Deborah Norris

Contact Information


  • Ph.D. in Psychological Studies in Education, University of California Los Angeles
  • M.S. in Family Relations and Child Development (Early Childhood Education), Oklahoma State University
  • B.S. in Family Relations and Child Development (Early Childhood Education), Oklahoma State University

Area(s) of Specialization:

  • Child care quality
  • Family child care
  • Professional development of early childhood teachers
  • Toddler/Twos cognitive and language development in context
  • Teacher-child interactions
  • Data utilization in early childhood programs
  • Program evaluation

Courses Taught:

  • LSHD 810 Child Development

Professional Bio:

Dr. Deborah Norris is an Associate Professor in the Early Childhood and Lifespan Human Development programs in the Department of Applied Human Sciences. Her research and teaching are informed by her years as a classroom teacher and child care center director. Dr. Norris’s research focuses on human development at the intersection of early childhood policy, programming, and classroom practice. She has examined the influence of early childhood policies such as Quality Rating and Improvement Systems and early childhood educator scholarship programs on the quality of child care as well as the experiences of children, families, and staff. She is particularly interested in the cognitive and language development of toddlers and twos in early care and education settings. She has published several articles and was co-author of Developmental Foundations for School Readiness of Infants and Toddlers for the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation with the Administration for Children and Families. She has served as guest co-editor of two special issues of the journal Early Education and Development. She enjoys mentoring graduate students and received the Graduate Advisor Award while on faculty at Oklahoma State University.

Personal Information:

Coming back to Manhattan and Kansas State University felt like coming home which matters to someone who has moved 37 times. Deborah was born in Detroit but moved the first time when she was just 6 weeks old. She has lived around the United States, including 4 years in Manhattan, as well as on Okinawa. She loves making spaces feel like home and enjoys studying design. She is also an avid reader of mystery books especially those by female authors. Deborah is married and has one adult daughter.

Vita (pdf)