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Susan L. Recchia

Professional Background

Educational Background

B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz (Psychology); M.A., California State University, Northridge (Educational Psychology, Early Childhood Education); Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles (Educational Psychology, Developmental Studies)

Master's Thesis: "Assessing Parent and Infant Development in a Program for Handicapped Infants: An Analysis of Issues and Instruments"
Doctoral Dissertation: "How Visually Impaired Toddlers and their Mothers Respond to Ambiguous Stimuli"

Scholarly Interests

Social and emotional development of young children. Adult-child relationships across contexts. Infants and preschoolers with special needs. Early childhood professional development.

Selected Publications

"Becoming an infant caregiver: Three profiles of personal and professional growth"(Journal of Research in Childhood Education).

 "Caregiver perceptions and child-caregiver interactions in a newly-inclusive infant child care center" (Early Childhood Education Journal). 

 "Social communication and response to ambiguous stimuli in toddlers with visual impairments" (Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology). 

"Establishing intersubjective experience: Developmental challenges for young children with congenital blindness and autism and their caregivers" (Blindness and Psychological Development in Young Children).

"Play and concept development in infants with severe visual impairments: A constructivist view" Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness). 

professional experiences

Associate Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University
Department of Curriculum and Teaching, 1999-present

Assistant Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University
Department of Special Education, 1993-1996
Department of Curriculum and Teaching, 1996-1999.

Coordinator, Teachers College, Columbia University
Program in Early Childhood Special Education, 1993-present.

Faculty Director,Teachers College, Columbia University
Center for Infants and Parents, 1996-1999.

Faculty Co-Director, Teachers College, Columbia University
Rita Gold Early Childhood Center, 1999-present.

Project Coordinator, UCLA Family Development Project
Department of Child Psychiatry, 1991-1993
Principal Investigator: Dr. Christophe Heinicke.

Teaching Assistant, UCLA Department of Psychology.
Developmental Psychology, 1990-1991.
Professor Patricia Greenfield; Professor Claire Kopp

Research Assistant, UCLA Department of Pediatrics
Principal Investigator: Dr. Leila Beckwith, 1988-1991

Research Assistant, UCLA Graduate School of Education
Principal Investigator: Professor Deborah Stipek, 1987-1989

Infant Specialist, Blind Children's Center 
Los Angeles, California, 1982-1988

Parent-Infant Teacher, United Cerebral Palsy Association
St. Louis, Missouri, 1981-1982.

Preschool Teacher, Blind Children's Center
Los Angeles, California, 1978-1980.

Program Director, Parents' Infant Care Services
Los Angeles, California, 1977-1978.

honors and awards

Outstanding Teaching Award, AY 2002/2003; AY2003/2004 C&T 5118 Infant and Toddler Development and Practice

Spencer Research Mentoring Award, September, 1998-August, 2001
Project title: "Continuity of Care and Educational Experience in Early Childhood" (with Professors Williams, Genishi, and Brooks-Gunn)

Dissertation Year Fellowship, 1992-1993. University of California at Los Angeles.

University Fellowship, 1990-1992. University of California at Los Angeles.

NIMH Pre-doctoral Fellowship, 1988-1990. University of California at Los Angeles, Department of Educational Psychology.

University Fellowship, 1987-1988. University of California at Los Angeles.

Kelly Keogh Memorial Award, March, 1987.

Dubnoff Scholar, April, 1978. California State University, Northridge.

professional organization membership

Professional Affiliations
National Association for Early Childhood Teacher Educators (NAECTE), 2004- present.
Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI), 1999-present.
World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH), 1996-present.
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC),1996-present.
Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), 1993-present.
National Center for Clinical Infant Programs (NCCIP), 1990-present.
International Society for Infant Studies (ISIS), 1989-present.
Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), 1989-present.


Spencer Foundation Research Grant, 2005-2006
Project Title:“Supporting Social Experiences in Early Childhood Classrooms: Case Studies of Young Children with Special Needs and their Teachers”  (with Yoon-Joo Lee, Ed.D.)

Kellogg Foundation Funded Project, July, 2000-June, 2003.
Project title: "The Developmental Visit Training and Dissemination Project
(with Dr. Annette Axtmann, Senior Project Consultant).

Faculty Research Grant, Summer, 1996
Project Title: "Parent-Child Communication and Response to Ambiguous Stimuli: A Multiple Case Study Analysis of Young Children with Severe Visual Impairments and their Families"
Faculty Research Grant, Summer, 1994
Project Title: "Teachers and Social Skills in Children with Disabilities"


principal publications

Refereed Journal Articles:

Lee, Y. J. & Recchia, S. L. (in press). “Who’s the boss?”  Young children’s power and influence in an early childhood classroom. Early Childhood Research and Practice.


Recchia, S. L. & Soucacou, E. P. (2006). Nurturing social experience in three early childhood special education classrooms. Early Childhood Research and Practice, 8(2).

Available at


Lee, S. Y., Recchia, S. L., & Shin, M. S. (2005). Not the same kind of leaders: Four young children’s unique ways of influencing others.  Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 20(2), 132-148.


Mullarkey, L. S., Recchia, S. L., Lee, S. Y., Lee, Y. J. & Shin, M. S. (2005). Manipulative managers and devilish dictators: Teachers’ perspectives on the dilemmas and challenges of classroom leadership. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 25, 123-129.


Recchia, S. L. & Lee, Y. J.  (2004) At the crossroads: Overcoming concerns to envision possibilities for toddlers in inclusive childcare. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 19(2), 175-188.


Shin, M., Recchia, S. L., Lee, S. Y., Lee, Y. J., & Mullarkey, L.S. (2004) Understanding early childhood leadership: Emerging competencies in the context of relationships. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 2(3), 301-316.


Lava, V. F., Recchia, S. L., & Johnson, T. G. (2004).  Early childhood special educators reflect on their preparation and practice. Journal of Teacher Education and Special Education, 27(2), 190-201.

Recchia, S. L. & Loizou, E. (2002). Becoming an infant caregiver: Three profiles of personal and professional growth. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 16(2), 133-147.

Heinicke, C. M., Fineman, N., Ruth, G., Recchia, S. L., Rodning, C., & Guthrie, D. (1999). Relationship based intervention with at-risk mothers: Outcome in the first year of life. Infant Mental Health Journal,20(4),349-374.

Recchia, S. L. (1999). Inspirations from infants in inclusive group care. Focus on Infants and Toddlers, 11(4), 1-4.

Recchia, S. L., Berr, C. N., & Hsiung, M. (1998). Caregiver perceptions and child-caregiver interactions in a newly-inclusive infant child care center. Early Childhood Education Journal, 26(2), 111-116.

Recchia, S. L. (1998). Response to ambiguous stimuli by three toddlers who are blind as a measure of mother-child communication. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 92(9), 581-592.

Recchia, S. L. (1997). Social communication and response to ambiguous stimuli in toddlers with visual impairments. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 18(3), 297-316.

Recchia, S. L. (1997). Play and concept development in infants with severe visual impairments: A constructivist view. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 91(4), 401-406.

Stipek, D., Recchia, S., & McClintic, S. (1992). Self evaluation in young children. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 57(1, serial No. 226).

Book Chapters:

Recchia, S. L. (2007). Teaching caring: Supporting social and emotional learning in an inclusive early childhood classroom. In C. Genishi & A. L. Goodwin (Eds.) Diversities in early childhood education: Rethinking and doing. New York: Routledge/Falmer.


Recchia, S. L. & Wiliams, L. R. (2006). Culture, class, and diversity: Implications for practice.  In G. Foley and J. Hochman (Eds.), Infant mental health in early intervention: Achieving unity in principles and practice. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.

Recchia, S. L. (1997). Establishing intersubjective experience: Developmental challenges for young children with congenital blindness and autism and their caregivers. In V.A. Lewis & G.M. Collis (Eds.), Blindness and psychological development in young children (pp. 116-129). Leicester, UK: British Psychological Society.

Kopp, C. B. & Recchia, S. L. (1990). The issue of multiple pathways in the development of handicapped children. In R. Hodapp, J. Burack, & E. Zigler (Eds.), Issues in the developmental approach to mental retardation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Invited newsletter article:

Recchia, S. L. (1995, Winter). Initiating inclusion practices for infants, toddlers, and families: Training, research, and service delivery needs. Insights From the Center for Infants and Parents, 2(1), 1-4.

Educational Booklets:

Recchia, S. L. (1987). Learning to play: Common concerns for the visually impaired preschool child. (Available from Blind Children's Center, 4120 Marathon St., P.O. Box 29159, Los Angeles, California 90029.)

Recchia, S. L. (1986). Welcome to the world: Toys and activities for the visually impaired infant. (Available from Blind Children's Center, 4120 Marathon St., P.O. Box 29159, Los Angeles, California 90029.)

Unpublished Manuscripts

Heinicke, C. M., Recchia, S. L., Berlin, P. & James, C. (1993). Manual for coding global child and parent-child ratings. Unpublished manuscript available from the Department of Psychiatry, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, 90024.

Recchia, S. L. (1997). Teacher-child social communication code book. Unpublished coding manual. Teachers College, Columbia University.

professional presentations

service to the college and university

Member, Safety Committee, AY 2005-06


Member, Ed D. Committee, AY2005-07


Member, Search Committee, Blindness and Visual Impairment, AY2005-06.

Committee Chair: Linda Hickson


Member, Faculty Advisory Committee, AY2003-present.

Committee Chairpersons:Professor Callie Waite; Professor Victoria Marsik; Professor Linda Hickson; Professor Charles Harrington


Member, Harassment Panel, AY2002-2005.


Chair, Search Committee, Early Childhood Special Education

Department of Curriculum and Teaching, AY 02-04

Appointed Member, College Tenure Committee, AY 01-02

Member, Search Committee, Science Education
Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology, AY 99-2000
Committee Chairperson, Professor 0. Roger Anderson

Member, Search Committee, Learning Disabilities
Department of Curriculum and Teaching, AY98-99
Committee Chairperson, Professor A. Lin Goodwin

Member, Faculty Advisory Committee, AY97-98-2000
Committee Chairpersons, Professors Linda Hickson and Leslie Williams

Member, Search Committee, Early Childhood Music Education
Department of Arts and Humanities, AY97-98
Committee Chairperson, Professor Hal Abeles

Member, Caswell Conference Committee
Department of Curriculum and Teaching, AY97-98
Committee Chairperson, Professor Gary Griffin

Member, Search Committee, Guidance Counseling Position
Department of Counseling Psychology, AY95-96, 96-97
Committee Chairperson, Professor Judith Brandenberg

Member, Faculty Executive Committee, 1995-1997
Committee Chairperson, Professor Jeanette Fleischner
Sub-Committee Chairpersons, Professor Herve Verenne and Professor Maria Torres-Guzman
(Sub-Committee on the Academic Program, 95-96); Professor Prabha Sahasrabudhe (Sub-Committee on Race, Culture, and Diversity, 96-97).

Member, Committee for Dean's Grants for Student Research, 1995.

Member, Interdisciplinary Issues Related to Early Childhood Education, 1994-1995
Committee Chairperson, Acting Dean Leonard Blackman

Chair, Child Study Center Review Committee
Department of Special Education, 1994-1995.

Chair, Committee for the Goldstein Award
Department of Special Education, 1994-1995.

Member, Committee for the Goldstein Award
Department of Special Education, Spring, 1994
Committee Chairperson, Professor Linda Hickson.

Member, Advisory Board, The Center for Infants and Parents, 1993-present
Board President, Professor Leslie Williams, Department of Curriculum and Teaching.

Member, Research Literacy Task Force, 1993-2000
Committee Chairperson, Professor Gary Bridge; Sub-Committee Chairpersons, Professor Charles Harrington and Professor Lyn Como (Sub-Committee on Qualitative Methods).

service to p-12 community

  • Curriculum Team Member, Early Intervention Information Session for Families—Transition

    State Department of Health, New York, 2006-2007

  • Book Reviewer, Brookes Publishing Co., 2006

    (review of : Help! I don’t want to raise a brat: Raising socially and emotionally sound children).

  • Reviewer, Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 2005-present.

    Editors: Nicola Yelland and Susan Grieshaber

  • Guest Reviewer, Equity and Excellence in Education, 2005

    Guest Editor: Gerald Bracey

  • Editorial Board, Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 2003-present

          Editor: Leslie R. Williams


  • Editorial Board, Early Education and Development, 2002-present.
    Guest Reviewer, Early Education and Development, 2001.
    Editor: Richard R. Abidin

  • Consultant, Early Head Start Project, September, 1998-present.Project Director: Dr. Carmen Rodriguez, Columbia University Head Start.
  • Book Reviewer, Teachers College Press, 1999.
    (Review of: A Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers).
  • Reviewer, 1998 Conference on Human Development, Family/School Panel.
    Chair: Professor Claire E. Hamilton, University of Georgia.
  • Book Reviewer, Guilford Publications, Inc., 1998.
    (Review of: Toward Better Beginnings: A Framework for Working with Infants and Toddlers)
  • Board Member, New York Zero to Three Network, 1997-present.
    Co-president, Fall, 2000-present.
  • Member, Board of Visitors, Child Development Center of Texas A&M University,
    Corpus Christi, Texas, April, 1997.
  • Reviewer, NYU Medical Center Neonatology Program grant proposal for Neonatal Parental Intervention Program, September, 1996.
    Director of Neonatology: Karen Hendricks-Munoz, M.D., M.Ph.
  • Consulting Editor, Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 1996.
    Editor: Carolyn U. Shantz.
  • Guest Reviewer, Early Education and Development, 1995.
    Editor: Richard R. Abidin.

C&T 4080: Risk and resilience in early development

A first course in child development, pre-birth through age 8, within a family context. Primary focus is on the impact of risk and disability on developmental outcomes, and those factors that promote resilience in young children, with and without disabilities, and their families.

C&T 4112: Integrated Curriculum in Early Childhood Educations (full-year course)

A two-semester course focused on integrated theories and methods in ECE/ ECSE. Will incorporate historical and sociocultural contexts, emphasis on physical and interpersonal environments in early childhood settings, centrality of play, social studies and science, adapting curricula for full range of abilities from infancy through grade 2.

C&T 4302: Supervised practicum in the educational assessment of young children with exceptionalities

Permission required. Prerequisite: C&T 4080. Participation in educational assessment of young children with exceptionalities. An introduction to formal and informal assessment strategies and their applications to work with young children. Analysis of observational and test data; formulation of educational interventions. Lab fee: $150.

C&T 4308: Field experiences in early childhood/early childhood special education

A practicum for students in the Early Childhood initial certification program that serves as a prerequisite for student teaching. Field experiences will relate to work in other courses and be paired with an ongoing seminar designed to respond directly to issues as they arise in field placements.

C&T 4900: Research and independent study: Curriculum and teaching

Masters degree students undertake research and independent study under the direction of a faculty member.

C&T 5118: Infant and toddler development and practice

Permission required. Theory is related to practice and research with infants, toddlers, and families. Students participate in classroom practice and meet for weekly seminar on-site at the Rita Gold Early Childhood Center. Enrollment is for one or two semesters.

C&T 5308: Advanced practicum-infancy and early childhood

Permission required. Students engage in action research at their practicum sites.

C&T 5514: Seminar in early childhood education

Required of all second-year doctoral students in early childhood education and early childhood special education and open to other post-masters students with permission. Examination of underlying issues and currents in early child-hood education, with formulation of initial research plans.

C&T 6900: Directed research and theory development in curriculum and teaching

Permission required.

C&T 8900: Dissertation advisement in curriculum and teaching

Individual advisement on doctoral dissertations. Fee to equal 3 points at current tuition rate for each term. For requirements, see section in catalog on Continuous Registration for Ed.D. degree.