A Cal U banner hangs on a pole on campus.A Cal U banner hangs on a pole on campus.

Dr. Clover Wright

Education

  • B.A.: Education, specializing in Early Elementary, Antioch College
  • M.A.: Curriculum and Instruction, specializing in Early Childhood, West Virginia University
  • Ed.D.: Curriculum and Instruction, specializing in Early Childhood, West Virginia University

Biography

Dr. Wright was born and raised in rural West Virginia. She is the daughter and granddaughter of early childhood educators. She graduated from Wirt County High School a year early, in 1998, in order to go to college, which she had eagerly anticipated for many years. As a young student at Antioch College, which has a tradition of hands-on experiential learning, Dr. Wright had the opportunity to try many different jobs. When she was 19 and in her sophomore year, she took a position at the Yellow Springs Community Children's Center, a National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)-accredited private preschool located near the college. There, she found her calling as a teacher of and researcher of young children. Upon her return to campus, she switched majors, from literature and creative writing to education, and struck off down the education path that she still journeys today.

Since 1996, Dr. Wright has held many positions related to early childhood education: substitute teacher and dishwasher, assistant teacher, afterschool care provider, adult educator, Head Start teacher, kindergarten teacher, lead teacher, supervisor, adjunct professor, and now, at Cal U, assistant professor. She has taught young children and their teachers in many settings, private and public, in West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Louisiana.

Among her interests in the field of early childhood education, foremost is her fascination with young children's creativity, language development and visual art. Her doctoral dissertation focused on these topics, as she wove together linguistic theory, creativity theory and constructivism to determine what communicative functions young children ages 3-5 were capable of using in their visual art, specifically drawing. A paper based on her findings is currently in process, and she plans to seek publication in the near future. Her findings will be presented at the NAEYC conference in Washington, D.C.

Most rewarding for Dr. Wright is teaching other early childhood educators and educators-to-be. She enjoys sharing their enthusiasm and the excitement for learning about and teaching young children. Dr. Wright says the high quality of the Education students at Cal U is wonderful and makes teaching both fun and rewarding. She looks forward to seeing the continued growth and development of her students as they continue to blossom and expand their knowledge and expertise in the years to come.

 

Courses

  • Introduction to Early Childhood Education
  • Thematic Teaching
  • Primary Field Experience
  • Early Childhood Seminar

Research Interests

Dr. Wright's research interests include early childhood curriculum theory and practice, creativity, children's visual art, language and communication learning and development, the Reggio Emilia approach, the Project Approach, emergent or negotiated curriculum, democracy in the classroom, experiential learning, constructivism - particularly social constructivism, ethics and philosophy of early childhood education, multicultural education, and the role and potential of the arts in education.

Service Learning Projects

Dr. Wright is on the steering committee of Science Where You Live, a project funded by a PNC Growing Up Great With Science Grant and headed by Dr. J. William Hug of California University of Pennsylvania. This exciting two-year-long project promotes collaboration between the University and community partners to teach early childhood educators, in this case Fayette County Head Start teachers and staff, about the potential directions for and uses of science in the early childhood setting. Along with Jane Bonari, Dr. Deborah Farrer and Dr. John Shimkanin, all of Cal U, Dr. Wright has presented at the first of four teacher workshops, set in Ohiopyle State Park, which focused on the first learning cycle of the project, observing plants and trees. More than 65 Head Start teachers and staff members participated in outdoor sessions that addressed different aspects of science education for young children, such as early language and literacy activities, math activities, play-based learning activities, observation, and more. 

The next step in the project was the family field trip, which took place at Ohiopyle State Park on Sept. 26, 2009. About 200 Head Start children, along with their families, attended this experiential adventure, which was a day-long series of learning activities all structured around the current cycle's theme, observing plants and trees. About 30 Cal U early childhood and elementary education majors also attended as volunteers to facilitate children's learning and interactions. The final part of the cycle is a professional development workshop at which the Head Start teachers presented and shared their classroom activities and projects based on the theme, observing plants and trees. The next cycle will focus on exploring rocks and dirt.

Academic Department(s)

  • Department of Early, Middle and Special Education
  • Department of Childhood Education

Academic Program(s)

  • B.S. Education in Pre-K - 4 Education
  • B.S. Education in Middle Level (Grades 4-8) Education
  • M.E. Early Childhood Education
  • M.E. English as a Second Language
  • B.S. Education in Early Childhood/Middle Level Education Services
  • A.S. Early Childhood Education

Contact Information

Email:
wright_c@calu.edu

Phone:
724-938-4222

Office:
Keystone Hall 307

Quotable

"The best part of my job here at Cal U is the people I get to be with every day. The faculty and staff here are so professional and supportive and have all gone out of their way to welcome me and ensure my success in teaching, scholarship and service. The students are absolutely amazing! I have never met a kinder, more caring, committed group of young people, most of whom are very focused on what they want to accomplish in their college careers and beyond. Walking around campus, everyone seems upbeat, everyone smiles and says, ‘Hello!' It truly is a joy and a pleasure to work at a school that has such a positive and collegial sense of community."

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