Karen L. Bierman, Ph.D., is an Evan Pugh University Professor, Professor of Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies, and Director of the Child Study Center at The Pennsylvania State University. Her more than 30-year research career has focused on social-emotional development and children at risk, with an emphasis on the design and evaluation of school-based programs that promote social-emotional competence and school readiness. She has directed several longitudinal studies evaluating the long-term impact of early school-based and family-focused preventive interventions designed to reduce aggression (Fast Track) and enhance school success (Head Start REDI). She also directs a predoctoral training program in the interdisciplinary educational sciences. Dr. Bierman’s research has been funded by NICHD, IES, NIMH, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, W.T. Grant Foundation, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation. She has served as an educational adviser to several organizations devoted to improving early education for disadvantaged children, including Head Start and Sesame Street.
Susan M. Sheridan, Ph.D., is a George Holmes University Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln whose research focuses on family-school partnerships and family engagement. For more than 30 years, she has been researching the efficacy of two relationally oriented, strengths-based interventions aimed at supporting parent-teacher collaboration across the early childhood (birth to age 5) and school age years (kindergarten to grade 3). The Getting Ready intervention promotes parents’ competence in supporting children’s early development through strategies that enhance engagement and goal-directed partnerships. Teachers and Parents as Partners (also known as conjoint behavioral consultation) supports shared responsibilities and joint problem solving among parents and teachers of elementary aged children to address challenging behaviors and promote prosocial skills. Dr. Sheridan’s research has been funded by numerous grants from NIH and the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Educational Sciences. She has authored or co-authored close to 200 refereed journal articles, books, book chapters, and research briefs on these and related topics.