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Lori Caudle

Assistant Professor, Co-Director of the Implementation Sciences for Early Learning Lab (ISELL)


Dr. Lori Caudle is an assistant professor in the Department of Child and Family Studies at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her primary scholarship activities are based on an implementation science perspective and include studying how research-practice partnership initiatives support the learning, development, and well-being of the early childhood workforce. In her studies, she prioritizes partnerships and interventions with urban and rural early childhood educators located in the Southeastern U.S. from diverse ethnic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds as well as those with low socioeconomic status. Many of these educators have experienced childhood trauma and educate children who have also experienced (and/or currently live in) trauma, so her approach to partnership work is holistic and trauma-informed. Dr. Caudle has also expanded her work to focus on parents and caregivers as co-educators alongside teachers, and how university partners can create contexts for knowledge development across school and home. Her current partnerships are centered on a culturally relevant preschool STEM program, a preschool social emotional collaborative coaching intervention, a statewide teacher licensure pathway for public school educational assistants, and a cross-cultural Spain/Southeastern U.S. study focused on the role of the early childhood educator in science education. Another component of her scholarship focuses on how early childhood educators’ beliefs, self-efficacy, attitudes, and characteristics impact their learning, well-being, and professional practice. This area of research compliments her primary scholarship area because beliefs and perceptions act as filters to acquiring new knowledge. New knowledge and practice are often adopted on the basis that they fit within preexisting views of individuals. Also, individual characteristics, such as personality and childhood experiences, have been linked to teacher effectiveness and job-related burnout.

(Currently accepting new graduate students)

Click here to visit the Implementation Science for Early Learning Lab website.


  • Partnering with early childhood teachers, schools, and communities to support and strengthen the early childhood workforce and improve child outcomes
  • Developing accessible educational pathways to support childhood educators in pursuing degrees and teacher certification
  • Investigating relationships between early childhood teachers’ beliefs and practices, particularly related to STEM education and social emotional development of young children


  • Ph.D., Child and Family Studies, The University of Tennessee, 2010
  • M.S., Child and Family Studies, The University of Tennessee, 2004
  • B.S., Human Ecology, The University of Tennessee, 2003

Curriculum Vitae

Awards and Recognitions

  • Tennessee Higher Education Commission Diversity in Teaching Grant, Increasing Meaningful Partnerships across Communities in Tennessee for Early Childhood Educators, $169,200. Caudle, L. [PI], Hobbs, M. [Co-PI], & Moran, M. J. [Co-PI]. Project Timeline: July 1, 2021-June 30, 2023. 
  • National Science Foundation, Culturally Relevant Robotics: A Family and Teacher Partnership, $1,000,000. Harper, F. [PI], Caudle, L. [Co-PI], & Quinn, M. [Co-PI]. Award #2031394, Project Timeline: January 1, 2021-December 31, 2023. 
  • Western Carolina University College of Education and Allied Professions Taft B. Botner Award for Superior Teaching [2015] 
  • Caudle, L., Barrett-Tatum, J., & Cleaveland, L. Improving Early Literacy Instruction through School-University Course Design and Co-Teaching. WCU School University Teacher Education Partnership Grant. [October 2018, $1,000] 
  • Flood, C., Caudle, L., Meltzer, S., & Watson, M. Co-Teaching Model Pilot Study for Implementation: Phases Two and ThreeWCU School University Teacher Education Partnership Grant. [September 2015, $2,500]
  • Flood, C., Caudle, L., Meltzer, S., & Watson, M. Co-Teaching Model Pilot Study for Implementation: WCU School University Teacher Education Partnership Grant. [February 2015, $2,500] 


Selected Recent Publications

Grist, C. L., & Caudle, L. A. (2021). An examination of the relationships between adverse childhood experiences, personality traits, and job-related burnout in early childhood educators. Teaching and Teacher Education, 105.

Caudle, L. & Barrett-Tatum, J. (2021). Early childhood preservice teachers’ perceptions of cross-institutional peer reviews. Literacy Matters, 21, 57-64.

Barrett-Tatum, J., & Caudle, L. (2018). Implementing new literacies instruction and design through a cross-institutional peer review process with early childhood preservice teachers. The Online Journal of New Horizons in Education, 8(3), 92- 108.

Caudle, L. A. (Ed.). (2018). Teachers and teaching: Global practices, challenges, and prospects. New York, NY. Nova Science Publishers.

Becker, D. R., Grist, C. L., Caudle, L. A., & Watson, M. K. (2018). Complex physical activities, outdoor play, and school readiness among preschoolers. Global Education Review, 5(2), 110-122.

Caudle, L. A., Grist, C. L., & Watson, M. K. (2017). Promoting higher levels of preservice teacher informal reflection through virtual critical friend partnerships. Teacher Education & Practice, 30(4), 16-42.

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