Jolene Pearson

Job Title

  • Associate Professor of Education Emerita
    Education, College of Arts and Sciences


Dr. Pearson has focused her research on pre-service teacher preparation. Her dissertation was entitled: Too Important to Ignore: Teaching Pre-Service Teachers about Infants and Toddlers. Her current research is focused on analysis of student's reflective journals to understand how they interpret their experiences in early childhood classrooms during practicums. In Fall 2018 her sabbatical research will take her to the University of Iceland, Queen Maud University in Norway, Roehampton University in England and Dublin City University in Ireland as a visiting scholar and guest lecturer. She will connect with early childhood faculty in these countries to research their priorities and best practices in preparing early childhood teachers.

Started at Bethel



  • University of Minnesota - B.A. in Early Childhood Studies, 1976
  • Wheelock College - M.S. in Early Childhood, 1980
  • University of Minnesota - Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, 2016

Courses Taught


EDU 292 Foundations in Early Childhood

EDU 306 Curriculum in Early Childhood Education  

EDU 340 Parent, Child, Family Relationships

EDU 344 Health, Safety and Nutrition 

EDU 350 Infant and Toddler Behavior and Development

EDU 489 Student Teaching Pre-Primary & Seminar


Federal Race to the Top Grant ($20,000)  Early Childhood Teacher Preparation       2016

Minnesota Teacher of the Year Nominee                                                                    1999-2000



Pearson, J. (2016).  Too important to ignore: A post-intentional phenomenological investigation of teaching pre-service teachers about infants and toddlers. ProQuest-CSA, LLC, Ann Arbor, MI.

Pearson, J. (2016). September issue Guidance for Professionals Working with Newborns and their Families. Zero to Three Journal 37(1), 29-36.

Pearson, J. (2016). Pathways to positive parenting: Helping parents nurture healthy development in the earliest monthsZero to Three Publishers, Washington, D.C.

Pearson, J. (2013). What do we tell the kids? Talking with children about violence.

Bethel Magazine 4 (2). 4-5. St. Paul, MN. 

Pearson, J. (2011). Parent-Infant Pathways: An educator's guide to providing information and support to

        new parents. Aardvark Press. Los Angeles, CA.

Pearson, J. (2003). Educating families of newborns in Comeau, J. (Ed.) Family Information Services

            Professional Resource Materials (January). Minneapolis, MN Family Information Services.

Pearson, J. & Anderson, K. (June 2001). Evaluation of a program to promote positive parenting in the

            neonatal intensive care unit.  Neonatal Network, 28 (4) 43-48.

Pearson, J. (September 1999). Crying, calming and comforting: Insights to share with parents. The

            Mother-Baby - the Journal for Family Centered Nursing, 3(4) 23-24.

Pearson, J. (1999). Living in the world.  Chapter 3 in Early Intervention Services for Infants, Toddlers

            and Their Families, Allyn and Bacon.          

Pearson, J. (1998). The effectiveness of individualized developmental care for low-risk pre-term

            infants: behavioral and electrophysiologic evidence. Topics in Pediatrics, 16 (1) 15-16.


 Embedding Infant Mental Health Core Principals into University Curricula: Building Powerful Interdisciplinary Connections. Zero to Three Annual Conference, San Diego, CA., November 29, 2017.

Teaching Pre-Service Students About the Importance of Reflection (co-presenter, Michele Fallon) Faculty Symposium- Embedding Infant and Early Childhood Principals, held at Bethel University July 26, 2017.

Ministering to the Least of These: Integrating Faith into Early Childhood Education. 15th Annual Early Childhood Educator's Conference, Concordia University, St. Paul. MN March 18, 2017

Helping Parents Nurture Healthy Development in the Earliest Months. National Webinar Series Zero to Three Author Spotlight October 6, 2016.

Too Important to Ignore: Teaching Pre-service Teachers About Infants and Toddlers in Teacher Preparation Programs; National Association of the Education for Young Children Professional Development Institute, June 5th 2016 Baltimore, MD.

Teaching Pre-service Teachers About Infants and Toddlers in Teacher Preparation Programs; Graduate Research Day Roundtable; University of Minnesota, April 1, 2016

Experiencing the World from an Infant's Point of View. Presentation Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children - February 5, 2016. St. Paul River Center.

An Exploration of the Developing Child from Birth to Age Five Years, Minnesota Early Intervention Summer Institute two-day intensive, St. Johns University, June 11-12, 2015.

Faculty Symposium Facilitator: Embedding Core Principals of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health into Curricula, August 4 & 5, 2015: July 27 & 28, 2016 St. John's University Campus.

Bethel Prime Time - January 31, 2013, Premature Babies and their Parents: A Different Beginning

Poster Session: Postpartum Parenting: Themes and Interventions Zero to Three National Training Institute San Antonio, TX December, 2013.

Premature Babies and their Parents - Webinar: Working Family Resource Center

             St. Paul, MN January 2013.

What Happened Before I Met You? Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health Conference

             Duluth, MN 2011.

Premature Babies and Their Parents - A Different Beginning Minnesota Early Intervention Institute

              Summers 2009 &10.

Infant Mental Health- Minnesota Association for the Mental Health of Children's Annual Conference,

              Duluth, MN 2005 & 2007.

Social Emotional Development of Prematurely Born Children - Life After the NICU

              St. Paul, MN October 23, 2003.

 Informing and Supporting Families of Newborns

              National Training Institute - Zero to Three - Washington, D.C. December 2002.

Parent-Infant Pathways Informing and Supporting Families of Full-Term Infants

              MN Early Intervention Institute - St. John's University -Collegeville, MN, August 2001.

Certificates and Licenses

LICENSURE STATE OF MINNESOTA                                                                                    

MN File folder number:  234559

Pre-kindergarten, Parent and Family Education and Early Childhood Special Education   


Infant Mental Health - Clinical Mentor Level IV Michigan Association for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) for Pre-Kindergarten - Reliability July, 2017  

Professional Organizations, Committees, and Boards

Center for Early Education and Development University of Minnesota

National Association and Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children - Member                     

Minnesota Association for Early Childhood Teacher Education (MNACTE)    - Board Member                              

Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health /Infant and Early Childhood  Mental Health  - Board Member                               

Zero to Three  -  Member                                      

Areas of expertise

Pearson has focused her research and professional work in pre-service teacher education, professional development for early childhood educators, online education, and infant mental health. Her teaching specialties include premature infants, infant mental health, early childhood special education, and development of early childhood teachers.