Ashley Lewis Presser

senior research scientist

Ashley Lewis Presser has 20 years’ experience in educational, developmental, and social psychology research and program evaluation. She brings expertise in conducting quasi-experimental and randomized controlled trial (RCT) experiments and focuses on a variety of research interests, including early childhood, mathematics, technology integration into classrooms, comprehension within various media formats, the evaluation of informal and formal STEM programs, the impact of domestic violence on children's development, the moral development of gifted students, and the symbolic understanding of young children.

Dr. Lewis Presser has led a number of projects. She was the Principal Investigator for the Finding Our Way Around (FOWA) project, a research and development initiative to develop and evaluate the initial promise of a suite of tablet-based games and activities that promote preschool children's understanding of spatial concepts and reasoning. Dr. Lewis Presser also was the Principal Investigator of Next Generation Preschool Math, a four-year R&D initiative to develop and evaluate supplemental preschool math modules that integrate digital games and non-digital classroom activities to promote young children’s learning of foundational mathematics concepts.

Dr. Lewis Presser serves as senior personnel on a number of projects. As a member of the Next Generation Preschool Science and Integrating Science with Mathematics and Engineering: Linking Home and School Learning for All Young Learners teams, she contributes to R&D initiatives to develop and evaluate programs promoting young children’s learning of key science practices and concepts. As a member of the AHA! Island projects, she is contributing to the research team’s efforts to define developmentally appropriate computational thinking skills for preschoolers and to begin to assess those skills.

She also has contributed to a number of EDC’s previous projects. In research that built on EDC’s work as a National Research and Development Center on Instructional Technology, Lewis Presser worked with a team that investigated how representational choices made in the design of digital games for learning influenced student engagement with core science concepts. And she and colleagues studied how educators use and implement PBS LearningMedia resources and assessed how the resources impacted classroom practices, quality of instruction, and student learning.

Dr. Lewis Presser also has led a number of evaluations. For example, on the Side x Side Project Imagine project, she led a quasi-experimental study to test the intervention. She also led a formative and summative evaluation of GreenFab, a project-based, hands-on approach to teaching STEM concepts to high-school students that featureed a focus on career development in the emergent field of sustainable technologies.

Dr. Lewis Presser is an author of papers in peer-reviewed journals for researchers (Early Education and Development; International Journal of Designs for Learning; ZDM: The International Journal on Mathematics Education) and practitioners (Science & Children; Teaching Young Children). She has co-authored chapters published in Handbook of Response to Intervention (RTI) in Early Childhood and 21st Century Education: A Reference Handbook. She presents her research at national conferences focused on research (e.g., American Educational Research Association; National Head Start Research Conference; Society for Research on Child Development; Erikson’s Promising Math Conference; National Arts Education Association; Psychology of Mathematics Education), reaching out to practitioners e.g., Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education; International Society for Technology Education; National Association for Research in Science Teaching; National Council of Teachers of Mathematics), design of technology for learning (e.g., the Interaction Design & Children) and focused on the practice of evaluation (e.g., Eastern Evaluation Research Society; Psychology of Mathematics Education).

Before joining EDC, Dr. Lewis Presser worked as a research assistant at the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement. In addition to her research experience, she has extensive experience teaching both graduate and undergraduate students. She earned a BS in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and an MA and PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota.