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Ashley Lewis Presser leads education research that has a special focus on investigating the effectiveness of preschool math and science interventions and develops assessments for children. She brings expertise in conducting quasi-experimental and randomized controlled trial (RCT) studies and has conducted RCTs on several projects, including Next Generation Preschool Math, Big Math for Little Kids, and Possible Worlds Digital Games. Her research interests include technology integration into classrooms, comprehension within various media formats, the evaluation of after-school and STEM programs, the impact of domestic violence on children's development, the moral development of gifted students, and the symbolic understanding of young children.
Lewis Presser is the Principal Investigator of Finding Our Way Around, a Heising-Simons Foundation-funded initiative to design resources for families that feature digital and hands-on activities to promote children’s understanding of spatial ideas and prepare them for success in mathematics. She also leads Next Generation Preschool Math, an R&D initiative to develop and evaluate supplemental preschool math modules that integrate digital games and non-digital classroom activities to promote young children’s learning of foundational mathematics concepts. These games are now available for free in Apple’s Appstore and the curriculum guides are available online for public use. As a member of the Next Generation Preschool Science team, she is contributing to an R&D initiative to develop and evaluate a program to promote young children’s learning of key science practices and concepts.
With a long track record of leading successful projects that focus on student learning outcomes, Lewis Presser is currently leading a formative and summative evaluation of Side x Side Project Imagine, a K-5 comprehensive arts integration pilot program in a public elementary school, As the project director for the Big Math for Little Kids evaluation, she contributed to a longitudinal RCT that investigated the impact of the curriculum on young children’s mathematics knowledge after experiencing it during both the preschool and kindergarten years. In research that built on EDC’s work as a National R&D Center on Instructional Technology, Lewis Presser worked with a team that investigated how representational choices made in the design of digital games for learning influenced student engagement with core science concepts. And, she and colleagues studied how educators used and implemented PBS LearningMedia resources and assessed how the resources impacted classroom practices, quality of instruction, and student learning. She also led a formative and summative evaluation of GreenFab, a project-based, hands-on approach to teaching STEM concepts to high-school students that features a focus on career development in the emergent field of sustainable technologies.
Lewis Presser is the lead author of peer reviewed articles, such as “Big Math for Little Kids: The Effectiveness of a Preschool and Kindergarten Mathematics Curriculum” (Early Education and Development). In addition, she has co-authored chapters published in Handbook of Response to Intervention (RTI) in Early Childhood and 21st Century Education: A Reference Handbook. She presents her research at national conferences such as the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, the Interaction Design & Children Conference, and the National Head Start Research Conference.
Before joining EDC, Lewis Presser worked as a research assistant at the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement. In addition to her research experience, she has extensive experience teaching both graduate and undergraduate students.
Lewis Presser earned a BS in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and an MA and PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota.