Megina Baker is a Lecturer in the Early Childhood Education program, teaching courses on play, early childhood curriculum and assessment, and supervising student teachers in public school placements. Megina holds a Ph.D. from Boston College, where she studied bilingualism, teacher education, and practitioner inquiry. She recently spent several years as a researcher on the Pedagogy of Play project at Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero, and continues to participate on the faculty at the Project Zero Classroom annual institute.
A graduate of Tufts University and Cornell University, she has taught preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten in both public and private settings for over ten years, in the United States and in Sweden, including several years at BU’s Early Childhood Learning Lab. Megina collaborated in writing the integrated, play-based Focus on K2 curriculum for the Boston Public Schools kindergarten programs, now being used across Boston as well as in a number of other districts in MA and beyond.
She is a co-author of two recently published books: Children at the Center: Transforming Early Childhood Education in the Boston Public Schools, and Reclaiming Accountability in Teacher Education, and has been involved in coordinating numerous professional development opportunities for local educators in conjunction with the Wonder of Learning exhibition from Reggio Emilia, Italy. Megina is also the mother of two young emergent bilingual children.
B.S. Cornell University - Human Development and Family Studies
M.A.T. Tufts University - Early Childhood Education
Ph.D. Boston College - Curriculum and Instruction
The Role of Play in Early Childhood
Preschool Curriculum and Fieldwork
Bilingualism in Schools and Communities
Learning and Development among Early Learners
Current research includes a new Playful Participatory Research study focused on teaching young Dual Language Learners in early childhood classrooms, as well as ongoing collaboration with the Pedagogy of Play project at Harvard Graduate School of Education's Project Zero to understand and promote learning through play in school contexts.
Supporting Novice Teachers to Teach Young Dual Language Learners in a Superdiverse Preschool Classroom: This new study is a collaboration with the teachers at BU's Early Childhood Learning Lab. Building on prior research on teaching young Dual Language Learners in preschool classrooms, this study will use a Playful Participatory Research approach to better understand how new teachers can be supported to teach in superdiverse early childhood classroom.
Pedagogy of Play: The Pedagogy of Play is a collaborative initiative between Harvard Graduate School of Education's Project Zero, the International School of Billund in Denmark, and the LEGO Foundation, which aims to understand and promote learning through play in school contexts. To learn more about ongoing work with Project Zero's Pedagogy of Play project please visit Pedagogy of Play and the International School of Billund's website.
PlayFutures Exploration: PlayFutures is an online community to promote learning through play around the globe. As a team member on a PlayFutures exploration, I am involved in supporting a rural preschool in Kenya to implement play-based learning approaches for young children. Learn more here: https://www.playfutures.net/Visit Dr. Baker's Faculty Profile
Pedagogy of Play Team (2016) Playful participatory research: An emerging methodology for developing a pedagogy of play (link: http://pz.harvard.edu/resources/playful-participatory-research?_ga=1.129746252.154726045.1413992529)
Pedagogy of Play Team (2016) Towards a Pedagogy of Play (link: http://pz.harvard.edu/resources/towards-a-pedagogy-of-play?_ga=1.205759443.154726045.1413992529)
Baker, M., & Ross-Bernstein, J. (2014). No bad weather, only bad clothing: Lessons on resiliency from Nordic early childhood programs. In L. Kuh (Ed.) Thinking critically about environments for young children: Bridging theory and practice. New York: Teachers College Press.
Baker, M., & Mardell, B. (2009) The smell inventory group. (video clip on CD-ROM) In Copple, C. Developmentally Appropriate Practice (3rd ed.) National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Baker, M. (2014). Professional development and implementation of the Focus on K2 curriculum in the Boston Public Schools: A pilot study. Roundtable presentation at the New England Educational Research Association Annual Meeting. West Dover, VT. May 2.
Baker, M. (2014). Embedding early literacy experiences every day. Community lecture in collaboration with State Representative Paul Brodeur (D, MA). Melrose, MA. April 9.
Baker, M., & Feigenbaum, J. (2012). Reading, writing, and a sense of wonder: Embedding literacy using an inquiry approach. Presentation at the Literacy for All Conference. Providence, RI. November.