Monday, January 6, 2014

SCED 4200 Spring 2014: Course Introduction

Greetings, and welcome to a new year and a new course! 

A little bit about me: I grew up in Murray, Utah, and was a fourth-generation Spartan from Murray High School. Great school, awful school colors. Orange and black? Really? After graduating from Westminster College with a double major in English and history, I taught high school English in Alpine School District and middle school reading in Jordan School District. Somewhere along the way, the "travel bug" bit me and I ended up teaching middle school in Cincinnati, Ohio and Manchester, New Hampshire. I also taught abused children who were awaiting placement in foster homes as part of a special program run through Granite School District.

Then, the travel bug bit me again--or perhaps, said more accurately, I felt compelled to seek out a bigger adventure--so I moved to Athens, Georgia to pursue my doctorate in literacy education with a specialty in earth science and mathematics. Athens truly got into my blood, and I am proud to say I am full-bred Georgia Bulldog. Red and THOSE are school colors! Here are a few pictures of some of my favorite places in Athens:

Jittery Joe's

Ramsey Center

For the past several years, I have been working with the College of Engineering on a grant funded by the National Science Foundation, which studies the literacy demands of high school engineering courses.

So, my background is in English, history, math, science, and engineering: I guess you could say I  am a jack of all trades, master of none. Nonetheless, this diverse background makes me a good candidate for teaching this course. I have taught it about 7 times now, and so I have also learned a lot from my previous students in other content areas, such as music and PE, who have shared with me the ways they see literacy applying to their content areas.

What is literacy to me? To me, it is about providing students with tools for building richer understandings of content. I'll stop there, though, because I don't want to prejudice others' opinions on literacy. :)

I look forward to working with you throughout the semester and reading others' opinions and experiences regarding literacy in their disciplines as well.