This is another in a series of interviews with staff, faculty, administrators and students across campus promoting the goals of EKU’s Quality Enhancement Plan. The current QEP, Read with Purpose, calls for Eastern to develop critical readers through the use of metacognitive strategies. Building on the past QEP, which focused on developing critical and creative thinkers, this effort represents the University’s commitment to institutional improvement and provides a long-term focus for faculty and staff professional development and student learning.
This installment in the QEP Spotlight series features Dr. Jamie-Marie Miller, assistant professor of mathematics education.
1. In what ways have you been involved with the EKU QEP, Read with Purpose?
I was a member of the Critical Reading Across the Disciplines PLC in Spring 2021. Through my involvement, I applied for and received a QEP Leadership grant for Fall 2021. I shared my reflections on incorporating more critical reading practices in my methods class with a panelist presentation for the TLI session entitled Critical Reading Instruction Across Disciplines in February 2022.
2. In what ways has QEP professional development impacted your teaching and learning?
The QEP has opened my eyes to see how important critical reading instruction is for my students. So often, I assigned readings that students may have skimmed. Now through strategies that I learned from the QEP, I provide opportunities for students to engage in thinking about the text they read. I primarily focused on critical reading strategies in my middle grades/secondary math methods course. This course is the last one taken before student teaching. It is imperative that students read and understand the research behind sound educational pedagogy so they can go forth and plan engaging lessons based on instructional best practice. I felt that my students were able to read the educational research and understand how the instructional best practices were grounded in the research. Instead of having students fill out reading guides of questions, now I have them connect with the texts through a variety of ways. Their reflections were all kept in a virtual interactive notebook.
3. What impact is the QEP having on student learning in your discipline?
I believe that students learned to read educational research with a discerning eye. Instead of just skimming to find answers, students were engaged in critically thinking how does this text support the instructional practices that my education professors talk about in class? I want my students to be educated consumers of instructional strategies and understand how to implement these into their own future classrooms. One of the biggest impacts has been the virtual interactive notebook that is full of reflections from their readings and a matrix of instructional strategies they can use in their student teaching and future classroom. Students wrote about the instructional strategies and highlighted positives and possible accommodations for students with special needs.
4. How has the QEP benefited the campus community?
I think that having the QEP has opened the EKU campus for more conversations on the importance of critical reading. The variety of professional development opportunities has provided faculty members to enter the world of critical reading instruction at their comfort level and deepen their knowledge of how to best facilitate critical reading in their own courses.
5. How will you continue to promote critical reading in your courses, discipline, or across the university?
I will continue to promote critical reading in my methods courses with continuing the virtual interactive notebook and strive to increase my knowledge of critical reading instructional strategies with continued participation in the TLI series and other wonderful offerings through the Noel Studio. I am willing to share my work at the department, college, and university levels.