University of Delaware Susan Walpole Honored by the International Literacy Association

Sharon Walpole, a professor in the School of Education at the University of Delaware has received the Jerry Johns Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading Award from the International Literacy Association. The award honors a college or university faculty member in reading methods or reading-related courses who are “knowledgeable professionals, innovative teachers at the graduate or undergraduate levels, leaders in the field of literacy education, role models for their colleagues and students, and disseminators of effective teaching practices.”

Dr. Walpole has developed Bookworms K-5 Reading and Writing, an open-access elementary literacy curriculum. The curriculum provides complete lesson plans and support materials online for free. This curriculum, adopted in several schools in Delaware, Maryland, and Georgia, has led to impressive gains in student achievement.

“I believe the most powerful way that teachers learn and grow is to see meaningful student achievement gains in their own classrooms,” said Professor Walpole. “Unfortunately, many schools in struggling neighborhoods have old or incoherent tools for their teachers, and those tools limit the potential for teachers to see their own students thrive. This inequity in curriculum is unacceptable to me.”

Professor Walpole joined the faculty at the University of Delaware in 2002 and was promoted to full professor in 2012. She also serves as director of the Professional Development Center for Educators at the university.

Professor Walpole is a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she majored in history. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in reading education from the University of Virginia.

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