Who We Are
Betty Zan, Ph.D
Betty Zan, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Northern Iowa. She earned her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Houston. Dr. Zan was the principal investigator of Ramps and Pathways: A Constructivist Approach to Physical Science, a project funded by the National Science Foundation. Through this project, Dr. Zan and her colleagues developed curriculum materials and professional development for teachers of children ages three years through second grade. She was also the Principal Investigator of Coaching and Mentoring for Preschool Quality, funded by the Office of Head Start. This project developed an intensive model of professional development for Head Start teachers to increase their use of effective teaching strategies. The project had a particular focus on instructional support and concept development, and provided professional development focused on STEM. Dr. Zan is the co-author (with the late Rheta DeVries) of Moral Classrooms, Moral Children and Developing Constructivist Early Childhood Curriculum. She is also the co-author (with six colleagues from the Ramps and Pathways project) of STEM Learning with Young Children: Inquiry Teaching with Ramps and Pathways. In addition to research and teaching at UNI, Dr. Zan also has extensive experience conducting professional development for preschool and early primary teachers, and has presented both nationally and internationally.