Office Hours:

  • Tues., Thurs. 1-2 & 4-5 p.m.

Leigh M. O'Brien


Ella Cline Shear School of Education

South Hall 222-D
1 College Circle
Geneseo, NY 14454

Leigh O'Brien

Dr. O'Brien has been a member of the Geneseo Faculty since 2006.


Faculty Information


  • D. Ed., The Pennsylvania State University
  • M.Ed. + B.S., The Pennsylvania State University


  • Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ (9/1/04 – 5/30/06)
  • Nazareth College, Rochester, NY (8/91 – 8/04)

Research Interests

* Social Justice & Education * Teacher Education & Identity * Nature Preschools/Forest Kindergartens * Inclusive Early Childhood Education

Publications and Professional Activities

  • O’Brien, L.M. (2015). Mind the gap/s: The pressures of professionalism in North American early care and education. Childhood Education.
  • O’Brien, L. M. (2011). “Holding the talking piece gives me a chance to make a sentence out of what I am thinking”: Children’s responses to the use of Peace Circles at one primary school in the U.S. Citizenship Education Research Network Collection.
  • O’Brien, L. M. (2010). Speaking our selves: The intersections of women educators’ personal and professional lives. Current Issues in Education, 13 (4). On line at
  • O’Brien, L. M. (2010). Caring in the ivory tower: Using one-to-one initial meetings to build student-professor relationships. Journal of Teacher Education, 15(1), 109-115.
  • O’Brien, L. M., Novinger, S., & Leach-Bizari, A. (2007). What does it mean to be a “good” early childhood teacher? An analysis of themes in application essays submitted to two early childhood education teacher certification programs. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 28 (3), 205-217.


  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI)
  • The Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE)
  • National Association for Early Childhood Teacher Educators (NAECTE)
  • North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE)
  • OMEP-USA [World Organization for Early Childhood Education]
Fall 2016 Classes

ECED 352:
Intro to Early Childhood Educ

    This course presents an introduction to current issues and trends in the education and development of young children, such as accessibility and quality of child care, infant/toddler programs, televisi
    on viewing, bilingual education, and violence in children's lives. Students also become acquainted with various advocacy strategies, program options and child care policies. As a broader context for this introduction, the history of early education is examined and community involvement is encouraged. A field study of an early childhood program is required. Prerequisites: SPED 224 or permission of instructor. Offered at least once per year
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ECED 355:
Diversity&Inclusion-EC Classrm

    The focus of this course is on understanding young students with disabilities and the effect of the disability on growth, development, and the teaching/learning process. Emphasis will be placed on se
    lecting/modifying appropriate teaching strategies that are congruent with the young child's development and cultural environment for use in the preschool or early primary grades. Children with various types of disabilities or special needs will be examined including those who are gifted and talented, those with limited English proficiency, and those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged. Attention will be given to State Education Department regulations, various service delivery models, assistive technology and work with parents, administrators, and ancillary personnel. Prerequisites: CURR 213, CURR 316, and ECED 352. Offered at least once per year
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INTD 105:
Wrtg Sem:Learning Through Play

    Writing Seminar is a course focusing on a specific topic while emphasizing writing practice and instruction, potentially taught by any member of the College faculty. Because this is primarily a course
    in writing, reading assignments will be briefer than in traditional topic courses, and students will prove their understanding of the subject matter through writing compositions rather than taking examinations.
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