Allison Rae Ward-Seidel, Ed.M., is an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) pre-doctoral fellow in the Education Psychology-Applied Developmental Science program at the University of Virginia. Allison earned her B.S. and M.A.T. in early childhood education from the University of Arkansas. Following a lifelong dream to be a teacher, she taught first and fourth grades for six years in a Title I public school in Springdale, Arkansas, and helped open a charter school in Dallas, Texas. Driven to improve learning environments for historically marginalized children, Allison returned to graduate education, earning a M.Ed. in human development and psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Pursuing research, she coordinated a randomized controlled trial studying schoolwide restorative practices, social-emotional learning, and racial equity initiatives and impacts on improving school climate and reducing racial discipline disparities.
Allison continues her education research training, focusing on social-emotional development in youth and educators and equity in schools. She draws on her rich experience teaching in culturally diverse schools, restorative justice practices, collaborative team teaching, data-driven rapid cycle academic interventions, leadership training, teacher mentoring, and coaching figure skating. Allison’s current research includes studying schoolwide restorative justice initiatives, culturally responsive restorative practices, ethnic-racial identity development in educators promoting equity in schools, and adolescent social-emotional skill development for social justice.