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Faculty members

Aukerman, Maren

Maren Aukerman
Maren Aukerman
Academic Title 
Assistant Professor
Contact Information
(650) 721-1307
EDUC 221
Program Affiliations 
CTE: Literacy, Language, and English Education

In one current project, funded by a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship, Aukerman is examining how children in bilingual classroom settings make use of social and textual resources to make sense of first- and second-language text.  Additional areas of inquiry include the intersection of dialogic pedagogy and critical literacy; the learning of discussion-based approaches to teaching disciplinary literacy; and the developmental trajectory of children's oracy during dialogue about text.

Aukerman's research examines how children and adolescents interact and think as readers when they participate in text discussions where students have substantial interpretive authority and are encouraged to engage with each other’s textual ideas in meaningful ways. She is particularly interested in the relationship between classroom discourse and reading comprehension, with emphasis on children’s talk surrounding literature as well as their talk about nonfiction texts. She examines the pedagogical possibilities engendered by classroom contexts in which there is ample discursive space for children to explore their own and each other’s textual sense-making.  Aukerman has investigated how children become differently accountable to each other and to the text when the teacher deliberately steps away from a position of primary textual authority, and she has explored what those findings might mean to teachers in professional development settings. She has also investigated how young children change across time in how they talk with each other about text, and has identified key ways in which young children's discussion of words and images in the stories they read evolves across time.  Her article, "When reading it wrong is getting it right: Shared evaluation pedagogy among struggling fifth grade readers," won the 2009 Albert J. Harris award from the International Reading Association. 

“I argue that comprehending a text demands taking an evaluative stance with respect to it: That is to say, the reader must be in a position of one who knows, seeks to know, and discovers—and who has the authority to make claims about what a text says and means and what s/he thinks of that. The moment a reader makes those claims, s/he is evaluating, in the sense that s/he is assigning value and meaning to the text. Thus I propose that reading is a fundamentally evaluative task, and that by making the child’s evaluative stance toward the text irrelevant (which is what happens when reading instruction principally focuses on the teacher’s interpretation and interpretive techniques), we misrepresent to children what reading actually is.”

-from “When reading it wrong is getting it right: Shared evaluation pedagogy among struggling fifth grade readers” (Research in the Teaching of English, 2007)

  • PhD (Education in Language, Literacy, and Culture), University of California, Berkeley, 2004
  • MA (Education: Advanced Reading and Language Leadership Program), University of California, Berkeley, 2000
  • BA (Religion), Williams College, 1992

Assistant Professor of Reading/Writing/Literacy, Graduate School of Education, The University of Pennsylvania, 2004-2008

Bilingual Elementary Teacher. Phoenix, AZ. 1994 - 1998

  • Becoming Literate in School
  • The Discourses of Teaching Reading
  • Literacy Theory
  • Qualitative Interview Methods in Educational Research
  • The Centrality of Literacies in Teaching and Learning

Aukerman, M., Chambers Schuldt, L.  (2016). “The pictures can say more things”: Change across time in young children’s reference to images and words during text discussion. Reading Research Quarterly, 1-21.

Aukerman, M. & Chambers Schuldt, L.  (2016).  Closely reading “close reading.”  Language Arts, 93(4), 286-299.

Aukerman, M., Martin, P.C., Gargani, J. & McCallum, R.D. (2016). A randomized control trial of shared evaluation pedagogy: The near-term and long-term impact of dialogically organized reading instruction. L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature, vol. 16, 1-26.

Aukerman, M., Brown, R., Mokhtari, K., Palincsar, A., & Valencia, S. (2015).  Examining the relative contributions of content knowledge and strategic processing to comprehension.  Literacy Research: Theory, Method, and Practice. Vol. 64, 73-91.

Aukerman, M., & Chambers Schuldt, L. (2015). Children’s perceptions of their reading ability and epistemic roles in monologically and dialogically organized bilingual classrooms. Journal of Literacy Research, 47(1), 1–31.

Aukerman, M. (2015). How should readers develop across time?  Mapping change without a deficit perspective. Language Arts, 93(1), 57-64.

Aukerman, M. (2013). Rereading comprehension pedagogies: Toward a dialogic teaching ethic that honors student sensemaking. Dialogic Pedagogy Journal, 1(1), A1-A31.

Aukerman, M., & Zacher Pandya, J. (2013). Rethinking common answers to critical questions about classroom discourse. Language Arts, 91(1), 41-47.

Aukerman, M. (2012).  “Why do you say yes to Pedro, but no to me?” Toward a critical literacy of dialogic engagement. Theory Into Practice, 51(1), 42-48.

Aukerman, M. & Walsh, H.  (2009).  Getting ‘real’ in virtual talk about text. The Middle School Journal, 40(4), 53-61.

Aukerman, M. (2008).  In praise of wiggle room:  Locating comprehension in unlikely places.  Language Arts, 86(1), 52-60.

Aukerman, M., Belfatti, M. & Santori, D.  (2008).  Teaching and learning dialogically organized reading instruction.  English Education, 40(4), 340-364.

Aukerman, M. (2007). When reading it wrong is getting it right:  Shared evaluation pedagogy among struggling fifth grade readers. Research in the Teaching of English, 42(1), 56-103.

Aukerman, M. (2007). A culpable CALP: Rethinking the conversational/academic language proficiency distinction in early literacy instruction. The Reading Teacher, 60(7), 626-635.

Aukerman is currently on the review board for Research in the Teaching of English, Language Arts, and the Journal of Children's Literature.  She has provided instructional leadership for a number of practice-based professional development academies for teachers, including academies focused on dialogic discourse about scientific text, the role of text in mathematics, and emergent literacy.   She was the 2013 recipient of the Stanford Graduate School of Education’s Excellence in Teaching Award.