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Jennifer Little, Ph.D., has a passion for helping students who are difficult-to-serve. She has an extensive and varied experience within education. She has been an enrolled student (full- or part-time) at 15 colleges or universities. As a K-12 education teacher, she has worked with preschool through twelfth grade students for over 35 years in 9 different states. As an adjunct faculty member, she has taught undergraduate and graduate students at 6 different colleges and universities. In her postdoctoral work she was the study director for a substance abuse prevention project with inner city, at-risk students. For five years she volunteered for 20 hours a week in a moderate security juvenile incarceration facility and taught half-time for 2 years in a juvenile detention facility.
Because appropriate materials were not available for her K-12 students, she developed materials to support instruction. Using what she had learned about child development, learning theories, curriculum design and instructional methods, she devised ways to work with students performing far below grade level. Their rapid and sustained growth in academic skills reversed many students’ behavioral problems. The resulting student success showed her not only that what happens in school is what causes student failure, but also the reasons for those failures lie outside the control of teachers and inside the power structures that drive education.