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Prentice Starkey

Prentice Starkey has studied children’s early mathematical development for more than 20 years and published the first paper on the origins of numerical knowledge in infants in the journal Science.

His recent research focuses on socioeconomic and cultural influences on early mathematical development and education. Starkey is Co-Director of the Center for Early Learning within WestEd’s Mathematics team and is Co-Principal Investigator for research studies on the effectiveness of early childhood mathematics curricula.

Starkey has served as a grant reviewer for the Head Start Bureau, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Science Foundation, and U.S. Department of Education, and has consulted on math readiness goals and guidelines for state education departments. He coauthored a review of research on mathematical development for the Handbook of Child Psychology and coauthored a curriculum, Pre-K Mathematics, which has been rated as effective by the What Works Clearinghouse.

He was a member of the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Head Start and is currently a board member of the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness.

Starkey received a doctorate in developmental psychology from the University of Texas, Austin. He has been a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, a fellow at University College London, and a scientist at the Medical Research Council’s Cognitive Development Unit in London. Before joining WestEd, he was a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and University of California, Berkeley.