Karen Smith is an Associate Professor of Language and Literacy, and Director of Professional Development in the Division of Curriculum & Instruction at Arizona State University (ASU). Her research is conducted in collaboration with teachers in urban settings and focuses on literacy teaching and learning, and teacher research. She speaks and consults widely on literacy development and teaching as a scholarly activity. She has received numerous awards for her teaching including the 2002 Richard Halle Outstanding Middle School Educator award from the National Council of Teachers of English, the 2003 ASU College of Education Dean’s Excellent Award for Faculty Teaching, and the 2008 John Chorlton Manning Public School Service Award from the International Reading Association.
During the last forty years, our understanding about how all children learn has grown enormously. Research has yielded new insights into how children and adolescents learn and what instructional approaches work best in particular contexts. At the same time, the learning demands for our entire country are higher than they have ever been. As learning demands grow, so does the need for teachers and administrators to stay current with new knowledge and new pedagogical practices.