Katie Danielson | University of Portland

Katie Danielson

Assistant Professor of Education


danielson-vertical.jpg“When I first started working in education, I was heartbroken by the number of children leaving early primary grades not reading and the dismal data indicating they wouldn’t receive the needed interventions in later grades. I realized there was a disconnect between what we know about how children learn to read and how we were preparing teachers to teach reading. This led me to where I am today working to bridge this gap between knowing and doing. I specialize in practice-based teacher education and professional development, pedagogies of teacher education, early childhood language and literacy, and elementary literacy.

One of my current research projects, which includes Dr. Rebecca Smith at UP and several other teacher educators from universities across the country, studies how we moved practice-based English Language Arts (ELA) methods courses online during the pandemic, and specifically examines our strategies for teaching text-based discussions in that format. We have begun presenting our findings at conferences this year. 

I’m also working with colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania engaging in innovative, school-based, professional development learning labs. During a learning lab, teachers collaboratively plan, enact, and reflect on teaching. Our specific project focuses on supporting teachers in enacting text-based discussions. This project aims to help teachers take an inquiry-based approach to text-based discussions and works to dismantle the typical classroom power structure where the teacher’s voice and text interpretations are often prioritized over the students’. 

For the last two years I have been working on a research project with an undergraduate student, Hailey Colman, that examines how death is represented and discussed in children’s books. We aim to understand if available texts align with what we know about children’s development and ability to engage with the concept of death. The project was initially funded by a Dundon-Berchtold Ethics Research Grant. 

These projects have a direct connection to my teaching as they engage in ideas around how to best prepare and support teachers. At UP, I appreciate having the flexibility to redesign courses and adjust my pedagogy to include new research findings and respond to my students’ needs.”

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