Diana Leyva


Ph.D. Clark University


My research focuses on child development and early childhood education. I am interested in how culture shapes the relation between what adults do and how children develop. In particular, I study how parents and teachers foster the development of children's language, literacy, numeracy and socioemotional abilities. I work with minority communities including Latino, African American and Chinese families living in the U.S. and abroad. Before coming to Davidson College in 2013, I worked at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and at the Harvard Center on the Developing Child for several years. I previously taught at Williams College and Mount Holyoke College. I was born in Bogota, Colombia and hold a doctoral degree in developmental psychology.

I am the Program Director of Un Buen Comienzo (A Good Start), a cluster randomized evaluation of a professional development intervention for prekindergarten and kindergarten teachers in Santiago, Chile. I am currently collaborating with Dr. Catherine Tamis-LeMonda and Dr. Hirokazu Yoshikawa at New York University in the MetroBaby Project, a longitudinal study of low-income minority families in New York City. I am a member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Cognition and Development. I have published in peer-reviewed journals including First Language, Reading and Writing, Journal of Early Childhood Literacy and Early Education and Development.


PSY 101 General Psychology
PSY 241 Child Development
PSY 315 Psychological Research - Child Development
PSY 355 Advanced Seminar in Parents, Children, and Literacy