Literacy Education Professor Published In 'Reading in Virginia' Journal

Dr. Deborah Owens, Associate Professor of Literacy Education at Elmira College, published a peer-reviewed article in the "Reading in Virginia" journal, Volume XLIV, which is produced by the Virginia State Literacy Association. The article, "Mentor Texts: Mirrors, Windows, and Models for Adolescent Literacy Learners", examines the use of mentor texts as models of excellent writing and as a means for students to explore their identities and social issues.

Owens’ extensive research in this area has enlivened her classes in adolescent literacy at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She encourages her EC students to read young adult fiction that facilitates “mirrors” for middle and high school students who can connect with characters exploring their identities. The novels feature LGBTQ+, disabled, immigrant, minority, and other marginalized characters.

“These novels provide windows for students to examine the world in which they live and models for overcoming challenges they encounter in life,” said Owens. “Using these novels as a component of literacy education facilitates our EC students’ understanding of the diverse students they will teach and provides an opportunity for them to further develop as reflective and compassionate educators.”

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