- Pettengill Hall, Room 367
Summary of Interests
- Infant and toddler child care
- Play-based learning in early childhood
- Effects of civic engagement on undergraduate learning
- Gender and academic achievement
- B.A. Brown University, 1976
- M.S. Yale University, 1978
- Ph.D. Cornell University, 1983
Much of Nigro’s research in recent years belongs under the general heading of publicly-engaged scholarship and involves collaborations that work at the intersections of research, practice, and policy:
Infant and Toddler Child Care
As a member of Maine’s National Infant & Toddler Child Care Initiative, Nigro helped draft the state’s guidelines for infant-toddler child care. She has recently co-authored a piece for the Maine Policy Review (coming out in September 2009) about the topic of quality in early child care. She continues to work with the state team on the training of child care providers. Students in one of her classes recently helped to evaluate an infant mental health training program for providers.
Play-Based Learning in Early Childhood
Universal preschool is coming to the United States and as it does, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers are debating the importance of play in the preschool curriculum. Students in Nigro’s lab have begun to examine 4-year-old children’s levels of the stress hormone cortisol in response to more play-based learning compared to more academic learning.
Gender and Academic Achievement
Getting boys’ perspectives on their declining academic achievement has been the focus of a large focus group study that Nigro and colleagues from around the state have been conducting for the past few years. The voices of over 600 boys have now been heard. See an interim report on this research on the website of the Great Schools Partnership (www.greatschoolspartnership.org).
- PSYC 240 Developmental Psychology
- PSYC 341 Advanced Topics in Developmental Psychology
- PSYC 370 Psychology of Women and Gender
- ED/PY 262 Community-Based Research Methods (formerly Action Research)
- PSYC 457-458 Senior Thesis/Service-Learning