Paola Pilonieta

Paola Pilonieta
Reading and Elementary Education
Associate Professor, Coordinator of the Undergraduate Reading Program
COED 386


Born in Bogota, Colombia, Paola Pilonieta moved to Miami, Florida with her parents and sisters when she was 6 years old. Her experiences as an English Language Learner and her parents’ acclimation to a new education system continue to inspire her research agenda. Paola attended the University of Miami for her entire educational career. She received her BA in elementary education and French, her Master’s in reading and learning disabilities, and her Ph.D . in reading education. Along the way, Paola also taught first grade for five years in an urban Catholic School. Currently she is an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has been there for 10 years and teaches reading methods classes focusing on emergent literacy.
Paola’s research agenda focuses on emergent and early literacy, multicultural education, and teacher education. She is particularly interested in exploring how young children comprehend text through the use of strategies and social discourse. In the area of teacher education, Paola is currently studying the decision-making process that preservice teachers use during literacy tutoring, how preservice teachers match text to students to promote student engagement, and techniques for improving the discussion strategies preservice teachers use with children. 


Ph.D. - 2006 University of Miami Reading
M.S. - 2002 University of Miami Reading and Learning Disabilities
B.A. - 1998 University of Miami Elementary Education and French


Teaching Early Literacy and Assessment

RESEARCH Interests/Areas of Expertise

emergent and early literacy
effective strategies for diverse learners
teacher education

AWARDS & Honors

Educational Testing Service Visiting Scholar
Bank of America Faculty Fellowship in Early Reading and Child Development
The Ann Colbert Memorial Award


Dr. Pilonieta provides professional development in literacy to a variety of organizations.

Selected Publications

Pilonieta, P., Medina, A. L., & Hathaway, J. I. (2017). The impact of a study 
Abroad experience on preservice teachers’ dispositions and plans for teaching English Language Learners. The Teacher Educator, 52(1), 22-38.*
Pilonieta, P. (2017). First- and second-grade urban students’ path to comprehension strategy use: A practitioner’s framework. Reading Psychology, 
38(4), 369-389.*
Medina, A. L., Hathaway, J. I., & Pilonieta, P. (2015). How preservice teachers’ study abroad experiences lead to changes in perceptions of English 
Language Learners. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, (25), 73-90.*
Pilonieta, P., Shue, P., & Kissel, B. (2014). Reading books, writing books: Bringing reading and writing together in a dual language pre-k classroom. 
Young Children, 69(3), 14-21.*
Pilonieta, P., & Hancock, S. (2012). Negotiating first graders’ reading stance: The relationship between their efferent and aesthetic connections
and their reading comprehension. Current Issues in Education, 15(2), 1-10.*
Williams, C., & Pilonieta, P. (2012). Using interactive writing instruction with kindergarten and first grade English Language Learners. Early Childhood 
Education Journal, 40(3), 145-150.
Pilonieta, P., & Medina, A. (2009). Reciprocal teaching in the primary grades: “We can do it, too!”. The Reading Teacher, 63(2), 120-129. 
Featured as a top article in the Reading Rockets Website and
¡Colorín Colorado!