Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Faculty

Academics

Mary Lee Griffin

Mary Lee Griffin

Professor of Education
Chair, Education
Degrees

Ph.D University of Rhode Island
M. Ed Rhode Island College
B.S. Wheelock College

Main Interests

Mindfulness practices and connections to reading and writing, early literacy development, social contexts of reading and writing, job-embedded professional development designed to support "balanced K-3 literacy programs." Visualizing the reading/thinking process. Readers' and writers' active engagement. Visualizing thinking when engaged in literate tasks.

Research Interests

I am currently researching mindfulness practices and their effect on readers and writers' engagement with literate tasks. Early literacy development social contexts of reading and writing (specifically paired reading and writing), elementary language arts curriculum development, creating student-centered classrooms, reading fluency and relations to comprehension and job-embedded professional development models. How readers' visualizations about literate thinking serve to engage them more deeply in the reading process.

Teaching Interests

Early literacy, reading and writing curriculum, social contexts of teaching and learning, generative curriculum models, multiple perspectives on literacy, multicultural children's literature (graduate course for Wheelock College). Mindfulness practices and their connections and relevance in the academy. Bringing mindfulness practices to bear on students' reading, writing and cognitive pursuits.

Other Interests

  • Mindfuless practices and their relation to learning.
  • Courage to Teach and related work connecting teachers' inner lives with their professional roles.

Publications

Writer to Writer: Fluency and Craft in Multilingual Settings, Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2007.

Writing Partnerships: Building Strategies and Independence Together. PRIMER, MA Reading Association, 2004/2005.

Reader to Reader: Building Independece Through Peer Partnerships, Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2005.

With Nancy Witherell, Fluency In Focus: Comprehension Strategies for Young Readers Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2004.

Using Peer Partnerships to Scaffold Reading. Chapter in, Rodgers, A. & Rodgers, E. Scaffolding Literacy Instruction: Strategies for K-4 Classrooms, Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2004, 121-142.

Online Commentary and Discussion, with Evelyn Vuko, Educational Columnist, Washington Post. What No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Means for Your Kids, Washington Post Online discussion and commentary, March 9, 2004.

Commentary, Bush School Program Puts Thinking on Hold. The Providence Journal, September 23, 2003, B,5.

Hooked On Phonics: We Should Lose This Addiction. Los Angeles Times, October 22, 2002. (commentary)

Pictures of Patricia Reilly Giff: Really Looking and Seeing 'The Way Things Are'. Under the Spell of Books: The Rhode Island College Journal About Literature for Young People. Vol. 2 (1). Spring, 2003.

Focus on Alphabet Would Rob Pupils. PROVIDENCE JOURNAL. April 21, 2002. (also published in the BANGOR DAILY NEWS)

Focus on Alphabet Would Rob Pupils. Radio broadcast. The Best of Our Knowledge, NPR (National Public Radio), May 20. 2002. (broadcast on other dates as well).

Why don't you use your finger?: Paired Reading in First Grade. THE READING TEACHER.Vol. 55 (6). pp. 766-774.

Contributor (book reviews). Chapter 14: Early Reading Books. 2002 NCTE ADVENTURING WITH BOOKS. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 2002.

Social Contexts of Beginning Reading. LANGUAGE ARTS. Vol. 78 (4). March 2001.pp. 371-377.

Writing support for "Rhode Island Individual Professional Development Plans" (I...Plans), Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2000.

Principal writer, "Rhode Island Policy Frameworks for K-3 Reading," Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 1999.

"Rhode Island Job-embedded Professional Development". Written under contract for the Rhode Island Department of Education, In, SALT WORKS, Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 1999.

"Job-embedded Professional Development". Written under contract for the Rhode Island Department of Education. In, SALT WORKS, Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 1998.

Student Projects

WRP Student/Faculty Research Project, 2009-2010: I am working with 6 Wheaton students [Caity Vomastek, Katie Powers, Raffi Sweet, Emily Timm, Mandi DeGroff and Matthew Powell], conducting research in local public schools on the effects of mindfulness practices on students' literate engagement.

Mars Summer Research, 2009: Worked with two Wheaton students, Caity Vomastek and Katie Powers conducting a review of literature on mindfulness and learning, and planning a two-day retreat for out WRP research team, August 26 and 27, 2009.

WRP Student/Faculty Research Project, 2001-2002: With Wheaton student, Heather Brennan, conducted a yearlong study of peer reading partnerships in a local elementary school.

Wheaton Internship, Brighton, England. June 2004. Developed and led this program that brought seven Wheaton students to England where they were placed in classroms at he Woodingdean Primary School just outside of Brighton.