Lissanna Follari, PhD

Photo of Dr. Lissanna Follari

Lissanna Follari, PhD

Associate Professor
Teaching and Learning
University Hall B-221

Biographical Information

Dr. Lissanna Follari has been working with and for young children and families for 23 years. She began her teaching career as a teacher of infants and toddlers, and has worked in classrooms throughout the elementary grades. Lissanna has spent the past 14 years as an Early Childhood Development and Education faculty with colleges and universities in 5 states. Her work focuses on diversity studies and innovative approaches to inclusive early care and education, and she actively participates with numerous community agencies and schools advocating for high quality practices in inclusive early care and education. Lissanna has authored two books: Foundations and Best Practices in ECE and Valuing Diversity in Early Childhood, both published with Pearson, and her research and scholarship focus on diversity in early childhood and teacher education. She joined the College of Education at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs in January 2014, and served as director of Inclusive Early Childhood Education and the Bachelor of Innovation in IECE. In 2017, she became an Assistant Professor in the UCCS College of Education IECE program. Partnered with Inclusion University consulting, Lissanna also provides coaching and mentoring for early childhood teachers to enhance their implementation of effective inclusion practices. Lissanna lives in Colorado Springs with her young son, and together they spend most of their free time in the mountains and exploring our great outdoors.


Ph.D., Education 
Capella University Minneapolis, MN - 2005
Dissertation: Impact on Head Start teachers' practice of training on arts-based curriculum

Master of Education Early Childhood/Elementary Ed
Rutgers University New Brunswick, NJ - 2000

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology & Administration of Justice
Rutgers University New Brunswick, NJ - 1997     

Professional Experience

  • Teacher education faculty and program administrator (F2F and online), 13 years
  • Extensive experience building school district-college partnerships
  • Published author, two Pearson Higher Education textbooks
  • Child care center/lab school administrator, 2.5 years
  • Classroom teacher, toddlers, preschool, and 4/5th grade, 4+ years
  • Grant projects leader and team member


  • Follari, L. (2015). Valuing Diversity in Early Childhood. Pearson Education
  • Follari, L. (2015, 2006,2011). Foundations and Best Practices in Early Childhood Education: History, Theories, and Approaches 3rd Edition, Pearson Higher Education

Select Trainings and Conference Presentations

  • Proposal submitted: 2014 National Association for the Education of Young Children annual conference. "What's New in ECE Professional Preparation? Bachelor of Innovation!"
  • Proposal submitted: NAEYC PDI, 2014 Using Learning Trajectories to Bridge Practices Across the Early Years
  • Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference, 2014
  • Colorado AEYC, Presenter, 2013 DAP and the Common Core: Finding ConnectionsCulture Belongs to Everyone: Celebrating Diversity in EC Classroom
  • NAEYC Professional Development Institute, 2013 DAP and the Common Core: Finding Connections
  • Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference, Presenter, 2013 Culture Belongs to Everyone: Celebrating Diversity in EC ClassroomsThe Incredible Infant Brain (And What We Do About It)
  • Colby-Sawyer College Teaching Enrichment Center- Faculty Development Presenter Unintentional Arrows: Uncovering Microaggression in the Classroom
  • Newport Montessori, Newport NH, Spring 2013 Symposium Valuing Diversity in the Classroom
  • NH Department of Education Training for Area Administrators, 2012 RtI and the Common Core
  • NAEYC Professional Development Institute, Presenter, 2010 Inspiring Risk-Taking Thinking in the Classroom
  • WY STARS Early Childhood Teacher Training 2006, 2007, 2008 Multicultural ECE; Brain Research in Action: What EC Educators Need to KnowInspiration from Reggio Emilia; Inquiry-based learning for young children
  • Conference Presenter at the 2003 Early Childhood Conference RVCC Project Approach; Children’s Literature; Family-Friendly Teaching


  • National Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Learning and the Brain Society


  • NH Department of Education Common Core Training Group, 2012
  • Wyoming Kids First Advisory Council member, 2009-2010
  • WY Department of Education ECE Standards Review Committee, 2008
  • Center for a Vital Community Board Member, 2007-2009
  • Sheridan Quality Child Care Initiative, Inc. Board member, 2007-2009
  • Sheridan Civic Project Community Leadership Institute participant, 2007
  • Sheridan Early Childhood Association Board Member, 2006-2011

L. Follari CV