Professor Pat Edwards wins LRA book award, writes NBC blog
Throughout her professional career, MSU teacher education Professor Patricia Edwards has addressed one big question: How does the world read?
Edwards provided answers for the African American community by co-writing a 202-page book entitled, “Change is Gonna Come: Transforming Literacy Education for African American Students.”
Today Edwards will receive the prestigious Edward B. Fry Book Award from the Literacy Research Association (LRA) during the association’s conference in Jacksonville, Fla.
The book features four main debates: the fight for access to literacy; supports and roadblocks to success; best practices, theories, and perspectives on teaching African American students; and the role of African American families in the literacy lives of their children.
To further promote public awareness about reading achievement gaps, Edwards also recently co-wrote a blog post for NBC News’ Education Nation with Western Michigan University professor Susan Piazza. In the article, the two scholars acknowledged how powerful an effective teacher can be, but warned that teachers alone cannot fix the problem; they need the support of families, communities and government. When it comes to equality among schools, they said that children with more benefit more, and those with less do not gain the same level of benefits.
They then provided a realistic commentary about the 2011 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) reading scores:
“They represent much more than the effectiveness of U.S. curriculum and instruction,” Edwards and Piazza wrote. “They represent trends in life experiences that our youth encounter in access to opportunities and a good education. NAEP scores can be used to thoughtfully analyze social factors that go beyond percentages, demographics and quick fixes.”