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Office of the Provost

Dr. Deborah Margolis

Possible Title: Reporting on Children’s Progress: A Pathway to Productive Conferencing

An Associate Professor, Chair and Program Director in Merrimack’s School of Education, Dr. Deborah Margolis has taught a number of courses including Child and Adolescent Development, Applied Adolescent Psychology, Psychology of Learning & Assessment and Cultural Diversity in Schools.

A developmental and educational psychologist, Dr. Margolis is passionate about her work and feels fortunate that she has the opportunity to interact with future teachers and community workers. She loves to teach and enjoys introducing students to theories of development as she believes that the more they understand about children, adolescents and families, the better they will perform in their interactions with children.

Dr. Margolis has done research looking at how children make transition from one school level to another. Transition, as we know, can be very stressful even for adults.  Dr. Margolis believes that the enormity of transition is grossly underestimated especially in children. She is interested in exploring how to better serve children as they transition from elementary to middle and middle to high school and then into college.  She made it clear that addressing the needs of the children and their caregivers is paramount during transition periods.  Key is to first recognize the social and emotional needs of children which will make us better able to serve them.  At all levels, it is important to understand what is being done to help student’s transition.  While they might be thriving academically, social integration is also critical to their overall succes. Learning and development are clearly very much impacted by social emotional factors and she believes that it is crucial to increase understanding of such factors in order to enhance the educational experiences and outcomes of our nation’s children. 

Another area of interest for Dr. Margolis is children’s experience of “otherness.” “Otherness” is present when someone is characterized as being different from group or society’s norms.  At times “otherness” leads to marginalization.  Dr. Margolis is interested in finding ways to help Merrimack students and professionals already working in the field, better understand experiences of “otherness” so that they will be prepared to work with children that they encounter in schools and other community organizations to create communities of inclusion and kindness.

Dr. Margolis continues her consulting psychology work with school age children and believes that this work enhances her teaching as she can share “real” stories with her students.

Dr. Margolis has co-authored two editions of a textbook on adolescent development as well as two chapters, one on adolescent development and one on gender development, in a human development text prepared for healthcare providers. 
Dr. Margolis also presents workshops for teachers.  Her most recent presentation was “Reporting on Children’s Progress:  A Path to Productive Conferencing”.

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