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Guest speaker to discuss teaching in a diverse classroom

11/3/2009 —

Nancy Rankie Shelton, Ph.D., associate professor of writing theory and pedagogy at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), will be the featured speaker for the November Faculty Invitational Lecture Series at Penn State Lehigh Valley. Shelton will present, "Why does it matter? Teaching in the world's most diverse country – the Good Ol' USA," at 12:30 p.m., on Thursday, November 12, in room 311 at the campus in Center Valley. This lecture is free and open to the public.


"The attributes that divide us are often the same qualities that identify us as individuals. Our students walk through our school doors and into our classrooms rich in culture, knowledge, and understandings of who they are as individuals and as participants in various social networks," says Shelton. "Teachers have a strong influence on our students and their identities as they help expand their literacies and prepare them to become contributing citizens of the world."


In this lecture, Shelton will share evidence from classrooms related to issues of diversity that reveal the intricate relationship between teaching and learning and students’ evolving understandings of themselves and of the world around them. As part of this endeavor, she will use student writing samples to illustrate how, when given the opportunity to select topics and genres relevant to the students as individuals, their understandings of themselves and the world are manifested in their work. As part of this lecture, participants will see the influence and importance of using culturally relevant literature during instruction. Shelton will also share several exceptional children’s literature books and propose instructional recommendations for their use in the classroom.


Nancy Rankie Shelton is an Associate Professor at UMBC where she teaches graduate and undergraduate literacy courses. She conducts research in urban elementary school settings, focusing her work on the ways in which schools prepare literate, participatory citizens for the 21st century. She is the Professor in Residence at UMBC’s partnership school in Baltimore City, Violetville Elementary/Middle School, where she works with faculty and students to provide enriching, literate classroom communities, and school-based professional development opportunities.

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