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New Faculty: Dr. Holly Schindler

Dr. Holly Schindler is a newly appointed assistant professor at the UW College of Education. Her research interests include early childhood policies and programs, program evaluation, family relationships, and fathering.

Holly Schindler

Holly Schindler

“I was initially drawn to the UW College of Education because of its pioneering undergraduate program in early childhood and family studies,” says Schindler. “This program responds to a growing recognition of the importance of early childhood experiences in shaping the future of our society.  More broadly, the early childhood policy context in Washington State is unique in that there is an infrastructure in place to support innovative ideas focused on families with young children.  I was impressed with the way the College has built such strong relationships with this policy community and how connections with policy makers, local schools, and community organizations are all driving forces in research and teaching across the College.”  

However, it Schindler’s positive interactions with passionate, astute undergraduate and graduate students that confirmed Schindler’s decision to join the UW faculty. She will begin her teaching and research work here in fall 2012.

Schindler received her Ph.D. in applied developmental and educational psychology from the Boston College Lynch School of Education. She has a B.S. in Human Development and Family Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin, which she says is similar to the University of Washington community. 

Most recently, Schindler has served as a lecturer and postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child. She was a co-principal investigator with Drs. Greg Duncan, Katherine Magnuson, and Hirokazu Yoshikawa on a $700,000 US Department of Education grant titled, Effective Early Childhood Education Programs: Meta-Analytic Lessons from High-Quality Program Evaluations.

As part of this project, Schindler coordinated a team of 14 students across three universities to create a database and conduct analyses that synthesize five decades of early childhood program evaluation research.

As Schindler explains, “This meta-analytic database will allow me and my collaborators to address a broad range of compelling policy and practice issues.  For example, one paper I am currently working on using the database examines preschool program characteristics that may be important for preventing aggressive and antisocial behaviors.  My hope is that the findings from this paper and a larger set of analyses we are conducting will highlight what features of programs have worked best and for whom over the history of the field.  I also hope the results spur innovative thinking about programs.” 

Schindler aims to build out projects on family systems and intervention research at the UW College of Education. Her work on early childhood programs for “hard-to-reach populations” will, no doubt, benefit UW students as well as impact communities.

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