A/Prof Steven Howard is a researcher at Early Start and Associate Professor in Educational Psychology in the School of Education at University of Wollongong. After completing his MA and PhD in Developmental Psychology at York University in Toronto, Canada, he commenced an academic appointment at University of Wollongong in 2012. He is also an Adjunct in the School of Psychology.
A/Prof Howard's program of research focuses on how to easily, accurately and playfully pinpoint children’s progress and needs in foundational areas of development (e.g., self-regulation), and leverage that information to support children’s continued development. This has culminated in creation of the Early Years Toolbox, which is in use in educational and research contexts internationally. He has also been involved in ground-breaking studies that seek to identify effective, low- to no-cost and authentic opportunities for those who spend the majority of time with young children (i.e., educators, parents) to support their children’s ongoing development. This includes the Fostering Effective Early Learning (FEEL) study to evaluate effects of high-quality professional development on educators’ practice and children’s outcomes, and Early Start to Self-Regulation study to evaluate every day, low-cost ways for educators to support children’s self-regulation in pre-school contexts.
He has published over 50 peer-reviewed research articles and 7 books/chapters, has led or been part of teams that have secured over $40M in research funding (e.g., ARC DECRA, ARC Centre of Excellence, NHMRC Project Grant, competitive Government tender), and is internationally recognised as an expert on self-regulatory and executive processes in children.
His current h-index (@ 01/03/2020) is:
His contributions to practice include co-creation of the internationally adopted Early Years Toolbox
to assess children's cognitive, social, self-regulatory, numeracy and language development (currently in use in 5 continents, in research and educational contexts). He has also created 4 children's books with embedded cognitive activities as a low-cost, evidence-based means for parents and educators to engage and enhance young children's self-regulation (i.e., Quincey Quokka's Quest; I Don't Miss the Shopping List; Polly and her Lolly; The Pear that Wasn't There).
As of 2020, he has 12 current PhD students in varied stages of completion and 10 PhD completions.