North Carolina State University, Ph.D., 2010
Vanderbilt University, Institute of Education Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2010-2012
HDFS 525 Human Development; HDFS 635 Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Settings; HDFS 697W Research Methods; HDFS 786 Seminar for Student Teachers
Kimberly Nesbitt is a developmental psychologist who studies the development of young children’s cognition, namely executive function, memory, and academic skills. She studies the internal processes and external influences that enhance or disrupt development of these constructs. She also pursues a line of applied research that examines the educational and instructional practices that contribute to the emergence of more sophisticated cognitive abilities and enable young children from diverse backgrounds to learn and achieve academically in early educational environments. Specifically, her research focuses on the developmental outcomes associated with variation in executive function and memory skills in young children, including academic achievement and school readiness, and the mechanisms that contribute to the development of cognition, including socioeconomic inequality and educational practices.
Dr. Nesbitt is currently conducting research at UNH’s Child Study and Development Center exploring the cognitive (executive function, metacognition) and environmental predictors (family activities) of young children's mathematic knowledge. The project provides a rich opportunity for students to engage in research with young children, including working one-on-one with children to complete game-based assessments of children’s cognitive skills. Dr. Nesbitt welcomes inquiries from students to engage in this work, including INCO student research experiences or HDFS independent studies.
Along with collaborators at Vanderbilt University, Dr. Nesbitt is working on a series of projects aims at identifying evidence-based practices that facilitate the development of young children’s executive function, language, literacy, and mathematic skills. While these projects focus on analyzing existing data, there are opportunities for students to be engage in interinstitutional collaboration on these projects.
Farran, D. C., Meador, D. N., Christopher, C. H., Nesbitt, K. T., & Bilbrey, L. E. (in press). Data-driven improvement in prekindergarten classrooms: Report from a partnership in an urban district. Child Development
Nesbitt, K. T., Farran, D. C., & Fuhs, M. W. (2015). Executive function skills and academic achievement gains in prekindergarten: Contributions of learning-related behaviors. Developmental Psychology, 51, 865-878. doi: 10.1037/dev0000021
Fuhs, M. W., Nesbitt, K. T., Farran, D. C., & Dong, N. (2014). Bidirectional association between executive function and academic achievement across the transition to formal schooling. Developmental Psychology, 50, 1698-1709. doi: 10.1037/a0036633
Nesbitt, K. T, Baker-Ward, L., & Willoughby, M. T. (2013). Executive function mediates socio-economic and racial differences in early academic achievement. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 28, 774-783. doi: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2013.07.005