Erica Barnes, Assistant Professor

Ph.D. , Vanderbilt University
Education Building-Room 329; (518) 442-3958

Erica Barnes completed her Ph.D. in Development, Learning, and Diversity at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. She is the recipient of the American Educational Research Association’s Early Education and Child Development Special Interest Group (SIG) Outstanding Dissertation Award for 2015. Her previous teaching experience has involved working with children in grades K-12, primarily providing support for students receiving special education services. She has also served as a Teacher Consultant and Progress Monitoring Consultant, assisting teachers and principals with planning, implementing, and assessing instruction, particularly around literacy-related activities. 

Her research investigates teacher-child interactions in early childhood classrooms that promote vocabulary growth, with an emphasis on the developmental trajectories of children with varying levels of language abilities and from low-income homes. Her work uses fine-grained measures such as type/token counts, academic vocabulary, and utterance level coding to identify the mechanisms driving vocabulary learning in young children using quantitative methodology. She is interested in how language, particularly academic language, facilitates literacy growth, and how teachers may differentiate instruction for children from underserved populations to build their funds of knowledge.

Recent Publications
Barnes, E.M., & Oliveira, A.W. (2018). Exploring scientific metaphors through informational text read-alouds. The Reading Teacher, 71(4), 463-472. Doi: 10.1002/trtr.1634 [PR]

Barnes, E.M., & Dickinson, D.K. (2018). The relationship of Head Start teachers’ use of mental state verbs in two settings and children’s vocabulary growth. Early Education and Development, 29(3), 307-323. Doi: 10.1080/10409289.2018.1440844

Barnes, E.M., Dickinson, D.K., & Grifenhagen, J.F. (2017). Teachers’ commenting practices in Head Start preschool classrooms. Journal of Educational Research, 110(5), 515-527. Doi: 10.1080/00220671.2015.1134422

Barnes, E.M. & Puccioni, J. (2017). Shared book reading and preschool children’s academic achievement: Evidence from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Birth Cohort. Infant and Child Development, 26(6), 1-19. Doi: 10.1002/icd.2035

Barnes, E.M., & Grifenhagen, J.F., Dickinson, D.K. (2016). Facilitating academic language in early childhood classrooms. The Reading Teacher, 70(1), 39-48. Doi: 10.1002/trtr.1463

Barnes, E.M. (2015). Academic language in early childhood classrooms. American Speech and Hearing Association’s Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, 22(3), 85-92.

Dickinson, D.K., Hofer, K.G., Barnes, E.M., & Grifenhagen, J.F. (2014). Examining teachers’ language in Head Start classrooms from a Systemic Linguistics Approach. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 29(3), 231-244.

Dickinson, D.K., Barnes, E.M., Mock, J. (2012). The contributions of curriculum to shifting teachers' practices. In A.M. Pinkham, T. Kaefer & S.B. Neuman (Eds.), Knowledge development in early childhood: How young children build knowledge and why it matters. New York: Guilford Press.

Dickinson, D.K, Freiberg, J.B., & Barnes, E.M. (2011). Why are so few interventions really effective? A call for fine-grained research methodology. In S.B. Neuman & D.K. Dickinson (Eds.), Handbook of early literacy research: Vol. III. New York: Guilford Press.