Erin E. Hamel


Dr. Hamel is an Assistant Professor in Educational Psychology. Her research broadly focuses on understanding and improving early childhood teacher work supports as a way to retain early childhood teachers, professionalize the field of early childhood, and improve child outcomes. As a Buffett Early Childhood Institute Scholar, she investigated director’s allotment of planning time, the intended and actual amounts of planning time teachers received, and how planning time is used. Her other research interests include examining early childhood teachers’ motivations for entering the field, challenges they face while working in the field, and their work supports. Dr. Hamel uses multiple research methods to address these aims. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, Dr. Hamel began her teacher career internationally in Doha, Qatar. She went on to earn her master’s degree in Special Education and her doctorate in Human Sciences from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. She served as an elementary special education teacher where she co-taught in inclusive settings serving children in K-6th grade. She was on the faculty at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln as an instructor and master teacher at the Ruth Staples Child Development Laboratory School supervising pre-service teachers and their implementation of project-based learning.

Areas of Expertise

  • Early childhood teacher planning time
  • Environmental supports for early childhood teachers
  • Programmatic changes to support early childhood teachers


  • Early childhood workforce
  • Early childhood teacher retention
  • Teacher planning time
  • Work intensification


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