- PhD in Curriculum and Instruction, Boston College, 2006
- MSEd in Curriculum and Instruction, Boston College, 1995
- BA in English and Secondary Education, Colby College, 1994
Dr. Stairs-Davenport is Chair of the Department of Literacy, Language and Culture, housed within the School of Education and Human Development, of which she is Associate Dean. Her research interests include how teachers learn to teach over time, particularly in urban contexts, as well as the influence of choice in the reading curriculum on student outcomes. She has published two books and numerous book chapters and articles in academic journals.
Dr. Stairs-Davenport has experience conducting mixed-methods, qualitative, and practitioner inquiry research projects. As a literacy educator, she is committed to promoting equitable learning experiences for students from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds by advocating for improved teacher preparation and professional development opportunities and relevant policy changes.
Professional memberships include the American Educational Research Association (AERA), International Reading Association (IRA), and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). Dr. Stairs-Davenport has served as a literacy consultant for elementary and middle schools in Southern Maine. She has taught courses including Content-Based Curriculum for English Language Learners, Teacher Research in Literacy, Reading Development and Instruction, and Seminar in Literacy Research and Second Language Literacy. Prior to joining the USM faculty in 2009, Dr. Stairs-Davenport was assistant professor of English education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
As a former literacy coach and English language arts teacher at the middle and high school levels, Dr. Stairs-Davenport is passionate about supporting teacher development for improved literacy and language instruction.
"I am deeply interested in how teachers can best support students’ enjoyment of reading and writing while, at the same time, improving their knowledge and skills."
Areas of Expertise
- Qualitative Research Methods
- Practitioner Inquiry
- Literacy, English as a Second Language
My research interests include examining mainstream teachers' learning to teach linguistically and culturally diverse students, qualitative research methods, and practitioner inquiry.
Awards and Recognition
- USM Faculty Senate Award for Teaching Excellence, 2016