Dr. Ellen Frede

Ellen Frede, a developmental psychologist who specializes in early childhood education for children from low income families or who have disabilities, is an associate professor at The College of New Jersey. In her capacity as project co-director of the New Jersey Early Intervention System Study, she developed instrumentation to measure program practices based on the DEC Recommended Practices and oversaw the data collection and analyses in this area. Prior to this study, her most recent research activity was Evaluation Director of the Newark Early Childhood Teacher Training Project. The project, funded by the Prudential Foundation, was designed to provide training that would enable centers to receive Accreditation form the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs. In addition to investigating the impact of the training on teacher beliefs and classroom practices, the study also measured inner city parents' views about Developmentally Appropriate Practices.

Formerly, a research assistant professor at the Rutgers University Center for Policy Research in Education at the Eagleton Institute of Politics, Dr. Frede was the principal investigator of a collaborative statewide evaluation of early childhood inclusive programs funded by the Massachusetts Department of Education. The project activities included: 1) a survey of all public school inclusive programs for young children, 2) a training project to teach early childhood educators how to use program evaluation to improve their programs and who in turn taught others to use evaluation methods, 3) a field study of the impact on local practices of state policies regarding inclusion, and 4) a field study of the factors affecting quality of integrated preschool programs at the administrative, parental and classroom levels. She also served as a consultant on a Massachusetts Department of Education evaluation of the single certification in early childhood and early childhood special education. This entailed interviewing college faculty regarding the changes the single certificate necessitated.

At the Early Intervention Research Institute at Utah State University, Dr. Frede served as a Research and Evaluation Specialist. One of her major tasks was the refinement of a system to validate treatment implementation in early childhood special education programs which were part of a national longitudinal study. Dr. Frede also conducted research on the relationship of classroom quality to the later school success of young children who attended a state wide preschool program for children from low income families. She has designed numerous observation systems for use in center based, home based, parent focused and child focused programs. She has also developed protocols for interviewing program personnel regarding transition procedures.

Dr. Frede began her career in early childhood education teaching in child care centers while she attended college. As an undergraduate at the Merrill Palmer Institute, she studied the double burden of being a young child with disabilities in an urban setting. She has taught in Head Start and in two Handicapped Children Early Education Project integrated demonstration classrooms. At the High/Scope Foundation, she trained teachers and teacher trainers in integrated and self contained classrooms throughout the United States and abroad for Project Follow Through, the Office of Special Education Outreach Project, the National Diffusion Network, and private sources. She was one of the developers of the High/Scope Training of Teacher Trainers Project and co taught the project in the Los Angeles Head Start Program. Of major focus in the training she conducted was the application of developmental theory to teaching children who are at risk for school failure, and using observation to improve instruction. Dr. Frede has had a strong interest in the importance of working collaboratively with parents to increase the successes of their children. In addition to numerous workshops and paper presentations on working collaboratively with parents, she was funded by the Administration for Children, Youth, and Families to write Getting Involved: Workshops for Parents, a manual for parent specialists. Her research has been published in The Journal of Early Intervention, The Early Childhood Research Quarterly, and other journals related to early childhood care and education.