Phone: +1 (212) 220-1217
Mindi Reich-Shapiro has worked in the field of early childhood education for more than thirty years. She has taught a wide variety of education classes at both the graduate and undergraduate level and has supervised teacher candidates in field placements throughout New York City. During the initial implementation of the NYC PreK-For-All program in 2014, Dr. Reich-Shapiro worked as a coach with the New York City Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, providing on-site support for first-year teachers.
Dr. Reich-Shapiro holds a master’s degree in early childhood education and a doctorate in developmental psychology. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Teacher Education Department at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), where she teaches coursework in child development and early childhood curriculum, and supervises students in their field work placements.
Dr. Reich-Shapiro’s research interests include the study of how young children learn about democratic participation and civic engagement in early childhood classrooms. She has developed a working model that can help early childhood teachers create a democratic classroom community that values diversity, equity and collaboration. She has also studied the effects on preservice teachers of integrating aesthetic education into teacher preparation programs.
Dr. Reich-Shapiro recently completed work on a $315,000 two-year research grant from the Foundation for Child Development to study intrinsic and extrinsic factors that influence men’s decisions to teach young children. Her team developed a set of policy proposals aimed at increasing the participation of men in the field of early childhood education.
Dr. Reich-Shapiro is engaged in a pilot program to offer alternative fieldwork placements in NYC museums for BMCC students in the early childhood program. Museum partners include Metropolitan Museum of Art and American Museum of Natural History.
Teacher Education, Language and Literacy, Early Childhood Education , Democracy and Schooling , Cognitive Development, Children’s Literature, Child Development and Learning, Aesthetic Education
- B.A. Queens College, CUNY, Communications Arts & Sciences,
- M.S. Queens College, CUNY, Early Childhood Education, Children’s Literature Specialization,
- Ph.D. The Graduate Center, CUNY, Developmental Psychology,
- This course examines the psychological and psychosocial foundations of early childhood and relates these foundations to educational practice with your children, birth to eight years. It focuses on historical and contemporary theories of childhood development. Early learning is considered in relation to biological factors, child and family factors, program factors and social factors, particularly in diverse urban settings. Young children?s physical, cognitive, communicative, social and emotional development is explored as contributors to and as consequences of early learning experiences. This course requires 15 hours of fieldwork.
- This course is an introduction to the theories, methods and materials of curriculum planning in early childhood education (preschool to 2nd grade), with an emphasis on providing developmentally and culturally appropriate learning environments and experiences that encourage creativity in young children. The following topics are explored in depth: the intellectual and emotional importance of fostering creativity, the role of play in learning, the design of effective arts-based learning environments; the role of visual arts, music, movement and language arts/emergent literacy in developing children?s cognitive, social-emotional, physical, language and self-help skills. Course work includes workshops in planning and implementing creative arts experiences for your children.
Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in ECE 110
- This is a fieldwork course focusing on the observation and assessment of young children. It requires supervised participation in an assigned early childhood education setting (preschool to second grade) and attendance at a weekly seminar. Students will learn the appropriate use of assessment and observation strategies to document the development, growth, play and learning of young children; and how authentic assessment methods can be used to tailor curriculum to promote children?s success. Recording strategies, rating systems, child studies/portfolios, and various assessment tools are explored. Students spend a minimum of 60 hours in the field. Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in ECE 210 and ECE 211
- This course is a continuation of ECE 211, focusing on the theories, methods and materials of curriculum planning in early childhood education (preschool to 2nd grade). The emphasis in this course is on providing developmentally and culturally appropriate learning environments and experiences that encourage foundational social scientific, mathematic and scientific thinking and skills in young children. The following topics are explored in-depth: social studies as a lens by which young children can explore our diverse ethno-cultural society and their place in it; the use of materials and play-based techniques to facilitate ways of constructing everyday mathematical ideas; the creation of environments and experiences that stimulate children?s scientific curiosity and playful exploration of our natural and human-made world; the use of block/construction and cooking experiences for the integration of social studies, mathematics, science, literacy and the arts. Course work includes workshops in planning and implementing inquiry/play-based experiences for young children.
Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in ECE 210 and ECE 211
- This is a capstone fieldwork course that enables students to demonstrate their competencies teaching young children. It requires supervised participation in an assigned early childhood education setting (preschool to 2nd grade) and attendance at a weekly seminar. Students will utilize practical classroom experiences to make connections between theory and practice, develop professional behaviors, and build a comprehensive understanding of children and families. Child centered, play-oriented approaches to teaching, learning and assessment; and knowledge of curriculum content areas will be emphasized as student teachers design, implement and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for infants and toddlers with diverse learning styles and needs. Students spend a minimum of 90 hours in the field. Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in ECE 311 and ECE 312
Research and Projects
Examining Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors Impacting Men’s Decisions to Teach Young Children
Dr. Reich-Shapiro recently completed work on a two-year research project to explore strategies to increase recruitment and retention of male educators in the early childhood workforce. Dr. Reich-Shapiro was a Co-Pi on the research initiative, which was funded by a $315,000 grant received from the Foundation for Child Development. The research team is part of the New York City Early Childhood Research Network.
The findings and policy recommendations from this research project can be viewed in the technical report, “Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors Influencing Men in ECE,” as well as the executive summary and research brief. A press release regarding the research can be viewed at this link.
Reich-Shapiro, M., Cole, K., Plaisir, J. “I Am the Teacher”: How Male Educators Conceptualize Their Impact on the Early Childhood Classroom (accepted for publication, September 2019). Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education.
Cole, K., Plaisir, J., Reich-Shapiro, M., & Freitas, A. (2019). Building a Gender-Balanced Workforce: Supporting Male Teachers. Young Children, Vol. 74 (4), September. (Featured article).
Cole, K., Reich-Shapiro, M., Siganporia, T., Tan de Bibiana, J. & Plaisir, J. (2019). ‘Why not become a police officer?: Challenges in the recruitment and retention of men in early childhood education. In Rinke, C. & Mawhinney, L., Opportunities and Challenges in Teacher Recruitment and Retention (Vol. 2, Contemporary Perspectives on the Lives of Teachers). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishers.
Reich-Shapiro, M. (2018). Participating in democracy: Creating a Culture of Citizenship in primary classrooms. Education in a Democracy, Vol. 10, pp.45-69.
Reich-Shapiro, M. & Scarola, K. “I don’t know how I’m supposed to do this”: Using creative arts in teacher education programs to empower student learning through multiple modalities. Submitted for presentation, 2019 NAEYC Annual Conference, Nashville, TN, November 20-23, 2019.
Reich-Shapiro, M., Plaisir, J. & Cole, K. “When you say teacher, they think female”: Listening to the voices of male early childhood educators. Submitted for presentation, 27th Annual Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education Conference “Border/lands and (Be)longings,” Las Cruces, New Mexico, October 31-November 5, 2019.
Reich-Shapiro, M., Plaisir, J. & Cole, K. (2018). ‘I am the teacher’: Gender-conscious efforts toward diversifying the early childhood workforce. Presented at NAEYC 2018 Annual Conference & Expo, November 14-17, 2018. Washington, DC.
Cole, K., Reich-Shapiro, M. & Plaisir, J. (2018). ‘A male like me’: The construction of the male role model in early childhood education. Roundtable: Experiences of Teachers. Presented at the American Educational Research Association 2018 Annual Meeting: The Dreams, Possibilities and necessity of Public Education. April 13-17, 2018. New York, NY.
Reich-Shapiro, M. (2018). Participating in democracy: Creating a culture of citizenship in primary (K-2) classrooms. Discussion Session: Democratic Citizenship in Education. Presented at the American Educational Research Association 2018 Annual Meeting: The Dreams, Possibilities and necessity of Public Education. April 13-17, 2018. New York, NY.
Reich-Shapiro, M., Cole, K. & Plaisir, J. (2018). How male educators conceptualize their impact on early childhood classroom culture and children’s development. Symposium: Universal Pre-Kindergarten in New York City: Implications for Policy and Practice in a Changing Landscape. Presented at the American Educational Research Association 2018 Annual Meeting: The Dreams, Possibilities and necessity of Public Education. April 13-17, 2018. New York, NY.
Reich-Shapiro, M., Plaisir, J. & Cole, K. (2018). ‘When you say teacher, they think female’: Reconceptualizing the gendered early childhood workforce . Poster Symposium: Implementing Quality Early Care and Education at Scale: Findings from the NYC Early Childhood Research Network. Presented at the AFC National Research Conference on Early Childhood (NRCEC), June 25-27, 2018. Washington, DC.
Honors, Awards and Affiliations
Member, American Educational Research Association
Member, National Association for the Education of Young Children
Member, Reconceptualizing Early Childhood EducTion
Member, Association of Teacher Educators
Member, Association for Childhood Education International