Margaret Sheehy, Associate Professor

Ph.D., Ohio State University
Education Building-Room 326

Margi Sheehy brings experience as a middle and elementary school teacher and college composition and literature teacher to bear on her current work in the Department of Literacy Teaching and Learning. Her twenty years of teaching, research and service extend from early grades through adulthood and extend geographically, from western, mid-western, to eastern states. Currently, Dr. Sheehy is developing models of appropriate supplemental literacy instruction in secondary schools. That work involves curriculum development and assessment that informs instruction across contexts—from general classrooms to supplemental AIS classrooms, to special education classrooms.

Dr. Sheehy received her Ph.D. in Language, Literacy, and Culture from The Ohio State University and her master’s degree in Reading from Montana State University-Billings. At Ohio State (and because of her diverse experiences as a teacher in different contexts) she became interested in Human Geography and searched for a theoretical framework for understanding what it was about specific locales that made some practices possible but others not. Such a framework seemed necessary for social change to be planned and implemented at any level, from the single classroom to district-wide curriculum. The results of this research are documented in her book, Place Stories: Time, Space and Literacy in Two Classrooms, a co-edited book with Kevin Leander, Spatializing Literacy Research and Practice, and in articles published in Reading Research Quarterly, Written Communication, and Pedagogy, Culture and Society. The reading program at Montana State University-Billings set Dr. Sheehy on a life-long interest in knowledge building in academic disciplines. These two research interests are now merged in a three-year research project supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, in which Dr. Sheehy and her colleagues are developing secondary literacy instruction, with the help of urban and rural high school English and Social Studies teachers, which is responsive to students’ literacy and cultural differences.

Selected Publications
Sheehy, M., Scanlon, D., Deane, G., & Andrade, H. (2014). Development of a Supplemental Instructional Course in Reading and Writing Arguments for Ninth Graders at Risk of Leaving School Before Graduating. U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. $1.4 million, 3-year project.

Sheehy, M. (2013). What does human geography have to do with classrooms? In K. Hall, T. Cremin, B. Comber, & L. C. Moll (Eds.), International Handbook of Research on Children’s Literacy Learning and Culture. Wiley, Oxford, UK.

Sheehy, M. (2009). Place stories: Time, space and literacy in two classrooms. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.

Sheehy, M. (2009). Can the literacy practices of an after-school program be practiced in school? A study of literacies from a spatial perspective. Pedagogy, Culture, and Society.

Leander, K. M. & Sheehy, M. (2004). Spatializing literacy research and practice. New York: Peter Lang.

Sheehy, M. (2003). The social life of an essay. Written Communication, 20 (3), 333-353.

Sheehy, M. (2002). Illuminating constructivism: Structure, discourse, and subjectivity in a middle school classroom. Reading Research Quarterly, 37(3), 278–308.