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Valerie Shinas

Associate Professor, Department Chair


Valerie Harlow Shinas is a literacy faculty member and chair of the Language and Literacy, Reading, and TESOL department.

I joined the faculty in the Graduate School of Education in 2012 after more than a decade working with middle school students and teachers. In many ways, I still consider myself a middle school teacher – I care deeply about how we engage and motivate young adolescents to become lifelong learners. 

As a teacher educator, I use my teaching experiences to make visible the connections between theory and practice for my students.  Much of my work at Lesley University has centered on preparing teachers and teacher candidates to develop and deliver effective literacy and disciplinary literacy instruction.  With expertise in the areas of technology-integrated literacy instruction and the TPACK theoretical framework, my research interests include integration of digital tools to support literacy and learning in K-12 classrooms.  In addition, recent scholarly work has focused on teacher development and assessment of teacher practice.

Education: BA, Anna Maria College; M.Ed., University of Massachusetts-Lowell; PhD, University of Delaware.

Selected Publications

Karchmer-Klein, R., Mouza, C., Shinas, V.H., & Park, S. (Forthcoming).  Patterns in teachers’ instructional design when integrating apps in middle school content area learning. To be published in Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education.

Shinas, V.H. & Steckel, B. (2017). Technology integration for the 21st century classroom: Principles for effective planning. New England Reading Association Journal, 52(1), pp. 1 – 6.

Ozden, S.Y., Mouza, C.& Shinas, V.H. (2017).  Teaching Knowledge with Curriculum-Based Technology: Development of a Survey Instrument for Pre-Service Teachers. To be published in Journal of Technology and Teacher Education.

Van Vaerenewyck, L.M., Shinas, V.H. & Steckel, B. (2017). Sarah’s story: One teacher’s enactment of TPACK+ in the History classroom. Literacy Research and Instruction.

Mason, P., Shinas, V.H., Steckel, B., Higgins, L., Monahan, K., O’Brien, M., & Daponde, H. (2016). Readers, viewers, thinkers: Examining close reading through a practitioner’s lens. The Primer: A Journal of the Massachusetts Reading Association.

Steckel, B., & Shinas, V.H. (2016). A new reason to collaborate: Working together to support student learning with technology. The Primer: A Journal of the Massachusetts Reading Association.

Steckel, B., Shinas, V. H., & Van Vaerenewyck, L. (2015). Artistic Technology Integration: Stories from primary/elementary classrooms. The Reading Teacher, 69 (1), 41-49.

Shinas, V. H., Karchmer-Klein, R., Mouza, C., Yilmaz-Ozden, S., & J. Glutting, J. (2015). Analyzing Preservice Teachers' Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge Development in the Context of a Multidimensional Teacher Preparation Program. Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, 31(2), 47-55.

Selected Presentations

Miller, M.S. & Shinas, S.V. (2017, April). Inquiry about inquiry: A research journey.  Paper presented at AERA Annual Meeting: San Antonio, TX.

Steckel, B. & Shinas, V.H. (2017, January). It’s not the Tools, it’s the teaching: Tips for technology-integrated vocabulary instruction.  Resource for Reading Specialist Conference: Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA.

Karchmer-Klein, R., Shinas, V.H., Mouza, C., & Park, S. (2016, December). Leveraging the affordances of educational apps in disciplinary literacy instruction: A study of teachers’ instructional design. Paper presented at the 66th Annual Literacy Research Association Conference: Nashville, TN

Steckel, B. & Shinas, V.H. (2016, December). . Examining Teachers’ Collaboration: Planning for Technology-Integrated Instruction. Paper presented at the 66th Annual Literacy Research Association Conference: Nashville, TN

Cusack, S. & Shinas, V.H. (2016, August). Making meaning and meaning makingOpening Keynote presented at Better Together –2016 Conference: Lesley University, Cambridge, MA. MassCue and MSLA.

Shinas, V.H. & Steckel, B. (2016, July). Artistic technology integration in the literacy classroom: What teachers need to know. International Reading Association 2016 Annual Conference:  Boston, MA.

Steckel, B. & Shinas, V.H. (2016, July). Technology in Literacy Education Special Interest Group Program. International Reading Association 2016 Annual Conference: Boston, MA.

Furman, L.R., Boyd, K.C., Shinas, V.H. (2016, February).  Using technology to engage the reluctant reader. School Library Journal & ISTE Sponsored Webinar.