Dwight Irvin, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies



Dwight Irvin, Ph.D. joined the faculty at the University of Florida in 2023 as an Associate Professor in the College of Education and at the Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies. Immediately preceding his position at the University of Florida, Dr. Irvin served as an Associate Research Professor at Juniper Gardens Children’s Project at the University of Kansas. Dr. Irvin has conducted research supported by the Institute for Educational Sciences, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation.

Throughout his career, Dr. Irvin’s research has focused on: 1) understanding the language environments that young children at-risk for and with disabilities experience in the school, home, and community via advanced measurement approaches, and 2) identifying novel ways to support talk within those settings (individually and collectively) in order to improve children’s developmental outcomes.


Collaborative Research: Social-Emotional Analysis of the Language Environment (SEAL): Key Word & Phrase Spotting in Early Childhood Care Settings
Funded byNational Science Foundation, Developmental Sciences. (PIs: Kathryn Bigelow and John Hansen) (06/15/2023-06/14/2024)
Role: Site Principal Investigator
Award: $246,182 to complete Y1 activities; $42,000 to UF

The Effects of Promoting Engaging Early Literacy Interactions in Preschool Environments: Literacy 3D)
Funded by US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. (PI: Alana Schnitz Co-PI: Charles Greenwood) (07/01/2017-06/30/2024)
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Award: $3,300,000

Using Data to Build the Capacity of Teachers to Support Preschool Children Not Making Progress in Learning Literacy
Funded by KU Research Go, University of Kansas (04/04/2022 – 04/04/2023)
Role: Principal Investigator
Award: $29,965

Longitudinal Peer Social Networks and Early Language Development: Transforming Understanding of Critical Features of Young Children’s Classroom Experiences
Funded by Lyle Spencer Research Award (04/01/2021 – 06/30/2024)
Role: Site Principal Investigator at KU site
Award: $1,000,000; $318,009 to KU

Validation of an Outcome Measure of Early Social-communication for Young Children with ASD
Funded by the National Institutes of Health (08/01/2020 – 06/30/2025)
Role: Co-Investigator
Award: $2,783,114

Postdoctoral Research Training in Special Education: A Research to Practice Model
Funded by the Institute for Educational Sciences, US Department of Education (09/01/2020 – 08/31/2025)
Role: Mentor
Award: $760,000

Collaborative Research: CSL-MultiAD: Assessing Collaborative STEM Learning through Rich Information Flow based on Multi-Sensor Audio Diarization
Funded by the National Science Foundation (09/01/2019 – 07/31/2024)
Role: Principal Investigator
Award: $750,000: $300,000 to KU and $450,000 to UT-Dallas

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Publications and Journal Articles 

Walker, D., Buzhardt, J. Jia, F., Schnitz, A., Irvin, D.W., & Greenwood, C. R. (in press). Technical features of the early cognitive problem-solving indicator (EPSI) progress monitoring measure for infants and toddlers. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education.

Greenwood, CR., Higgins, S., McKenna, M., Buzhardt, J., Walker, D., Jun, A., Irvin, D.W., & Grasley- Boy, N. (2022). Using Individual Growth and Development Indicators (IGDIs) for infants and toddlers remotely. Journal of Early Intervention, 44(2), 168-189.

Lileikyte, R., Irvin, D.W., & Hansen, J.H.L. (2022). Assessing child communication engagement and statistical speech patterns via speech recognition in naturalistic active learning spaces. Speech Communication, 140, 98-108.

Dwight Irvin


Ph.D. in Education, University of North Carolina, 2012

M.A. in Social Science, University of Amsterdam, 2004

B.A. in Political Science, University of Florida, 2002

Advisory Boards and Committees

Episcopal Children’s Services (ECS) Board of Trustees.

Key UF Professional Appointments

Associate Professor, College of Education, University of Florida, 2023 – present

Affiliate, Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies, University of Florida, 2023 – present

Select Honors, Awards and Appointments

IES Post-Doctoral Training Program in Special Education: Response to Intervention (RTI) in Early Childhood, 2012 – 2015

Research Advisor, Department of Occupational Therapy Education, University of Kansas, 2016 – 2017