Lucia French

Lucia French

Professor Emeritus
Counseling & Human Development
PhD, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign (psychology)
MA, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign (psychology)
BA, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign (psychology)

Lucia French joined the Warner faculty in 1982 as a developmental psychologist investigating language development, learning, and cognition. Her research explores the relationship between language and cognitive development during the preschool years, with emphasis on the roles of social interaction and prior knowledge. French previously directed the certification program in early childhood education at the Warner School.

French, a former Spencer Fellow, is the author of Young Children's Understanding of Relational Terms: Some ifs, ors, and buts (Springer-Vertag, 1985). She has also published more than 30 articles in research journals and other articles in publications for early childhood educators.

Based on her research, French has developed a science-based preschool curriculum to foster language development, learning, cognition, and school readiness. The ScienceStart! curriculum capitalizes on children’s natural curiosity about the world around them to build the cognitive and social skills and knowledge needed for healthy development and academic success. She is engaged in numerous projects in the community to develop, field-test, and expand the curriculum, with funding from the National Science Foundation and the United States Department of Education. French’s groundbreaking work, on which she has collaborated extensively with doctoral students, has been featured in Education Week.

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