Supporting New Teachers with Literacy Instruction

Small Changes to Graduate Literacy Programs That Can Have a Big Impact


  • Elizabeth A. Morphis SUNY Old Westbury



in-service teachers, teacher education, literacy, reading, science of reading


Since 2018, there has been an increase in the use of the term Science of Reading (SoR), which is a method of teaching reading that is connected to an understanding of reading and reading development that aligns with scientific research (Shanahan, 2020). Teachers who are new to the classroom may be unfamiliar with SoR and teaching practices that align with this pedagogy. Institutions of higher education, specifically graduate literacy programs, are in a position to support and mentor new teachers with the current shift in literacy instruction. This article addresses changes that can be made to graduate course content in order to support new teachers, particularly during this shift to a new method of literacy instruction. This article offers ideas for how higher education can play a role in better preparing new teachers for SoR instruction.


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Author Biography

  • Elizabeth A. Morphis, SUNY Old Westbury

    Elizabeth Morphis is an Assistant Professor of Childhood Education and Literacy at SUNY Old Westbury and Coordinator of the Literacy Education Graduate Program. Her research focuses on supporting pre- and in-service teachers with their literacy instruction. Elizabeth earned her doctorate in literacy from Teachers College, Columbia University, where she researched bilingual writing practices in a French-English second grade classroom. Prior to earning her doctorate, Elizabeth taught elementary school in Buffalo, New York and in New York City. She also taught the child actors on the 30th Anniversary Tour of Annie, and worked as a Content Specialist at Sesame Workshop. Elizabeth is the creator of the website, The Literacy Teacher's Life, a website and blog that focuses on supporting teachers and parents who are navigating literacy learning for elementary-aged students. She is also the host of The Literacy Teacher's Life podcast. Elizabeth can be reached by email at, on Instagram @theliteracyteacherslife, and at her website






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