"The creative impulse, like love, can be killed, but it cannot be taught. What a teacher or librarian or parent can do, in working with children, is to give the flame enough oxygen so that it can burn. As far as I'm concerned, this providing of oxygen is one of the noblest of all vocations." - Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet
Mary Ann is a Professor of Language and Literacy in the Graduate School of Education at Lesley. Prior to that, she served as a curriculum facilitator for English Language Arts and Social Studies at the middle level, and taught English Language Arts, Humanities, and Creative Writing at the middle and high school level in New York and New Hampshire. Currently, Mary Ann conducts research and curricular and professional development at the elementary and middle school level.
As a teacher educator, Mary Ann is passionate about immersing students in inquiry-based learning experiences that allow them to experience hands-on, multimodal, constructivist approaches to curriculum that blur the boundaries between disciplines. At Lesley, she teaches courses in children's and young adult literature and literacy methods, including a specialized course in nonfiction for children and young adults, mentors the content literacy and children’s literature courses, and advises doctoral students. Previously, she served as Program Director of the Collaborative Internship Program, a residency-based teacher preparation program in its fifth decade.
Along with Erika Dawes, she is the co-author of two books Teaching with Text Sets (Shell, 2012) and Teaching to Complexity: A Framework for Evaluating Literary and Content-Area Texts (Shell, 2014) and a forthcoming book with Stenhouse Publishers in 2019.
With Erika Dawes and Grace Enriquez, she blogs about children's and young adult literature currently at "The Classroom Bookshelf," a School Library Journal blog, and reviews children's and middle grade books for Language Arts. Mary Ann was a founding editor/writer of “The Uncommon Corps,” a blog devoted to exploring the role of nonfiction books in the classroom and in the reading lives of young people.
Mary Ann has been a guest on public radio and a consultant to public television, and her work has appeared in English Journal, Language Arts, The Dragon Lode, School Library Journal, and School Library Connection. Mary Ann supported the development of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for English Language Arts, 2008-2010 and again in 2016.
A member of the National Council of Teachers of English's Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction (K-8) Committee since 2015, Mary Ann is in her second and final year as committee chair. She is also on the Education Committee of the American Independence Museum and serves on the Board of Advisors for the Children’s Literacy Foundation.