Our 2024 Lecture

Toward Comprehensive, Research-Informed Literacy Instruction: Thinking With, Against, and Beyond the Science of Reading

The Ithaca College Department of Education presented the annual Spring Educational Freedom Lecture 2024, featuring Dr. Maren Aukerman, Associate Professor at the University of Calgary on February 22, 2024.

The video recording of this lecture may be viewed at this link.

image of lecturer and title of presentation

Dr. Maren Aukerman, Werklund Research Professor at the University of Calgary

This year's focus supports a careful examination of the "Science of Reading" with a literacy researcher whose partnership can help us be careful consumers of information presented in media. Our community read texts this year [see below] include pieces authored by Dr. Aukerman and others, focused on evidence-based and justice-oriented perspectives on reading and literacy.

Dr. Aukerman is the Werklund Research Professor in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Formerly, she served on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University. A specialist in classroom discourse and reading comprehension research, she has served on the editorial review boards of literacy-focused research journals such as Reading Research QuarterlyResearch in the Teaching of EnglishLanguage Arts, the Journal of Children’s Literature, and the Journal of Literacy Research. Her expansive research interests include the role of dialogue in children’s meaning-making about texts, the language and literacy strengths of second-language learners, children’s inquiry, and “re-envisioning teaching to better serve children and democracy.” Her teaching, scholarship, service, and advising have all been recognized for excellence. She shares the commitment to social justice for all learners and the deep respect for young people that have characterized the Department of Education’s Spring Lecture focus since the program’s inception in 2018.

Dr. Aukerman’s body of research continues to move the field of literacy toward more evidence-based, theoretically-sound, democratic, and humanizing frameworks for classroom teaching and learning.

Join Us For The Event

This lecture was free and open to the public, via webinar format (video linked here). The lecture is associated with the Community Read; community-based reading discussion opportunities will be scheduled in the weeks following the lecture.

The Spring Lecture Series and Community Reading opportunities have been sponsored by the Ithaca College Department of Education and a Clynes Collaboration Grant from Tompkins Trust.

For questions regarding lecture accessibility, please contact Kimberly Wojtanik, kwojtanik@ithaca.edu or call (607) 274-5106.

Read with Us: Readings Associated with the 2024 Lecture

For this year's community read, instead of a single text, we are supporting discussions and readings of several electronically-accessible texts focused on the Science of Reading. You do not need to read these in order to join us at the webinar, but the readings will be informative in advancing thoughtful conversations with colleagues, families, and other educational stakeholders about literacy and equity.

  • Aukerman, M., & Schuldt, L. C. (2021). What matters most? Toward a robust and socially just science of reading. Reading Research Quarterly, 56(S1), S85-S103. https://doi.org/10.1002/rrq.406 
  • Aukerman, M. (2022). The science of reading and the media: Is the reporting biased? Literacy Research Association Critical Conversations. LINK
  • Aukerman, M. (2022). The science of reading and the media: Does the media draw on high-quality reading research? Literacy Research Association Critical Conversations. CC BY 4.0 license. LINK
  • Aukerman, M. (2022). The science of reading and the media: How do current reporting patterns cause damage? Literacy Research Association Critical Conversations. CC BY 4.0 license. LINK
  • Compton-Lilly, C., Spence, L. K., Thomas, P. L., & Decker, S. L. (2023). Stories grounded in decades of research: What we truly know about the teaching of reading. The Reading Teacher, 77(3), 392-400. https://doi.org/10.1002/trtr.2258

The New York State Education Department also issued a series of “Literacy Briefs” in early 2024. These briefs, ranging from preschool to secondary education, can be found on the NYSED website. Authored by Dr. Nonie Leseaux of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Katie Carr, the briefs seek to inform perspectives on SoR (Science of Reading) in ways that are informed by research and that combat myths and misinformation. The briefs are also designed to demonstrate coherence with NYSED's Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework.

Department of Education Spring Lecture Series