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Mary Alice Barksdale

Associate Professor

Ed.D.


Dr. Mary Alice Barksdale is an associate professor of education specializing in Elementary Education and Literacy Education. She earned an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Tech. She has authored and coauthored more than 35 refereed journal articles and book chapters. She has also contributed greatly to the field by presenting at many state, regional, national, and international conferences.

In addition to being actively involved in teaching and research, Dr. Barksdale also engages in extensive service activities. At the professional service level, she is a reviewer for Teaching and Teacher Education. She has conducted numerous in-services and workshops for K-12 school divisions in Virginia, West Virginia, and Florida. Her outreach work also includes a strong leadership role in the Exploring Strategies to Engage and Empower Minority Students (ESTEEM) Project, an after-school project for African American children in a rural elementary school. Dr. Barksdale participated in the Malawi UPIC Project on Primary Teacher Education, a USAID grant involving Virginia Tech, the Malawi Institute of Education, and Domasi College of Education. Finally, Dr. Barksdale has received numerous awards in recognition of her exemplary contributions. She received the Virginia Tech School of Education International Research Award in 2010. She received a Fulbright Scholar Fellowship in 2009 and conducted research for the “Write to Read Project” while affiliated with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Dr. Barksdale’s contributions through teaching, research, and service enrich the Virginia Tech School of Education community.

Education

Ed.D.  Curriculum and Instruction, Virginia Tech, 1988

M.Ed.  Reading Education, Clemson University, 1979

B.A.  Elementary Education, Clemson University, 1976

Curriculum Vitae

Her research interests include literacy studies at the elementary level, literacy teacher education, and literacy education in developing countries. Recent publications in the International Journal of Education, Journal of Reading Education, Current Issues in Education, andThe Reading Teacher demonstrate dedication to her research interests and her contributions to the field. Her involvement in grant-funded projects also exemplifies commitment to the field. She has been a principal investigator (PI) or co-PI on grants, such as several grants related to an after-school program for African American children. She has also received a Fulbright Outreach, Mentoring, and Enrichment Grant to support scholars and students in the Blue Ridge region. Dr. Barksdale’s research and content expertise further informs her teaching and advising activities at Virginia Tech. As program area leader for the Elementary Education program, Dr. Barksdale provides meaningful graduate education. She teaches courses with topics ranging from comprehension and content area reading to language, literacy, and culture.

Refereed Manuscripts
Book Chapters
  • Hefflin, B., & Barksdale-Ladd, M. A. (2003). African American children's literature that helps students find themselves: Selection guidelines for grades K-3. In P.A. Mason & J. S. Schumm (Eds.) Promising practices for urban reading instruction, (pp. 203-221). Newark, DE: International Reading Association. [reprinted from the Reading Teacher, 2001].
  • Barksdale-Ladd, M. A. (1999). Commentary on “Peer Editing.” In J. Richards & J. Gipe (Eds), Elementary literacy lessons. Cases and commentaries from the field, (pp. 116-117). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Barksdale-Ladd, M. A. (1999). Commentary on “Is invented spelling for everyone?” In J. Richards & J. Gipe (Eds), Elementary literacy lessons. Cases and commentaries from the field, (pp. 98-99). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • King, J. R., Barksdale-Ladd, M. A. & Alvarez, R. (1998). The power of ritual and language: Maria Teresa takes her place in Tampa’s Cuban community. In K. M. Borman (Ed.), Ethnic diversity in communities and schools, (pp. 104-118). Stamford, CT: Ablex.
  • Field, T. T., & Barksdale-Ladd, M. A. (1997). The story of a changing school. In N. E. Hoffman, W. M. Reed, & G. S. Rosenbluth (Eds.), Lessons from restructuring experiences: Stories of change in Professional Development Schools, (pp. 197-218). Albany, N.Y.: SUNY Press.
Book Reviews
  • Barksdale, M. A. (2005). Review of Thirteen Years of School. What Students Really Think. By L. Scherff. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 37(4).
  • Barksdale-Ladd, M. A. (1992). Review of Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods (2nd Ed.) by M.Q. Patton. Educational Studies, 23, 411-415.
Papers Submitted for Publication
  • Barksdale, M. A. Addressing Primary Education Needs in Malawi, March 2008.
  • Barksdale, M. A. & Triplett, C. F. Valuing children’s voices, June 2008.
International / National Paper Presentations Since 2001
  • Barksdale, M. A. (2007). Literacy policy in primary education in Malawi. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Reading Conference, Austin, TX.
  • Barksdale, M. A. & Powell, A. (2006). The Complete Classroom: Teacher Development of a Website for Parents. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English, Nashville, TN.
  • Triplett, C, Potts, A, & Barksdale, M.A. (2006). Toward Holistic Reading Assessments for K-3 Students: Sociocultural Needs. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association for Multicultural Education, Phoenix, AZ.
  • Barksdale, M. A., Watson, C. & Park, E. S. (2005). Student learning through cross-cultural pen pal letters. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Reading Conference, Miami, Fl.
  • Barksdale, M. A. & Khasu, D. (2004). Literacy practices and teacher perspectives on literacy learning in Malawi. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Reading Conference, San Antonio, TX.
  • Barksdale, M. A. (2004). Valuing children’s voices. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Reading Association, Reno, NV.
  • Barksdale, M. A., Niles, Jerome., Kelly, P., & Tlou, J. (2003). Perspectives on literacy instruction and literacy teacher education in Malawi. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Reading Conference, Scottsdale, AZ.
  • Triplett, C. F. & Barksdale, M. A. (2003). Third through sixth graders' perceptions of high stakes testing. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Reading Conference, Scottsdale, AZ.
  • Barksdale, M. A., & Williams, W. (2002). High-stakes literacy testing: Legislation and legislators in five states. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Reading Conference, Miami, FL.
  • Triplett, C. F. & Barksdale, M. A. (2002). High for Whom?: Childrens' perceptions of high stakes testing. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Reading Conference, Miami, FL.
  • Barksdale, M. A., Leftwich, P., & McGill-Franzen, A. (2002). Perceptions of schooling in 3rd- 8th graders in the United States. Paper presented at the 19th World Congress on Reading, Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • Thomas, K. F. & Barksdale, M. A. (2001). Costs of high-stakes literacy assessment in the states. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Reading Conference, San Antonio, TX.
  • Fernandez, J., Barksdale, M. A., & Wright, V. (2001). Professor and student experiences with racism in teacher education. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Seattle, WA.
  • Evans, L., Grove, J., Barksdale, M. A., & King, J. (2001). Setting the pace in post-secondary reading education. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association for Developmental Education, Louisville, KY. Regional Paper Presentations
  • Barksdale, M. A. & Triplett, C. F. (2008). Reflections of preservice teachers on using holistic literacy methods. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association, Hilton Head, SC.
  • Powell, A. & Barksdale, M. A. (2007). The Open Book and Roanoke Reads: Using an online community to design a local literacy support website. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association, Clearwater, FL.
  • Woods, D., Potts, A., Triplett, C, & Barksdale, M. A. (2007). Self-perception and preservice teacher education: Exploring changes across teacher preparation through self-portraits. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association, Clearwater, FL.
  • Barksdale, M. A., Jones, T., Potts, A., Triplett, C., & Lalik, R. (2006). The challenges, dilemmas and needs of reading specialists. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association, Hilton Head, SC.
  • Barksdale, M. A. & Triplett, C. F. (2005). Valuing the voices of elementary students. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association, Sarasota, FL.
  • Watson, C., Barksdale, M. A. & Parks, E. S. (2005). Student learning through cross-cultural pen pal letters. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association, Sarasota, FL.
  • Barksdale, M. A., Niles, J., Tlou, J., & Kelly, P. (2004). Processes and challenges in developing teacher education for primary schooling in Malawi. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association, Clearwater, FL.
  • Barksdale, M. A., & Draper, M. (2004). High stakes testing and best practices of teachers: What really occurs in the classroom. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association, Clearwater, FL.
  • Barksdale, M. A., Niles, J., Kazembe, M., Mmela, E., Tlou, J., & Kelly, P. (2003). Perspectives on primary teacher education and the teaching of reading and writing in Malawi: Framing the inquiry. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association, Hilton Head, SC.
  • Thomas, K. F. & Barksdale, M. A. (2002). The costs of high-stakes testing: Case studies of eight states. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association, Sarasota, FL.
  • Leftwich, P, Barksdale, M. A., & Holt, R. (2001). The lived experiences of intermediate and adolescent public school students. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association, Hilton Head, SC.
State & Local Paper Presentations Since 2001
  • Woods, D. & Barksdale, M. A. (2008). Exploring preservice teacher identity through self- portraits. Presented at the annual Virginia Tech School of Education Student Association Research Symposium, Blacksburg, VA.
  • Triplett, C. F. & Barksdale, M. A. (2007). Holistic literacy approaches for struggling readers. Paper presented at the Twentieth Annual Fall Reading Conference of the New River Valley Reading Council.
  • Barksdale, M. A., Powell, A., Torrence, H., Gardner, K., Williams, A., Williams, A., Shrewsbury, R., Chamberland, S., Bennett, J., Boush, S., & Bryant, S. (2007). The Open Book and Roanoke Reads: Using an online community to design a local literacy support website. Presented at the annual meeting of the Virginia State Reading Association, Roanoke, VA.
  • Barksdale, M. A. & Triplett, C. (2005). Valuing elementary children’s voices. Presented at the Eighteenth Annual Fall Reading Conference of the New River Valley Reading Council.
  • Niles, J., Kelly, P., Barksdale, M. A., Mmela, E,, & Kazembe, M. (2002). Perspectives on the teaching of reading and writing in a developing country. Paper presented at the Fifteenth Annual Fall Reading Conference of the New River Valley Reading Council.
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  • mab@vt.edu
  • Virginia Tech, School of Education
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