Amita Gupta


Main Affiliation

School of Education

Additional Departments/Affiliated Programs

Curriculum and Instruction

Early Childhood Education

Areas of Expertise/Research

  • International and Comparative Education
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Teaching, Learning & Culture
  • Urban Education


North Academic Center







Amita Gupta

Amita Gupta


Dr. Gupta has been in the field of early education for thirty years and has extensive cross-cultural experience with school administration, teacher education, and classroom teaching in urban schools in both India and the U.S.

She has been invited as a keynote/plenary speaker at international conferences at Slovakia, Denmark, Birmingham University (UK) and Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia; and to give talks at Slovakian Academy of Science, Syracuse University, Cornell University, Columbia University, Zhejiang University (China), National Institute of Education at Nanyang Tech University (Singapore), Delhi University (India), and the WISE 2014 - Qatar Foundation. As a Fulbright Researcher she has also collaborated with colleagues at University of Colombo in Sri Lanka, and at the Maldives National University.

Prior to joining CUNY she was Associate Director of an early education school on the Upper West Side for ten years. Dr. Gupta serves as an early childhood consultant and on the Board of Directors for schools in both countries, and continues to offer culturally responsive professional development consultations in the areas of school leadership, teacher preparation, curriculum design and development for schools, institutions and organizations in India and the U.S.


Ed.D. (Early Childhood Teacher Education): Columbia University, Teachers College
M.A.  (Early Childhood Education): Columbia University, Teachers College
M.A. (Literature in English): Annamalai University, India
B.Ed. (Teaching of Biology and Chemistry): Delhi University, New Delhi, India
B. Sc. (Botany and Chemistry): Delhi University, New Delhi, India 

Courses Taught

Critical  Perspectives on Childhood and Pedagogy

Education that is Multicultural

Early Childhood Education and Postcolonial Theory

Program and Curriculum in Early Childhood

Social Studies in the Early Childhood Curriculum

Observing and Recording the Behaviors of Young Children

Supervision of Student Teaching in Early Childhood

Developmental Issues in Early Childhood

A Multicultural Approach to Teaching Young Children

Play and Pedagogy in Early Childhood Education

Research Interests

Dr. Gupta’s research interests are interdisciplinary and draw upon the fields of the history, philosophy and sociology of education; postcolonial theory; urban education; international and comparative education; and early childhood teacher education. Her scholarship is focused on teacher preparation with an emphasis on the themes of cross-cultural perspectives on teaching, learning, and development; socio-cultural-historical constructivism in teaching and learning; and the impact of globalization on teacher preparation and practice. The integration of these themes also appears in her teaching at the Masters and Doctoral levels.  As a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar she conducted a multi-country examination of current directions in early education and urban teacher preparation policies in response to the effects of globalization in South Asia.


Selected Publications


Tan, G; Gupta, A. & Wilgus, G. (2019). Investment in Early Childhood Education in a Globalized World: Practices and Parental Philosophies in China, India and the United States. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Gupta, A. (2014). Diverse Early Childhood Education Policies and Practices: Voices and Images from Five Countries in Asia. New York, NY: Routledge.

Gupta, A. (2013). Early Childhood Education, Postcolonial Theory, Teaching Practices and Policies in India: Balancing Vygotsky and the Veda. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan (revised and expanded 2nd edition).

Gupta, A. (Ed.) (2007). Going to School in South Asia. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Gupta, A. (2006). Early Childhood Education, Postcolonial Theory and Teaching Practices in India: Balancing Vygotsky and the Veda. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan (1st edition).


Gupta, A. (2019). Young children and their educational rights: Critical perspectives on policy and practice in India.  In Jane Murray, Beth Blue Swadener & Kylie Smith (Eds) Routledge International Handbook of Young Children’s Rights.

Gupta, A. & Lucia, B. (2017). School readiness in the context of inner city Head Start centers. Early Child Development & Care. Pp. 1-14. DOI:

Gupta, A. (2017). Foreword. In Akpovo, Moram & Brookshire (Eds). Collaborative Cross-Cultural Research Methodologies in Early Care and Education Contexts. New York, NY: Routledge

Gupta, A. (2017). How neoliberal globalization is shaping early childhood education policies in India, China, Singapore, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Policy Futures in Education. pp. 1-18.

Gupta, A. (2016). Policy Trends in Teacher Professionalization and Professionalism in India. In J. Fox, M. Li and S. Grieshaber (Eds). Contemporary Issues and Challenges in Early Childhood Education in the Asia-Pacific Region. New Frontiers of Educational Research Series. Springer.

Gupta, A. (2016). Progressive education in a Nursery/Kindergarten school in New York City: The Riverside Church Weekday School from 1930 to 2013. In S. Semel & A. Sadovnik (Eds): Schools of tomorrow, schools of today: What happened to progressive education. New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Gupta, A. (2015). “Pedagogy of third space”: A multidimensional curriculum in early childhood.  Policy Futures in Education, 13(2), pp. 260–272.

Gupta, A. (2015). Using Postcolonial Theory to Critically Re-frame the Child Development Narrative. In Tricia David, Kathy Goouch, & Sasha Powell (Eds.). Routledge Handbook of Philosophies and Theories of Early Childhood Education and Care. UK: Routledge

Blumenreich, M. & Gupta, A. (2015). The globalization of Teach for America: An analysis of the institutional discourses of Teach for America and Teach for India within local contexts. Teaching and Teacher Education, 48, 87-96.

Gupta, A. (2013). Play: Early Childhood Pedagogies and Policies in a Globalizing Asia. In Lillemyr, O.F., Dockett, S. & Perry, B. (Eds.) Varied Perspectives of play and learning: Theory and research on early years' education. Information Age Publishing Inc.

Gupta, A. (2013). Incorporating teacher candidates' prior beliefs and funds of knowledge in teaching about child development. In G. Wilgus (Ed.) Knowledge, pedagogy and post-multiculturalism:  Shifting the locus of learning in urban teacher education. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 107-128.

Gupta, A. (2012). Neoliberal globalization and pre-primary teacher education policy and practice in India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. In D. Kapoor, B. Barua & A. Datoo (Eds.) Globalization, Culture and Education in South Asia: Critical Excursions. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan., pp. 103-121.

Gupta, A. (2011). Play and pedagogy framed within India's historical, socio-cultural and pedagogical context. In S. Rogers (Ed.) Rethinking Play and Pedagogy in Early Childhood Education: Concepts, Contexts and Cultures. Oxford, UK: Routledge, pp. 86-99.

Gupta, A. (2007). Introduction: culture, curriculum, and points of intersection. In A. Gupta (Ed.) Going to school in South Asia. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Gupta, A. (2007). Going to school in India. In A. Gupta (Ed.) Going to school in South Asia.  Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Latheef, M. & Gupta, A. (2007). Going to school in Maldives. In A. Gupta (Ed.) Going to school in South Asia. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Gupta, A. (2009). Vygotskian perspectives to enhance children's development and balance creativity with structure in the early childhood classroom. Early Child Development and Care. 179(8), 1041-1054.

Gupta, A. (2008). Tracing global-local transitions within early childhood curriculum and practice in India. Research in Comparative and International Education. 3(3), pp. 266-279.

Gupta, A. (2006). Early experiences and funds of knowledge and beliefs of immigrant and minority teacher candidates dialog with theories of child development in a teacher education classroom. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education. 27(1), 3-18.

Gupta, A. (2004). The challenge of working with large class size: Dispositions of early childhood teachers in India. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood. 5(3), 361-377.

Gupta, A.  (2003). Socio-cultural-historical constructivism in the preparation and practice of early childhood teachers in New Delhi, India. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education.  24(3), 163-170.

Gupta, A. (2001). Implementing Change at the Pre-Primary level in a School in India. International Journal of Early Childhood.  33(1), 34-42.