Alexandra Figueras-Daniel

Assistant Research Professor and Bilingual ECE Policy Specialist
536 George St. New Brunswick, NJ

Dr. Figueras-Daniel is an Assistant Research Professor and Bilingual ECE Senior Policy Specialist at the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER). Alex began her career as a preschool teacher in a dual immersion school in New Jersey’s Abbott Pre-K program, later applying lessons learned from the classroom to conducting research at NIEER and for completion of her PhD in Education Policy. Alex is a co-author of the Classroom Assessment of Supports for Emergent Bilingual Acquisition (CASEBA) to measure the quality of language supports for dual language learners in preschool classrooms and co-developer the system using the related Self-Evaluation for Supports of Emergent Bilingual Acquisition (SESEBA) for use by teachers and coaches. She has served as the Associate Director of the Straus Center for Young Children and Families at Bank Street College, the Director of Research at Teaching Strategies and as a Senior Research Scientist in the Dual Language and Literacy Lab in the department of Behavioral Sciences at Teachers College, Columbia University. At Teachers College she worked on a study examining the effects of a web-based coaching and professional development model for dual language learners. At NIEER Alex leads work related to dual language learners, including a project devoted to the development of a Latine leadership pipeline in ECE in NJ titled, Building Early Learning Latine Educators (BELLE), which is a two-pronged program devoted to the development of a Latine leadership pipeline in ECE in New Jersey. In addition, Alex also partners in a research-practice partnership with an individual school district seeking to create and implement system-level DLL policy for its universe of preschool classrooms which will result in a blueprint that can serve as a model for others. Alex also engages with technical assistance work with state level departments of education and oversees other professional development work related to providing supports for dual language learners in and outside of New Jersey.

• Doctor of Philosophy- Education, Education, Theory, Organization and Policy, Graduate School of Education, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey, Dissertation Title: Key Influences on the quality and outcomes of preschool education for dual language learners: Professional development and bilingual staffing patterns
• Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education, Steinhardt School of Education, New York University
• Bachelor of Arts in American Studies, Douglass College, Rutgers the State University of NJ
• American Education Research Association (AERA)
• Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management (APPAM)
• National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
• Society of Research in Child Development (SRCD)
• National Institute for Early Childhood Education (NIEER)

  • Expertise/Research Interest

    Understanding educational systems through direct work with practitioners, largely based in Latine communities to improve educational spaces, cultures and relationships that improve outcomes for young dual language children. Development of innovative dissemination mechanisms that will assist in the connecting research with the public with the specific aim of improving both policy and practice.

  • Recent and Select Publications

    Ayers, S. & Figueras-Daniel, A. (Coming May 2024). Engaging and Enriching: The Key to Developmentally Appropriate Academic Rigor, In Phillips, A. & Scrinzi, A. Focus on Developmentally Appropriate Practice. NAEYC Books.

    Figueras-Daniel, A., & Curenton, S. M. (2023). Being Held to Whose Standards? In Nagasawa, M., Peters, Bloch, M., & Swadener, M.M (Eds.) Transforming Early Years Policy in the US: A Call to Action, 119. Teachers College Press.

    Nores, M., Freidman-Kraus, A., & Figueras-Daniel, A. (2022). Activity settings, content, and pedagogical strategies in preschool classrooms: Do these influence the interactions we observe? Early Childhood Research Quarterly.

    Figueras-Daniel, A., & Li, Z. (2021). Evidence of support for dual language learners in a study of bilingual staffing patterns using the Classroom Assessment of Supports for Emergent Bilingual Acquisition (CASEBA). Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 54, 271-285.

    Ayers, S. & Figueras-Daniel, A. (2019). Engaging and enriching play is rigorous learning. In Masterson, M. & Bohart, H. (eds). Serious Fun: How guided play extends children’s learning. NAEYC; Washington, D.C.


    Envisioning, Planning, and Implementing Better Systems for Dual Language Learners (November 2023). Preschool Matters

    Building Early Learning Latine Educators (BELLE): Developing a Pipeline of Latiné Early Childhood Leaders in New Jersey, A Unique New Model (October 2022). Preschool Matters.

  • Honors and Awards

    GSE Faculty Excellence in Advancing Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (2024)

    Foundation for Child Development Young Scholar (Cohort 17, 2021)

  • Project Pages
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