I am an associate professor and coordinator for the MA in
Reading Program in the College of Education. As a lecturer, I began teaching at
courses in Elementary Education and Reading at GSU in 2002. After I completed
my dissertation, I advanced to professor and continued to teach courses in
Reading. The program has moved from an on campus format to fully online in the
past three years. Regardless of the format, the courses in the program prepare
classroom teachers to qualify as reading specialists and literacy coaches, or remain in their classrooms and use their
knowledge to improve the literacy levels of their students.
The ability to read well is fundamental to success in all
subjects across the curriculum. The Common Core State Standards emphasize reading
and writing with information, and most of the reading that we do as adults is
with informational texts. Therefore, instruction should include strategies for
understanding expository text as well as sources for information, whether print
However, reading for pleasure is also important. Given the
prevalence of action video games and fast-paced cartoons, reading words on
paper might not appeal as much to children. This is where knowledge of
appropriate books for particular age groups can help classroom teachers plan
instruction that will pique their students’ interest. Family finances were
limited when I was a child, and my only reading materials were comic books.
Perhaps that’s why I interested in graphic novels now. As they become more popular
and available for any age group and in every genre, teachers can use their
appeal to draw reluctant students into reading for pleasure.
Courses in children’s literature are my favorites to teach.
As someone who owns several thousand books and reads an average of 2-3 books a
week, I enjoy sharing my passion for reading with others. However, nothing
compares to the light in a young child’s eyes after the first experience of
reading a book independently.
To view Dr. Gandy's current vitae, click here.