Since his first job right out of college, Dr. Robert Bradley has been aware of the importance of early childhood education and parental involvement in school. He knows that for young students to be successful throughout life, they need positive influences in and out of the classroom.
This professor in UALR’s Center for Applied Studies in Education began his teaching career in a classroom of 3 to 5-year old students before there was a requirement for them to attend kindergarten. Dr. Bradley then began his research career at the prestigious Franklin Porter Graham Child Development Center, one of the first premier early childhood education programs for low-income families.
“There, we worked with families as well as children,” Dr. Bradley said. “We knew that if we could do more to forge good connections between home and school, the kids would get a lasting impact.”
Dr. Bradley has continued to lead influential, long-term research in parenting and early-childhood education. This research has shown that students need early-childhood education in order to help them become competent learners later on.
“There is all kinds of evidence on animals and humans showing that those early experiences set up kids’ motivational propensities, what they know, their interests in learning things, their sense of competence in relation to learning, and their interests in terms of coming into a more formal setting,” he said.
Dr. Bradley earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Notre Dame and a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a member of the Society for Research in Child Development and the National Council of Family Relations.