Kathryn F. Whitmore

Ashland Inc. Chair in Early Childhood Education in Memory of Dr. Raphael O. Nystrand

College of Education and Human Development

Kathryn F. Whitmore, Ph.D., professor and director of the Early Childhood Research Center, joined the UofL faculty in 2013. Prior to her tenure in Louisville, Dr. Whitmore was on faculty at the University of Iowa for 20 years.

Dr. Whitmore uses innovative qualitative methods to conduct community-engaged research in learning spaces where linguistic and cultural diversity are resources in young children’s learning. Her areas of expertise are early literacy development, family literacy, and teacher preparation for diverse classrooms. Two current studies, in collaboration with the UofL Early Learning Campus, investigate how the dramatic arts affect academic and social development in preschool children, and document how four-year-olds respond to children’s literature that emphasizes gender themes.

She has dozens of peer-reviewed publications on child and family literacy to her credit.

After earning her bachelor of science degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education and master’s degree in multicultural education from the University of New Mexico Dr. Whitmore received her doctoral degree in language, reading and culture from the University of Arizona.

Dr. Whitmore is the current president of the Center for Expansion Language and Thinking, an international organization whose members believe in the principles of education for democracy with a focus on natural language learning and inquiry. She serves on the Community Impact Cabinet and the Excellence Academy Advisory Board at Metro United Way, and sits on the board of Language Arts, National Council of Teachers of English.