Amanda Yoshiko Shimizu

I hold a Ph.D. in Learning, Teaching, and Diversity with a specialization in Language, Literacy, and Culture from Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of Education.

As a researcher, my work focuses on elementary students’ literacy practices in digital environments. In my dissertation research, I investigate the collaborative and multimodal writing practices of culturally and linguistically diverse elementary students in online spaces with digital tools. Through the development of innovative multimodal methodologies, I explore how third graders’ collaborative writing develops across multiple online spaces, authors, and modes of interaction. The digital nature of this work provides space to develop new methodologies to study students’ interactions. In turn, it has the potential to theoretically expand what counts as writing participation, as well as pedagogically support practitioners hoping to incorporate digital tools, collaboration, and multimodality into their writing instruction.

Prior to pursuing my Ph.D., I was a classroom teacher for 10 years. These experiences began internationally, teaching with the Peace Corps in the Republic of Moldova. I was also a first grade teacher and reading specialist on a U.S. military base in South Korea, before becoming a founding literacy teacher across grades two, three, and four at charter schools in Rhode Island. While at Vanderbilt, I have continued teaching through mentorship, invited talks, professional development for local schools, and acting as instructor of record for a required literacy course for undergraduate elementary education majors. These varied experiences have confirmed my beliefs about the power of literacy education and the importance of building relationships with students to support their learning and growth.

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