Dr. Lauren Breckenridge Padesky is a research scientist at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community’s Early Childhood Center.
Padesky began her career teaching kindergarten, third and sixth grade in Wyoming, where she was privileged to work in inclusive classrooms and became thoroughly invested in improving the educational experiences of young children having difficulties learning to read and write. As a doctoral student, she worked as a clinical literacy coach and graduate research assistant at UWyo’s Literacy Research Center & Clinic, coaching preservice teachers as they tutored children experiencing literacy difficulties. Padesky researches in public schools, promoting early literacy teacher training, coaching, and pedagogical methods that dismantle systemic injustice and bridge opportunity gaps. She has also taught several undergraduate courses in early literacy methods and disciplinary/multiple literacies.
Padesky holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in American Cultural Diversity, a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction with a K-6 Literacy Endorsement, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction in Literacy Education – all from the University of Wyoming.
Quality early literacy instruction is a social justice issue. We can use measures of literacy development (reading, writing, speaking/signing, and listening/viewing, broadly) to promote the well-being of all students by continuously improving and equitizing educational systems, processes, and practices. Yet, relative literacy levels are often used to relegate, track, retain, and otherwise inhibit minoritized students’ academic and social trajectories, rather than improving teachers’ pedagogical practices. The lifeblood of my work is to disrupt this institutional thinking – to help teachers and schools face issues of justice, equity, and access in their current early literacy systems, and then reimagine their practice in ways that are just, humanizing, differentiated, and effective for all children.
- Clinical & School-Based Literacy Intervention Methods
- Culturally & Historically Responsive Early Childhood Literacy Education
- Emergent Vocabulary & Concept Development
- Justice, Equity, & Access in Literacy Education
- Literacy Coaching & Professional Development
- Robertson, D., Padesky, L. B., & Brock, C. (2020). Cultivating student agency through teachers’ professional learning. Theory into Practice, 59(2), 192-201. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00405841.2019.1705090
- Robertson, D., Padesky, L. B., Ford-Connors, E., & Paratore, J. (2020). What does it mean to say coaching is relational? Journal of Literacy Research, 52(1), 55-78. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1086296X19896632
Awards and Honors
- Mary Ellbogen Graduate Assistantship
- Literacy Research Association Annual Conference 2020 Area Chair Paper Award