Colleen Whittingham

photo of Colleen Whittingham
Reading and Elementary Education
Assistant Professor


Dr. Colleen E. Whittingham is an Assistant Professor in the Reading and Elementary Education department. Prior to completing her doctorate at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Dr. Whittingham was named a Graduate College Dean's Scholar Fellow, and in 2016 was awarded the International Literacy Association's Helen M. Robinson Grant to partially fund her dissertation research. Whittingham's research explores the factors mediating teacher/child early literacy interactions, specifically those fostering equitable opportunities to learn. She investigates classroom practices by combining traditional ethnographic methods with multimodal interactional analyses.


Ph.D, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2017
Literacy Language and Culture M.Ed., University of Illinois at Chicago, 2011
Early Childhood Education B.S., University of Dayton, 2002


Teaching Early Literacy and Assessment

Research Interests/Areas of Expertise

early literacy, teacher/child classroom interactions, equitable opportunities to learn, qualitative methodology

Awards & Honors

2017 American Education Research Association Early Education and Child Development SIG Travel Grant 
2016 International Literacy Association Helen M. Robinson Grant
2016 University of Illinois Graduate College Dean’s Scholar Fellowship 

Selected Publications

Peer Reviewed Journals 
Hoffman, E.B., Whittingham, C.E., & Rumenapp, J.C. (2017). Using Tablets’ Video Technology to Enrich Childhood Read-Alouds. Wisconsin State Reading Association Journal. 54(2), 15-24. *Invited Reprint
Whittingham, C.E., Hoffman, E.B., & Rumenapp, J.C. (2016). “It ain’t ‘nah,’ it’s ‘no’”: Preparing Preschoolers for the Language of School. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. Advance online publication. DOI: 10.1177/1468798416674254 
Hoffman, E.B. & Whittingham, C.E. (2016). A neighborhood notion of emergent literacy: One mixed-methods inquiry to inform community-based education. Early Childhood Education Journal. 45(2), 175-185. 
Whittingham, C. E., Hoffman, E.B. (2016). Dialogic data decision making using the collaborative choice matrix. Illinois Reading Council Journal. 44(2), 14-19. 
Hoffman, E.B., Whittingham, C.E., & Rumenapp, J.C. (2016). Using Tablets’ Video Technology to Enrich Childhood Read-Alouds. Illinois Reading Council Journal. 44(4), 23-33. 
Hoffman, E.B., Whittingham, C.E., & Macado, E. (under review). What’s Available?: Surveying the Landscape of Early Childhood Professional Learning. Illinois Reading Council Journal. 
Book Chapters
Teale, W.H., Hoffman, E. B., Whittingham, C. E., Paciga, K. A. (In preparation). Starting them young: How the shift from reading readiness to emergent literacy has influenced preschool literacy education. In C. M. Cassano & S. M. Dougherty (Eds.), Pivotal research in early literacy.  New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Gavelek, G. & Whittingham, C.E. (2017). Meaning Making in the 21st Century: The Sociogenesis of Reading Comprehension. In S. Israel (Ed.). Handbook of Research on Reading Comprehension, Vol. 2. New York: Guilford Press. 

Rumenapp. J.C., Whittingham, C.E., & Hoffman, E.B. (2015). “What were you thinking?”: Bilingual preschool students talk about reading practices through video reflection. In E. Ortlieb, L. Shanahan, M. McVee (Eds). Video Research in Disciplinary Literacies. Bingley, UK: Emerald. 
Invited Submissions
Whittingham, C. E (September/October 2016). Breaking out of the box: Supporting round students in an increasingly flat world. Literacy Today, 14-15.

White Papers
Teale, W.H., Walski, M., Hoffman, E.B., Meehan, M., Whittingham, C.E., & Colaner, A. University of Illinois Center for Literacy. (2015) Early childhood literacy: Policy for the coming decade. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Center for Literacy.