Ekaterina (Katya) Strekalova-Hughes

Ekaterina (Katya) Strekalova-Hughes
Associate Professor
Education, Social Work and Psychological Sciences

Contact Info
314 Education


How I Help Students

Dr. Strekalova-Hughes is the coordinator of the undergraduate program in Early Childhood Teacher Preparation and the graduate program in Curriculum and Instruction – Early Childhood. As a faculty member who teaches in both programs, she supports students’ growth as self-fulfilled creative professionals committed to equity.

Join her students in this rewarding profession and make a long-lasting impact.


Dr. Strekalova-Hughes is an Assistant Professor of Urban Teacher Preparation/Early Childhood Education at the UMKC’s School of Education. She was born in Russia where she received her M.A. from Volgograd State University and taught in multilingual early childhood classrooms in Moscow.

Dr. Strekalova-Hughes moved to the United States to earn her doctoral degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and volunteered at the United Nations in New York City to learn more about the interconnectedness of countries and nations around the globe. Growing up in Volgograd, which is formerly Stalingrad, she has an acute commitment to peace and a world where people’s differences are respected.

Research Areas

Dr. Strekalova-Hughes’ is interested in culturally sustaining teaching for all children, especially learners from refugee backgrounds. She researches family storytelling as a culturally and linguistically sustaining practice and investigates how legal, political, and economic mechanisms related to forced displacement shape educational policies, practices, and generative discourses that impact children with experiences seeking refuge.


Ph.D., Early Childhood Education, State University of New York at Buffalo
M.A., Education: Language and Literature, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Volgograd State University


Selected works

Strekalova-Hughes, E. S. & Wang, X. C. (2019). Perspectives of children from refugee backgrounds on their family storytelling as a culturally sustaining practice. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 33(1), 6-21.

Strekalova-Hughes, E. (2019). Unpacking refugee flight: Critical content analysis of picturebooks featuring refugee protagonists. International Journal of Multicultural Education, 21(2), 23-44.

Strekalova-Hughes, E. & Noor, S. (2019). Towards creativity justice: Interrogating the promise of “universal” creativity in early childhood teacher preparation. Perspectives and Provocations in Early Childhood Education, 8(3), 1-40.

Strekalova-Hughes, E., Peterman, N., & Lewman, K. (2019). Legally scripted fictions: Fathers and fatherhood in picturebooks with young protagonists from refugee backgrounds. Children’s Literature in English Language Education, 7(2), p. 10-36.

Wang, X. C., Strekalova-Hughes, E.S., & Cho, H. (2019). Going beyond a single story: Experiences and education of refugee children at home, in school, and in the community. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 33(1), 1-5.

Strekalova-Hughes, E. S. & Wang, X. C. (2017). Intercultural experiential continuum: A case study of early childhood teachers working with refugee children. Journal of Early Childhood Education Research, 6(1), 61-88.

Strekalova-Hughes, E. S. (2017). Comparative analysis of intercultural sensitivity among teachers working with refugees. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 31(4), 561-570.


Strekalova-Hughes, E. & Wang, X. C. (Awarded, February 2013). Power of words: Exploring storytelling practices of refugee families. Educational Research Service Project Grant, American Education Research Association (AERA).