Maria Fusaro, EdD

Maria Fusaro

Associate Professor, Child & Adolescent Development

Maria's research centers on how young children, under age 5, learn from other people, through both verbal and gesture-based communication and through question-answer exchanges. Her recent work examines how preschoolers’ skill in asking questions supports their ability to solve science-relevant problems in innovative ways. Bridging her teaching and research, Maria also studies the preparation of undergraduate students for careers in infant/toddler care and education, and for providing high quality, supportive learning experiences for young children.


  • Ed.D., Human Development and Psychology, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Ed.M., Mind, Brain and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • B.A., Education Studies (Human Development) and Public Policy and American Institutions (Education Policy), Brown University

Recent Publications

  • Lippard, C., Fusaro, M., Decker, K., & Vallotton, C.D., (in press). Effects of prior formal and informal caregiving experiences on undergraduates’ infant/toddler caregiving knowledge and beliefs. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education.

  • Fusaro, M. & Smith, M.C. (2018). Preschoolers’ inquisitiveness and science‐relevant problem solving. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 42, 119–127.

  • Vallotton, C.D., Torquati, J., Ispa, J., Chazan‐Cohen, R., Henk, J., Fusaro, M., Peterson, C.A., Roggman, L.A., Stacks, A.M., Cook, G., & Brophy‐Herb, H. (2016). Attachment predicts college students' knowledge, attitudes, and skills for working with infants, toddlers, and families. Early Education and Development, 27 (2), 275‐302.

Recent Presentations

  • Chazan‐Cohen, R., Vallotton, C.D., Ispa, J., Fusaro, M., Decker, K., Brophy‐Herb, H. Torquati, J., Roggman, L., Cook, G., Maynard, C. (2019, March 22). Student characteristics that help or hinder learning about infant and toddlers. Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting for the Society for Research in Child Development, Baltimore, MD.

Areas of Research Interest

  • Caregiver-child interaction
  • Children’s questions
  • Cognitive development
  • Early childhood STEM
  • Early childhood teacher preparation
  • Gesture
  • Infant/toddler caregivers
  • Science inquiry

Personality Playlist