Episode 26: From Reactive to Reflective: Cultivating Learner-Centered Literacy Through Student Voice with Dr. Stephanie Buelow

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Episode Summary:

Dr. Stephanie Buelow, Associate Professor of Literacy Education at the University of Hawaii, shares her experiences and insights as an educator aimed at putting learners at the center through literacy instruction and teacher development.

Stephanie discusses key moments that shaped her teaching philosophy, including the power of student conversation and letting students take the lead with technology integration. She also reflects on how being a parent has influenced her view of honoring students as whole people.

Key topics covered include:

  • 📚 Moving beyond novel studies to provide authentic reading experiences
  • 🏫 The need for extended clinical experiences in teacher preparation programs
  • 🗣️ Developing a literacy clinic for teacher candidates to apply their learning
  • 👥 Envisioning fluid, collaborative models of co-teaching for novice educators
  • ✍️ Stephanie’s own journey to developing an identity as a reader after college

Stephanie shares her vision for education that empowers both teachers and students through autonomy, collaboration, and investing in people over programs.

Related Resources:

  • Strategies: Passion Projects (Learner-Centered Collaborative).
    Empowering learners to develop the knowledge and skills of your course by exploring their interests is a powerful approach. Gain inspiration from authentic examples of this strategy shared by teachers who have used them with their learners..
  • Changing how students learn, starts with changing how educators learn (Learner-Centered Collaborative).
    “Shifting professional learning from compliance to empowerment is a critical lever in meeting the needs of our diverse students. With a learner-centered approach, one that is authentic, personalized, competency-based, and inclusive & equitable we can create meaningful, purposeful professional learning experiences for educators that inform and model the learning experiences we want for young learners.”
  • Harnessing the power of students’ out-of-school interests and knowledge (ScholarSpace).
    For her dissertation, Dr. Stephanie Buelow explored what would happen if she connected literacy practices to popular culture. With a group of sixth grade students she integrated students’ popular culture interests into an English Language Arts curriculum. Learn more about her research with the link above.

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