Teachers’ Pick • Dr. Jessica Whitelaw
Our exciting March 2020 selection was handpicked by Professor Jessica Whitelaw of University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. Professor Whitelaw gave each story a background and her thoughts on why she selected the book. These commentaries can be found on A Book A Day’s instagram: @pickabookaday.
Jessica Whitelaw is a former middle school teacher and literacy coach/co-ordinator who lectures in the Reading/Writing/Literacy division at University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. She received her B.A. from Mount Allison University in Canada; her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction/Literacy Studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder; and her Ph.D. in Reading/Writing/Literacy from The University of Pennsylvania. Throughout her work in schools and the university for the past 25 years, she has been interested in the power of the arts and the imagination to inform and transform a critical agenda. Her research and teaching interests include literature for children and youth, arts-based inquiry, literacy, critical feminist epistemologies, and teacher learning. She received the Outstanding Dissertation Award from The American Education Association’s Arts and Learning Special Interest Group in 2015 for her dissertation examining intersections between the arts and literacy. In 2019 she published a research monograph entitled Arts-Based Literacy Teaching and Learning: Cultivating a Critical Aesthetic Practice. The book explores an arts-based framework for centering the arts in the social and intellectual activity of everyday school life with a commitment to inquiry, joy, and justice.