Beth Graue

Medical imaging Carillon Tower Glass blowing Laptop and lecture A smiling student Sunrise over the Education Building Chairs on the Memorial Union Terrace Bascom hall staircase Graduating students in silhouette Crowd of people on Bascom Hill A student tutoring Student with diploma Dance Department performance Night view of Bascom in the winter Memorial Union Terrace in autumn Memorial Union Terrace chairs Dance department performance Bucky Badger in front of a parade float Bascom Hall in the summertime Lincoln statue Students walking in the snow University of Wisconsin - Madison Crest Lincoln statue in the snow Forward Logo Student at graduation Bicycle in the snow Rathskellar Fireplace Sailboat with Capitol Building in the background A sailboat at the Memorial Union Bascom Hill in Autumn Bucky Badger studying with a student. Students among blooming trees at UW-Madison Bucky reading a book University flag on Bascom Hill Video camera view screen Student on a frozen lake Lincoln Statue on Bascom Hill Bascom Hill in winter Students collaborating Memorial Union Terrace chairs in the snow Kohl Center logo Graduates with diplomas A hands-on project Stacked, illuminated figures View from the top of Van Hise


Main Office

Curriculum & Instruction
School of Education
210 Teacher Education Building
225 North Mills Street
MadisonWI  53706

Tel: 608/263.4600
Fax: 608/263.9992

or by contact form

M. Elizabeth Graue

Profile Photo

M. Elizabeth Graue

Sorenson Professor
Curriculum and Instruction (CI)
Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER)

785 Educational Sciences  binoculars icon
1025 W. Johnson
Madison, WI 53706
Office: 608/262-7435

528c Teacher Education Building  binoculars icon
225 N Mills St
Madison, WI 53706-1707
Office: 608/263-4661

Curriculum Vitae

Personal Biography

Beth Graue is a professor of early childhood education in the department of Curriculum & Instruction. A former kindergarten teacher, she studies early childhood policy & practice.

Teaching Interests

Early childhood policy, readiness for school, research methodology, particularly qualitative research methods, class size reduction.

Non-Credit Teaching

  • Instruction Type: Guest Lecture, Sponsoring Organization: Celia Genishi's ECE class at Teachers' College, Audience: National, Participants: 15, Academic

  • Instruction Type: Guest Lecture, Sponsoring Organization: doug Harris' policy class, Audience: School of Education, Participants: 10, Academic

  • Instruction Type: Eric Camburn course in Ed Ldrsp

Research Interests

Early childhood policy & practice, assessment, home-school relations, kindergarten.

Grants and Sponsorships

  • 7/31/2014 - Amount: $394,000.00, "Life In Early Childhood Settings," Awarded By: Spencer Foundation, Sponsor Type: Private, Mary Elizabeth Graue, Co-Principal; Sharon K. Ryan, Co-Principal.
    Abstract: We seek funding to study early childhood policy in action exploring the experience of preK in New Jersey and Wisconsin. Public preK represents new collaborative programming, joining early childhood providers and public schools to create preK systems to increase school readiness. Enacting preK systems creates challenges for policymakers that include raising program quality, achieving the goals of preK, and ensuring educational equity. By examining the role of today’s preK, this case study complements existing large-scale studies of student outcomes and ethnographies of culture to address the translation of policy to practice in the lived experience of preK. Because policies are interpreted and enacted by local actors, this study will operate on three levels. We will examine state preK policies. We will analyze how administration of preK programs is related to their functioning by studying three preK programs in each state housed in diverse sites and communities. Finally we will explore the experience of preK through the lives of two focal children in each program. We will follow the focal children through observations and interviews, including teachers and families. Each child’s learning will be assessed over time and we will rate classroom quality. Given preK’s promise to enhance readiness, we will follow-up with the focal children after they enter kindergarten, doing observations and interviews about the kindergarten experience. This study will contribute to early education by investigating preK implementation from the vantage point of children and other stakeholders. It will extend theoretical conceptions of quality through analysis of local lived experience. It will examine the politics of teaching preK through its focus on teaching practices that shape opportunities for children. This research will guide policymakers by describing contextual factors that mediate policy implementation and the supports that enhance preK quality so that all students have opportunities to learn.


  • Graue, M.E., Delaney, K., Karabon, A., Whyte, K., Kim, J., & Wager, A.A. (2015). Imagining a Future in 4k: How professional identity shapes notions of mathematics. Anthropology and Education Quarterly. 46(1), 37-54.
  • Wager, A.A., Graue, M.E., & Harrigan, K. (2015). Swimming upstream in a torrent of assessment. In R. Perry, A. Gervasoni, & A. MacDonald (Eds.), Mathematics and transition to school: International perspectives, (pp. 15-30)Wager, A.A., Graue, M.E., & Harrigan, K. (2015). Swimming upstream in a torrent of assessment. In R. Perry, A. Gervasoni, & A. MacDonald (Eds.), Mathematics and transition to school: International perspectives, (pp. 15-30). Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Compton-Lilly, C.F., & Graue, M.E. (2013). Agency, authority, and action in family literacy scholarship: An analysis of the epistemological assumptions operating in family literacy scholarship. In J. Larson & J. Marsh (Eds.), Handbook of Early Childhood Literacy, 2nd Ed.. London: Sage Publications.
  • trainor, A., & Graue, M.E. (2012). Reviewing Qualitative Research in the Social Sciences. Routledge. New York: Routledge.
  • Graue, M.E., & Karabon, A. (2012). Standing at the corner of Epistemology Ave, Theoretical Trail, Methodology Blvd, and Methods Street: The intersections of qualitative research. In A.A. Trainor & M.E. Graue (Eds.), Reviewing Qualitative Research in the Social Sciences.. New York, NY, USA: Routledge.
  • Graue, M.E. (2011). Are we paving paradise? Educational Leadership. 68(7), 12-17.
  • Graue, M.E., & Rauscher, E. (2011). Reclaiming assessment through accountability that is “just right.”. Teachers College Record. 113(8), 1827–1862.
    Download Publication
  • Graue, M.E., & Sherfinski, M. (2011). The View from the Lighted Schoolhouse: Conceptualizing Home-School Relations within a Class Size Reduction Reform. American Journal of Education. 117(2), 267-297.
    Abstract: In this essay we examine how educators work within a component of a class size reduction reform designed to strengthen the connections between families’ home and school lives. We describe the accomplishments and struggles experienced by educators enacting this “lighted schoolhouse” based on our research in nine schools over three years. Specifically, we consider how educational resources are applied and experienced in schools and how opportunities to share knowledge between home and school are produced. We find educators’ views of families’ roles in schooling are shaped by how they are positioned by the context of the reform.
    Download Publication
  • Delaney, K.K., & Graue, M.E. (2011). Early childhood curriculum as palimpsest. Early childhood curriculum: Reexamined, rediscovered, renewed.. London: Routledge.
  • Graue, M.E., & Hawkins, M. (2010). "I always feel they don't know anything about us" Diverse Families Talk about Their Relations With School. In T.Turner Volbach & M. Miller Marsh (Eds.), (Mis) Understanding families. Learning to listen to parents. New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Graue, M.E., & S, K.A. Supporting synergistic practices in SAGE schools. Manuscript in preparation.
  • Graue, M.E., & Rauscher, E. (2009). The synergy of class size reduction and classroom quality. Elementary School Journal. 110(2), 178-201.
  • Graue, M.E. (2009). Reimagining kindergarten. School Administrator. pp. 10-14.
    Download Publication
  • Graue, M.E., & Rauscher, E. (2009). Researcher perspectives on class size reduction. Education Policy Analysis Archive. 17.
  • Graue, M.E., Delaney, K.K., & Karabon, A. (in press). Learning to love your noisy neighbor: A principal’s guide to the education of young children. What Every Principal Needs to Know: Instructional Leadership for Equitable & Excellent Schools. New York, NY, USA: Teachers College Press.


  • Wager, A.A., & Graue, M.E. (2012). 4KPD: Collaborating to Build Capacity for Developmentally and Culturally Responsive Early Mathematics, Minority Student Achievement Network, Madison, WI.
  • Wager, A.A., & Graue, M.E. (2011). Valuing what children bring: Professional development for developmentally and culturally responsive Pre-K mathematics, National Association for the Education of Young Children, Orlando, FL.
  • Graue, M.E., Presenter Only, w.A., Presenter Only, (2011, February 21). 4KPD: A model for collaboration among teacher educators, university administration, NSF, & a school district, CESA Conference, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, Madison, WI.
  • Graue, M.E., Presenter Only (2010). A Call to Action: Preparing Researchers and Developing an Inclusive Early Childhood Research, AERA Annual Meeting, American Educational Research Association, Denver, CO.
  • Graue, M.E., Presenter & Author (2010). Are Two Heads Better Than One? Team Teaching and Classroom Quality in Early Elementary Classrooms, AERA Annual Meeting, American Educational Research Association, Denver, CO.
  • Graue, M.E., Presenter & Author, & Hawkins, M.R., Presenter & Author (2010, March 11). "I Always Feel Like They Don't Know Anything About Us": Diverse Families Talk About Their Relations With School, AERA Annual Conference, American Educational Research Association, Denver, CO.

School Service

  • Education Outreach & Partnerships Advisory Committee
    Dates of Membership: 2009 - Pres.

Public Service

  • Buffett Early Childhood Institute University of Nebraska
    Dates of Membership: 2013 - Pres.
  • Board Member.

  • Centre for Childhood Research & Innovation, Hong Kong Institute of Educaiton
    Dates of Membership: Feb. 2013 - Feb. 2015
    Accomplishments: collaboration in research, focused assistance in capacity building.
  • Member.

Public Service

  • MMSD External Research Committee
    Dates of Membership: 2010 - Pres.

  • 4k Assessment & Curriculum Committee
    Dates of Membership: 2010 - 2011

Awards and Honors

  • Other
    Organization: Other
    Purpose: Service, Professional
    Scope: International
    Date(s): April 2012 - 2015
  • Other
    Organization: Other
    Purpose: Service, Professional
    Scope: National
    Description: he AERA Fellows are known both nationally and internationally for their outstanding contributions to education research. Through the Fellows Program, the Association aims to convey its commitment to excellence in research and to underscore to new scholars the importance of sustained research contributions in the field.
    Date(s): April 2010 - 2010
  • Other
    Organization: Other
    Purpose: Service, Professional
    Scope: International
    Date(s): April 2012
  • Other
    Organization: Other
    Scope: School of Education
    Date(s): 2012


  • AERA Early childhood child development SIG (AERA EC/CD SIG)
    Position Held: member, Scope of Organization: National, Member Since: January 1, 1986
© 2019 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System • Please contact the School of Education External Relations Office with questions, issues or comments about this site.