Dina C. Castro
Director, BU Institute for Early Childhood Well-Being
Dr. Dina Castro is director of the BU Institute for Early Childhood Well-Being and a professor of early childhood education at BU Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. Her scholarship focuses on equity and quality in the early care and education of bilingual children in immigrant, migrant, and indigenous communities. It is conceptualized at the intersection of language, culture, race, ethnicity, and disability, recognizing the need for interdisciplinary approaches across the fields of early childhood development and education, bilingualism and bilingual education, and special education.
Before joining BU, Dr. Castro was professor and the Velma E. Schmidt Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Education at the University of North Texas (2014-2021). She also held positions at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University (2013-2014), and the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, and the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1997-2013). She also served as director of the Center for Early Care and Education Research: Dual Language Learners, a federally funded national research center focused on increasing our understanding of practices and measurement to improve early care and education for bilingual children. Her research has been funded by the Institute of Education Science, the National Institute of Child Health and Development, the Administration for Children and Families and the Office of Special Education Programs.
PhD, Early Childhood & Special Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
MPH, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Graduate Certificate, Latin American Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
BSc, Clinical Psychology, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia
Dr. Castro's research focuses on equity and quality in the early care and education of bilingual children from immigrant, indigenous and other minoritized and marginalized communities, in the United States and Latin America. Her research is conceptualized at the intersections of language, culture, race, ethnicity, and disability. She examines the extent to which early care and education policies, practices, and teacher preparation programs address the characteristics and experiences of bilingual/bicultural children. Nationally, Dr. Castro examines the efficacy of early childhood professional development interventions to improve language, literacy, and socio-emotional development of bilingual children. She also examines the quality of early education programs serving bilingual children with measures she developed to fill the gap in the field of measures focusing on this population. Another area of research interest is children’s health, with an interdisciplinary team, she is evaluating community and early education-based interventions to prevent and revert early childhood obesity. In the global context, she is examining teachers’ conceptualizations about interculturality and their classroom practices in intercultural bilingual education schools in the Amazon region of Peru and co-leading a binational study investigating the experiences of transnational students and their teachers in U.S. and Mexican schools.
Castro, D. C. & Artiles, A. J. (Eds.) (2021). Language, Learning and Disability in the Education of Young Bilingual Children. Washington, D.C.: Center for Applied Linguistics. Multilingual Matters Publishing.
Castro, D. C. & Artiles, A. J. (2021). At the intersection of language, learning and disability: Issues and opportunities in the education of young bilingual children. In D. C. Castro & A. J. Artiles (Eds.), Language, Learning and Disability in the Education of Young Bilingual Children. Washington, D.C.: Center for Applied Linguistics. Multilingual Matters Publishing.
Castro, D. C., Gillanders, C., Prishker, N., & Rodriguez, R. (2021). A sociocultural, integrative, and interdisciplinary perspective on the development and education of young bilingual children with dis/abilities. In D. C.
Castro & A. J. Artiles (Eds.). Language, Learning and Disability: Issues & Opportunities in the Education of Young Bilingual Children. Washington, D.C.: Center for Applied Linguistics. Multilingual Matters Publishing.
Castro, D. C., & Franco, X. (2021). Equitable learning opportunities for young bilingual children: Strategies to promote oral language development. In I. Alanis & I. Iruka (Eds.), Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education (pp. 73-77). Washington, D.C.: National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Castro, D. C., Hammer, C. S., Franco, X., Cycyk, L., Scarpino, S. & Burchinal, M., (2020). Documenting bilingual experiences in the early years: Validation of the CECER-DLL Family and Teacher Questionnaires. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 23 (5), 958-963. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728920000401. SJR: Q1; impact factor: 2.707.
Hammer, C. S., Burchinal, M., Hong, S. S., LaForett, D., Páez, M., Buysse, V., Espinosa, L., Castro, D., López, L. (2020). Change in Language and Literacy Knowledge for Spanish-English Dual Language Learners at School-Entry: Analyses from Three Studies. Early Childhood Research Quarterly. 51, 81-92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2019.07.001. SJR: Q1; impact factor: 2.316.
Byers-Heinlein, K., Esposito, A. G., Winsler, A., Marian, V., Castro, D. C., & Luk, G. (2019). The case for measuring and reporting bilingualism in developmental research. Collabra: Psychology 5 (1), 1-11. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/collabra.233. SJR: Q2; impact factor: 1.140.
Castro, D. C. & Pryshker, N. (2019). Early childhood education for bilingual children and the road to multilingualism. Handbook of Early Childhood Care and Education. Wiley Blackwell Publishing.
Cépeda Garcia, N., Castro Burgos, D., & Lamas Basurto, P. (2019). Concepciones de interculturalidad y práctica en aula: Estudio con maestros de comunidades Shipibas en el Perú. [Conceptions about interculturality and classroom practice: A study with teachers from Shipibo communities in Peru]. Revista Educación. 28 (54), 61-86. DOI: 10.18800/educacion.201901.004. SJR: NA.
Castro, D. C., Gillanders, C., Franco, X., Bryant, D. M., Zepeda, M., Willoughby, M. T., & Mendez, L. I. (2017). Early education of dual language learners: An efficacy study of the Nuestros Niños School Readiness professional development program. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 40, 188-203. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2017.03.002. SJR: Q1; impact factor: 2.436.
Castro, D. C. (2016). Cultural and linguistic responsiveness. Encyclopedia of Contemporary Early Childhood Education. CA: SAGE Publications Inc. Castro, D. C. (2014). The development and early care and education of dual language learners: Establishing the state of knowledge. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 29, 693-698. SJR: Q1; impact factor: 2.436.
Castro, D. C., Samuels, M., & Harman, A. (2013). Growing Healthy Kids: A Community Garden-Based Obesity Prevention Program. American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM), 44 (3-S3), 193–199. SJR: Q1; impact factor: 4.465.
Castro, D. C., Páez, M., Dickinson, D., & Frede, E. (2011). Promoting language and literacy in dual language learners: Research, practice and policy. Child Development Perspectives, 5 (1), 15-21. SJR: Q1; impact factor: 4.427.
Castro, D. C., Espinosa, L., & Páez, M. (2011). Defining and measuring quality early childhood practices that promote dual language learners’ development and learning. In Zaslow, M., Martinez-Beck, I., Tout, K., & Halle, T. (Eds.). Quality Measurement in Early Childhood Settings. Baltimore: Brookes Publishing.
Castro, D. C., Gillanders, G., Prishker, N. & Rodriguez, R.* (2021, April). A Sociocultural and Interdisciplinary Perspective on the Education of Young Bilingual Children with Disabilities. Symposium: The Early Education of Bilingual Children: At the Intersection of Language, Learning and Disability. Paper presented at American Education Research Association (AERA) Annual Conference (Virtual).
Castro, D. C. (2020, November). Intercultural Bilingual Education in Peru: From National Policies to Classroom Practices. As part of the Symposium Culturally Embraced Pedagogical Approaches to Early Teaching and Learning: International Perspectives. At the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) 2020 Annual Conference (Virtual).
Castro, D. C. (2020, July). Educación intercultural bilingüe: Gestión de contenidos educativos y procesos pedagógicos en tiempos de pandemia. [Intercultural bilingual education: Managing educational content and pedagogical processes in pandemic times]. Panel presentation at the Jornadas Internacionales de Pensamiento Estratégico de la Gestión Cultural. Organized by Plataforma Cultural. Quito, Ecuador. (Virtual).
Castro, D. C. (2020, May). Migración, educación y transnacionalidad: Experiencias de estudiantes trans-nacionales y sus maestros en Jalisco y Texas [Migration, education and transnationality: Experiences of transnational students and their teachers in Jalisco and Texas]. Peer-Reviewed Panel “Transnacionalismo y doble ciudadanía” at the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Congress, Guadalajara, Mexico.
Castro, D. C., Chen, J., & Constanza, V. (2019, November). Early Math, Dual Language Learners, and the Importance of Whole-Child Curricula. Session presented at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.
Castro, D. C., Prishker, N., & Sañudo Guerra, L. (2019, November). Improving Education across Borders: The Experiences of Reformado Students and their Teachers in Mexico. Paper presented at the 27th Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education (RECE) Conference, Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Castro, D. C., & Sañudo, L. (2019, November). La educación de migrantes transnacionales. Experiencias de estudiantes y maestros en Jalisco y Texas [The education of transnational migrants. Experiences of students and their teachers in Jalisco and Texas]. Peer-Reviewed Symposium at the XV Congreso Nacional de Investigación Educativa, Acapulco, Mexico.
Castro, D. C. (2019, April). Conceptual Frameworks for the Study of Bilingual Children with Disabilities. Paper presented at the American Education Research Association (AERA) Annual Conference, Toronto, Canada.
Castro, D.C. (2019, March). Documenting children’s bilingual language experiences at home and in the early childhood setting. Presented at the Society for Research on Child Development Annual Conference, Baltimore, Maryland.
Castro, D. C. (2019, July). Educación Intercultural Bilingüe y Primera Infancia en el Perú: Avances, Retos y una Mirada al Futuro [Intercultural Bilingual Education in Early Childhood in Peru: Advances, Challenges and a Look to the Future]. Paper Presentation in the Symposium: Educación intercultural crítica e infancias [Critical intercultural education and the early childhood years] at the 71th Assembly and Conference of the World Organization for Early Childhood Education (OMEP for its name in Spanish), Panama City, Panama.
Castro, D. C., Núñez-Román, F., Alharbi, S. (2018, August). Comparative Examination of Early Childhood Education in Three Regions of the World: A Focus on Equity and Diversity. Peer-Reviewed Symposium Presentation at the WERA (World Education Research Association) World Congress, Cape Town, South Africa.