Marc W. Hernandez is a Senior Research Scientist in the Academic Research Centers. He is an applied developmental psychologist with content expertise in cognitive development, learning science and education (literacy, mathematics, and science), as well as methodological expertise in experimental and quasi-experimental research design, mixed-methods research, curriculum and assessment development, school recruitment, and evaluation. He has worked in preschool and elementary school settings. At NORC, he collaborates with University of Chicago faculty, students, and NORC staff to generate and conduct education-focused research studies, and to develop and evaluate educational programs, interventions, curricula, and assessments.
Hernandez is an active member of the Getting on Track Early for School Success project, which involves a team of educators, researchers and pychometricians from across the University of Chicago and at NORC. The assessment is intended to act as an organizing tool that will allow teachers to tailor instruction to help preschool children increase literacy and mathematics proficiency and reduce or eliminate gaps in kindergarten readiness among children from from disadvantaged homes.
Hernandez serves as a Co-Principal Investigator for an evaluation of an established literacy intervention program, the Minnesota Reading Corps, which is delivered by AmeriCorps members to at-risk preschool through third grade students throughout the state of Minnesota. The evaluations include a process assessment of program implementation, a quasi-experimental impact evaluation of the preschool program, and a randomized control trial impact evaluation of the kindergarten through third grade program.
In addition, Hernandez serves as a Co-Investigator on Project ASPIRE, where he is collaborating with researchers and practitioners in the fields of medicine, psychology, technology, and Early Intervention to develop and evaluate a computer-based early intervention program focused on listening and spoken language development. Project ASPIRE is designed to be delivered by generalist early interventionists to traditionally under-served parents of deaf or hard of hearing children who are recent recipients of hearing aides or cochlear implants.
Hernandez also continues to conduct research and evaluation in elementary school science education; particularly curriculum and assessment development targeting the integration of mathematics, physical science, environmental science, and education technology.
Prior to NORC, Hernandez served as the Head Project Coordinator for a National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) funded study that evaluated the effectiveness of a novel intervention designed to teach parents and young children how to resolve ongoing, personally meaningful conflicts. Hernandez’s dissertation came out of this study, and assessed experimentally the impact of teaching mothers to negotiate conflicts with their four to ten year old children.
Hernandez is an active participant in the University of Chicago’s undergraduate student mentorship and career-development programs. He also currently serves as a charter member of Morton Arboretum’s Education and Information Advisory Committee.