Heather Lavigne

research scientist


Dr. Heather Lavigne brings expertise in child development and has a special interest in advancing the field’s knowledge of the influences of media on young children’s learning. With additional expertise in research methodology, Heather’s experience in leading studies includes randomized controlled trials, correlational analyses with panel data sets, and in-depth qualitative investigations to support formative research. She is trained in a variety of statistical techniques for modeling change over time, conducting latent variable analysis, and other key aspects of research and program evaluation.

Heather is the project lead for several NSF-funded collaborations with WGBH that focus on supporting young children’s STEM learning. She is the PI of Collaborative Research: The Development of Computational Literacy through the Integration of Computational Thinking and Early Language and Literacy Development in Urban Preschools. Heather is also the Co-PI for two projects that used iterative research and design processes to support the development of educational media and joint engagement activities geared toward developing computational thinking (CT) skills in preschool children, and she is  Co-PI for Ruff Family Science, a project focused on the development of resources for intergenerational science learning. Beyond her focus on young children’s learning from media, Heather also contributes her expertise to multiple studies designed to address the interests and priorities of the research alliances of the REL Northeast & Islands and REL Midwest.

Heather holds a PhD and MS in developmental psychology with a concentration in quantitative methodology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, an MEd in technology in education from Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and a BA in communication from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Prior to joining EDC, Heather served as the director of education at WGBY Public Television, where her responsibilities included the oversight of early childhood education initiatives, educator professional development, and classroom technology integration.