Big Theory in Literacy: McVee Speaks at LRA

Dr. Mary McVee participated in the 2013 LRA session:
Big Theory in Literacy: Still Transformative After All These Years?  
See her session talk, What’s Theory Got to Do With It?


In this Pecha Kucha-based alternative session, we propose to interrogate the current state of “Big Theory,” or meta-theory, in literacy education scholarship with a particular focus on how it has transformed literacy research and practice in the past, and what role, if any, it might play in the future, particularly regarding issues of equity and justice in and through literacy education.

Session Participants

Session Organizer: George G. Hruby (University of Kentucky)

Chair: George G. Hruby (University of Kentucky)

Discussant: James Cunningham (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Is Big Theory in Literacy Passé, or Just Running Late?

  • George G. Hruby (University of Kentucky –

First Pecha Kucha Panel: Big Theory Past and Present

  • Deborah R. Dillon (University of Minnesota –
  • Mark Allen Dressman (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign –,
  • Mona Matthews (Georgia State University –
  • Mary McVee (University at Buffalo –

Second Pecha Kucha Panel: Current and Future Challenges for Big Theory

  • Elizabeth Dutro (University of Colorado Boulder –
  • Kevin Leander (Vanderbilt University –
  • Alfred Tatum (University of Illinois at Chicago –
  • David B. Yaden, Jr. (University of Arizona –

UB Reporter: UB Literacy Teachers Well-Prepared For Teaching In Challenging Educational Times

Graduates of the University at Buffalo’s Center for Literacy and Reading Instruction (CLaRI) gave their alma mater a meaningful gift to celebrate its 50th year of service: One after another, they have circled back to tell their faculty mentors how the Graduate School of Education’s literacy specialist master’s degree program made it easier for them to get jobs….

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NPR (WBFO): UB Literacy Specialists Provide Summer Reading Program

About 180 area elementary school children didn’t take a full-summer vacation. They remained in the classroom for a special reading program offered by the University at Buffalo in two suburban school districts — Maryvale and Amherst. WBFO’s Eileen Buckley recently attended the program at Maryvale to find out how it improves student reading skills…

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UB Reporter: Center for Literacy and Reading Instruction marks 50th year

UB’s Center for Literacy and Reading Instruction (CLaRI) will mark its 50th year of helping children read, write and gain confidence in their academic skills with a conference and alumni gathering that celebrate its timeless theme of literacy.

CLaRI’s 50th anniversary conference is an opportunity to hear the latest in literacy research and best practices, as well as acknowledge the organization’s proud tradition, according to Mary McVee, director of CLaRI and UB associate professor of literacy education. This important work began in 1963 by UB Professor William “Bill” Eller, who founded the reading clinic that since has become the Center for Literacy and Reading Instruction…

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UB News Release: More Children Get Reading Help This Summer, Thanks to Booming UB Graduate Program

More than twice as many Western New York children are receiving instruction in reading his summer from the University at Buffalo as have in the past, thanks to a booming literacy-specialist program at the UB Graduate School of Education.  More than 150 children in Maryvale, Amherst districts are enrolled.

“Whereas in past years, we typically would have 60 to 80 children in our programs, now we are serving 159 children in grades K-6 at the two sites,” explains Jennifer Schiller, site director of the UB Summer Literacy Program, who says the increase in students largely resulted from the tough economy and trends toward specialization among teachers…

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