Research and writing

    To research means that one reads, visits, asks questions, ponders, gathers data, writes, presents papers and publishes in areas of interest.  My interests are culture, teacher formation, women's contributions to our world.  


     This is what professors do; fortunately, I enjoy the entire process, despite the hard work.  A few examples of studies:  


1)  What are the perceptions and experiences of faculty as they offer courses in alternative settings (on-line, hybrid, distance, web-assisted)?  My colleagues, Carlos Martinez, Bill Newton, Julie Vowell, and I have published our findings. 


2) What are the experiences of women who try to make differences in our cultures and education systems?  I have been fascinated with Dame Daphne Sheldrick for several years, and with her work saving the lives of elephant orphans in Kenya.  To know more about her and what she has accomplished in her lifetime, go to


3)  What growth in cultural knowledge and experience is seen after a field experience for pre-teachers in a study abroad program?  The working title is called "Educators' Cultural Reflections and Practice:  Bringing an International Experience Home."  My colleagues Patsy Robles-Goodwin and Elsa Anderson are the other researchers, and we have gathered data from study abroad coursework.  Our study abroad experiences have included Peru, Ecuador, Croatia, Italy, India, Portugal.


4)  Do e-readers help middle school reluctant readers develop stronger comprehension and attitudes toward reading?  My colleagues (Kary Johnson and Dara Rossi-Williams) published three papers about our work and presented at the Ireland International Reading Conference and the United Kingdom Literacy Conference and the Association of Teacher Educators.   Below, you can see an article published in the International Journal of Applied Science and Technology. 


5)  In March 2013, I presented Social Processes second year's data to the Oxford Education Research Symposium.  The interesting part of the study to me, was the fact that the teachers in high SES classrooms explained more information to their students and much more verbal richness could be found in those classrooms.  What I want to know is whether the students drive this information-rich pedagogy, or does the teacher?  This will take further study and observation.  And guess what, I hope to see teachers in low SES schools provide similar rich information to their students.


6)  Other recent research projects have involved finding out how we educators make decisions and inform our practice.  I have presented two different papers in Oxford regarding educator transformation.  I also have published a paper on Soka Education Philosophy in the Wesleyan Graduate Review, plus numerous book reviews and editorials.


7)  My colleague Jeff Herr and I have designed and are editing ten submitted chapters for a book entitled on Academic Conversations:  Discourse that Matters.  We intend to submit to Common Ground Publishing early 2017.  Update:  We submitted to Rowman and Littlefield instead.  The ms was accepted and published 2018.  Title is The Value of Academic Discourse, Conversations that Matter.  Available at the Rowman and Littlefield wetsite and through Texas Wesleyan Bookstore.  


8)  My favorite kind of writing is to write in a handmade journal or write/draw/doodle in an art journal, or on a story that might become a  book for children.  



Reluctant Readers in Middle School: Successful Engagement with Text Using the E-Reader
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Adobe Acrobat document [206.6 KB]
Recent CV
Miranda Vita February 2018.docx
Microsoft Word document [136.7 KB]