Lea Ann Christenson

Associate Professor

LeaAnn Christenson

Contact Info

Hawkins Hall, Room 107K


Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, University of Maryland College Park

Areas of Expertise

Early literacy acquisition, English as a Second Language instruction, STEAM, Study abroad and away


Recipient of the 2015 College of Education Gloria A. Neubert Excellence in Teaching Award

Selected Publications

Laster, B. and Christenson, L. (2018). Literacy Teacher Professional Development in Two Africas: Lessons Learned by US Professors Working in Collaboration with African Educators. The International Journal of Diversity in Education, 18(1). 

Christenson, L. & James, J. (2017). Can developmentally appropriate practice support college/career readiness? One school's journey from skepticism to understanding. Early Years Bulletin, 4(3).

Christenson, L., Daniels, J., Cruzado-Guerrero, J. Schroth, S., Dudiak, M. & Watson-Thompson, O. (2017). Providing early childhood teacher candidates diverse clinical understandings through professional development school experiences. In Dreon, O. & Polly, D. (Eds.) Handbook of research on teacher education for ethical professional practice in the 21st century (pp. 143-164). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:4018/978-1-5225-16682.ch007.

Christenson, L. & Laster, B. (2017, July). A tale of two Africas: Journeys of literacy teacher professional learning. Poster session presented at the International Literacy Association Conference, Orlando, FL, July 15-17, 2017.

Christenson, L., Muccio, L. & McGowan, Kevin (2017, June). Fostering teachers' empathy in early childhood education. Presented at the National Association of Early Childhood Education (NAEYC) Professional Learning Institute, San Francisco, CA, June 11-14, 2017.

Christenson, L. & Makokoro, P. (2017, April). Teacher training in Zimbabwe: Bridging resources to serve young children. Presented at the Center of Educational Diplomacy Institute, Washington, DC, April 20-22, 2017.

Christenson, L., Cruzado-Guerrero, J. & Daniels, J. (2017, March). Opportunities to prepare teacher candidates to serve children in professional development schools in urban settings. Presented at the National Association of Professional Development Schools (NAPDS) Conference, Washington, DC, March 9-11, 2017.

Christenson, L. (2017, February). STEM: Pathway to critical thinking and language development in Pre-K. Presented at the National Association of Bilingual Education (NABE) Conference, Dallas, TX, February 22-25, 2017.

Christenson, L. (2016, November). Engineering for success in the Pre-K classroom. Poster presentation at the National Association of Early Childhood Education (NAEYC) Fall Conference, Los Angeles, CA.

Christenson, L. (2016, November). Pre-service teachers leading the way: "T" in STEM for young DLLs. Presented at the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators (NAECTE) Fall Conference, Los Angeles, CA.

Schroth, S., Watson-Thompson, O., Mason, L., Cruzado-Guerrero, J., Christenson, L. & Dudiak, M. (2016). How teacher candidates and mentor teachers use the edTPA to monitor and improve the teacher candidate experience: How the edTPA can build collaboration in PDS partnerships. PDS Partners,11(3).

Beckman, P. & Christenson, L. (2016) "Out of my comfort zone": Understanding the impact of a service-learning experience in rural El Salvador. Global Education Review, 3(4), 146-168.

Christenson, L. (2016). Class Interactive Reading Aloud: A Holistic Lens on Interactive Reading Aloud Sessions in Kindergarten. Paper published as part of the conference proceedings at the International Symposium on Education, Psychology and Society, Kyoto, Japan.

Christenson, L. (2016) Preparing pre-service early childhood teachers to work in urban settings. YC: Young Children, 71(5), 23-29.

Christenson, L. (2015) A families guide to the CCSS English language arts standards:supporting young learner at home. Childhood Education. (91)5.

Christenson, L. & James, J (2015) Building Bridges to Understanding: STEM in the Pre-KClassroom. Young Children. (70)1.

Christenson, L (2014) Empowering the workforce in early childhood education . Early Childhood Ireland. (2)1.

Selected Presentations

LEA Institute III It Takes a City: DC Does it Best Using STEM to support vocabulary development in PK. Washington DC, May 2, 2015.

Institute for Global Education Diplomacy Beckman, P. & Christenson, L. “Out of my comfort zone”: Promoting global understanding through international service learning. Washington, DC, March 5-8, 2015.

27th Annual Ethnographic and Qualitative Research Conference Beckman, P. & Christenson, L. A journey to understanding: Case studies of undergraduate students on a service learning study abroad trip in rural El Salvador. LasVegas, NV, February 9-10, 2015

NABE: National Association for Bilingual Education Preparing PK ELLs to meet with success with the CCSS in English Language Arts. San Diego, CA, February 12-15, 2014

NAEYC: National Association for the Education of Young Children Christenson,L. & James J. The little engine that could: How a preschool enhanced its curriculum and boosted enrollment by running on STEAM. Washington, DC, November 20-23, 2013

NAEYC: National Association for the Education of Young Children Common Core State Standards in pre-K? Isn’t that just for older kids? Developmentally appropriate implications for educators. Washington, DC, November 20-23, 2013