Amanda P. Williford
- Batten Bicentennial Professor of Early Childhood Education Associate Director for Early Childhood Education
- CASTL Clinical Psychologist
Amanda Williford’s scholarship sits at the intersection of educational, developmental, and clinical psychology focusing on 1) creating and evaluating interventions that improve children’s school readiness, 2) understanding classroom processes that promote for young children’s school adaptation, and 3) applying research to policy and scalable practice. She studies young children’s development of self-regulation skills, children’s classroom engagement, and teacher-child relationships.
The biggest driver of Williford’s work is to translate “what we know” from developmental and education science into the practice and policy of “what to do” in early childhood education., broadly defined, from birth through age eight.
Williford works to build strong relationships with community partners in early childhood education at all levels. Her partnership engagement helps ensure that local and statewide decisions about early childhood education are informed by science. Currently, she and her colleagues are partnering with the Virginia Department of Education on several early childhood initiatives.
Williford is a Virginia licensed clinical psychologist specializing in the assessment of and interventions that support young children who are reported display challenging behaviors, including the implementation of early childhood mental health consultation.
Williford mentors Ph.D. students in the Clinical and School Psychology Program and the Educational Psychology—Applied Developmental Science Program who have strong interests in conducting applied research in areas that are aligned with her research expertise. Undergraduate and master's students with strong research interests in early childhood are welcome members of her research teams.
Ph.D, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2003
M.A., University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2000
B.A., University of Virginia, 1996
One area of Williford's research concentrates on understanding how sensitive and responsive teacher-child interactions and relationships promote children’s well-being in school. For over ten years, she has investigated the Banking Time intervention, designed to increase relational “capital” between teachers and students who are struggling in the classroom. She examined the efficacy of this intervention in preschool settings, provided practitioner trainings and workshops, and is currently examining whether Banking Time may be effective in reducing racial discipline gaps in early elementary settings.