Faculty Spotlights


Shannon Pella, Ph.D. joins Teaching Credentials Branch

pella_shannon_dsc0008_web1.jpgOne of the new faculty members joining the College of Education in Fall 2017 is Shannon Pella, an Assistant Professor in the Teaching Credentials branch of the College of Education. She teaches the Academic Literacy and English Language Development methods courses for candidates working toward their Secondary Single Subject Credential. She also supervises student teachers in their field placements.

Dr. Pella has a Ph.D. in Education from the University of California Davis. Her concentration was in Language, Literacy, and Culture with a Designated Emphasis in Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition Studies.

Her research is focused on collaborative, practice-based, and inquiry-oriented forms of teacher professional development – like teacher study teams, action research and inquiry groups, and lesson study. She is interested in how such models support teacher learning, particularly in developing equity-focused language and literacy pedagogies.

In summer 2017 she co-authored the book, “Beyond ‘Teaching to the Test’: Rethinking Accountability and Assessment for English Language Learners.” The book was written specifically with middle and high school English teachers in mind but also applies to teachers across grades and disciplines. “The most significant aspect of this book,” says Dr. Pella, “is that it showcases the hard work and ingenuity of teachers dedicated to the success of their students and to their own professional growth.”

She has also published articles in peer-reviewed education research journals such as Teacher Education Quarterly, Teaching/Writing: The Journal of Writing Teacher Education, TESOL Journal, Journal of Technology and Teacher Education and Middle Grades Research Journal.

Dr. Pella says her research goals are to capture and describe the powerful learning that teachers can experience when they work together in collaborative professional development. “Teacher collaboration is widely recognized in the research as a critical element of effective teacher professional development models,” Dr. Pella says. “My continued research agenda is to uncover and document specific student learning outcomes that result from ongoing, supported teacher collaboration.”

Family has been a major influence on the person she’s become, says Dr. Pella: “My remarkable parents were my first and most influential teachers, my brother and my sister and their families keep me focused on what really matters in life, and my two kids, Brent and Claire, make me laugh, remind me to stay calm, and push me to enjoy myself when my inclination is to work too much of the time.”

Spotlights archive