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Leigh O'Brien

Professor, Education, & Director of the LIVES program
South Hall 222-D

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

Office Hours

Spring 2020

MW:  1:30-2:30
TR:  12:00-1:00

Curriculum Vitae


  • 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)


  • 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]


  • O’Brien, L.M., & Novinger Robb, S. (2017). Rage against the machine: Two New York state teacher educators try to throw a monkey wrench in the (edTPA) works. Critical Education, 8(7), 1-24. On-line at

  • O’Brien, L.M. (2016). Democracy for all? John Dewey, teacher education, and young children with disabilities. Teacher Education & Practice, 29(3), 476-497.

  • O’Brien, L.M. (2015). Mind the gaps: Professionalism for inclusion in North American early care and education. Childhood Education, 91(1), 101-110.

  • O'Brien, L. M. (2010a). 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. (2010b). 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.

Research Interests

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


  • ECED 288: Teaching, Learning, & Inquiry

    This course is an introduction to the processes and practices of teaching, learning, and assessment, as well as to research skills in education. To develop greater congruence between personal perceptions and the realities of teaching, students will: examine learning models associated with various developmental domains and theoretical orientations; explore and apply teaching and assessment strategies within a Universal Design framework, and will teach brief lessons (to peers and at least one child, birth-grade 6). Students will also prepare to become teacher-researchers by learning methods for observing, interviewing, and collecting written & photo documentation, as well as learn how to begin the process of data analysis and interpretation. Includes field visit component.

  • 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 selecting/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