Sarika Gupta

Senior Researcher, Straus Center for Young Children & Families

Sarika’s research and practice center around the belief that all children, regardless of their ability level, have the right to access and participate in general education settings. She examines factors such as leadership, well-being, and reflection in her scholarship that influence the quality of teachers’ inclusive practices within early childhood settings. Her work, therefore, spans a focus on self to systems and includes creating safe spaces to reflexively explore one’s positionality.

Sarika’s prior teaching experiences have included teaching young children, 0-5, with and without disabilities in regular and inclusive settings, coaching Head Start teachers, and preparing teachers in blended early childhood education / early childhood special education programs across several institutions of higher education. She has provided technical assistance to state departments of education, managed mixed-methods evaluations of statewide early learning programs, and consulted with program leaders on the implementation of preschool inclusion. She recently served a 4-year term as Associate Editor of Young Exceptional Children, a peer-reviewed journal that features translational articles bridging empirical research to everyday practice. She is currently Principal Investigator on a mixed-methods research project examining disparities in New York City preschool program ecologies, equitable referrals, and inclusive practice.

Recent Publications

Gupta, S. S., Sherif, V., & *Zhu, X. (2023). Re-examining state Part C early intervention leaders’ views through a positive lens on leadership: A qualitative secondary analysis. The Qualitative Report, 28(2), 517-543.

Gupta, S. S. (2022). Using project-based learning in professional development for preschool teachers. Edutopia.

Gupta, S. S. (2022). How preschool teachers can benefit from mindful thinking. Edutopia.

Gupta, S. S. (2021). Mapping the design and facilitation of critical self-reflection in a culminating clinical course for early childhood special education teacher candidates. The New Educator.

Gupta, S. S., & Lewin-Smith, J. (2020). Employing design-thinking to create opportunities for ECSE teacher candidate reflection through infographic design in an online course. Distance Learning, 17(2), 11-23.

Gupta, S. S. (2020). Building practitioner resilience for change in EI/ECSE. Young Exceptional Children, 24(1), 3-15.

Gupta, S. S., & Glen, J. (2020). Storytelling in a rock study: Using emergent learning and universal design to promote every child’s learning in an inclusive preschool classroom. Childhood Explorer.

Gupta, S. S. (2019). Voices from the field: Why aren’t we talking about teacher well-being with inclusion? Young Exceptional Children, 23(2), 59-62.

Gupta, S. S., & Guha, M. L. (2019). Conversations About Inclusion at the Center for Young Children at the University of Maryland, College Park: Final Summary. New York: Hunter College CUNY.

Gupta, S. S. (2019). Engaging young children and families as design partners in the learning process: Reflections from an inclusive preschool classroom in Washington, DC. Childhood Explorer.

Gupta, S. S. (2019). Unraveling resistance in my journey to truth. Yoga Samachar, 23(1), 47-48.

Tirrell-Corbin, C., Sweet, S., Gupta, S., & Lieber, J. (2016). Evaluation of the birth to five service delivery models in Maryland – Phase I. College Park: University of Maryland Center for Early Childhood Education and Intervention.

Tirrell-Corbin, C., Lieber, J., Cummings, K., Jones Harden, B., Klein, E., Silverman, R., & Gupta, S. (2016). Evaluation of the efficacy of Maryland’s Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge grant. College Park: University of Maryland Center for Early Childhood Education and Intervention.

Ruggiero, T., Gupta, S., Nicholas, A., & Mauzy, D. (2016). State spotlight on data use. Maryland: Establishing partnerships to build data use capacity. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.

Gupta, S. S., & Rous, B. S. (2016). Understanding change and implementation. How leaders can support inclusion. Young Children, 71(2), 82-91.

Gupta, S. S. (Ed.) (2014). First steps to preschool inclusion: How to jumpstart your programwide plan. Baltimore, MD: Brookes.

View Sarika’s CV (pdf)

Ph.D. Special Education, University of Maryland, College Park