- Boise State University, EdD, Curriculum and Instruction, 2021
- Syracuse University, MS, Early Childhood Special Education, 2018
Dr. Ramanathan's areas of specialization include early childhood special education, and science and engineering education. Her previous teaching experiences include teaching across preschool through 2nd grade, as well as special education (self-contained) and inclusive classrooms. Prior to joining Salisbury University, Dr. Ramanathan worked as a research assistant at Boise State University where she contributed to a variety of projects investigating early childhood science education, as well as, providing instructional coaching for teachers to implement high-quality practices in their preschool classrooms.
Dr. Ramanathan's research program is centered on students with disabilities and early childhood education. Her current research interests revolve around:
- Designing inclusive science and engineering learning experiences for the classroom;
- Promoting the development of 21st century skills through project-based science and engineering;
- Supporting teachers in the implementation of science and engineering education.
An extension of this research program includes Makerspaces in Early Childhood settings: professional development for early childhood educators to integrate Maker activities in classrooms; and benefits of a Maker Mindset on teaching and learning.
Ramanathan, Gurupriya, Cosso, Sydney and Pool, Juli (2023) Engineering in Preschool: What Little Minds Can Teach Us About Big Skills. Early Childhood Education Journal.
Ramanathan, Gurupriya and Hagenah, Sara (2022) Influence of Peer Perseverance on Students' Engagement in Preschool Engineering Design Activities. 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition.
Mere-Cook, Yvette and Ramanathan, Gurupriya (2022) Promoting Inclusive Teaching and Learning Using the Engineering Design Process. vol. 77. no. 2. Young Children.
Ramanathan, Gurupriya, Carter, Deb and Wenner, Julianne (2021) A Framework for Scientific Inquiry in Preschool. vol. 50. pp. 1263–1277. Early Childhood Education Journal.
Ramanathan, Gurupriya and Ensher, Gail (2020) Illustrations from the Field: The Story of Jacob. Mental Health in the First 5 Years: Infants, Young Children, and Their Families. pp. 81-87. ZERO TO THREE.
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- Professional MembershipsNational Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)NAEYC promotes high-quality early learning for all children, birth through age 8, by connecting practice, policy, and research.
National Science Teaching Association (NSTA)NSTA is a community of science educators and professionals committed to best practices in teaching science and its impact on student learning.
- PresentationsBenefits of Multiple Genres in Shared Book Reading: How to Get the Most Out of a Science TextApril, 2 2022State of Maryland Literacy Association Annual Conference, VirtualThe use of varied genres in early childhood may accelerate language development, encourage reading, prevent later literacy failure, and help close the opportunity gap. Additionally, it gives children a leg up learning essential concepts for science. Giving children opportunities to experience science phenomenon or participate in science investigations and then backing it up with informational texts that explain science concepts also helps break down science concepts for children and give them the language needed to describe observations, explain scientific phenomena, evaluate and communicate information, and make conclusions. Several studies indicate the dominance of narrative fiction may contribute to reading difficulties in school, especially as children start to read textbooks. This presentation begins with a review of literature suggesting that introducing children in early childhood to multiple genres may offer promising advantages for literacy development. The presentation also includes techniques for getting the most from the use of science texts, both at home and in the classroom. An example of a science investigation for young children, followed by examples of informational texts related to the investigation, and how to present these to children is described.
Preschool Engineering: Strategies to Build Inclusive Learning ExperiencesMarch, 31 2022NSTA National Conference, Houston, TXThe engineering design process (EDP) is a cyclical method that students follow to collectively build a solution to a problem. Engineering encompasses hands-on activity, inquiry, teamwork, and other instructional practices that develop students’ collaboration and problem-solving skills. Given that preschool students with or at-risk for disabilities require further support in social skills such as collaboration and problem-solving, and engineering activities provide naturally embedded opportunities for collaboration, students’ engagement in the EDP working along with peers is a gap in the research that needs to be explored. This presentation provides examples from a research project that implemented engineering activities in a preschool classroom and recorded student participation and collaboration during the activities. The importance of these engineering activities in providing the platform for students with diverse needs to work together and engage in authentic peer interactions is discussed. Implications of these findings and recommendations for future research including how students with disabilities can access and meaningfully participate in similar inquiry-driven activities as well as the teacher’s role in supporting their participation is discussed. Lastly, the presentation shares strategies for teachers to implement engineering activities in their preschool classrooms.
A Framework for Science Inquiry in PreschoolOctober, 4 2021STEM Innovation for Inclusion in Early Education Center (STEMI²E²) Summit., VirtualPreschool children have the capacity to engage in scientific practices and inquiry and develop understanding at a conceptual level. While engaging in inquiry with preschool students, teachers transition from being transmitters of knowledge to facilitators in the educational process as students take on an active role in this learner-centered approach. Although studies have explored how preschool students can engage in inquiry-based science, there is a dearth of research on what teachers need to do to ensure their students are engaging in meaningful, inquiry-based science. This poster presents a literature review on preschool science inquiry and reports on significant themes. The purpose of this poster was to present a research-based framework for inquiry-based science in preschool that cuts across specific interventions, science concepts, or activities. It provides teachers with strategies to build and sustain a culture of inquiry that permeates all aspects of their preschool program, rather than depend on select activities or interventions.
- Service Activities and Community Relations
Faculty Senate Library and Learning Resources Committee - Committee Member, Fall 2023
Department of Early and Elementary Education Makerspace - Committee Member, Fall 2021-present
Early Childhood Education Program Committee - Committee Member, Fall 2021-present
Early Childhood Education Journal - Reviewer, 2021-present
Young Children Journal - Reviewer, 2022-present
Green Earth Book Awards, Children’s Non-Fiction panel - Judge, 2022-present
2022 Worcester County Teacher of the Year Selection Committee - Judge, 2022
- External Collaboration Highlights
2019-2023 - STEMI²E²: STEM Innovation for Inclusion in Early Education Center, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services ($7,250,000; PI: Vinh), Research Fellow 2020-2021.