Dr. Beth M. Phillips is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems at the College of Education at Florida State University and a faculty associate of the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR).
Her current research interests include the overlap between early literacy and language development, preschool curriculum and instruction, professional development of early childhood educators, and parental influences on learning. Dr. Phillips has authored and co-authored many articles for academic journals such as Developmental Psychology, Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Journal of Educational Psychology, Child Development, and the Journal of Learning Disabilities.
Dr. Phillips is currently the PI on Project VOICES, funded by the Spencer Foundation, which is investigating the language environments co-created by teachers and children in preschool classrooms and how these environments support children’s learning. She also is Co-PI on a new grant funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to study the efficacy of preschool and kindergarten small-group tier 2 language and vocabulary interventions (ATLAS). These interventions were developed and tested under the ongoing Reading for Understanding Network grant, also funded by IES, on which Dr. Phillips has been leading projects since 2010. She is a co-investigator on FSU’s Learning Disabilities Research Center (LDRC, 2011-2017); Dr. Phillips and colleagues just applied for a new 5-year cycle of funding for the LDRC. She is also a co-investigator on the recently renewed Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast at FSU.
Previously, Dr. Phillips was the principal investigator on a project funded by IES, to develop a new vocabulary intervention for at-risk preschool children. Dr. Phillips has also been a co-investigator on multiple federally funded (IES, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development), large-scale randomized preschool intervention projects that investigated the benefits of evidence-based early childhood curricula and instruction geared toward improving children’s school readiness in areas of literacy, language and mathematics. She was also the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on other projects investigating children’s approaches to learning and professional development for early childhood educators. In addition, she was the principal investigator of FCRR’s Florida Voluntary Pre-K (VPK) Technical Assistance Projects, concerned with the development of standards, curricular policy and professional development for VPK providers, and was co-investigator on a project to develop assessment measures for the VPK program. She continues to consult with the state regarding VPK and other early childhood education programs.
As a Professor at FSU, she teaches a course titled Methods in Educational Research and seminars on Critical Thinking and Family Involvement in Education. Dr. Phillips has a very active graduate lab; her MS and PhD students are studying teacher-student interactions, parent-child language interactions, small group instruction, and many other related areas.