sealPurdue Literacy Experts

Susan J. Britsch

Associate professor, literacy and language education
(765) 494-5893

Studies child language socialization in families and communities, as well as the connection between teaching style and what's appropriate in a specific community. Also studies children's stories, both told and written. Has researched young children's literacy development and is exploring the use of e-mail to develop children's writing. Is a former nursery school teacher.

Beverly E. Cox

Associate professor, literacy education
(765) 494-3936

Conducted and published research on language and literacy development from preschool to adult ages. Was project director for federal Student Literacy Corps at Purdue and conducts research into preschoolers' and elementary children's developing literacy.

Deborah R. Dillon

Professor, literacy and language education
(765) 494-2354

Has published articles and given presentations on the roles of teachers and students as they work together to facilitate students' understanding of texts and writing of texts. Has worked with several teachers in collaborative efforts to better understand the complexities of teaching, learning, and assessment, and to study where universities and schools should be heading in the 21st century.

Charles A. Elster

Associate professor, literacy education
(765) 494-6056

Researches emergent literacy and literature-based language arts programs. Is especially interested in how teachers and parents read books with children, how young children "pretend read" familiar books, and how adults organize literacy learning for children. Named Outstanding Teacher in the School of Education in 1993.

Margaret J. Finders

Associate professor, English education
(765) 494-8118

Research and teaching interests center on early adolescence and sociocultural dimensions of literacy learning. Work focuses on how social roles constrict and enable particular literate practices within and beyond the classroom. Wrote the 1997 book "Just Girls: Hidden Literacies and Life in Junior High," in which she followed six girls for a year, reading everything they wrote. Currently studying literacy and female adolescent offenders in an alternative middle school. Received the National Council of Teachers of English Promising Researcher Award.

Carol J. Hopkins

Professor, literacy education
(765) 494-3934

Examines elementary-level instructional materials to determine the extent to which literacy research has been translated into practice. Is co-author of instructional materials for grades 1-6.

Jill P. May

Professor, literacy education
(765) 494-2355

Research concentrates on children's literature, children's responses to literature, literacy studies in grades K-12, and picture-book art.

David G. O'Brien

Professor, literacy education
(765) 494-2356

Studies literacy in secondary schools, especially in-service and preservice teachers' beliefs and practices about content area literacy. Research is based on sociocultural, political and cultural aspects of secondary literacy.

Maribeth Schmitt

Clinical associate professor, literacy and language
Director, Reading Recovery Program
(765) 494-9750

Has studied and written papers about literacy education in elementary and middle schools. Was a teacher and remedial reading specialist in Catholic schools for 11 years. First director of the Indiana Reading Recovery program, which provides special training for teachers who work one-on-one with first-grade pupils who otherwise might not learn to read. On editorial review boards of The Reading Teacher, a journal of the International Reading Association, and Literacy, Teaching and Learning. Won a national award for research on literacy.

Rodney C. Vandeveer

Assistant professor, organizational behavior
(765) 494-6804

Has 30 years of industry work experience in the areas of management, human resources and operations. Has special interest in partnerships between business and education and has researched adult literacy problems.

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