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UTA Faculty

Dr. Peggy Semingson

Dr. Peggy Semingson

Associate Professor

"Meeting people online is new and different. Get out of your comfort zone by trying new tools or new approaches to teaching—and then learning from your peers, too."

Degrees Held:

  • Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction: Language and Literacy Studies – University of Texas at Austin, 2008
  • M.Ed. in Reading Education – Texas State University, 2004
  • B.A. in Philosophy – University of California, 1996

Career Highlights

Currently, I study the ways that we can use digital pedagogies to engage pre-service and in-service teachers to most effectively help them to teach literacy in their current and future classroom contexts. Within this area, I am interested in socially distributed knowledge-sharing, which takes place online; distributed cognition; and video-mediated (e.g., YouTube) discussion and dialogue. I have won two awards related to distance learning. Most recently, I was awarded the prestigious 2013 USDLA Best Practices Platinum Award for Excellence in Distance Learning Teaching (platinum is the highest level honored in this category). In 2010 I was awarded the President's Award for Excellence in Distance Education Teaching at UTA.

My active agenda also includes projects that focus on my primary research interest of students who face challenges in literacy learning. I am interested in the concept of social-collaborative literacy learning models (Rogoff, 1991; Gregory, 2001) and studying literacy sponsors, social supports and networks that take place in families and communities (Brandt, 2001) as well as teacher-professional development programs that support teachers as they develop knowledge to help students who face challenges in reading.

Any published works?

I have a new book that just came out in the spring called The Community of Inquiry Framework in Contemporary Education: Emerging Research and Opportunities. It's about research methods for online education.

Additional publications can be found here: https://mentis.uta.edu/explore/profile/peggy-semingson

In which program do you teach online?

M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction – Literacy Studies

Which classes do you teach online?

LIST 5373: Foundations of Literacy Learning in EC-6 Classrooms; LIST 5346: Teaching the Writing Process

What do you want students to take away from your classes?

In the writing course I want students to develop their expertise about writing pedagogy and to learn how to design lessons using the writing-process approach. I also want them to develop themselves as writers. It's a K-12 focus, so it spans the whole grade level spectrum for teaching writing.

In the elementary literacy class the student should be able to understand the literacy development process and be able to design instruction that takes the developmental approach to literacy learning.

What advice would you give to students considering enrolling in an online M.Ed. program?

Keep an open mind because there are some things that are new. For some students online learning and meeting new people online is new and different. Get out of your comfort zone by trying new tools or new approaches to teaching—and then learning from your peers, too.

What kind of assignments can students expect in your courses?

For my elementary literacy class, they have to get into the research databases through our online library website. Just learning how to locate research articles on their own and come up with a topic and then find those articles and then translate the research into practical ideas for teachers, that's a huge goal of the elementary literacy class.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that teachers face today?

I think it's just finding time. Teachers are really busy. Our students teach all day long. Most of them have families or partners and try to have hobbies, so it's really challenging for them to find time.

What is the one book you think everyone should read?

“Ways with Words” by Shirley Brice Heath

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