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Dr. Karen Menke Paciorek, Professor of Early Childhood Education


"Students will learn to reflect on their current teaching practices and use research based practices to move their teaching to the next level."

Degrees Held:

  • Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education — Vanderbilt University
  • M.A. — George Washington University
  • B.S. — University of Pittsburgh

Career Highlights:

Each year, Dr. Paciorek is invited to present at many local, state and major national and international professional conferences. Presentations focus on establishing the learning environment, social and emotional development, aligning early learning standards and curriculum, and developing relationships with families. She is frequently interviewed by many media outlets on issues affecting young children and their families.

In 2006, she was invited to join a group of educators who traveled to China to view schools and gather data on teaching Chinese to American children. In 2012, Dr. Paciorek returned to China as one of four faculty members from Eastern Michigan University. She toured seven schools in four cities and worked to establish partnerships between schools and Eastern Michigan University. While in China, she presented to educators on current trends and issues in early childhood education in the U.S.

That was followed by three more trips in 2013-14 to supervise EMU student teachers completing an international teaching experience in Chinese schools. In 2016, she was invited to present a week-long seminar in Beijing, China, to 40 kindergarten teachers on "Appropriate Early Childhood Education for Kindergarten Children." She received an appointment as a foreign expert in the International Training Program at Beijing Institute of Education, Chaoyang Branch in May 2016.

Dr. Paciorek works with numerous pre-kindergarten Head Start programs and school districts to provide in-service education to teachers currently in the field. She is an approved Early Childhood Specialist for the State of Michigan and "A Great Start to Quality" approved evaluator.

Dr. Paciorek served as an elected School Board Trustee for the Northville Public Schools in Northville, Michigan, from June 2002 – Jan. 2011.

Other community service includes serving as the Chair of the Board of Directors for Wolverine Human Services (social services agency providing treatment to abused, neglected and delinquent youth) from 2004 - present.

In 2017, she was elected to the EMU Foundation Board of Directors where she works with others who are passionate about raising funds to support the work of the University. She is also a charter member of Women in Philanthropy at EMU.

In which online degree program do you teach?

M.A. in Early Childhood Education

  • Publications:

    Paciorek, K.M. (Ed.) 2018 Early Childhood Education: Annual Editions. McGraw-Hill Publishers.

    Dr. Paciorek has served as the editor for this annual book, now in its 37th edition, used at over 600 colleges and universities. Dr. Paciorek has edited 32 of the editions.

    Paciorek, K. M. (Ed.) 2009 Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Early Childhood Education (2nd.ed.) McGraw-Hill Publishers.

  • Which classes do you teach online?

    ECE 616: Curriculum and Environments and ECE 689: Colloquium and Internship.

  • What do students learn in your classes? What is the expected outcome?

    Students will learn to reflect on their current teaching practices and use research-based practices to move their teaching to the next level.

  • Why did you start teaching?

    To give children the best start to their life of learning.

  • What advice would you give to those considering this online degree program?

    You would be joining a group of passionate educators who are committed to doing what is best for young children and their families.

  • What do you think is the biggest challenge that people in the profession face today?

    The pressure to push academics on young children and remove joy from learning.

  • What qualities make someone particularly successful in the profession in which you teach?

    To be committed to providing high-quality learning experiences for young children.

  • What is the one book you think everyone should read?

    "The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember" by Fred Rogers.

  • Tell us something that your students might find interesting, something they might not know about you.

    I am a student of the game of baseball, and I cuddle at-risk babies in the NICU at St. Joe's hospital in Ann Arbor. Follow me on twitter @karenpaciorek for my views on issues related to early childhood education.

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