Dale Walker, Ph.D

Dale Walker, Ph.D.

Dale Walker

Dr. Walker is an Associate Research Professor and Scientist in the Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies, Juniper Gardens Children’s Project, University of Kansas, Courtesy faculty in the Department Applied Behavioral Science, and a research advisor to the Department of Special Education, Early Intervention. Her research has focused on identifying the effects of early experience and caregiver-child interaction on language development and school performance. She has worked to develop and test interventions to build the capacity of teachers, interventionists and parents to support children’s development and assessment and observation measures to inform and guide intervention with infants and young children with and without disabilities experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage. Dr. Walker is Associate Editor of the Journal of Early Intervention, consulting editor for Early Childhood Research Quarterly and Topics in Early Childhood Special Education and Child Development. Recently, she was guest editor for Early Childhood Research Quarterly Special Issue addressing word gap research. She is active in state-level advocacy, and serves as an advisory board member and vice-chair of advocacy for Kansas Action for Children (KAC). She was also the recipient of the 2019 Steven F. Warren Research Achievement Award.

Investigator Juniper Gardens Children's Project
Associate Research Professor Juniper Gardens Children's Project

Ph.D., Developmental Child Psychology, University of Kansas, 1988
M.A., Human Development, University of Kansas, 1985
B.A., Psychology, Scripps College, 1982

Contact Information


Juniper Gardens Children's Project
444 Minnesota Avenue, Suite 300
Kansas City, KS 66101-2914

913-321-3143, ext. 2602

Research Interests

  • Evidence-based naturalistic language practices for promoting the communication of infants and toddlers.
  • Intervention with child care providers, teachers and parents to bridge the word gap.
  • Progress monitoring assessment and observation practices with infants and young children.
  • Measuring fidelity of intervention implementation.


2019, Steve F. Warren Research Achievement Award, University of Kansas.

1987-1988, Doctoral Trainee, National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Department of Human Development & Family Life, University of Kansas.

1988-1991, Research Associate, Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies, University of Kansas. 

1991-2004, Assistant Research Professor and Scientist, Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies, University of Kansas.  

1992-1999, Courtesy Assistant Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Life, University of Kansas.

1999-2001, Assistant Professor and Faculty Director Early Childhood Programs, Department of Human Development, University of Kansas.

2001-present, Courtesy Assistant Professor, Department of Special Education, and Department of Applied Behavioral Science, University of Kansas (KU).

2004-present, Associate Research Professor, Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies, University of KS
Grant Panelist, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education (1995 - present)

Institute for Educational Sciences, Early Intervention & Special Ed. (2005 – present)

Bi-national Science Foundation (1998-present)

President, Kansas Division for Early Childhood subdivision presidential rotation (2003 – 2008)

Research Chair, Division for Early Childhood Research Committee (2007-present)