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School of Education, Health and Human Behavior
School of Education

Stacie M. Kirk, Ph.D.

Associate Professor


Ph.D., 2006, University of Kansas
M.A., 2002, University of Kansas
B.A., 1999, Missouri State University

Early Childhood Special Education, Early Intervention, Early Childhood Physical Activity and Nutrition

(618) 650‑3683

1108 Founders Hall   

Stacie Kirk

About Dr. Kirk

Stacie M. Kirk, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Special Education in the School of Education, Health, and Human Behavior at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Dr. Kirk joined SIUE in 2008 after obtaining her Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Kansas. Dr. Kirk teaches courses in Early Childhood Special Education and Early Intervention for Early Childhood Education and Special Education teacher candidates, as well as introductory special education and language development courses. Prior to joining SIUE, Dr. Kirk taught in both preschool and toddler-age early childhood classrooms, and has experience working with Early Head Start and Head Start programs as the Director of Disability Services.  Dr. Kirk is a frequent presenter at professional meetings at the national level and is involved with various professional organizations.

Research Profile

Dr. Kirk’s current research involves examining the effects of physical activity and diet on learning in preschool children. She studies how incorporating physical activity into academic lessons and altering dietary intake can reduce obesity and improve early learning skills in preschool children at risk for developmental delay. She has served as Principal Investigator, author and co-author for a number of grants, articles and presentations on this, and other topics in the areas of Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Special Education and Early Childhood Physical Activity and Health


  1. Kirk, S.M., & Kirk, E.P. (2015). Sixty minutes of physical activity per day included within preschool academic lessons improves early literacy. Journal of School Health (in press).

  2. Kirk, S.M., &  Kirk, EP. (2015). The effects of classroom-based physical activity incorporated into academic lessons in head start preschoolers on academic achievement between males and females. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 47:5, S304, Supplement.

  3. Kirk, S.M., Vizcarra, C.R., Looney, E.C., Kirk, E.P. (2014). Using physical activity to teach academic lessons: A study of the effects of literacy in head start preschools. Early Childhood Education Journal, 42 (3): 181-189.

  4. Kirk, S.M., & Kirk, E.P.  (2013). Head Start classroom-based physical activity lessons improves academic achievement in African American preschoolers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 45:5, S1, Supplement.

  5. Kirk, S. M., Fuchs, W. W., Kirk, E. P. (2013). Integrating physical activity into preschool classroom academic lessons promotes daily physical activity and improves literacy (research article). NHSA Dialog: A Research-to-Practice Journal for the Early Intervention Field, 16 (3):64-76.

  6. Kirk, S. M., Fuchs, W. W., Kirk, E. P. (2013). Improving preschool literacy skills using physical activity (research-to-practice summary). NHSA Dialog: A Research-to-Practice Journal for the Early Intervention Field, 16 (3):155-159.

  7. Kirk, S.M., & Kirk, E.P. (2012). Physical activity incorporated within head start curriculum improves early literacy in African American children. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 44:5, S1295, Supplement.

  8. Kirk, S. M., & Walker, D. (2010).  Combining Teacher Facilitation with Preferred Play Materials to Improve Social Interaction of Young Children. Early Childhood Services: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Effectiveness, 4(4), 213-228.

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