Idara Essien-Wood, Ph.D.

Idara Essien-Wood

Associate Professor
Department of Child and Family Development



Primary Email: [email protected]


Fax: 619-594-5921


Lamden Hall - 426
Mail Code: 4502


Professional Biography

Idara Essien, Ph.D. is an early childhood educator who teaches in the Department of Child and Family Development at San Diego State University (SDSU). Her research focuses on the dynamics between educators and the children and families that they serve. In particular, her work employs counter-storytelling as a lens to illuminate cross-racial dynamics in early childhood contexts. Prior to joining the faculty at SDSU, Idara served as the Cohort Instructor and Facilitator for the bachelor’s degree completion program in Early Development and Care for Sacramento State University at Southwestern Community College. She is the owner of a California state-licensed home child care facility and is a mother of three children. She earned her Ph.D. in Education from Arizona State University (ASU). She also holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Child and Family Development from ASU and an M.A. in Bilingual and Multicultural Education from Sacramento State University. Idara holds a B.S. degree in Biology from the University of California – Riverside.

Personal Biography

I love exercising! Turbo kickboxing, Body Pump, Body Combat, Yoga and Pilates. I love food - trying out different restaurants, trying different cultural foods. I love spending time with my family, traveling, going to theme parks, and the beach.


  • Ph.D. Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Arizona State University
  • M.Ed. Curriculum Instruction - Early Childhood Education, Arizona State University
  • M.A. Multicultural and Bilingual Education, CSU Sacramento
  • B.A. Biological Sciences - Biology, UC Riverside

Areas of Specialization

  • Multicultural Education
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Microaggressions
  • Counter-Storytelling
  • Family and Educator Interactions
  • Girls/Women in the Sciences



  • Family Day Care Home Licenses


  • CFD 135 - Principles of Family Development
  • CFD 353A - Parenting the Young Child
  • CFD 353B - Parenting the School Age Child
  • CFD 353C - Parenting the Teen and Young Adult
  • CFD 560 - Theories in Socio-Emotional Development
  • CFD 598 - Reflective Learning Portfolio