Hyunjin Kim

  • Associate Professor, ECE Program Coordinator; ECCE/Education Pathways
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Phone: 401.874.4207
  • Email: hkimed@uri.edu
  • Office Location: Chafee Hall, Rm 617


Dr. Hyunjin Kim is an associate professor at the University of Rhode Island, where she plays a pivotal role as the program coordinator of the Early Childhood Education program and the program director for Accelerated Online Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Pathways. She is recognized for her deep passion for refining and enhancing early education, as demonstrated through her extensive research and policy development. Recently, she has focused her attention on the newly designed ECCE Pathways at URI, a program she has successfully secured funding for from the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE). Her scholarly pursuits primarily concentrate on early childhood workforce development, early learning standards, and program quality improvement. As part of her current research, she is exploring the impacts of professional development and learning environments on children’s cognitive and socio-emotional development. This important work has served as a catalyst for transformative changes in early childhood education and care policies and practices.

In addition to her academic research, Dr. Kim equally values her role as an educator and mentor. She has had the privilege of designing and teaching a myriad of courses, fostering a culture of questioning and critical thinking among her students. Her approachability has led to many seeking her guidance outside the classroom, a part of her role she finds incredibly rewarding. Beyond her research and teaching, Dr. Kim also actively contributes to the University of Rhode Island’s community through various service missions and community engagement initiatives. She believes in the importance of bridging the gap between academia and the wider community, and her efforts continually underscore the University’s commitment to education and community service.


Dr. Kim’s research interests lie at the intersection of early childhood workforce development, early learning standards, and program quality improvement. She has a keen focus on multicultural education and pedagogical strategies. Dr. Kim is particularly invested in studying the impact of professional development and learning environments on both preservice and inservice teachers’ psychological attributes. This includes aspects such as motivation and teacher efficacy, as she recognizes that these factors significantly influence teaching readiness and quality. With a strong interest in devising effective pedagogical approaches, she seeks to enhance teaching quality for culturally and linguistically diverse children. She firmly believes in the importance of inclusive, responsive, and equitable education.

Furthermore, Dr. Kim is dedicated to understanding and strengthening the partnerships among homes, schools, and the community as a critical part of children’s educational success. She recognizes that these partnerships play a crucial role in creating supportive and collaborative environments that foster the cognitive and socio-emotional development of children. Recently, she has been probing into how educational policies and practices can be better formulated and implemented to foster transformative changes in early childhood education and care settings. Ultimately, Dr. Kim’s overarching goal is to leverage her research findings to refine and enhance the quality of early education, contributing significantly to the wellbeing and development of children in diverse contexts.


  • Ph.D., Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2007
  • M.S., Child and Family Studies, Kyungsung University, 1992
  • B.S., Child and Family Studies (Focus Area: Early Childhood Care and Education), Kyungsung University, 1990

Selected Publications

Kim, H., & Brand, T. S. (In Press, 2023). Parent Involvement in Early Childhood Education: Exploring the Role of Korean American Cultural Beliefs and Practices Using the Figured Worlds Approach to Support Learning Success for All Children. International Journal of the Whole Child.

Adams, S.K., MacLeod, J., Kim, H., Behm, S., & Porto, N. (2021). The role of professional development in bridging high-quality social-emotional learning in laboratory and community preschools. Perspectives in Early Childhood Psychology and Education. 6(2), 30-58.

Kim, H., & Connelly, J. (2019). Early childhood preservice teachers’ mathematics teaching efficacy: Effects of passion and teacher efficacy. Asia-pacific Journal of Research in Early Childhood Education, 13(1), 1-21 [Scopus]

Kim, H., & Lee, S. (2018). Korean preservice teachers’ perspectives on parent- teacher partnership: Interaction effects of motivation and constructivist teaching beliefs. In Y. Guo (Eds.), Home-School Relations: International Perspectives (pp. 245-265). Springer, Singapore.

Kim, H. (2017). Early childhood preservice teachers’ passion, beliefs, and their sense of teacher efficacy. Journal of Education and Human Development, 6(1), 44-55.

Kim, H. (2016). Mentors. In D. L. Couchenour, K. Chrisman (Eds.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Contemporary Early Childhood Education (pp. 854-855). Sage Publication, Thousand Oaks, CA.

Kim, H. (2015). Passion on teaching beliefs and efficacy. In Special Series (Ed.), Student Perceptions, Beliefs, and Attitudes. Special Series V. 6, Sound Instruction Books (pp. 23-30). Stuyvesant Falls, NY: Rapid Intellect Group.

Kim, H. (2015). Early childhood preservice teachers’ beliefs about e-portfolios in the United States. International Journal of Early Childhood Education, 21(1), 39-56.

Kim, H., & Cho, Y. (2014). Preservice teachers’ motivation, teacher efficacy, and expectation of reality shock. Asia-pacific Journal of Teacher Education. 42(1), 67-81. [SSCI]

Kim, H. (2013). Prosocial behavior among children with and without disabilities: Centering on teacher’s perception on the teacher – child relationship. International Journal of Early Childhood Education. 19(2), pp. 73-92.

Current Projects

- OPC GEER II Project: URI ECCE Pathway Program Implementation and Needs Assessments
- RIDE ECCE Pathway Program Design and Implementation
- RI Registered Apprenticeship Project: Measuring On the Job-Learning Outcomes.

New Career Pathways Program for Working Professionals in ECE:
Accelerated Online Program in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Pathways for Working Professionals