Heather Lavigne

Email Heather Lavigne

Heather Lavigne
Senior Research Associate

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313

Heather Lavigne brings expertise in children’s early learning, including specific expertise in research design and quantitative methodology. Her experience leading studies ranges from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to correlational analyses with panel data sets. She is trained in a variety of statistical techniques for modeling change over time, conducting latent variable analysis, and other key aspects of research and program evaluation. Lavigne has a special interest in advancing the field’s knowledge of the influences of media on early learning and children’s academic achievement.

Lavigne is the Co-Principal Investigator and Project Director for an NSF-funded collaboration between WGBH and EDC, Digital Media and Parent/Child Engagement Resources to Increase Preschool Computational Thinking. The project utilizes an iterative research and design process that supports the development of educational media and joint engagement activities geared towards developing computational thinking (CT) skills in preschool children. The research process will investigate how CT skills can be enriched through successive parent-child interactions. Lavigne is also the Co-PI for an NSF-funded STEM+C collaboration with WGBH that seeks to incorporate CT resources into math instruction for urban and rural preschools.

Lavigne also contributes her expertise to multiple studies designed to address the interests and priorities of the research alliances of the REL Northeast & Islands and REL Midwest. In 2016, she led a study on behalf of the REL Northeast & Islands Governing Board that examined principals’ tasks, responsibilities, and professional development activities and investigates how patterns of principals’ time spent may be related to school characteristics. This study resulted in the publication of Principals’ Time, Tasks, and Professional Development: An Analysis of Schools and Staffing Survey Data.

Lavigne has published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology and Infancy has published book chapters in Knowledge Development in Early Childhood: How Young Children Build Knowledge and Why It Matters and The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies

Prior to joining EDC, Lavigne served as the Director of Education at WGBY Public Television in Springfield, Massachusetts, where her responsibilities included the oversight of preK–16 initiatives focused on early childhood education, professional development, and classroom technology integration. During her time at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she served as a statistics and research methodology consultant for the Center for Research on Families, where she supported faculty and graduate students in their processes of research design, statistical analyses, and interpretation of results. 

Lavigne received her BA in Communication from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, her MEd in Technology in Education from Harvard University, and an MS and PhD in Developmental Psychology with a concentration in Quantitative Methodology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.