Susan Sonnenschein is an associate professor in the Applied Developmental Psychology program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She has a background in developmental psychology, educational psychology and school psychology. Her recent research interests have focused primarily on aspects of children's literacy and language development and the socialization of children's development in these as well as other areas. She, along with several colleagues, has recently completed a federally funded 5-year longitudinal study of literacy development in young children from different sociocultural groups. A large focus of that study was a consideration of how parental beliefs and practices foster children's literacy appropriation. Dr. Sonnenschein is also interested in developmental disabilities, particularly how aspects of parental beliefs, knowledge and practices are related to their children's development and relations between aspects of children's cognitive and social competence. Dr. Sonnenschein has conducted numerous assessments of individual children and various reading intervention programs for children at risk for academic difficulties and delays.
Recent Courses Taught
Undergraduate: Developmental Psychology
Advanced Child Development
Intellectual Development and Education
Exceptional Child Psychology
Graduate: Cognitive Development
Assessment of Children
Sonnenschein, S. (in press). Engaging children in the appropriation of literacy: The importance of parental beliefs and practices. In O. Saracho and B. Spodek (Eds.), Contemporary perspective in early childhood education. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishers.
Baker, L., Mackler, K., Sonnenschein, S. & Serpell, R. (2001). Parents' interactions with their first grade children during storybook reading activity and home achievement. Journal of School Psychology, 38, 1-24.
Sonnenschein, S., Baker, L., Serpell, R. & Schmidt, D. (2000). Reading is a source of entertainment: The importance of the home perspective. In K. Roskow & J. Christie (Eds.), Play and literacy in the early years (pp. 107-124). Mahwah, NJ: LEA.
Sonnenschein, S. & Schmidt, D. (2000). Fostering home and community connections to support children's reading development. In L. Baker, M. J. Dreher, & J.T. Guthrie (Eds.), Engaging young readers: Promoting achievement and motivation (pp.264-284). NY: Guilford.
Sonnenschein, S., Baker, L., Serpell, R. Scher, D., Goddard-Truitt, V., & Munsterman, K. (1997). Parental beliefs about ways to help children learn to read: The impact of an entertainment or a skills perspective. Early Child Development and Care, 127-128, 111-118.
Sonnenschein, S., Brody, G. & Munsterman, K. (1996). The influence of family beliefs and practices on children's early reading. In L. Baker, P. Afflerbach, & D. Reinking (Eds.), Developing engaged readers (pp.3-20). Hillsdale, NJ: LEA.
Baker, L., Sonnenschein, S., Serpell, R., Scher, D., Fernandez-Fein, S., & Munsterman, K., Hill, S., Goddard-Truitt, V., & Danseco, E. (1996). Early literacy at home: Children's experiences and parents' perspectives. The Reading Teacher, 50, 2-4.
Baker, L., Sonnenschein, S. & Gilat, M. (1996). Mothers' sensitivity to their competencies of preschoolers on a concept learning task. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 11, 405-424.
Address: Susan Sonnenschein, Dept. of Psychology, UMBC, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Balto, MD 21228