Miranda S. Fitzgerald is an Assistant Professor in the Reading and Elementary Education department. Prior to completing her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, Dr. Fitzgerald was a middle school special education teacher in Central Kentucky, where she taught English language arts and reading intervention courses, and collaboratively taught with content area teachers across disciplines. Her research focuses on instructional contexts that support literacy development and disciplinary knowledge building in elementary classrooms, particularly those that foster equitable opportunities to learn for diverse and historically underserved students. Using qualitative methods and sociocultural theories of learning, Dr. Fitzgerald investigates the integration of meaningful uses of multimodal literacy and science instruction, especially in the context of project-based learning, and strategies to support pre- and in-service teachers to enact ambitious and equitable instructional practices in elementary literacy. In 2017, Fitzgerald was awarded the International Literacy Association’s Steven A. Stahl Research Grant and an American Educational Research Association Division C Graduate Student Research Grant to partially fund her dissertation research. She has published in Review of Research in Education, Reading & Writing Quarterly, and International Journal of Educational Research. At the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Dr. Fitzgerald teaches courses on elementary literacy assessment.
Ph.D., Educational Studies: Literacy, Language, and Culture – University of Michigan, 2018
M.A., Special Education: Learning and Behavior Disorders – Georgetown College, 2011
B.S., Psychology – University of Evansville, 2008
Teaching Assessment, Design, and Implementation of Classroom Reading Instruction
Research Interests/Areas of Expertise
Elementary literacy instruction and assessment; equitable opportunities to learn; integration of literacy and science instruction; digital and multimodal literacies; pre-service and in-service teacher education
Awards and Honors
2019 – Finalist, International Literacy Association Timothy & Cynthia Shanahan Outstanding Dissertation Award
2019 – University of Michigan Educational Studies Stanley E. and Ruth B. Dimond Best Dissertation Award
2019 – American Educational Research Association Special Interest Group in Research in Reading and Literacy Graduate Student Award for Literacy Excellence
2017 – International Literacy Association Steven A. Stahl Research Grant
2017 – American Educational Research Association Division C Graduate Student Research Grant
Dr. Fitzgerald provides professional development in elementary literacy education for educators and instructional leaders, and serves as a consultant to a variety of education and policy studies organizations.
Palincsar, A. S., Marcum, M. B., Fitzgerald, M. S., & Sherwood, C. (in press). Braiding teacher practice and class-wide dialogue: A historical inquiry across three sociocultural interventions. International Journal of Educational Research, 10.1016/j.ijer.2017.08.001.
Fitzgerald, M. S., & Palincsar, A. S. (2019). Teaching practices that support student sensemaking across grades and disciplines: A conceptual review. Review of Research in Education, 43(1), 227-248.
Palincsar, A. S., Fitzgerald, M. S., Marcum, M. B., & Sherwood, C. (2018). Examining the work of “scaffolding” in theory and practice: A case of 6th graders and their teacher interacting with one another, an ambitious science curriculum, and mobile devices. International Journal of Educational Research, 90, 191-208.
Palincsar, A. S., Fitzgerald, M. S., & Winter, K. C. (2018). Applying principles and constructs of self-regulated learning to teaching in the English language arts. In M. K. DiBenedetto (Ed.), Connecting self-regulated learning and performance with instruction across high school content areas (pp. 27-52). New York, NY: Springer.
Fitzgerald, M. S. (July/August 2018). Multimodal knowledge building: Meaningfully using digital tools to foster disciplinary learning. Literacy Today, 36(1), 34-35.
Fitzgerald, M. S., & Palincsar, A. S. (2017). Peer-mediated reading and writing in a digital, multimodal environment. Reading & Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties, 33(4), 309-326.