Dr. Mary Harper

Dr. Mary Harper

Office Information

Clearwater Campus
NM 133
Full Time Faculty


I am a Professor of Early Childhood and Elementary Education at St. Petersburg College. The value of this  position is having numerous opportunities to:  1) serve as a mentor and professional role-model to undergraduate students who seek to understand early childhood and elementary educational methods and pedagogical techniques, 2) disseminate research practices that are effective and practical, 3) apply effective teacher education models that enhance preservice teachers’ comprehension and application of quality educational outcomes, and 4) develop and foster my skills as a professional in the areas of teaching, mentoring, writing, and research.


St. Petersburg College’s emphasis on teacher education allows me to build upon my professional interest in pre-service and in-service education. To date, my research has examined effective teacher educational models that enhance teacher practice and learning in the field of early childhood and elementary education. Specifically, my work has examined current issues related to educating children and families deemed at risk based on economic factors and family condition. This research interest cohesively lends best to establishing new educators with a comprehensive understanding of the ecological factors that affect outcomes for all children.


I began as a classroom educator, teaching in both elementary and early childhood classrooms. It was my belief that constructivist techniques coupled with strong content knowledge and comprehensive understanding of child development could promote greater outcomes for children. During my time as a classroom teacher, I engaged in numerous professional development opportunities while pursuing my master’s degree in early childhood education. I was passionate about the teacher’s role as facilitator and environmental engineer. These two factors most greatly affect children’s ability to confidently construct content knowledge across varying context enhancing recall, problem solving and accurate application.


After being a classroom teacher I served as an early childhood curriculum specialist. This position afforded me the opportunity to work with both certified and non-certified early care and education practitioners in both public schools and private childcare centers to promote the acquisition of quality pedagogical techniques.  Additionally, during this time I collaborated with numerous agencies including but not limited to the local research one university, community college, early learning coalition and board, and local early literacy programs. All collaboration efforts sought to develop comprehensive systems that emphasize quality initiatives, professional development systems for early educators, social and emotional competence as a significant measure of school readiness and life-long success, and parental support programs that build on communication and understanding.  My passion was and continues to be working with children, families, and early educators to deliver comprehensive triangulated support that provides systemic change and prolonged outcomes for all involved.


Additionally, my professional resume included administrative oversight of the nation’s eighth largest school district and its implementation of state and federally funded and monitored early childhood programs. These programs include state-mandated Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten, School Readiness Programs for children and families, and Child Care Resource and Referral. As part of this position, I was responsible for implementation of legislative initiatives and laws that directly affect the execution parameters of said programs. It was my task to determine how to maintain quality initiatives within the constraints of budget and legal requirements.


I am elated to have the opportunity daily to work with colleagues and students who want to shape and change the present and future for children in positively monumental ways.



Office Schedule

10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Clearwater Campus, NM 133
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Clearwater Campus, NM 133
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Clearwater Campus, NM 133

Tutoring Availability


Classroom Schedule

No classroom schedule for the current term: Fall Term 2015 (0505)

Subjects Taught


Course Schedule