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Marie L. Masterson, Ph.D. is senior director of quality assessment at McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership at National Louis University. She holds a Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education and is a national speaker, child behavior expert, researcher, and award-winning author of multiple books, including Let’s Talk Toddlers: A Practical Guide to High-Quality Teaching, 101 Principles for Positive Guidance: Creating Responsive Teachers, The Essentials for Family Childcare Professionals, and Enjoying the Parenting Roller Coaster: Nurturing and Empowering Your Children through the Ups and Downs. Marie has authored many articles that address research-based, practical skills for behavior guidance and high-quality teaching. She is former early childhood specialist for the Virginia Department of Education, university professor, and Fulbright Specialist.

As senior director of quality assessment for Illinois' quality rating and improvement system, Dr. Masterson provides content expertise, consultation, training and support for assessment, quality improvement, and coaching efforts for organizations, agencies, schools, and state systems. As a licensed early childhood teacher, she understands the needs and challenges of classroom teachers. Her current focus is on culturally and linguistically responsive teaching, lesson planning, and high-quality language interactions during play-based, child-centered interactions. 

Dr. Masterson conducts training on a variety of topics including developmentally appropriate practice, culturally responsive teaching and cultural safety, quality improvement, strategies for high-quality teaching, media influences on children, resilience, stress and trauma, and the social-emotional development of infants, toddlers and young children. She promotes the essential role of family engagement in teaching success, with strength-based practices that foster children's resilience, love of learning, and self-confidence.




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Dr. Masterson was the recipient of a 2011 Fulbright Early Childhood Specialist Grant to provide consultation for positive discipline development in partnership Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand. In 2014, Dr. Masterson conducted research on the social-emotional development of children in Ethiopia and authored a character education program entitled, “Empowering Children for Life.”




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