Erin Flynn

Associate Professor of Child, Youth, & Family Studies

PSU History

I have worked at PSU since 2014, teaching and mentoring students in the Child, Youth, & Family Studies program as well as students in University Studies. In 2017, I became a co-chair of the Early Childhood Council at PSU, an interdisciplinary group of scholars focused on leveraging the broad, interdisciplinary commitments of PSU to support learning and development in the early years.


A former Head Start and State Pre-K teacher, I bring a classroom teacher's perspective to teaching and research focused on early childhood care and education.

Academic/Research Interests

My research focuses on language and literacy development during the early childhood years. My most recent research studies the social, emotional, and linguistic power of engaging young children in storytelling activities that forefront the strengths and experiences of young children. I use Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) to illuminate the diversity and sophistication of young children's storytelling in multicultural, multilingual preschool classrooms. I see research as a vital tool to center and amplify the perspectives of children and teachers in larger conversations about teaching practice and educational policy in early childhood.

Personal Interests

I love reading, listening to music, hanging out with friends, and hiking. Most rainy days, I can be found battling my dog Milo and partner Jessica for space on the couch and under the blanket with favorite tunes in the background.

I'm originally from a small town suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. As a young queer person, I fled the rust belt for the complex, but more diverse and intersecting community life of Boston and then Chicago. People who know me well know that some part of my heart will always be in Ohio. Keeping up with Ohio family, friends, and sports takes up a good bit of my free time.

Follow Me

  • PhD - Education Studies: Literacy, Language, & Culture
    University of Michigan
  • English & History
    Boston College
  • MS - Early Childhood Education
    Erikson Institute