Ph.D., University of North Texas
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Deborah Diffily, Ph.D., joined the faculty of SMU in 2000 as Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education. She was appointed to the position of Associate Professor when she was awarded tenure in the spring of 2006. Dr. Diffily earned her Ph.D. from University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, in 1994, with a major in early childhood education and a minor in reading. As a former prekindergarten, kindergarten, and first-grade teacher, Dr. Diffily has practical experience teaching and learning with young children. She holds Texas teaching certification for grades 1-6, along with endorsements for Early Childhood Education and English as a Second Language. She has taught in both public and private schools, in urban, suburban, and model elementary schools. She has been recognized for excellence in teaching at the local level by the Fort Worth Area Association for the Education of Young Children, and at the state level by the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children. At the college level, her teaching excellence was recognized with HOPE (Honoring Our Professors of Excellence) for two of her first three years at SMU.
Dr. Diffily's primary areas of interest are supporting young childrens emergent literacy development, teaching through project-based learning, and working with families. She teaches courses in the Early Childhood through Fourth Grade certification program in the Center for Teacher Education. In addition, she is still involved in elementary schools and regularly works with 4-, 5-, and 6-year-old children.
Using both theoretical background and practical experience, Dr. Diffily gives state and national presentations and also shares her knowledge through journal articles and books. Her most recent publications are listed below.
Diffily, D. (2004). Teachers and families working together. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Diffily, D. (2003). Creating a video about hurricanes: Experiences in project-based learning. Young Children, 58(4), 76-81.
Diffily, D. (in press). Math games: Real world learning through projects. Teaching Children Mathematics.
Diffily, D., & Morrison, K. (in press). Family friendly communication in early childhood programs (2nd ed). Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Diffily, D., & Sassman, C. (2004). Teaching effective classroom routines. New York: Scholastic Teaching Resources.
Diffily, D., & Sassman, C. (in press). Teacher talk: Supporting young childrens learning and development. New York: Scholastic Teaching Resources.
Diffily, D., & Sassman, C. (in press). Service learning project for elementary students. Greensboro, NC: Carson Dellosa.
Diffily, D., & Sassman, C. (in press). Project-based learning prepares young children for successful adult lives. Classroom Leadership, a journal of the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Puckett, M. B., & Diffily, D. (2004). Teaching young children: An introduction to the early childhood profession. Albany, NY: Delmar.