Assistant Professor of Literacy
Nadine Bryce is a faculty member in the Childhood Education program in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching. She graduated summa cum laude and as valedictorian from York College, CUNY, with a B.S. in elementary education. She went on to earn a Master’s degree in Language and Literacy from Harvard University, and a doctorate in Reading/Language Arts from Teachers College, Columbia. Before coming to Hunter, she taught urban students in private and public elementary schools as a regular classroom teacher and as a reading specialist. She also taught middle school students in a specialized tutoring program, and high school students in an academic writing enrichment course she developed using technology to enhance the writing process and facilitate writing production. She holds permanent New York State certification as a reading specialist for students in grades 1-12.
Dr. Bryce teaches the introductory level literacy education course in the Childhood Education program, at both the graduate (course title: Teaching Developmental Reading) and undergraduate levels (course title: Developmental Reading). In this class, which is a “methods and materials” (or how-to) course on teaching literacy to children in the elementary grades, Dr. Bryce provides theoretical and practical experiences that address:
- foundational knowledge of reading and writing processes and instruction
- pedagogical knowledge of literacy instructional approaches, methods, and materials
- knowledge of curriculum design and assessment
- development of teacher professional dispositions toward lifelong learning
Students sing and dance, make books, play games, and engage in various assignments to explore the use of fiction and nonfiction texts to support effective literacy teaching and learning.
Prof. Bryce has also taught a course in the Master’s in Literacy program. In this class, Language, Literacy and Learning in School Contexts, Grades 1 – 6, students collect data on grade level students’ samples of language use in school and non-school settings and examine children’s use of primary and/or second languages to learn more about children’s awareness of varied language practices, and how social contexts influence their awareness and language use. She has also taught Fieldwork in General Education for Special Educators and Fieldwork in General Education for Bilingual Educators, emphasizing criteria for conducting skilled teacher observations of students in their educational environments.
A theme that connects her teaching across all courses is the notion that literacy is a set of social practices developed and used in particular social and cultural groups. As such, literacy makes no sense outside of the social contexts in which it occurs. Members of particular socio-cultural groups read, write, speak, listen, view and interpret visual information to construct meaning, and through patterned ways of using literacy, take on roles and identities that signal their membership in these socio-cultural groups. Teachers and students are engaged in the work of creating recognizable identities as they engage in their teaching and learning activities. Dr. Bryce believes it is important to help teacher candidates recognize the socially situated nature of literacy, demystify the monolithic view that there is a “right” and “wrong” way to engage in literacy practices, and expand candidates’ awareness that the selection and implementation of literacy activities, even those considered “research-based,” is a value-laden process steeped in cultural understandings.
Prof. Bryce’s research interests include examining the discourse and literacy practices of elementary grade students while learning science in bilingual and general education settings. She is currently developing a research study to explore this topic. She has co-authored a paper, along with Kathryn Ciechanowski, a teacher educator at Oregon State University, on bilingual students’ use of nonfiction texts that was presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in March 2008. She is also exploring teacher candidates’ sense making of literacy pedagogy through an analysis of written dialogue journals using asynchronous online technology, as candidates reflect on pedagogy and practice and their developing identities as teachers of literacy. Preliminary findings were presented at AERA in 2007; additional data for this project are currently being analyzed.