Janna Kook advances the field’s knowledge of effective early childhood education and early STEM learning and teaching, with a focus on the link between teacher professional development and child outcomes. An experienced researcher and program evaluator, she has expertise in advanced quantitative research methods.
Kook is currently responsible for research design, study coordination, measure development, data analysis, and dissemination work for three major studies. In Games for Young Mathematicians, a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Core Research study aimed at understanding how young children’s mathematics learning can be supported through their development of mastery motivation, Kook is helping to analyze data from a randomized-control trial of a newly developed, game-based intervention. Within this same line of research, she is also part of an exploratory research study funded by the Heising-Simons Foundation, to understand aspects of teacher-child interaction and teacher language that contribute to children’s development of math skills and mastery motivation.
Kook is also contributing to the first study to examine middle school science fairs at a national level. As part of the NSF-funded Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) study, Science Fairs Under the ‘Scope, she is helping to plan, implement, and analyze a large, nationally representative survey of middle school science fair leaders and a subsequent, more focused study of selected science fairs across the country and their effectiveness of supporting students’ science and engineering practices.
Kook played a key role in EDC’s Cultivating Young Scientists, a study funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) that developed a three-course suite of professional development tools to support preschool teachers in engaging children in hands-on scientific inquiry in life, earth, and engineering sciences. She led the evaluation of the study’s professional development based on teacher feedback, assessment of teacher learning and performance, and student outcomes. She also contributed to an NSF-funded DRK-12 study that examined teachers’ professional development choices related to revised Advanced Placement curricula for biology, chemistry, and physics.
Kook is coauthor of "Foundations of Science Literacy: Efficacy of a Preschool Professional Development Program in Science on Classroom Instruction, Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge, and Children's Observations and Predictions", along with several other peer-reviewed publications related to early childhood education, early science learning, and executive functions. She is also a co-developer of Lens on Science, a computer-based assessment of preschool science.
Before joining EDC, Kook received a PhD in Applied Developmental Psychology at the University of Miami. She was an IES predoctoral fellow and was awarded a Head Start Graduate Student Research Grant for her dissertation on teacher-child interactions that promote higher-level thinking. She received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania.