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College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

Dr. Heather Walter
EdD, George Washington University
Assistant Professor
Early Childhood Education

Contact Information

Send email to Dr. Walter

Phone: 17039936582
Fax: This information is not available
Email: hwalter2 (

George Mason University
Fairfax Campus
Thompson Hall 1252
4400 University Dr.
MS 4C2
Fairfax, VA 22030


Dr. Heather Walter is an Assistant Professor in the Early Childhood Education program at George Mason University. Dr. Walter is a practitioner-scholar who brings more than 10+ years into the field of early childhood, elementary and special education with a particular focus on early childhood special education administration and teacher preparation.

Dr. Walter’s research draws upon interdisciplinary and participatory practices to understand the social-emotional development of all young children and the adults they serve in diverse educational contexts. Using implementation science and mixed methods, Dr. Walter’s research explores three critical areas: (1) The ways in which adults promote young children’s social emotional competencies and overall well-being, (2) the connection between education, retention, and well-being for practicioners in the field of education and (3) Coaching and mentoring and the role of the partnership to promote positive relationships and supportive practices. 

Dr. Walter was recognized for the 2021 dissertation award in Mixed Methods for American Educational Research Association (AERA) as well as the poster winner for the Society for Research in Child Development (SCRD) that focuses on the importance of contributions for policy research. She also holds an Ed.S degree as a funded scholar through the George Washington University in Early Childhood Administration.

Research Interests

Early Childhood/ Early Childhood Special Education

Teacher Development/ Teacher Retention

School Culture

Teacher and School-Based Well-being

Participatory Community Based Research

Mixed Methods

Implementation Science 

Recent Publications
Walter, H.L., Fox, H., Kutscher, E., & Tuckwiller, E.D. (2022). The dual factor model of special education teacher well-being. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education.
Fox, H., & Walter, H.L. (2022). More than strengths within: Cultivating teacher resilience during COVID-19. Critical Issues in Education, 23(1.)
Walter, H.L., Fox, H, (2021). Understanding teacher well-being during COVID-19 pandemic overtime: A qualitative longitudinal study. Journal of organizational psychology. 21(5) 37-51.
Walter, H.L., Fox, H, (2021). Understanding teacher well-being during COVID-19 pandemic overtime: A qualitative longitudinal study. Journal of organizational psychology. 21(5) 37-51.
Fox, H., Tuckwiller, E.D., Kutscher, E. L., & Walter, H.L. (2020). “What makes teachers well?” A mixed methods study of special education teacher well-being. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education. 9(2) 234-258.
Walter H, L. (2020). Exploring early childhood special education teachers’ wellbeing through a multidimensional lens: A mixed methods study. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. The George Washington University. origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750&diss=y
Stites, M.L. & Walter, H.L. & Krikorian, J. (2020). These aren’t the kids I signed up for: the lived experience of general education early childhood preservice teachers in classrooms for children with special needs. Journal for Early Childhood Teacher Education.
Stites, M.L & Walter, H.L. (2019). Adding to the Equation. National Association of Elementary Principals.
Yang, S., Geller, A., Baciu, A, Alexis, N... Walter, H. L. (2018). Fifth Annual DC Public Health Case Challenge. Lead and Adverse Childhood Experiences: Neurological and Behavioral Consequences for Youth in the District of Columbia. Discussion Paper, Institute of Medicine.