Funded by the National Science Foundation, and in partnership with the Fred Rogers Company and the Fred Rogers Center at St. Vincent College, this study seeks to examine the role of psychological safety in teaching math to preschoolers. The project, entitled “Peg + Cat: Developing Preschoolers’ Early Math Skills,” was awarded $3 million to the Fred Rogers Company, and Shannon Wanless is one of the three principal investigators, along with Dr. Mallary Swartz and Dr. Junlei Li. The research asks how can teachers do a better job of attending to the social-emotional dimensions of teaching math so young children feel psychologically safe to engage in learning in preschool. Wanless leads the research aspect of the study and SEED Lab member, Ashley Shafer is a research assistant for this work. Data collection will begin in Fall 2016 and includes observations, questionnaires, and focus groups with 30 preschool classrooms, In Fall 2017, the study will scale-up to a randomly assigned group of 90 classrooms with 3 conditions.
If you are a Pitt student interested in getting involved in data collection or analysis for course credit, please contact Dr. Wanless.