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Meredith Jones Receives NAECTE Early Career Research Award

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Meredith Jones has received the 2020 Early Career Research Award from the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators. Jones is an assistant professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy and Special Education, and coordinator of WCE’s M.Ed. program in leadership, policy and advocacy in early childhood. The award was announced in November.

The early career research award honors a tenure-track, full-time faculty member in the field of early childhood education whose research focuses on early childhood teacher education. Recipients are selected annually by NAECTE.

“Meredith is an amazing colleague and friend who goes above and beyond to improve the lives of children and families through her scholarship and work,” said Heidi Higgins, chair of WCE’s Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy and Special Education. “She is so deserving of this award and I couldn't be prouder of all that she has accomplished in such a short time. We are so fortunate to have her at UNCW and in our department.”

Jones earned a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a M.Ed. and B.S. from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Prior to joining the faculty at UNCW in 2017, she was a Title 1 pre-kindergarten teacher and worked as a Child Care Program Specialist for the Office of Child Care in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C. Her teaching and research areas of interest include leadership in early childhood education, global perspectives of early childhood education, and father engagement in the early years.

As the NAECTE award recipient, Jones will receive funding to continue her research that engages students in authentic advocacy efforts via photovoice methodology.

“I am honored to receive this award from NAECTE that will provide ongoing support for this project,” Jones said. “Historically, photovoice has been used to highlight experiences and perspectives of those who have been marginalized or those with voices not typically heard by those in positions of power. Because the early childhood workforce is made of marginalized people, women and specifically women of color, this project has students use photography as a way to share their voice with people in power in their communities and in the state. The goal of this project is to show students how they can use their voice and experiences to advocate on behalf of themselves and the field of early childhood education across the state of North Carolina.”


The National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators is comprised of educators all across the United States and countries around the globe who are joined together by a common interest in Early Childhood Teacher Education.

For more information on the Early Career Research Award visit the NAECTE website.