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Josephine Peyton Marsh is the Professor in Residence at ASU Preparatory Academies (ASU Prep) and an Associate Professor of Literacy Education at the Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. She received her Ph. D. from the University of Georgia in Reading Education after over a decade of teaching literacy to students in grades 5-12. Since arriving at ASU, Dr. Marsh has taught undergraduate and graduate literacy education courses, mentored doctoral students, and served as a college administrator. She has also consulted with local school districts about infusing literacy instruction into content-area teaching.
Her past research interests included adolescent literacy and issues related to gender, identity, and literacy. Her current research focuses on school transformation and how teachers, administrators, students, and parents work together to create schools that prepare students for college and career success and to be contributors to their communities. In particularly, her research concentrates on just-in-time literacy professional development, communities of practice for professional growth, and student perspectives on engaged learning.
Somewhere along the way, as an associate professor and literacy education researcher, I became aware of the lack of impact my research seemed to be having on school literacy instruction. My research was interesting to me (and the few others who read it), but did little to inform schools about teaching children and adolescents to read and write or use literacy to learn content and think critically. I began to question why publishing in prestigious journals was rewarded at the university, but unread or unused by educational practitioners. So, for a few years, disillusioned and confused, I became an administrator for the college of education at Arizona State University (ASU). It was a good place for me until I found ASU Preparatory Academies (ASU Prep), a university sponsored PK-12 charter school district that began fully operating in 2010. The district consists of two PK-12 campuses —ASU Prep-Phoenix, an urban Title I school of 1100 students near Arizona State University’s downtown campus and ASU Prep-Poly, a suburban school of over 600 students on ASU’s Polytechnic campus. For more detailed information see http://asuprep.asu.edu/about.