Clare Irwin

Email Clare Irwin Irwin

Clare Irwin
Senior Research Associate

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313

Clare Irwin is highly experienced in measurement, research methods, and early education research. She applies her experience and expertise across a wide range of activities including conducting quantitative and qualitative studies of early childhood education, developing technical assistance materials and tutorials for educators, and developing a range of survey instruments for use by education practitioners. In addition, Irwin has led several state contracts including a current evaluation of a state-level early childhood grant program.

Irwin is the lead for EDC’s Vermont Universal PreK Research Partnership, which is part of the work of the REL Northeast & Islands funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. In this role, she collaborates with the Vermont Agencies of Education and Human Services to address the research needs present during implementation of Vermont’s universal prekindergarten (preK) model and to inform Vermont’s ongoing policy and practice decisions for universal preK. Previously, she was the lead researcher for EDC’s REL Northeast & Islands Early Childhood Education Research Alliance. She collaborated with stakeholders in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont to develop and implement a comprehensive research agenda focused on issues relating to assessment, standards, and practice in early childhood education.
As the co-Director of the Partnership for Early Education Research (PEER), Irwin works with researchers at Yale University and practitioners across multiple education agencies in the state of Connecticut. The goal of the partnership is to develop and implement a research agenda aimed at improving preschool and child outcomes in and beyond the participating school districts and communities. In late 2016, PEER was awarded a Spencer Foundation grant to further the work of the partnership by addressing several of PEER’s research agenda questions related to dual language learners.

Irwin is the lead author of the 2016 REL-NEI resource, Survey Methods for Educators: Collaborative Survey Development (Part 1 of 3) and the 2014 Early Childhood Educator and Administrator Surveys on the Use of Assessments and Standards in Early Childhood Settings. Her articles appear in peer-reviewed journals, including: “The Matter of Assessor Variance in Early Childhood Education, Or Whose Score Is It, Anyway?” (Early Childhood Research Quarterly); “The Preschool Learning Behaviors Scale” (School Psychology Review); and “Multidimensionality of Teachers’ Graded Responses for Preschoolers’ Stylistic Learning Behavior” (Educational and Psychological Measurement).

Before joining EDC, Irwin served as a Research Specialist for Providence Public School District where she assisted school and district leaders in using data to inform their policy and practice. In this role, Irwin worked closely with the district’s lowest performing schools to improve student learning. This experience prepared Irwin for her current work with an independent high school that she is assisting with collecting and systematizing student data, creating a culture of data use, analyzing and interpreting data, and undertaking a school-wide survey project.

Irwin received a BA in Philosophy from the University of Colorado Boulder and an MSEd in Human Development, MS in Quantitative Methods, and PhD in Policy Research, Evaluation, and Measurement from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. Irwin was an IES Pre-doctoral Training Fellow from 2007–2011.