Erica L. Zippert, Ph.D.

Education Researcher, Consultant, and Trainer

Curriculum Vitae


Preschool children are innately curious about a broad array of early academic concepts (including numbers, patterns, and space). They engage in independent learning during solitary play, as well as during informal social interactions with caregivers and peers. Additionally, they explore and learn across an array of contexts, including during play with traditional toys and games (e.g., playing cards and building blocks), digital apps, and e-book reading. In my work, I examine how preschoolers engaging in informal learning during their everyday experiences outside of school, as well as the impacts on this exploration of characteristics of the child (e.g., their math and language ability and interests), their play partner (e.g., social interactivity, questioning, prior knowledge, and beliefs), and features of available play materials and resources (e.g., helpful hints to focus on educational content, types of toys, & affordances of the materials themselves). Through my work, I hope to guide families and early childhood practitioners to engage their young children in meaningful playful experiences that lead to early learning.