporting Teachers to Enhance their Practice in Executive Function, Math, and Science
Source: Heising-Simons Foundation
March 01, 2016 – July 31, 2019
CU-Efficacy trial of MyTeachingPartner-Mathematics/Science curricula and implementation support system
Source: U.S. Department of Education - Educational Res. &
July 01, 2012 – June 30, 2018
CU- Evaluation of the Quality Collaborative Early Education PD Pilot
Source: Bruhn-Morris Family Foundation
August 10, 2015 – August 31, 2017
EDIS 3045: Mathematics in Early Childhood: Understand, Assess, and Support Development
Credits: 3
This course is designed to increase students' knowledge of and ability to implement foundational and targeted instructional strategies aimed at promoting children's early mathematics skills in domains including numeracy, operations, geometry, patterning, and measurement. We will explore how to observe students' mathematics skills and how to collect meaningful information on children's mathematical thinking and use that to inform instruction.
EDLF 4995: Directed Research
Credits: 1–6
Directed Research under supervision of faculty member.
EDLF 8998: Masters Research Internship
Credits: 1–12
Designed to give masters students experience conducting research in professional settings appropriate to their disciplines. Prerequisites: Permission of Advisor
EDLF 9995: Independent Research
Credits: 1–12
Independent Research
EDLF 9998: Doctoral Research Apprenticeship
Credits: 3–12
Designed to give doctoral students experience conducting research in professional settings appropriate to their disciplines. Prerequisites: Advisor Permission Required.
EDLF 9999: Doctoral Dissertation
Credits: 3–12
Doctoral Dissertation Research completed under the guidance of dissertation committee. 12 hours is required for graduation. Permission of instructor required.