Tricia Zucker, Ph.D.Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Children's Learning Institute

Dr. Tricia Zucker is an Associate Professor in the Children’s Learning Institute at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She serves as CLI’s Co-Director with April Crawford, Ph.D. and holds the Harriet and Joe Foster Distinguished Professorship. Dr. Zucker’s research interests include interventions designed to address reading, language, and academic difficulties. She has expertise in evidence-based curriculum and instruction, aligned family- and school-based interventions, and assessment development. Her research focuses on children who are at-risk for learning disabilities and English learners from birth through elementary grades.

Dr. Zucker’ first line of research includes various projects to develop and evaluate innovative classroom curricula and professional development resources. She became interested in this line of research as a former classroom teacher and is passionate about developing curricula that are feasible for educators to use in delivering multi-tiered instruction that personalizes instruction based on student needs. Zucker currently directs a randomized-control trial that compares the efficacy of two versions of an academic language curriculum called Developing Talkers (R305A190065). In this study, Zucker and colleagues examine teacher’s response to these curricula to provide adaptive professional development supports based on teachers’ need.  Zucker directed this and other curricular studies funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) on a reading intervention (Reading Rules, R305A180094) as well as a family engagement curriculum called Teaching Together (R305A150319). She also participates in other CLI projects to examine and scale-up evidence-based curriculum, coaching, and professional development approaches.

Her second area of research focuses on empowering families to support their child’s learning at home. For example, in a current study funded by the National Science Foundation (1811356), Zucker is experimentally manipulating approaches aimed at sparking an early interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for pre-kindergarten children. These approaches include supports from a local children’s museum where Zucker has established an productive research-practitioner-partnership with informal education experts.

Third, Dr. Zucker works on projects to develop and validate new measures, such as an IES-funded study to develop a Systematic Assessment of Book Reading (SABR). She also served as an author of the Texas Kindergarten Entry Assessment (TX-KEA) that developed a set of widely used screening and progress monitoring measures to identify students who need additional learning supports.

Finally, Zucker is dedicated to mentoring and training future generations of education researchers. She directs a current IES Postdoctoral Research Training program (R324B200018) that provides extensive research training to postdoctoral fellows who develop their own lines of research. This training focuses on leading rigorous and relevant research within research-practice-partnerships focused on preschool and early elementary children with or at risk for disabilities.


  Curriculum Vitae
Tricia Zucker, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Children's Learning Institute
Tricia Zucker, Ph.D.