|| Rob Simon|
My research explores the social and political contexts of literacy teaching, learning, and teacher education from the perspectives of practitioners. In my research and teaching, I draw on sociocultural theories of literacy as a means of encouraging educators to develop understandings, curriculum, and pedagogy from students’ literate lives—their diverse cultures, languages, and literacy practices. The aim is to re-imagine schools and literacy classrooms as places oriented to increased equity, access, and educational opportunity for all students.
Building from a multiyear study exploring the intellectual, relational, and political work of a community of new literacy teachers, my current research initiatives include the creation of a network of pre- and in-service literacy teachers in Ontario—The Teaching to Learn Project.
Ph.D., Reading/Writing/Literacy, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, Philadelphia, PA, USA, 2009
MA in Secondary Education, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, USA, 2003
Single-Subject Teaching Credential, English, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, USA, 2001
Master’s of Theological Studies, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA, 1997
BA, Liberal Arts, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA, USA, 1991
Over the last ten years, I have taught graduate courses including Literacy: Social and Educational Perspectives, Practitioner Research, Teaching English/Language and Literacy in Middle and Secondary Schools, and Research on Writing and the Teaching of Writing.
In CTL, I currently teach two graduate courses in CSTD, New Literacies: Making Multiple Meanings and Practitioner Inquiry, and a pre-service course in the MT program, Curriculum and Teaching in English: Intermediate and Secondary.
Kosnik, C., Rowsell, J., Williamson, P., Simon, R. & Beck, C. (Eds.). (2013). Literacy Teacher Educators: Preparing Teachers for a Changing World. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
Simon, R. & Campano, G. (2013). Activist literacies: Teacher research as resistance to the "normal curve". Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 9(1), 21-39. http://jolle.coe.uga.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Teacher-Research.pdf
Simon, R. (2013). “Starting with what is”: Exploring response and responsibility to student writing through collaborative inquiry. English Education, 45(2) 115-146. http://www.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Resources/Journals/EE/0452-jan2013/EE0452Starting.pdf
Simon, R., Campano, G., Broderick, D., & Pantoja, A. (2012). Practitioner research and literacy studies: Toward more dialogic methodologies. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 11(2), 5-24. http://edlinked.soe.waikato.ac.nz/research/files/etpc/files/2012v11n2art1.pdf
Simon, R. (2012). “Without comic books there would be no me”: Teachers as connoisseurs of adolescents’ literate lives. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 55(6), 516-526. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/store/10.1002/JAAL.00061/asset/jaal061.pdf?v=1&t=hh0lwhy6&s=0666f4cfce6fecb45eebe8e89ff35bd52009b505
Simon, R. (2011). On the human challenges of multiliteracies pedagogy. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 12(4), 362-366. http://www.wwwords.co.uk.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/rss/abstract.asp?j=ciec&aid=4825&doi=1
Simon, R. (2009). Constructing a language of learning to teach. In M. Cochran-Smith and S.L. Lytle (Eds.), Inquiry as stance: Practitioner research for the next generation (pp. 275-292). NY: Teachers College Press.Research Grants and Contracts
In 2011, I was awarded a Connaught New Researcher Grant to develop a research community of pre- and in-service literacy teachers, "Teaching to Learn: Collaborative Teacher Research in Community".
This research has included collaborations with adolescents in West Toronto, including inviting them to co-develop approaches to teaching literature and co-author curricula with teacher candidates and early year literacy teachers. This has resulted in two publications in progress, including a co-authored chapter in a forthcoming text on community-based multiliteracies projects:
Simon, R., Brennan, J., Bresba, S., DeAngelis, S. Edwards, W., Jung, H., & Pisecny, A. (Under review, June 2012). Investigating literacy through intergenerational inquiry. In H. Pleasants and D. Salter (Eds.), Community-based multiliteracies and digital media projects: Questioning assumptions and exploring realities. New York: Peter Lang.
Currently, I am a collaborator on two SSHRC-funded projects: "Revisiting learning lives: Longitudinal perspectives on literacy education research" (Rowsell & Sefton-Green, Principal Investigators); and "Literacy teacher educators: Their backgrounds, visions, and practices" (Kosnik, Principal Investigator).
Honours and Awards
In 2009-2010, I was awarded a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. I received the 2009 Ralph C. Preston Award for Scholarship and Teaching Contributing to Social Justice and Educational Equity.
In 2013 I received the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award from OISE.
I have been nominated for teaching awards including: Distinguished Contributions to Teaching and the Excellence in Initial Teacher Education awards at OISE/University of Toronto, 2011-2012; the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Teaching and Learning’s Graduate Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, 2006-2007, and the Graduate School of Education’s Teaching Excellence Award, at the University of Pennsylvania in 2006.
I am a member of the Centre for Media and Culture in Education, the Centre for Urban Schooling, and the Centre for Educational Research in Language and Literacy at OISE.
Professional journals I have reviewed for include:
English Education, Routledge English Language and Linguistics, Pedagogies, Curriculum Inquiry, Language and Literacy, Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood.
I have served as reviewer for the following professional organizations:
The American Educational Research Association (AERA), The Literacy Research Association (LRA), and the Language and Literacy Researchers in Canada, Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE)
Currently, I serve on the Board of Directors of Life Learning Academy High School,
San Francisco, CA.
Equity, Diversity & Social Justice Literacy Students (including Student Experience, Student Engagement & Students At Risk) Teacher Education & Development (including ITE and Induction) Urban Schooling
“Collaborative Inquiry using NIGHT: An Interview with Professor Rob Simon.” April 8, 2013. Available at: http://onnetwork.facinghistory.org/collaborative-inquiry-using-night-an-interview-with-professor-rob-simon/.