Profile photo of Dr. Josh Thompson

Dr. Josh Thompson

Associate Professor Early Childhood Education


Department of Curriculum & Instruction

Office Location: EdSouth 248J

Office Hours: By appointment

Phone: 214-663-6102 cell


Professional Vita

Learning about Learning

ThompsonCV.pdf     ThompsonCVshort2018.pdf

I wonder about you - what makes you curious about me, what makes you wonder about teaching and learning, about children and learners of all ages?

Read my personal #whyIteach story, recently published in Early Year: Journal of Texas Association for the Education of Young Children

Early Years Pathways cover

Let us know when and where you post your #whyIteach story by including the #EYPath tag.


Effective teaching can be demonstrated in a number of ways. “Value-added” is one method to enumerate growth, using pre- and post- measures to demonstrate change in the student. On the other hand, research has pointed toward the difference a TEACHER makes in effective teaching. That a teacher CARES turns out to be a significant factor in teaching effectiveness (Goldstein. 2002. Reclaiming Caring in Teaching and Teacher Education. NY: Lang.). I want to be known as a teacher who cares.

Spring 2018

Summer I 2018

Fall 2018

Previous Course Web pages

Doctoral Students


Within the community of child language acquisition researchers, it is known that pragmemes transmit pragmatic competence to language learners; how they do so is still quite a mystery. The complex, interwoven connectedness of diverse elements and their influence on language acquisition remains unzipped; the double, triple, or infinite helix of pragmemes needs to be realized. Following Naomi Baron's (1990) structure of Five Language Functions (affection, control, information, pedagogy, and social exchange), my research examines the effectiveness of this structure to describe pragmemes in the early language learning environment of young children.

Early childhood educators are predominantly female; I am exploring gender differences in the ways men parent and teach. I join other researchers and early childhood practitioners (e.g., in seeking what is necessary to attract, recruit, retain, and promote men in early childhood education.


Thompson, J., & Walker, K. (2017). Rich Words for Free. ACEI Early Years Bulletin: Focus on Pre-K & K, 5(1), 1-5. Available online

Wolff, K., Chapman, M., & Thompson, J. (2017). Exploring the Intersections of Social Identity, Popular Culture and Men in Early Childhood Education. In E. A. Janak & L. Sourdot (Eds.), Educating through Popular Culture: “You’re Not Cool Just Because You Teach with Comics” (pp. 265-286). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Abstract: In the past twenty years, multiple books, movies, and articles focus on men in Early Childhood Education.  Many teacher education programs and school districts are formally and energetically attempting to recruit male teachers for younger children.   Yet, in reality, men still make up only 4.5 percent of child care workers and only 2.4 percent of preschool teachers and kindergarten teachers, a number quite similar to decades ago.  This paper examines discourses found in the popular movie, Daddy Day Care and juxtaposes them with the literature on men in early childhood and with the lived reality of men teaching and caring for young children. Themes that emerged included the assumptions that men in the early childhood profession are: lacking intelligence and ambition; sexual deviants; going against nature; more fun but less nurturing and/or competent; or temporarily teach on the way to finding a more suitable career.  These assumptions, coupled with the challenges that accompany all ECE teachers (e.g., lack of pay, low professional respect) differ from the humorous images portrayed in Hollywood movies.  Along with constant comparative data analysis, participant/observer ethnography provides personal accounts and counter-narrative in an effort to challenge and redirect the discourse surrounding men in early childhood education.

Araujo, J., & Thompson, J. (2016). A Place for Children of Poverty. Early Years: Journal of Texas Association for the Education of Young Children, 37(2), 78.79.

Lee, D., Reid, M. J., & Thompson, J. (2016). Teachers Who Stay. Early Years: Journal of Texas Association for the Education of Young Children 37(2), 74-77.

Thompson, J. (2016). Why I Teach. Early Years: Journal of Texas Association for the Education of Young Children 37(2), 82-83.

Thompson, J., & Walker, K. (2016). One summer day: Play at Parker-Chase. Play, Policy, & Practice CONNECTIONS XVII(1), 26-28.

Hammack, B.J., Foote, M., Garretson, S., & Thompson, J. (2012). Family Literacy Packs: Engaging Teachers, Families, and Young Children in Quality Activities to Promote Partnerships for Learning, in Young Children 67(3) 104-110.

Thompson, J. & Garretson, S. (2011). Encouraging men in their conversations with children, in Perspectives on gender in early childhood education (Tamar Jacobson, Ed.). St. Paul: Redleaf Press.

Thompson, J. & Stryker, A. (2010). Tale of two talents: How two teachers use peer-reflection to better prepare for class. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education.

Thompson, J. (2008). Table talk: Taking dinner conversation into the classroom, In P. Dam & M. T. Coward (Eds.), Current Issues and Best Practice in Bilingual and ESL Education (pp. 54-64). Denton, TX: Federation of North Texas Universities.

Thompson, J. & Leeds, L. (2006). Infant crying: To soothe or not to soothe. Montessori Life: Journal of the American Montessori Society 18(1) 26-31. 

Leeds, L. & Thompson, J. (2005). Tears as Tools. Early Years: Journal of Texas Association for the Education of Young Children 27(1) 5-6. 

Thompson, J. (2003). Hundred Language Zoo. Dimensions of Early Childhood, 31(1) 13-20.

Accepted for publication

Thompson, J., & Walker, K. (August 2017). Rich Words for Free. ACEI Early Years Bulletin: Focus on Pre-K & K.

Manuscripts, Submitted to Refereed Journals

Stanković-Ramirez, Z. & Thompson, J. (Summer 2017). P.L.A.C.E.S. - an Innovation in Observing Children.

Manuscripts, in Progress

Book contract: Thompson, J. & Walker, K. (2019). Deeper Learning: Lessons from Early Childhood. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press.


Brown, D.L., Geneser, V., & Thompson, J. (Eds.). (2012-2016). Early Years: Journal of Texas Association for the Education of Young Children. Austin, Texas: Texas Association for the Education of Young Children.

Recent Presentations




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