Joan M. Lucariello

Lucariello faculty photo

Research Interests

  • Cognitive development related to learning
  • sociocultural context of students, and education
  • educational policy related to issues of teacher preparation and evidence-based practices to facilitate student achievement in higher education
  • translational research applying psychological science to K-college education
  • cultural psychology, such as narrative thinking.


  • Ph.D., CUNY Graduate Center

Lucariello is an internationally known expert in cognitive development related to learning, including how sociocultural context affects students (e.g., adopting a strengths-based approach to at-risk students) and educational factors, such as instruction/teaching and curriculum. She is also focused on educational policy related to evidence-based practices to facilitate student achievement in higher education and issues of teacher preparation. She is a leader in translational research, applying psychological science to K-College education, and was appointed to the American Psychological Association (APA) Task Force on Applications of Psychological Science to Teaching and Learning. In that role, she developed online modules for K-12 teaching, Subsequently, in her role as Chair of an APA education-related Coalition, she was the lead on the APA report “Top 20 Principles from Psychology for PreK-12 Teaching and Learning,” which has been translated into several languages.

After receiving her Ph.D. from the Graduate Center, she was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Institutes of Mental Health. For several years, she was a member of the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research. She later assumed a public policy position as Senior Scientist at the APA and then a lead role in science administration as Director of Research Programs in Cognitive, Social, and Affective Development at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the NIH.

After these posts, Lucariello returned to academe as Visiting Associate Professor at UCLA and then as Professor of Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology at Boston College, where she headed the doctoral and master’s programs for many years. She then joined CUNY to hold system-wide roles first as Interim University Dean of Academic Affairs and then as University Dean of Education. She then served as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Guttman Community College, CUNY’s most educationally innovative community college.

Lucariello has authored dozens of scholarly publications and secured significant external funding in her academic and administrative roles. She is a co-editor of the volume Development of the Mediated Mind and of a special issue of Theory into Practice. She has served in leadership roles in the field, including editorial board membership and national election to the governing committee of APA’s Developmental Psychology Division. Her distinctions include visiting faculty positions at Columbia University and UCLA and a fellowship at Princeton University. Lucariello is a Fellow of the APA, the Association for Psychological Science, and the American Education Research Association.