Nanette (Sheri) Schonleber

Associate Professor

Sheri Schonleber
Nanette (Sheri) Schonleber


Stevenson 2004

Office Hours

16:30-18:30 Via Zoom
12:30-14:30 Via Zoom on In Person
Available By Appointment Only
  • Ph. D., Educational Psychology (Culture, Learning and Development)
  • M.Ed., Early Childhood/Montessori Education
  • B.A., Liberal Studies/Multiple Subjects Credential
Academic Interests

My current academic interests include the broad intersection of culture, learning, and STEM pedagogy through young children’s involvement in the natural world, equity pedagogy, and the impact of COVID on kindergarten-age children.  My research focus in the past has been on language and literacy development with a specialty in dyslexia and dysgraphia, indigenous education, equity pedagogy, and the Montessori approach. 


My colleagues and I are currently investigating the effects of professional development on early childhood practitioners’ (center-based teachers, home care providers and children’s librarians) sense of self-efficacy in teaching the natural sciences to young children and to provide equity and access to the sciences and the natural world for children, caregivers, teachers, and families in underrepresented communities. We believe it is urgently important to provide access to the natural world in the early years such that children’s and the adults in their lives can have a nurturing and reciprocal relationship with the earth. Our approach, inspired by Montessori’s integrated natural/social sciences curriculum and a place-and-project based approach, includes the research-based teaching strategies from the Center for Research, Education, Diversity, and Excellence (CREDE), and authentic scientific tools for use in field work and investigation.  


Early Childhood Education Program Experience

  • Founding Director, My Element Montessori School, Carlsbad, CA
  • Faculty Liaison and Lab School Supervisor, Chaminade University Laboratory School, Honolulu, HI
  • Director, Calvary by the Sea School, Honolulu, HI
  • Founder and Lead Teacher: Calvary by the Sea School, Toddler Program, Honolulu, HI

University Teaching and Leadership

  • Associate Professor, Early Childhood Studies/Graduate Services Coordinator, Master’s in Early Childhood Education, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA
  • Professor, Early Childhood Education/Director, Laboratory School. Miracosta College, Oceanside, CA
  • Assistant Professor, Early Childhood Curriculum Studies/Master’s in Early Childhood Education Program Co-Director, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI
  • Professor, Early Childhood and K-3 Education/Montessori Teacher Education Program Director and Director, Castle Outreach Program, Honolulu, HI
  • Statewide Training Coordinator, Healthy Start, Honolulu, HI
Selected Publications & Presentations

Schonleber, N.S. (March 2023). One small space, a topic of wonder, and Montessori:  Increasing equity and access to the natural sciences for young children and adults in underrepresented communities. Poster accepted for presentation at the American Montessori Society Annual Meeting, Boston, MA.

Florez, I.R., & Schonleber, N.S. (May 2022). Issues in Early Childhood Education: US State Quality Improvement Systems. Routledge.

Schonleber, N. S. (Fall, 2021). Using the Cosmic Curriculum of Dr. Montessori Toward the development of a place-based Indigenous science program. Journal of Montessori Research, 7(2). 12-24.  

Schonleber, N.s. (April 2020). Adapting Montessori’s “Cosmic Curriculum” in the development of a Hawaiian language immersion science program. Poster Presented at the American Education Research Association Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Schonleber, N.S. & Kelling I. K. (June, 2018). Creating a culturally responsive K-3 science curriculum: Teachers as cultural brokers. International Journal of Early Childhood Education, 24 (1), 67-92. DOI: 10.18023/ijece.2018.24.1.004

Schonleber, N. S. (Summer, 2014).  Hawaiian indigenous education and the Montessori approach: overlapping pedagogies, values, and worldview.  The North American Montessori Teacher’s Association Journal, 39(3), 250-273

Yamauchi, L. A., Im, S., Lin, C., & Schonleber, N. S. (May, 2012). The influence of professional development on changes in educators’ facilitation of complex thinking in preschool classrooms. Early Childhood Development and Care, 183 (5), 1-18.

Yamauchi, L. A. Im, S., & Schonleber, N. S. (Feb, 2012). Adapting strategies of effective instruction for culturally diverse preschoolers. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 33(1),  54-72.

Schonleber, N. S. (2011). Culturally relevant pedagogy: Perspectives from Hawaiian culture-based educators. Journal of American Indian Education, 50(3), 5-25.

Kelling, I. K.., & Schonleber, N. S (2011). He ‘ike pāpālua o ke ao me ka pō Teaching science in a Hawaiian cultural context. Hūlili (3), 223-258.