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Melissa Sherfinski, PhD

Associate Professor,
Early Childhood and Elementary Education

West Virginia University
College of Education and Human Services
Department of Curriculum and Instruction/Literacy Studies

Office: 602F Allen Hall
Phone: 304-293-1588


After teaching young students in progressive public school settings in rural and semi-urban districts in Wisconsin for six years, Dr. Melissa Sherfinski earned a doctorate in Curriculum Theory and Research from UW-Madison as a Wisconsin-Spencer Fellow. She teaches a range of undergraduate and graduate courses for the development of pre-service and in-service teachers and teacher educators. She also mentors PhD and EdD candidates. Dr. Sherfinski's current research project was recognized as a semi-finalist in the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship competition. In this work, she use a technique called video-cued multi-voiced ethnography to gather stakeholder interpretations of universal pre-kindergarten curricula and pedagogies in local settings. The findings from this research will have bearing for teachers, curriculum developers and teacher educators interested in understanding how better to meet the educational needs of Appalachian children, families, and communities. Her other research interests include early childhood education and policy, inclusive, multicultural, and place-based curricula/pedagogies, home-school relationships and homeschooling, and narrative, ethnographic and case study research.

View Curriculum Vitae