Staff Profiles

Staff Profiles

Haeny Yoon

Haeny studies how children and teachers mobilize spaces of play where creativity, social relationships, and civic engagement take precedence over standardization and regulation. Stemming from work in K-2 classrooms, she explores the ways children playfully enter into curricular engagements, taking seriously the work of play as both an intellectual and social practice (read a brief blog post here). Throughout her research, she features the capacity of both children and teachers to reimagine curriculum that works towards social change and justice. She presents, writes, and creates with teachers across multiple platforms, including the Reimagining Education Summer Institute, working for several years alongside scholars and teachers on teacher leadership, identity, racial reckoning, and collective healing and transformation. Her work can also be found in Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, Teachers College Record, Harvard Educational Review, Research on the Teaching of English, Urban Education, and Language Arts. At Teachers College, Haeny teaches courses on play, popular culture, literacy, contemporary childhoods, curriculum, and qualitative methodologies. Her current and future work sits at the intersection of public scholarship, social action, and interdisciplinary collaboration. As an affiliate faculty of the Digital Futures Institute, she co-hosts the podcast, Pop and Play, where she talks to designers, educators, gamers, media scholars, literacy theorists, and kids on what play and pop culture mean for identity and well-being.

Lara Steensland Mullarkey

Lara began her career over 30 years ago as a public-school teacher in Brooklyn. A member of the first year of Teach for America, she struggled (!) and quickly realized she needed to improve her skills. She made her way to Teachers College and has been here off and on ever since, first as a student and later as an instructor.

For the last decade, Lara’s primary role at TC has been in field supervision – providing direct support to students in their classroom placements. This has given her the opportunity to observe and learn in over 50 schools and educational sites across the city. She finds classrooms endlessly fascinating, and is incredibly proud of the impact our students and graduates are making in the field.

An ethic of care is central to Lara’s teaching. Whether it be at the graduate level or in the early childhood classroom, it is how she tries to live in the world. Lara is involved in a number of local community-oriented and faith-based initiatives that range from refugee resettlement to food insecurity to improved play spaces and play opportunities for young children in the city. Her work can be found in Journal of Early Childhood Research, Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education and Early Childhood Today, as well as her local newspaper.

Amanda Fellner

Amanda has been working in the field of early care and education for over a decade, working as a teacher, administrator, teacher educator, and consultant.  After spending many years as a classroom teacher in birth to five classrooms, she has transitioned into leadership roles in the field of early care and education.  She is currently the Interim Director of the Rita Gold Center, an early childhood lab school on campus, where she oversees the daily running of the center, mentors staff and students, and coordinates ongoing research.  Here, Amanda spends time in classrooms, getting to know the kids and daily classroom happenings.  She connects this to the courses she teaches on Infant/Toddler Development and Practice, Child Development, and Research Methods, grounding theory in the practical.

Using ethnographic and multimodal methods, her current research examines young children’s spatial practices, re-examining common understandings of what children can/should be allowed to do, as well as investigating teachers’ practice related to children’s risk-taking.  Amanda is also engaged in research that looks more broadly at classroom practices in early care and education settings while focused on bringing the lived experiences of both children and teachers into view.  Amanda’s work has been published in the Journal of Early Childhood Research and Bank Street Occasional Papers.

Tran Templeton

Taking up a critical childhoods framework that troubles the adult-child binary, Tran's work grapples with questions of how particular social and political structures, policies, and phenomena are brought to bear on childhoods, as well as how young children continually work to negotiate and refigure their social worlds and identities. Through visual research that examines young children's photographs, performances, and narrations of their own lives, Tran juxtaposes children's versions of themselves against adults’ renditions of children. She’s concerned with how adults mis-recognize, and therefore misrepresent, children, especially young children whose ways of knowing and relating far exceed adults’ capacities to understand them. The implications of this are manifest in the processes, policies, and practices of school where adult agendas can override children’s desires, interests, and intentions. Tran proposes that enlarging our adult visions of children has significant implications for the ways that curriculum, schooling, and research are enacted, especially as we account for the historical, social, and political conditions wherein childhoods play out. Her research draws out a politics of the child, which asks, which children are afforded which rights, which protections, and which childhoods? These questions are threaded through her courses, which include topics such as pedagogical and research methods, children’s environments and geographies, networked multi-species relations, and curriculum as sociomaterial assemblages. Tran has published her work in Children's Geographies, Harvard Educational Review, Language Arts, Urban Education, and Bank Street Occasional Papers. Her photo was made by Tulasi Cormier-Marri, who was 3-years-old at the time.

Kara Sheridan

Kara has an MS in Childhood Education (1-6) and Literacy Instruction (Birth-6). As the Early Childhood Program Manager, Kara coordinates student teaching placements and works with ECE students to provide support and information from admission through graduation.  She loves sharing books with children and previously owned Hopscotch Children's Books in Nyack, NY. Having  been lucky enough to find a strong parenting community when her children were young, she then worked to advocate for families as the Director of the Rockland Parent-Child Center and co-founder of the Nursery School of the Nyacks.

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