Patricia G. Ramsey

Professor of Psychology and Education

Specialization
Early social and attitudinal development; young children's peer relationships: how they initiate contact, resolve conflicts, avoid cross-sex peers, and show concern for each other; how children develop early attitudes about gender, race, and social class and how teaching from a multicultural perspective affects children's early awareness and attitudes about groups of people that are unfamiliar to them

Patricia Ramsey is an expert in early childhood development. Specifically, Ramsey is interested in social development, early attitude development, and multicultural education for young children. During the past 30 years, she has served as a consultant for a number of preschools and school systems. Ramsey has done research studies in children's awareness and understanding of racial and social class differences. She has also conducted an in-depth analysis of children's friendship patterns and social interactions and ways that teachers can support and facilitate children's peer relations.

Formerly a consultant for the Boston Children's Museum and Sesame Street's multicultural programming as well as a consulting editor for Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Ramsey has been quoted in a variety of publications, including daily papers from across the country—Vogue, Parents, Sesame Street Parents, Working Mother, and USA Today—advising teachers and parents on how to raise healthy children in a media-saturated and consumer-oriented society; prevent or resolve values clashes between home and classroom; help young children be a part of their peer group (e.g., make friends, handle rejection) and develop respect as well as appreciation for differences among people; and respond to possessiveness among preschoolers.

First published in 1987, with a second edition in 1998, and a third edition in 2004, Teaching and Learning in a Diverse World: Multicultural Educational for Young Children (Teachers College Press; 3 edition, 2004) is among Ramsey's most prominent works. The book, at once theoretical and practical, explores how children think during the years from three to eight and how they respond to racial, cultural, gender, social class, and ability differences. She is also a coauthor of Multicultural Education: A Resource Book, which reviews theoretical and applied trends of the multicultural movement since the 1970s. It is now in its second edition from Garland Press (2003).  She is also the author of What If All the Kids Are White: Anti-Bias Multicultural Education for Young Children (Teachers College Press, 2006).

Ramsey is the coauthor of In Our Own Way: How Anti-Bias Work Shapes Our Lives (Redleaf Press, 2002). Her book Making Friends in School: Promoting Peer Relationships in Early Childhood (Teachers College Press, 1991) offers helpful information for teachers on how to create positive classroom dynamics and work with individual children within the classroom context.

Ramsey has served as Mount Holyoke's Gorse Child Study Center director—an early childhood research center, teaching site, and school for children ages three to five—for nearly 20 years.

Prior to joining the Mount Holyoke faculty, Ramsey taught preschool and kindergarten and was a cognitive therapist at the Children's Center of McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. She has held four academic positions in psychology and early childhood education since 1978.

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