Trauma sensitive pedagogy, early childhood policy, culturally responsive and respectful curricula/pedagogy, project-based learning for young children and teacher education.

Dr. Christy Tirrell-Corbin is the Executive Director of the Center for Early Childhood Education and Intervention, as well as the Director of the Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education teacher education program. Dr. Tirrell-Corbin is an award-winning faculty member having been acknowledged multiple times for her scholarship, teaching and service. 

Early in her career, Dr. Tirrell-Corbin worked in foster care and adoption in New York City.  She views that experience as foundational to her career as a researcher where she focuses on young children at risk due to adversity, specifically those residing in low-resourced communities.  Dr. Tirrell-Corbin has also worked extensively in Title I (high poverty) schools around issues of race, culture and trauma. She is the co-Director of the Trauma Sensitive Pedagogy (TSP) project, currently being piloted in a mid-Atlantic elementary school. 

Dr. Tirrell-Corbin has been the Principal Investigator on numerous early childhood focused grants that include external evaluations, curriculum design and implementation, and trauma informed schools.  The results of her research have been published and presented both nationally and internationally and funded by public, philanthropic and organizational entities. Dr. Tirrell-Corbin has also served as a consultant for PBS, National Geographic and Sesame Workshop.

Sample Publications


Panlilio, C. & Tirrell-Corbin, C. (2021, March). Our Research Shows Educators are Experiencing Trauma During the Pandemic. Here’s How We Reduce the Burden.  EdSurge.

Tirrell-Corbin, C., Panlilio, C., & Klika, J. B. (2021, February). The Epidemic Behind the Mask:  COVID-related Education Inequities.  The Hill.

Evaluation reports

Tirrell-Corbin, C., Martoccio, T. L., Duncan, A., Hancock, G. R., & Denis, K. (2020). Implementation Evaluation of Maryland’s Young Readers Program. College Park, MD: University of Maryland, Center for Early Childhood Education, and Intervention.

Tirrell-Corbin, C. & Gross, J. T. (2020). Evaluation of the Efficacy of Maryland’s Early Childhood Family Engagement Initiative (Phase II). College Park: University of Maryland, Center for Early Childhood Education and Intervention.

Tirrell-Corbin, C., Gross, J. T., & Renzi, D. T. (2019). Evaluation of the CCSSO Early Learning Networked Improvement Community.  College Park: University of Maryland, Center for Early Childhood Education and Intervention.

Klein, E., Jones Harden, B., Tirrell-Corbin, C., Gross, J., and Brett, B., (2018). Evaluation of Maryland’s Preschool Development Expansion Grant Program. College Park: University of Maryland, Center for Early Childhood Education and Intervention.


Klein, E.L, Tirrell-Corbin, C., & Lieber, J. (2019). Implementing a culturally responsive early childhood general/special education teacher preparation program through collaboration and continuous improvement. In I. Jones and M. Lin (Eds.), Critical issues in early childhood teacher education. Vol. 1. Charlotte, NC: IAP Press. 

Panlilio, C. & Tirrell-Corbin, C. Trauma Sensitive Pedagogy.  In Svaricek, R., (Ed.) (2018). ICET 61st World Assembly: Re-Thinking Teacher Professional Education: Using Research Findings for Better Learning.  Czech Republic:  Brno.

Tirrell-Corbin, C. (2019). Responding to childhood trauma at the Macro- and Microsystem levels:  The necessity for trauma-sensitive pedagogy.  Invited chapter in C.M. Panlilio (Ed.), Trauma-informed schools: How maltreatment prevention, detection, and intervention can be integrated into the school setting. New York, NY: Springer


2021    External Evaluation of the Efficacy of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) Project: Study and Report. Funding Agency:  Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Early Childhood.  Project Director/Principal Investigator (Co-PI:  Brenda Jones Harden). A legislatively mandated evaluation of IECMH to inform the public about the goals of the project, assess the news for new services, report on progress the project has made, and consider ways to integrate the project with other services. 

2020-2021    Trauma Informed Pedagogy: Phase V. Funding Agency:  Bainum Family Foundation.  Principal Investigator/Co-Project Director Funding to support continued implementation of TSP and to build a sustainable infrastructure for a national group of Trauma Experts to support the reintegration of children into schools post COVID-19.

2020-2023    Early Childhood Project-Based Curricula Development and Implementation Project: Continued Implementation of Children Study Their World and Development and implementation of Children Explore Their World. Funding Agency:  Health and Human Services/Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Early Childhood. A multi-phased project with the dual focus of: (1) expanding the implementation of Children Study Their World: A Curriculum for Four-Year-Old Children and (2) developing and implementing Children Explore Their World: A Curriculum for Three-Year-Old Children.

2020    Implementation Evaluation of the Governor’s Young Readers Program.  Funding Agency: State of Maryland, Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention. Project Director/Principal Investigator (Co-PI:  Gregory Hancock).  A mixed-methods, implementation evaluation of the Young Reader’s Program examining the perceived strengths and benefits of book distribution in collaboration with the Imagination Library. 

2019-2020     Sharpening the Focus on Fully Inclusive Early Education Experiences.  Funding Agency: IDEA State Discretionary Grant Proposal/ Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Special Education/Early Childhood Intervention.  Project Director/Principal Investigator. A study of the inclusive educational opportunities for preschool age children with disabilities throughout the state of Maryland. 

2019-2020        Implementation of Children Study their World Curriculum 2019-2020. Funding Agency:  Health and Human Services/Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Early Childhood.  Project Director/Principal Investigator. This funding will support the implementation of the CECEI Children Study Their World curriculum in 200 additional classrooms, to include coaching, technical assistance and web-based professional development resources in the form of podcasts, apps and digital media.

2019-2020    Trauma Informed Pedagogy for Young Children: A Curriculum for Early Childhood Educators:  Phase IV. Funding Agency:  Bainum Family Foundation.   Principal Investigator/Co-Project Director for the implementation of an Improvement Science Driven, Trauma Sensitive Pedagogy project with administrators, specialists and teachers in a professional development schools within a high poverty community. 

2018-2020        External Evaluation of the Efficacy of Maryland’s Early Childhood Family Engagement Initiative (Phase II).  Funding Agency:  Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Early Childhood.  Project Director/Principal Investigator. The evaluation will inform the public about the extent to which the implementation of family engagement strategies in the State has improved the quality of family engagement among parents and family members.  

2018-2019        Evaluation of the CCSSO Early Learning Networked Improvement Community.  Funding Agency:  Council of Chief State School Officers.  Project Director/Principal Investigator. External evaluation of the Early Learning Networked Improvement Community project, which examines strategic goals, cross and within state engagement and processes to focused on the provision of high-quality early childhood instruction. 

EDHD 220 Exploring Early Childhood General and Special Education
EDHD 424 Culture, School & Community: Contexts for Learning (PreK-3rd)
EDHD 441 Data Driven Decision Making in EC/ECSE
EDHD442 Interventions for Children with Behavioral Challenges
EDHD443 Interventions for Children with Social Communication Challenges