Photo of Aura Pérez
Assistant Professor: Early Childhood Studies

Contact Information

Education

Ed.D. Curriculum & Teaching, Teachers College, Columbia University
M.A. Educational Psychology, California State University Northridge
B.A. Human Development, University of California San Diego

Biography

Dr. Aura Pérez is an Assistant Professor in the Early Childhood Studies program at California State University Channel Islands. Dr. Pérez was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. She is also the proud daughter of immigrant parents from El Salvador and Guatemala. Prior to her role at CSUCI, Dr. Pérez earned her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Teaching with a concentration on Early Childhood Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She also graduated from UCSD with her B.A. and CSUN with her M.A. The support and knowledge she experienced at CSUN as a first generation student are what inspired her to pursue a doctorate, become a professor, and teach at CSUCI.

Within the field of early childhood education, Dr. Pérez has served children ages 0-5 as an early educator and director in early education centers located in Los Angeles, San Diego, and New York City. As a teacher educator Dr. Pérez has taught early education courses at CSUN, Teachers College, Columbia University and Queens College, The City University of New York. She has taught courses which have focused on teacher action research, foundational theories in child development, infant/toddler development, research in early childhood education, and curriculum development.

Dr. Pérez’s research focuses on two distinct topics: (1) The Teacher Preparation of Early Educators of Color such as Latinx who have completed teacher preparation programs and utilizing their insights to inform and transform teacher education programs to better recruit, support, and retain Latinx educators; (2) Critical Early Childhood Literacy amongst culturally diverse populations and the ways that literacy can foster culturally sustaining pedagogies, equitable and inclusive learning environments, an understanding of diversity, and social justice. Her dissertation focused on the trajectories of Latinx in Los Angeles being and becoming early childhood educators and was titled, “Fotos y Recuerdos: Latinx Early Childhood Teachers Counter-Story Through FotoHistorias.”

Representative Courses Taught

  • ECS 468 Early Lang: Lit & Math Dev 3-8
  • ECS 461 Infant/Toddler Student Teaching
  • ECS 150 Foundations of Child & Adolescence

Scholarship

Keywords

Early Childhood Education, Latinx Early Educators, Critical Early Literacy Practices, Diverse Children’s Literature, Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies in Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Teacher Education Programs, Counter-Stories of Latinx Early Educators, Latinx Children and Families