Gay Wilgus

Associate Professor, Early Childhood Education

Main Affiliation

School of Education

Additional Departments/Affiliated Programs

Teaching & Learning

Early Childhood Education


North Academic Center





Gay Wilgus


Gay Wilgus spent many years as teacher for two-year olds and as a music and movement consultant for preschool-aged children. Her past research has centered on the academic writing issues of early childhood education teacher candidates, programs for young immigrant children in the French and Spanish public schools and on the experiences of mothers from immigrant backgrounds as they seek services and schooling for their children with disabilities. Gay’s current research involves a comparative study of early childhood teacher preparation programs in Spain, France, Belgium and Ireland. She is the editor of Knowledge, Pedagogy and Postmulticulturalism: shifting the locus of learning in urban teacher education (Palgrave, 2013).


Ph D Sociology. 2002. City University of New York Graduate Center.  New York, NY
MS Ed Infant Toddler Parent Development. 1991.  Bank Street College of Education.  New York, NY.
MFA Dance. 1977. University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  Greensboro, NC.

Other study:
Universidad de La Rioja. 2009. Logrono, Spain.
Universite de Paris VIII. 1994. Paris, France

Courses Taught

Developmental Issues in Childhood and Early Childhood Education
Problems and Issues in Childhood and Early Childhood Education
Learning in the Early Years:  Infants and Toddlers
Sociology of Education
Music and Movement in Early Childhood Education

Research Interests

Children of immigration in public school systems
Experiences of immigrant mothers of children with disabilities



Wilgus, G., Ed. 2013. Knowledge, Pedagogy, and Postmulticulturalism: Shifting the Locus of Learning in Urban Teacher Education.  New York:  Palgrave MacMillan.


Refereed journal articles

Wilgus, G., Valle, J. & Ware, L. 2013.“Algorithms of Access: Immigrant Mothers' Negotiations for Resources and Services,” Special issue “Global Families” Review of Disability Studies 9 (3) 79-91.

Gallwey, S. and G. Wilgus. 2013. “Equitable partnerships for mutual learning or perpetuator of North-South power imbalances? : Ireland-South Africa school links” COMPARE:  A Journal of Comparative and International Education. DOI:10.1080/03057925.2013.798178

Wilgus, G. 2009. Male early childhood teachers negotiate classroom dilemma: class, family, community and culture in models for moral reasoning. Journal of Gender Studies, Vol. 18 (3) 215-230.

Wilgus, G. 2006. “Beyond “Because I said so!”: Three Early Childhood Teachers Challenge the Research on the Disciplinary Beliefs and Strategies of Individuals     from Working Class Minority Backgrounds,”Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood Education 7 (3) 253-269.

Wilgus, G. 2005.“If you carry him around all the time at home, he expects one of us to carry him around all day here and there only TWO of us!”  Parents, teachers        and administrators’ beliefs about parents’ role in the infant-toddler center. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education 26 (3) pp. 259-273. 

Wilgus, G. 2004. “The best of intentions? A critique of programs for immigrant children in three Parisian early childhood classrooms,” International Journal of       Equity and Innovation in Early Childhood Education, 2 (2) 12-26.

Wilgus, G. 2004. “Planting the seeds of tolerance:  Using music and movement as the basis of multicultural curriculum for two year-olds,” Journal of Music and Movement Studies in Early Childhood Education, 10(4) 40-48.

Published Proceedings

Wilgus, G.,  Medina Barco, I., Ware, L. and Valle, J. February, 2014. “ ‘Mi esposo va a la oficina de la concejal de la ciudad, pero yo les pregunto a las demás madres en el parque’: Genero, inmigración y madres de niños con discapacidades.” (“ ‘My husband goes to the City Councilwoman’s Office but I ask the mothers in the park’: gender, immigration and mothers of children with disabilities”) Conference proceedings, "Oriente y Occidente: la construcción de la subjetividad femenina." (East and West:  the construction of feminine subjectivity) III Reunión científica. Universidad de la Rioja, Logroño, Spain. 


Book Chapters

Wilgus, G. 2006. “Gender Issues” in Soto, L.D. (Ed.), The Praeger Handbook of   Latino Education in the U.S.: An Encyclopedia. Westport, CT: Praeger Press. pp. 179-184.

Wilgus, G. 2005. “Gender, authority,  Montessori and early childhood teachers’ choices of interactional and disciplinary styles” in Koch, J. and Irby, B., (Eds.), Gender and Schooling in the Early Years. Westport, CT: Information Age. pp. 39-60.


Invited conference presentations (recent)

March, 2016. “Incluyendo a las Culturas Diversas, Urbanas, de los Estudiantes Inmigrantes dentro del Currículo en The City College of New York.”  Departamentos de Facultat de Ciències de l'Educació  et de Sociologia de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

October, 2016. “Maternité, ethnicité et disabilty.” (Motherhood, ethnicity and disability). Le laboratoire EMA (Ecole, Mutations, Apprentissages). Univ. de Cergy-Pontoise - Site de Gennevilliers.


Conference Presentations

March, 2016. Writing with Ethnically, Linguistically and Generationally Diverse Early Childhood University Students:  the priority of social. 10th annual International    Technology, Education and Development Conference Valencia (Spain). 7th - 9th of March, 2016.

June, 2015. “Cinematic Constructions of Mothering Disability:  The Miracle Worker, My Left Foot, David’s Mother, and Forrest Gump” Motherhood and Culture,         International and Interdisciplinary Conference, 15-17 June 2015, Maynooth University, Co. Kildare, Ireland.

May, 2015. “Mothers of  immigration find services and educational settings for their young children with disabilities.”  Annual Conference of theMuseum of Motherhood. “New Maternalisms”: Tales of Motherwork (Dislodging the Unthinkable)

Wilgus, G. (October, 2013) Knowledge, Pedagogy and Postmulticulturalism: shifting the locus of learning in urban teacher education.  Paper presented at the 34th Annual Conference on Curriculum Theory and Classroom Practice. Dayton, Ohio.

Wilgus, G., Valle, J. and Ware, L. (November, 2012) “‘Everybody is SO helpful’/ ‘Am I in a precinct?’ Ethnic Stereotyping and Immigrant Mothers of Children with Disabilities.”  Paper presented at  the Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education Annual Conference, State College, PA.