by Erikah Haavie, Contributing Writer
Furman hosted more than 700 teachers and administrators from 20 school districts, six private schools and three universities January 24 for a special seminar conducted by nationally known literacy consultant Stephanie Harvey.
The seminar, sponsored by the Upstate Schools Consortium at Furman, was designed to provide teachers with reading and thinking strategies to enhance students’ literacy development and help them become engaged, lifelong readers. It also offered tips that teachers could take back and use right away in their classrooms.
“Stephanie Harvey’s books are read and studied in almost every school across the Upstate,” said Connie McDowell, Consortium coordinator. “Her presentation provided teachers and school administrators with the latest research on improving reading comprehension and increasing student achievement. She also provided practical ideas for implementing the Common Core State Standards.”
Furman education majors in Katie Stover’s Reading and Writing Processes and Instruction course use Harvey’s textbook in their classroom.
“Because she encouraged audience participation, it was easy for me to really connect her presentation to what teachers should be doing in the classroom,” said Morgan Black, a junior elementary education major from Gainesville, Ga. “A big thing that I want to emphasize in my classroom is the concept of active learning. Students should be involved in their learning, whether that comes through choosing their own books, choosing a writing topic, or engaging in questions and discussions with their peers.”
Harvey has spent the last 38 years teaching and learning about reading and writing. She is the author of many best-selling books, including Nonfiction Matters, Strategies That Work, The Comprehension Toolkit, and Comprehension and Collaboration.
Furman is the host member of the Upstate Schools Consortium. Established in 1986, it provides professional development for teachers, teacher candidates and administrators in the region, a forum for education-related issues, and a network of support for professional development staff.