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Wendy Mages

Wendy Mages earned a master’s and a doctoral degree in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a master’s degree in Theatre from Northwestern University.  Prior to joining the faculty at Mercy College, she taught graduate and undergraduate students at Boston University and at Harvard.  In addition to her work with adults, she has designed and taught a preschool performing arts program, worked as a museum educator, and wrote and performed for children’s television. 

Her research, which focuses on the effect of educational strategies and contexts on language, cognitive, and social development, has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals, including the Review of Educational Research, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Research in Drama Education, Youth Theatre Journal, Scenario, and Library and Information Science Research. In 2016, she completed a Fulbright Specialist Fellowship focusing on Drama and Theatre in an Austrian Teacher Education Program.  In addition to her scholarly publications, Dr. Mages also writes and performs personal narratives. 


EdD and EdM, Human Development and Psychology, Harvard Graduate School of Education

MA, Theatre, Northwestern University

BA, Summa Cum Laude, Theatre Arts, Brandeis University

Selected Publications

Peer Reviewed Journal Publications

Mages, W. K.  (2020). Perseverance, performance, and pedagogy in the pandemic: The power of storytelling in face-to-face and virtual learning environments.  R & E Source: Open Online Journal for Research and Education. Retrieved from

Mages, W. K.  (2020). Educational drama and theatre pedagogy: An integral part of training English-as-a-foreign-language teachers. Scenario Journal, 2020(1), 12-24.

Mages, W. K.  (2018). Does theatre-in-education promote early childhood development?: The effect of drama on language, perspective-taking, and imagination. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 45, 224–237.

Mages, W. K., Nitecki, E., & Ohseki, A.  (2018).  A college-community collaboration: Fostering developmentally appropriate practices in the early childhood classroom. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 18(3), 174–188.

Mages, W. K. (2017). Practice makes perfectible: The impact of training and rehearsal on intervention fidelity. Youth Theatre Journal, 31(1), 7–22.

Mages, W. K. (2016). Educational drama and theatre: Paradigms for understanding and engagement. R & E Source: Open Online Journal for Research and Education. Retrieved from

Mages, W. K. (2016).  Taking inspiration from Reggio Emilia: An analysis of a professional development workshop on fostering authentic art in the early childhood classroom. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 37(2), 175–185.

Mages, W. K. (2015). Drama in early childhood: Promoting language development and supporting academic transitions. R & E Source: Open Online Journal for Research and Education. Retrieved from

Mages, W. K.  (2013). Building a strong ensemble of teaching artists: Characteristics, contexts, and strategies for success and sustainability. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 14(8). Retrieved from

Mages, W. K.  (2012). Preschool characteristics influence the success of professional development: Is your preschool ready, willing, and able? NHSA Dialog: A Research-to-Practice Journal for the Early Childhood Field 15(2), 195–200.

Mages, W. K.  (2012). Professional development in the context of a Head Start theatre-in-education program. NHSA Dialog: A Research-to-Practice Journal for the Early Childhood Field 15(2), 159–186.

Mages, W. K. (2010). Creating a culture of collaboration: The conception, design, and evolution of a Head Start theatre-in-education program. Youth Theatre Journal 24(1), 45–61.

Mages, W. K., & Garson, D. S. (2010). Get the cite right: Design and evaluation of a high-quality online citation tutorial. Library & Information Science Research Journal 32(2),

Mages, W. K. (2008). Does creative drama promote language development in early childhood?  A review of the methods and measures employed in the empirical literature. Review of Educational Research 78(1), 124-152.

Mages, W. K. (2007). Motivation, classroom management, and pedagogical vision: An investigation of the psychosocial development of two actor-educators. Youth Theatre Journal 21, 94–112.

Mages, W. K. (2006). Drama and imagination: A cognitive theory of drama’s effect on narrative comprehension and narrative production. Research in Drama Education 11(3), 329–340.

Mages, W. K. (2006). How many words is a picture worth? The importance of comprehensive reporting in drama research. Youth Theatre Journal 20, 1–11.

Mages, W. K. (2004).  Urban Improv: A portrait of an educational drama organization.  Youth Theatre Journal, 18, 30–44.

Book Chapter

Mages, W. K.  (2017). Drama-based interventions and narrative.  In N. Kucirkova, C. E. Snow, V. Grover, & C. McBride (Eds). The Routledge international handbook of early literacy education: A contemporary guide to literacy teaching and interventions in a global context. (pp. 296–307)New York, NY: Routledge.

Additional Publication

Mages, W. (2021). A tale of 2020. In Manfred Scewe (Ed). 81 Sprüche zur enthärtung unserer welt: On the softening of our world 81 sayings. (p. 140).  Schibri-Verlag.

Mages, W. K. (2019). Lima beans: An epiphany. Journal of Stories in Science. Retrieved from


Mercy College
2020 Faculty Innovation Award

This award recognizes the fundamental importance of faculty innovation.

American Educational Research Association Arts & Learning Special Interest Group
2011 Arts & Learning SIG Dissertation Award

This annual award recognizes excellence in an article based on a recently completed dissertation study.

American Alliance for Theatre and Education
2009 Distinguished Dissertation Award

This dissertation award recognizes excellence a recently completed dissertation study.

Contact Info

Photo of Wendy Mages
Wendy Mages
  • Professor, Childhood Education
BX 2257