Professor Rao’s research has focused on understanding why policies and programs directed at the early childhood stage of development have the effects that they do and her work has informed the research and policy agenda related to the quality of early childhood education in the Asia Pacific region. Notable recent projects are the development of the East-Asia Pacific Child Development Scales which won a Best of UNICEF Research (2015) award, being a core member of the team that developed the Measurement of Early Learning Environments survey (Brookings Institute, 2016) and the development of the conceptual framework and pilot items for the Survey of Teachers in Pre-primary Education (UNESCO, 2016). Language and Literacy are critical developments during the early childhood period and she has developed measures of early language development and supervised many doctoral students working in the areas of early language, bilingualism and trilingualism.
Rao, N., Zhou, J., & Sun, J. & Li, H. (Eds.) (in press). Early childhood education in Chinese societies. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.
Rao, N., Pearson, E., Cheng, K.M., & Taplin, M. (2013). Teaching in primary schools in China and India: Contexts of learning. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
Rao, N., & Sun, J. (2010). Early childhood care and education in the Asia-Pacific region: Moving towards Goal 1 (97pp). Hong Kong: Comparative Education Research Centre, The University of Hong Kong/UNESCO.