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Margaret Ferguson Quinn

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


Margaret Quinn is an Assistant Professor in the Child and Family Studies department. Her scholarship examines the early language and literacy development of children from diverse ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds with a specific focus on writing. Her research also focuses upon pedagogical approaches to support early writing, literacy, and language in early childhood and elementary classrooms (e.g., early writing instruction, assessment, and differentiation). She previously served as a lead graduate student researcher on an IES-funded grant creating and implementing a writing-focused professional development program for Head Start teachers and also as a project coordinator for a large-scale language and literacy intervention evaluation in the Metro Atlanta area. During her doctoral studies, she was awarded with an RCALL Language and Literacy Fellowship and worked across disciplines with faculty and students from departments of Education, Psychology, and Linguistics. Prior to her academic work, she taught in schools in Georgia and in Northern Ireland, teaching in toddler, preschool, and Pre-K classrooms.

(Currently accepting new graduate students)


  • Children’s language and literacy development
  • The nature, development, and measurement of early writing, particularly early composing
  • Effective pedagogy supporting young children’s development and learning


  • Ph.D., Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Georgia State University, 2017
  • M.S., Counseling and Therapeutic Communication, Ulster University, 2009
  • B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies, New York University

Curriculum Vitae

Awards and Recognitions

  • EPP Innovation Grant – Integrated Content for Foundational Literacy Skills ($93,747, 2021-2022, PI: Zoi Traga Philippakos). Grant funded by Tennessee Department of Education
  • CRRAFT Partnership ($1,000,000, 2021-2023, PI: Frances Harper).  – Research-practice partnership co-developing and investigating a culturally relevant robotics program for preschoolers funded by the National Science Foundation.
  • Promising Scholar Award ($15,000, 2020) Awarded to four Young Scholars Program applicants who demonstrate exceptional potential to conduct rigorous, high-quality implementation research focused on the early care and education workforce, Foundation for Child Development.
  • Cox Campus Evaluation ($200,000, 2019-present).  Subcontract funded by Georgia State University, the Hearst Foundation, and the Atlanta Speech School. 


Selected Recent Publications

Quinn, M.F., & Bingham, G. E. (2022). Examining early composing: Children’s differential writing performance based on task context and scoring conceptualization. Early Education and Development, 33(1), 139-163. doi: 10.1080/10409289.2020.1857167

Quinn, M. F., Gerde, H. K., & Bingham, G. E. (2021). Who, what, and where: Classroom contexts for preschool writing experiences. Early Education and Development. doi: 10.1080/10409289.2021.1979834

Quinn, M. F., Bingham, G. E., & Gerde, H. K. (2021). Who writes what when?: Examining children’s early composing. Reading and Writing, 34, 79-107. doi: 10.1007/s11145-020-10063-z

Zhang, C., & Quinn, M. F. (2020). Preschool children’s interest in early writing activities and perceptions of writing experiences. Elementary School Journal, 121(1), 52-74. doi: 10.1086/709979

Quinn, M. F. & Bliss, M. (2019). Moving beyond tracing: The nature, availability, and quality of digital apps to support children’s writing. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. doi: 10.1177/1468798419838598

Quinn, M. F. & Bingham, G. E. (2019). The nature and measurement of children’s early composing. Reading Research Quarterly, 54(2), 213-235.

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