Mary McLean, Ph.D.

Preeminence Faculty Member and Professor
Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies
Professor, School of Special Education, School 
Psychology and Early Childhood Studies

marymclean@coe.ufl.edu

Biography

Dr. McLean is a core faculty member of the Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies and a professor of special education and early childhood studies in the School of Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood Studies.  She is highly regarded for her research on assessment strategies for young children with disabilities and for her work on the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices for Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education.

Dr. McLean moved to the University of Florida from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she was the Kellner Endowed Professor in Early Childhood Education and had been on the faculty for 17 years. At UWM, she directed the Early Childhood Special Education program in the School of Education and also served as director of the Early Childhood Research Center, an interdisciplinary center focused on research and development in early childhood.

Prior to UWM, Dr. McLean was at the University of North Dakota and Auburn University. During this time, she received 10 personnel preparation grants, five of which were focused on interdisciplinary personnel preparation. In addition, she partnered with other universities on four research projects, and headed a sub-contract from the Head Start National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning focused on training and technical assistance on ongoing assessment. For 10 years at Auburn University, she directed the Auburn Intervention Model (Project AIM) early intervention program for children from birth through age four with disabilities.

Prior to entering a doctoral program in Early Childhood Special Education, Dr. McLean worked as a special education teacher in Nashville, TN, served as supervising teacher/curriculum coordinator at the Susan Gray School at Peabody College (now Vanderbilt University), and as a home-based early interventionist for a federally-funded model demonstration project through Georgia State University.

Dr. McLean has co-authored six books, edited two monographs, has authored or co-authored 53 refereed journal articles and book chapters, and has served as a field editor for the Journal of Early Intervention, Infants and Young Children, and Young Exceptional Children. She served as president of the professional organization for early intervention/early childhood special education, the Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children.  She worked on all three versions of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices and served as Chair of the DEC Recommended Practices Committee from 2014 to 2020. 

Review Panels, Advisory Boards, Committees and Consulting

Chair, Division for Early Childhood Recommended Practices Commission, 2014 – 2020

Member, Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices Commission, 2014 – present

Member, Evidence Synthesis Group, Division for Early Childhood Recommended Practices Commission, 2014 – Present

Grants

Development and Evaluation of Tools for Families (TfF): An Intervention to Promote Family Engagement in Embedded Instruction for Early Learning
Funded by National Center for Special Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences (7/1/2020 – 6/30/2023)
Role: Investigator
Award: $1,400,000 

Impact of Professional Development on Preschool Teachers’ Use of Embedded-Instruction Practices: An Efficacy Trial of Tools for Teachers
Funded by Institute of Education Sciences, US Department of Education (7/1/2015 – 6/30/2020)
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Award: $3,498,113 

Preparation and Retention of Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education Personnel: Preparing for Evidence-Based Practice in High Need Early Childhood Settings
Funded by U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (1/1/2015 – 12/31/2020)
Role: Principal Investigator
Award: $1,232,603 

Preparing Leaders in Early Childhood Studies and Implementation Science (PLECSIS)
Funded by US Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (5/16/2015 – 4/15/2020)
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Award: $995,218 

Embedded Instruction California Project Years 1-7
Funded by the California Department of Education/Special Education Division (5/16/2015 – 6/30/2022)
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Award:

  • Year 1: $303,780 (7/1/2015 – 6/30/2016)
  • Year 2: $300,000 (7/1/2016 – 6/30/2017)
  • Year 3: $386,000 (7/1/2017 – 6/30/2018)
  • Year 4: $490,686 (7/1/2018 – 6/30/2019)
  • Year 5: $416,017 (7/1/2019 – 6/30/2020)
  • Year 6: $369,000 (7/1/2020 – 6/30/2021) 

Expansions of Learning Progressions
Funded from Johns Hopkins University, US Department of Education (1/1/2015 – 5/30/2015)
Role: Principal Investigator
Award: $114,983.38

Select Publications

Book Chapters

McLean, M., Sandall, S. & Smith, B. J. (2016). A history of early childhood special education. In B. Reichow, B. A. Boyd, E. E. Barton & S. Odom (Eds.), Handbook of early childhood special education (pp. 3-20). Springer International Publishing.

Peer-Reviewed Publications and Journal Articles

Shannon, D., Snyder, P. A., Hemmeter, M. L., & McLean, M. (2021). Exploring coach-teacher interactions within a practice-based coaching partnership. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 40(4), 229-240. https://doi.org/10.1177/0271121420910799

Snyder, P., & McLean, M. (2019). Ongoing child assessment: A guide for program leaders. Head Start National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning.

Snyder, P., Hemmeter, M. L., McLean, M., Sandall, S., McLaughlin, T., & Algina, J. (2018).  Effects of professional development on preschool teachers’ use of embedded instruction practices. Exceptional Children, 84(2), 213-232. https://doi.org/10.1177/0014402917735512

Snyder, P., Rakap, S., Hemmeter, M.L., McLaughlin, T., Sandall, S & McLean, M.  (2015). Naturalistic instructional approaches in early learning: A systematic review. Journal of Early Intervention, 37(1), 69-97. https://doi.org/10.1177/1053815115595461 

Selected Links

Embedded Instruction for Early Learning

Embedded Instruction for Early Learning – California

School of Special Education, School Psychology and Early Childhood Studies

View recent publications for Anita Zucker Center members

Mary McLean, Ph.D.

Degrees

Ph.D. in Early Childhood Special Education, University of Wisconsin, 1979

M.A. in Special Education, Peabody College, 1973

B.A. in Special Education, University of Iowa, 1972

Key UF Professional Appointments

Professor, School of Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood Studies, University of Florida, 2014 – present

Preeminence Faculty Member, Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies, University of Florida, 2014 – present

Select Honors, Awards and Appointments

Mary McEvoy Service to the Field Award from the Division for Early Childhood, 2015