Josephine Peyton Marsh is Associate Professor of Literacy Education in Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. She received her Ph. D. from the University of Georgia in Reading Education in 1998 after over a decade of teaching literacy to students in grades 5-12. Dr. Marsh currently teaches graduate literacy education courses and mentors doctoral students. In addition to her university responsibilities, for the last 19 years, Dr. Marsh has worked with teachers in a number of school districts to help them learn about literacy instruction and the infusion of researched-based literacy practices into subject area teaching. She also worked with teachers to improve their classroom-based reading and writing instruction. These experiences helped her learn how to engage teachers and administrators in professional learning that involves collaboration, discussion, problem-solving, and practitioner inquiry and research.
From 2010-2016, Josephine Marsh had a unique and very rewarding opportunity to serve as the professor in residence for ASU Preparatory Academies, a K-12 charter school network sponsored by Arizona State University. This experience provided her an opportunity to hang-out in two schools—one urban, one suburban. She was fully embedded in the schools as the school ethnographer, professional developer, and literacy coach (and for a short time 9th grade literacy teacher!). Dr. Marsh reported to school daily, observed in classrooms, attended leadership and faculty meetings, and conducted literacy professional development on a just-in-time or as-needed basis. She learned that the best professional learning takes place when it is needed and in collaborative environments of mutual respect.
Dr. Marsh also facilitated weekly literacy cluster meeting where small groups of teachers worked together to develop and refine literacy instruction to meet the needs of all K-12 students. During these meetings, she assisted teachers and teacher leaders as they identified and worked to solve emerging literacy-related problems of practice—sometimes through observation and discussion; sometimes through practitioner inquiry and action research. These meetings built upon her previous long-term consulting work in the Chandler Unified School District (2002-2012) in which teacher representatives from all their secondary schools and content areas met with her regularly as a literacy council to develop and plan content literacy professional development for all secondary teachers.
Dr. Josephine Marsh’s past research interests include adolescent literacy and issues related to gender, identity, and literacy. Her current research focuses on school transformation and how teachers, administrators, students, and parents work together to create schools that prepare students for college and career success. In particular, her research concentrates on just-in-time literacy professional development, innovative literacy practice and instruction, literacy communities of practice, literacy teacher mentors, and student engagement. Dr. Josephine Marsh’s recent publications focus on her current work at ASU Preparatory Academy.
Marsh, J. P., Krauter, D., Pelotte, L. (2014) Coaching and growing literacy communities of practice. In
K.A. Hinchman & H. Sheridan-Thomas (Eds.). Best Practices in Adolescent Literacy NY: Guilford Press.
Marsh, J. P. (2013). My time as a professor in residence: Lessons learned. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 56(8), 617-622.
Marsh, J. P. (2014, February). Hanging out at ASU Preparatory Academies: What one university
researcher is learning from conducting real-time research in schools. Equity Alliance Blog,